Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is appealing for loan horses for officer training.

“We need between two and four horses as older ones are retiring this year,” said stable manager Mima Manning, who said the horses would not be used for official police duties.

“Although loaning is not an option previously adopted by the GMP, it will allow our fully-trained horses to remain on operational duties. We have a strict budget for replacing older horses.”

The horses would be trained by British Horse Society-qualified staff, and the police will pay their keep.

The horses must be of a certain stamp to join the 35 currently in the stables. They must meet veterinary and temperament assessments and undergo a four-week trial period.

“Ideally, they would be hunter-types, standing around 17hh with a quiet and calm attitude in a training environment,” said Ms Manning.

“They must be able to walk, trot and canter for a variety of riders. We will consider horses from six years old as long as they are fit, sound and sufficiently trained.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (10 February, 2011)