Nottingham Trent University ’s Brackenhurst Equestrian facility hosts Newark Neighbourhood officers' training session
Nottinghamshire Police has held its first horse handling training course to equip officers with the skills needed to deal with large animals in rural areas.
The course at Nottingham Trent University ’s Brackenhurst Equestrian facility last week was staged for Newark Neighbourhood officers who operate in a large agricultural area.
Heather Sutton, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: "Due to the nature of our local landscape, it's vital that we equip our officers with the knowledge of how to deal with horses and other large animals.
"Our local farmers and residents have raised the importance of this to us and this training will now give our officers the basic skills they need to manage large animals safely, to protect the public and often the owners livelihood.
The training was led by Tina Canton, senior lecturer in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences and covered an array of areas including handling techniques, body language, escaped horses or those involved in RTC's.
It helped officers who have never been around horses overcome their fears.
Inspector Sutton said: "I'm really pleased with how the training went and it was great to see how enthusiastic the officers were to take part.
"The session was only a few hours long, but will be used on many occasions in the future."
Dr Gareth Starbuck, head of animal and equine sciences in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, said: “This project is an excellent example of how Nottingham Trent University is able to use its research and practical training expertise to support the community.
“Horses can be intimidating and unpredictable animals to handle and the police frequently encounter them in challenging situations. This training is a great initiative to increase the safety of horses, police officers and the public.”
Tina Canton, BHSI and senior lecturer in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, said: “Our course aims to increase officers’ confidence in safely handling horses in a variety of situations. We cover a range of topics including understanding horse behaviour, body language and the flight instinct that drives them.
“We also practically look at how to catch them, lead them and herd them safely. We’ve been able to discuss many real-life situations as part of the course; it’s been really well-received.”