What do your horses eat?
Our horses graze on grass or hay and are fed grain at regularly scheduled meals times. Whether at the stable or on the street, our horses also have an abundant supply of water. All of our horses enjoy occasional treats such as carrots, apples, and peppermints.
Where do you keep your horses?
Our horses are stabled at a private boarding facility. Each horse has a private stall in addition to acres of grassland to graze on. They are trailered into Minneapolis, which is a short 22 minute commute. They are trailered back to the ranch and are out in the pasture until their next feeding.
Do your horses bite?
Our horses, like all horses, are herd animals and can occasionally bite each other. We discourage this behavior as much as possible. Our horses generally do not bite humans with the intent of inflicting harm, but they can mistake body parts like fingers and hair for possible food. Please ask us for permission to pet our horses, and remember not to put your hands near the horse's mouth without prior approval.
How do horses react to hot and cold weather?
Our horses live outside and develop thick winter coats which allow them to remain warm during cold months. In the summer, we provide them with fans and a constant supply of water to stay cool, as well as regular baths.
How long do horses live?
While life expectancy varies with breed, horses generally live around 25-30 years.
Do you clean up horse droppings?
By law we are not required to clean up after our horses while on patrol. However, we do make every attempt to clean up when the droppings fall in unwanted areas such as sidewalks, private driveways, and yards, crosswalks, and in front of establishments. If a citizen requests that we clean up droppings, we make every attempt to do so. Horse dung has no protein in it, and it is primarily made up of hay, grain and water. Droppings decompose very quickly.
How is the height of a horse measured?
A horse is measured from the ground to its withers (at the base of the neck). The unit of measurement is called a hand, which is equal to 4 inches. Measurement by this means was first recorded in ancient Egypt.
Are your horses male or female?
We generally utilize geldings as police horses. Geldings are males that are unable to reproduce. Geldings generally have more even temperaments than other horses. We currently have one mare also. A mare is an adult female horse.
Can we pet your horses?
Provided that we are not engaged in a police activity such as a traffic stop, custodial arrest or response to a crime problem we encourage you to come and say hello to us and our mounts. Please be sure to ask for permission before petting our horses. Also, never approach a horse from the rear. If the horse is startled, it may kick with its powerful hind legs and cause serious injury to bystanders.
Where do the horses go to "retire"?
The amount of training that goes into selecting and training a police horse is quite extensive with consideration given to anatomical, physiological, and personality evaluation. Most horses are several years old before being considered. There is no set time period for their utilization as police horses, but when a horse appears ready to retire we find a good home for him.
Who owns the horses?
The City of Minneapolis owns some of the horses. Others are on loan by a private owner and will be returned to them at the end of their contract.
Why do your horses wear those bands around their legs while on patrol?
Those bands are simply a reflective Velcro fabric that acts as a visibility safety feature while working in and around traffic. They do not constrict the horse's legs, and are not equine wraps.
Do you take care of your horses?
While the staff at our stables does an excellent job of maintaining stalls, paddocks, and providing adequate shelter, food, and water, we take great pride in caring for our horses. Our horses are groomed by their riders every day they work. We monitor them for any ailments, and make sure they receive top-notch veterinary and ferrier care. When we are on the streets of Minneapolis, we always make sure that we have a good supply of hay and water. Bottom line: If we take care of our horses, they will take care of us.
How often do you train your horses?
Our horses (and riders) are in constant training. While we do hold formal training, being on the streets of Minneapolis every day presents many opportunities for enhancements of skills. Horses, being prey animals, have a strong flight response. Sights, sounds, smells, tactile experiences....all of them can induce a horse to "spook". We take sensory training as seriously as we do equitation and horsemanship.
How many mounted units are in the State of Minnesota?
There are two mounted units consisting of sworn police officers and maintained by municipal departments. They are Minneapolis, St. Paul and now Duluth.
In addition to these units, there are county-based "posses" that operate under auspices of respective sheriff's offices throughout the state. The Minnesota Mounted Posse Association facilitates inter-agency communication and networking.
I'd like to support the Minneapolis Mounted Police Foundation. How can I help?
There are many ways to show support. Let City Government officials know that you appreciate this service that the police department provides.
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> Become a volunteer by filling out online contact form.
> Make a tax-deductible donation: MAIL DONATIONS TO: Minneapolis Mounted Police Foundation 4119 Dupont Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55412
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