Why Are Police Horses Still a Thing?

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In recent years we’ve watched as the citizens of America have taken to the streets in protest over and over again as the government has continued to disappoint us. Whether the fight is championing reproductive rights, gun control or police reform, there has been a common factor present at every protest that may have caught your eye. Police horses.

You may be asking yourself, “why are police horses still a thing?” Do they help the police in any way other than making them taller? Despite the irony of policing police reform protests, we see and understand the presence of police in public crowds. But the presence of a horse? We’ve chosen to investigate the matter that appears both humorous and worrisome.

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Crowd Control

One of the strongest arguments for police horses is that they effectively can disrupt a crowd. But in what fashion, by inciting fear with their large physical presence? Isn’t fear what drives people to protest, though? And in that case, wouldn’t this be fighting fire with fire? Or fighting people with horses?

Easy to Maneuver

First of all, riding horses isn’t an “easy to maneuver” experience. Horses are often used for events where a car would not be able to fit or move effectively. So for situations such as a parade or street fair, which are often congested with people, having a horse stand beside a tight crowd would escalate a situation. Imagine if you were at a frat and instead of having them scream in your face for people to leave, they just paraded a pledge around on a massive horse!

Photo from Pinterest

These police horses do an exceptional job at making police appear less intimidating, and in return are only abused. The “labor” that is considered their job, in reality, is inhumane. Even prior to actual police work, their training can be very traumatic in order to prepare them for the riots they shouldn’t even be attending in the first place. This training includes exposure to smoke, fireworks and startling noises. While these are things horses would encounter at a riot, they are also things that can make them more of a risk than a safety precaution. Amongst being injured or killed themselves, police horses can often trample protesters, creating a more dangerous situation than the protest itself. Horses need a voice too!

DM us your thoughts on police horses @valleymag!

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