A: No, those are actually reflectors to allow the horse to be seen by vehicles at night, since much of our time on patrol is after the hours of darkness.
Q: Do you clean up after your horses?
A: Yes, if the horse defecates on the sidewalk, crosswalk or in a parking lot. If it is in the street, we do not clean it up as pedestrians should not be walking in the streets.
Q: Why is one horse bigger than the other?
A: Horses of different breeds grow to different sizes, just like dogs.
Q: Why does that horse have a white leg?
A: It’s genetic. Horses have markings, just like dogs.
Q: What do the horses eat?
A: Our horses are fed brome hay and grain. They are occasionally treated with apples, carrots and special horse treats. Horses can have sensitive stomachs and to prevent any problems, their diets are very restrictive.
Q: How much do they weigh?
A: Our horses range from 1100lbs to 2300lbs, roughly.
Q: Did you ride all the way here from Swope Park?
A: No, we trailer our horses daily to our area of patrol.
Q: Do you have to have “horse experience” to be a Mounted Patrol Officer?
A: No previous experience is required. However, it can be helpful. The unit has been very successful in training several officers from scratch. Many of the officers on the unit have attended various training, such as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Riding School in Ottawa, Canada, and the Mounted Police Colloquium in Lexington, KY.
Q: How long do you ride during your shift?
A: This varies due to many factors, however, during a typical shift we average 3 – 4 hours of riding/patrolling.
Q: Do you ride year-round?
A: We are a full-time unit that rides year-round. We monitor the horses closely during hot weather and adjust our ride accordingly. Normally if the heat index is 95 degrees or above in the summer or 20 degrees or below in the winter ,we do not ride. Also, if it is not safe to drive in the winter due to road/weather conditions, we do not go out.
Q: Do the horses go through special training?
A: KC Mounted Patrol utilizes natural horsemanship training/practices. The horse & rider build a bond of trust and understanding which has proven to be an extremely successful program. Although our horses undergo rigorous aggravation & sensory training and are accustomed to stimuli, they are animals and can be unpredictable at times.