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Charlotte of the Mounted Police


Joe

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I was absolutely devastated to see the picture of this accident. I had a teary moment and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I've been a fan of horses all my life. Part of the result of growing-up with one foot in a cowboy boot and the other in a deck shoe. I don't have one now, but I'm getting a little fragile so that's probably just as well. My most satisfying job, in my 26 years as a copper, was my time with the mounted unit. I would have remained with that unit longer if my horse had not developed what they described to me as 'equine leukemia'. I was with him when he left. I cried then too.

I would have a difficult time describing the feeling you get when your horse decides to 'trust' you. But when it happens it involves your heart and it is very real. I don't want to be accused of anthropomorphizing, but we need to use words to describe situations. So when my horse stood calmly at Commercial Row & Virginia and watched the Southern Pacific roar by with air horns and rumbling and the crossing guard clanging and flashing, my pal had surrendered his 'flight' instinct and was clearly trusting me. I'm not really doing this topic justice. And in fairness, I should report that he was always highly suspicious of the 'Sparkletts' water truck.

In one of the comments sections, someone, probably with the best intentions, thought that horses ought not be out and about in traffic as it was too dangerous. Well it's dangerous for people too. Horses are an integral part of our history and they should be a part of our world other than at the race track.

There was a great painting done by an artist during the Great War. It shows a young cavalry trooper bidding goodbye to his horse who is dying of wounds sustained in battle. I'd have a print of the painting except that every time I see it I cry.

Okay, so I'm a wuss. Wanna fight about it?

Thank you for letting me vent. Love to all.

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Joe - I sympathize 101%. Back in the last millenium I learned to ride on a retired Cleveland police horse, a magnificent Morgan named Duke. He was absolutely imperturbable, even with an inexperienced youngster clinging to his back, and after we grew familiar with one another over the years he would take me on rides of pure joy. To have one as your partner, day in and day out, I can scarcely imagine the bond that develops between an officer and his partner mount such as yours or that of the officer in the photo.

My sympathies to you both, and thanks for the service shown by all of you.

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