Ink and Zulu go on patrol

Ink and Zulu go on patrol

Police horses Ink and Zulu were up for pats in Armadale last week.

Police horses Ink and Zulu have been reining in troublemakers while patrolling in Armadale last week.

PH Zulu, the NSW-bred Clydesdale-cross gelding, has been a large part of the thin blue line since officially choosing his own name at a ceremony in 2014.

Five names were selected from more than 15,000 Facebook suggestions and placed on a feed bucket for the horse to say yay or neigh to.

WA Police currently have 20 operational horses, with seven younger horses at various levels of training.

Police horses and riders are trained to cope with all aspects of police work including patrolling, riots and crowd control situations, missing person searches and ceremonial duties such as the Anzac Day Parade.

This is accomplished by well-practiced horsemanship as well as exposing horses and riders to cross country riding (jumps), cattle work, nuisance and public order (riot) training. Different methods and equipment are used to acquaint the horses with loud noises, large crowds, smoke and the many obstacles that they may experience on the road.

This is done progressively ensuring that the remount (new horse) is able to withstand each phase of their training before moving to the next level.

From time to time, horses will have to go back to school and be retrained.

The individual rider maintains a close relationship with their horse ensuring that when retraining is needed the horse is provided with the best schooling available.