|home | about | news | contact | appeals | recruitment | crime prevention | index | search|
This section contains details about:
The meticulous and intensive selection and training process for the mounted officers is equalled by that undergone by their horses.
Most originate from Ireland and are chosen from a selection of sources that know the requirements of the Metropolitan Police. A half or three-quarter bred animal has been found to be best suited to police work, combining the spirit of a thoroughbred with the strength and stability of a draught horse. The training at Imber Court is individualized for each horse, and usually lasts six months. The training is separated into three stages Red, Amber and Green.
In the Red stage the basics are established and the horse is asked to Stand Still, be Calm and polite, have generally good stable manners, be loaded onto and off boxes several times and generally establish if the horse is suitable to move onto the next stage of training.
The Amber stage takes the development a little further introducing the horse to new environments including the local village centers around Imber Court, the local woodlands and open spaces, be able to go through water and to stand and move correctly, be mounted from the ground accepting a riding mac and quarter sheet. At least two months prior to issue the horse will be issued a full uniform kit and be ridden in both saddle and headkit it will also be introduced to a stall. Most importantly the horse will be asked to stand calmly in normal conditions allowing the officer to deal with public enquiries or incidents.
The Green stage is the final stage before the horse is issued to an officer out on duty. The horse is asked to patrol up to two hours daily, has been escorted to Kingston on more than one occasion, be able to stand and move forward accordingly in congested traffic from all directions. The horse will also have been to the Public Order training center at Gravesend and will have been ridden in the dark. The horse at this stage is also introduced to mini disc recordings of Military bands, crowds and trains all in a controlled environment within one of the indoor schools at Imber Court. Also in the Green stage the horse is taken out into the open to continue its work with specially developed exercises teaching, for example, the lateral movement into crowds, which is the safest and most effective method of crowd control for both the horse and the public.
At all times, the greatest care is taken to maintain a system of training based on encouragement and reward. This produces a well-balanced, obedient animal that is accustomed to all the conditions in which it will have to work.
After the successful completion of all three stages the horse is then issued to a suitably trained officer at one of the eight operational Mounted stables within the MPS. The training continues and the horse is given the title of a "remount". All being well the horse is slowly introduced to more challenging situations including low category football matches, escorting the Military and tasked patrols.
At the end of the Police Horses working life the animal is re-homed at one of many identified establishments who have previously contacted the Mounted Branch with a view to offering a home.
At present we are no longer taking requests to re-home horses due to
the extensive current list. However should this situation change then
we will update our site accordingly.