In the latest issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out now (dated 15 November), we visited PC Lisa Dobson, a member of the mounted police to discuss the finer points of her job, including chasing down armed suspects and being on patrol during a visit by Donald Trump. Here’s 8 things you might not know about the mounted police regiment…
1. The mounted police have a variety of roles, from patrolling on horseback in dangerous areas to crowd control at concerts and football matches — as well as performing at Olympia.
2. The horses have one day off per week, and are on patrol for about three hours a day.
3. It takes around two years to train a police horse. They aren’t bred specially for the job, and — as in any discipline — have to be introduced to everything slowly, starting with school fairs where the officers ask the children to shout and cheer, then moving on to visiting small football clubs.
4. The riding assessment to join the mounted police involves walk, trot and canter, demonstrating the ability to rise on the correct diagonal and canter on the correct lead. There is also a 16-week basic course, in Surrey. Once you’ve passed that, you are assigned to a stables.
5. Police officers cannot apply to specialise as mounted officers until they have spent at least two years on the street.
6. Mounted police also attend royal weddings, the State Opening of Parliament, Trooping the Colour and state visits. When Donald Trump visited London this year, almost every horse in the Met was on duty.
Tucked right in the heart of the capital is the Mounted Branch of the City of London Police. St Paul’s
The Olympic champion led officers from the display team in some flying changes in the warm-up arena
7. Officers are expected to muck out, feed and hay three times a day. They must also be immaculately turned out, with polished tack.
8. It’s not all Policeman Plod — PC Lisa Dobson received an award for spotting a man acting suspiciously at the Brixton Splash street festival, chasing him down and finding he had a firearm.
For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday