Mounted police are police who patrol on horseback (equestrians). They continue to serve in remote areas and in metropolitan areas where their day-to-day function may be picturesque or ceremonial, but they are also employed in crowd control because of their mobile mass and height advantage and increasingly in the UK for crime prevention and high visibility policing roles. The added height and visibility that the horses give their riders allow officers to observe a wider area, but it also allows people in the wider area to see the officers, which helps deter crime and helps people find officers when they need them. Mounted police may be employed for specialized duties ranging from patrol of parks and wilderness areas, where police cars would be impractical or noisy, to riot duty, where the horse serves to intimidate those whom it is desired to disperse through its larger size, or may be sent in to detain trouble makers or offenders from the crowd. For example, in the UK, mounted police are most often seen at football matches, although they are also a common sight on the streets of many towns and cities as a visible police presence and crime deterrent during the day and night. Some mounted police units are trained in search and rescue due to the horse's ability to travel where vehicles cannot.
Tack used by mounted police is similar to standard riding tack, with adaptations for police use. Synthetic saddles are often favoured over those made of natural leather to reduce weight, important both because of long riding hours and because police officers must carry numerous articles of personal equipment. High-traction horseshoes made of speciality metals or fitted with rubber soles are typically used in urban areas in place of standard steel horseshoes, which are prone to slip on pavement. Rubber soled shoes also produce less noise than steel shoes and jar the hoof less. Horses working in riot control wear facial armour, made of perspex so that the animals can still see. The officers themselves are often equipped with especially long wooden or polycarbonate batons for use on horseback, as standard patrol batons would have insufficient length to strike individuals at ground level.
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snunney (101826) 2014-05-08 6:05
Excellent capture of this policeman and his mount. I like the tight framing and saturated colours. Good light management.
Mild and partly cloudy here today, rain tomorrow.
Royaldevon (40418) 2014-05-08 7:23
A shot that may seem easier than it actually is! I have photographed mounted police and when they are moving along the road, its hard to follow them and keep them in focus!
This is a great capture, showing the details and the dignity of the officer and his proud horse, whilst, also, giving an interesting but unobtrusive b/g.
My warm regards,
Noel_Byrne (32138) 2014-05-08 10:28
That's a beautiful animal, I could see this as much at home in a fairytale as in the centre of the city. This is a really fine portrait to document the mounted police, with perfect expressions on both the horse and the rider, and a perfect light across them both too. Very nice pic.
emka (101039) 2014-05-08 13:37
Hello Iain, Excellent portrait of this policeman on his white horse. Nice shot.
Warm regrads MAlgo