For this special edition of Hay There we caught up with Dr Gemma Pearson, Director…
The Horse Trust provided training in horse handling skills to a group of Thames Valley Police officers this week.
The training, which was held at the charity’s sanctuary in Speen, Buckinghamshire on Wednesday 3 November, lasted for one and a half hours and was attended by four police officers from Marlow Police station.
“Police may be regularly called out to incidents involving horses, including emergency situations, in the more rural areas across the county,” said Liane Crowther, Welfare and Education Officer at The Horse Trust. “There is a risk of injury to both the police office and horse, if the officer doesn’t know how to handle a horse properly.”
The workshop consisted of training in horse handling skills, such as how to approach and catch a horse, how to scan a microchip and how to lead and tie up a horse.
The training also included information on horse welfare and gave advice on what to do if a horse is found injured or ill. There were practical demonstrations and each police officer was given the opportunity to practice their new horse handling skills with some of the horses living at The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest.
PCO Emily Watkins said, “This training has provided me with the confidence to be able to handle horses in emergency situations. I now have a greater understanding of what to look for when I am called out by a member of the public to a horse in distress.” She added, “I will definitely recommend this training to my colleagues and other police officers in our area. I have learnt so much today”
Once the training was complete, officers received a certificate of competence and a horse head collar for their vehicle.
“The day was a great success and the officers all did a brilliant job!” said Liane. “There is no official police policy for handling horses in Buckinghamshire at the moment. By providing training, The Horse Trust is helping to protect the police and public from harm and minimising distress to horses.”