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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A USC Equestrian Team Fundraiser and The LAPD Mounted Police Force

I had the opportunity to visit the fourth annual USC Equestrian Team Fundraiser this past weekend. M always complains and tells me that banquets and fund raisers are terribly boring, but this time she was proven wrong. The USC fundraiser was a hoot! My favorite part was LAPD's Mounties' demonstration. 
LAPD badge

A nice soft breeze, a comfortable seat on mommy's lap, and the best show I could have asked for (not even counting the yummy food!). Three LAPD officers, two on horse and one on foot explained the inside scoop on this small 35-man unit, established in 1986. 

The officer in the middle is the "bad guy"
The mounties are about to arrest him

"Stop right there!" 
See the officer dismount in the back?

Officer in the left is in the process of dismounting next, once 
the other officer is pointing a gun at the suspect

We were told that LAPD mounties never shoot from their horses, and that's just in the movies, duh! However, these horses are not like horse show ones. They are so well trained that if you have to shoot a gun near them, they will stay exactly in the position they were left at. They are trained to fear nothing, especially loud and sudden noises. 

You're toast, sucka!

Now, roll over 
(oops, I guess I'm still thinking in terms of dog training tips, BOL)

Notice how both horses haven't moved an inch? That's due to their amazing training. They are not to move one foot/hoof once dismounted. While the mounties' horses are publicly/city owned, the responsibility falls on their rider. The LAPD mountie officer said, "We are responsible for every footstep our horse puts on the pavement." He used the example of a stroller. I got it.

LAPD mountie demonstrates how well-trained the horses are
and that they simply will not move, even when pushed
The wooden "katana" hanging in front of the mountie is how they treat suspects who are too close
The suspects get hit anywhere but their heads, ideally
If somebody approached my horse with ill intentions, I'd make sure to doink him on the head

I loved learning that a strike to any of these mounties' horses is a misdemeanor whereas any visible injury is a felony! The horses can be petted in public since they are publicly owned, and the officers encourage the human interaction, unless they have a nipper on their hands. A touchy subject is the clean up. Apparently in horse country, like in the city of Chatsworth, the mounties and their horse doodoo are welcome, but at certain parts of LA, certain unpleasant issues arise. E-hem.

The LAPD mountie who acted as the perp, had a horrific story to share with us. Apparently, a man he called "a gangster" released a trained pit bull on his horse at the Venice Beach Boardwalk. The dog was ordered to go for the throat, and the mountie was bucked off. The horse was able to free himself and started running through the freaked out crowd. The police had no way of shooting at the suspect in the middle of the crowd. All I wanted to know was what happened to the horse. He recovered from his injuries and was immediately retired. Apparently he still can't be around any type of dog, even one my size.; not even a Chiweenie. Since then, all doggies are banned from  the world famous Venice Beach boardwalk.

Thank you USC equestrian team for giving us the opportunity to meet and hear from these brave LAPD mounties and to see the demonstration. For more information on the LAPD Mounted Police Unit you can click HERE.
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May I have your attention please? My furiend Norwood is organizing the first ever, the one and only, the 2010 Pawdance Film Festival! Still here? Go check out the details and I dare you to compete about me. All I'm going to say for now is: You snooze, you lose. There are no losers in here, so let's go!


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