Police officers in South Buckinghamshire are being taught how handle horses properly by experts.

Equine professionals from Speen-based charity The Horse Trust recently showed officers basic handling skills to increase safety to the public, police and the animals.

Officers were shown how to safely approach a horse, fit a head collar and lead the animal to safety. For some of the officers it was the first time they had handled a horse.

PC Marcus Audoin said: “The session has taught us some very useful skills when it comes to horses, which would normally not have formed part of our police training.

“Because we police a rural area, we often have to deal with horses that are running wild, and this course has helped us understand how to handle them, minimising the risk of injury to the horses and to us.”

The group — mainly made up of neighbourhood officers, community support officers and special constables — was the fifth to benefit so far from the one-hour training session at Speen in Bucks.

Once officers are trained they receive a certificate of competence and a head collar for their patrol vehicle.

The training is free to Thames Valley Police and all safety equipment is provided by the Horse Trust, and depends on donations.

For more information on the trust visit: www.horsetrust.org.uk