Quite a few times, during the last few days, I’ve been hearing the clip-clop of what I already knew to be police horses, outside my home. I knew they were police horses, because those are the only horses I ever see in my vicinity. After a couple of such soundings, I tried to photo them, but by the time I got my camera going, they’d gone.
Yesterday, however, they were back, and I got luckier:
Nice of them to turn right like that, so I could get a less unflattering view of them, wasn’t it?
I tried googling to find where such horses might be based, but am none the wiser. There’s a Facebook page, which keeps saying that there are stables to be found in the middle of Victoria Station, which can’t be right. I’m guessing the stables are just “somewhere in Victoria”, and that’s how they like to keep it. But, what do I know? Not even that, actually.
In this Guardian piece about the work of such horses and their riders, it says this:
The Metropolitan Police has 150 officers and 120 horses at eight stables across London who perform a variety of roles, from high visibility patrolling to appearing at ceremonial functions and carrying out public order duties such as …
Such as the football match the article describes, a friendly, between England and Sweden. And it would seem that what I observed must have been “high visibility patrolling”.
Concerning the football match, we later read this:
It is incredibly moving to watch a line of just six horses effortlessly holding back 35,000 fans. The relationship between the police and the British public may be troubled, but judging by this night at least, it seems the force’s equine members still draw a healthy respect.
Healthy respect? My guess is it’s more a case of everyone knowing that hurting human cops is okay, because all’s fair in love and rioting. But hurt a horse, and the whole world considers you scum. I remember the IRA hurting a horse, and the reaction from everyone was: right, that does it. I do not like the IRA any more. Bombing humans to death in places like Manchester and Ireland. That’s okay. But, a horse? Now they’ve crossed a line.