Molly McMule's Horse Tales – 1001 Stall Stories

Mounted Police

“Will you take a look at what’s going on out in the pasture right now?” mused Molly. “Looks like some kind of training session led by Desi, doesn’t it?”

Ginny agreed, and they both laughed to see the antics of the youngest, and most imaginative, in the group. “There’s always something new floating around in that filly’s mind.”

Several of the horses watched as Desi seemed to be trying to get some kind of order, or routine established with her playmates. They were marching first in a row, then following one another in line, reversing and circling. What could they be thinking?

After some time, time to refresh with water and some grass, they asked them what all that action was about.

“We were pretending that we were Mounted Police, and wanted to see if we could do some of the things that they are supposed to do. You know, sometimes they are in parades, and then they need to really show off their stuff, keeping in step and all that,” answered Desi, the leader of the group.

“Oh, I see,” said Ginny. “But you realize that isn’t all that the Mounted Police do.”

“You mean, they have other things to do? Like what, for instance? I thought it would be fun to be in parades, have kids feed me carrots and treats. I didn’t really think about the work that they had to do,” she answered.

“Well, lets just think about it for a while. In New York City, for example, horses are used for crowd and mob control, patrolling a crowded beach, or just watching traffic.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad. Can’t be too tough standing around watching traffic,” sassed Desi.

“Oh no? Well just how do you think you would like to stand in the street, with horns honking, buses hissing and huge trucks rumbling past you? It takes a pretty calm horse not to be spooked by all that, and also a pretty competent rider to help the horse keep cool and collected under those circumstances,” said Beau. “It’s also not easy to control an unruly crowd.”

Desi blinked and thought.

Molly said, “Tennessee Walkers are often used by the mounted units because they have a smooth gait that is easy on the rider. That’s why they sometimes call them the ‘gentlemen’ horses. The horses are young and get a rigorous training. They have one rider and they get to understand each other very well as they work together. They are very well cared for and often pampered by their trainers.”

“Yeah, and horses are used at Coney Island, the amusement park too. The park is filled with lots of loud noises and big scary rides, flashing lights and thousands of people. Not my idea of fun. Of course, I might enjoy being able to cool off at times and have some fun galloping on the beach near their post,” continued Beau.

“The horses also have some buddies, and a few dog friends, that provide some companionship and fun," he added. "They are also not worked during very heavy rainstorms because of the danger of motorists not being able to see very well. At times like that, if they are on duty, they stay in vans until the weather clears. So you can see there is a lot of consideration for safety. Health and fitness are also important, and so is good grooming. A lot of attention is paid to their vision, too. City streets are not natural and can really be rough.”

“Hmmm, I guess there is more to being a mounted police than just marching in a parade, but it still seems like a pretty good job,” thought Desi.

“You’ve just heard about one type of Mounted Police – the city police," Ginny said. "Then there are also some elite troops like the Canadian Royal Mounted Police who get involved in all kinds of exciting situations. But we can talk about that some other time. I see our person coming with some feed buckets, so it’s time to get back to the barn now,” Ginny ordered.

Molly says, “There is an interesting book about mounted police, ‘City Horse’ by Jack and Patricia Demuth in your library, and lots of information on the Internet. You might want to check it out, and perhaps think about a different career, as a mounted police.