Could your horse be a four-legged crime-fighter?

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is seeking new equine recruits to help officers keep the peace in the area.

The mounted section is looking for four to five “four-legged crime-fighting recruits”, to buy or take on loan.

GMP equine manager Mima Manning said the successful applicants would have a “laid-back and sensible temperament and approach to life”.

“The horses are an important part of policing and are seen on patrol around the county as well as at high profile events and football matches, “she added.

“We have some specific requirements of the new recruits and they will receive five-star care and attention as well as specialist training and development for the role.”

Horses must be between 16.2hh and 17.2hh, aged between six and 13 and “of substantial build”.

They must be in work, fit and sound, and be able to hack out on the roads in company and alone, and jump a small course of fences. They must also be good to shoe and load, and “enjoy plenty of attention”.

The mounted section currently has 20 horses, and usually looks for four to five new recruits each year to replace those who have retired.

Ms Manning told H&H that each horse on average “delivers operational policing” five days a week, with one day off and one of schooling or training.

They have two weeks’ holiday every year, and generally give 10 to 15 years of service to the force.

It takes some 18 months to two years for new recruits to become fully-fledged police horses. Ms Manning said training is a “gradual process of habituation techniques used to build the horses’ confidence in the urban environment in line with horse learning theory and equitation science”.

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The horses are shod every five weeks, to “maintain consistent foot support and balance”, and are cared for by a team of grooms, trainers and police officers, who “work together to meet all the equestrian and operational needs of the mounted unit.”

Anyone who has a horse who meets the criteria, and may be interested in loaning or selling to the GMP mounted unit can email GMP.MountedUnit@gmp.police.uk

Owners are asked to provide contact details and information about the horses, including photographs.

Horses will need to spend a trial period of four to six weeks at the unit before they are accepted.

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