: News

Filed Under:

No Riding, But Plenty Of Work Horse-Mounted Patrol

Play associated audio
Sergeant David Schlosser of the U.S. Park Police feeds a police horse. Keeping the horses fed and hydrated at an outdoor facility is a challenge during the storm. 
Jonathan Wilson
Sergeant David Schlosser of the U.S. Park Police feeds a police horse. Keeping the horses fed and hydrated at an outdoor facility is a challenge during the storm. 

By Jonathan Wilson

Not every challenge posed by this winter storm comes down to salting and plowing. The U.S. Park Police Horse-Mounted Patrol faces some unique difficulties weathering the storm on the National Mall.

Mark Asmussen is going through his first winter assigned to horse-mounted patrol the National Mall.

"This is the most snow I've ever seen in my life," Asmussen says. "I grew up in Tennessee."

Asmussen says the horses living in the outdoor stables here actually seem to like snow.

"We were able to let them out over the weekend, and they seemed to have a ball with it, but once it's this deep, we have to worry about they're safety," he says.

So the officers wont be doing any riding today; they wont have much time to relax.

Keeping the the horses fed and hydrated in weather like this is a challenge. Each horse drinks 12 to 15 gallons of water a day, ideally lukewarm.

The stables don't have an automatic watering system, so for officers that means lots of trips carrying a five-gallon bucket filled to the brim.

"Each horse's [bucket] has to be filled individually multiple times a day...trying to carry the hay and grain, and keeping the walkway clear, its an all-day battle," Officer Jeff Bloch says.

There are 13 horses housed at the National Mall stables. U.S. Park Police have a total of 45 horses at different stables spread across the D.C. region.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

Squeezed By Drought, California Farmers Switch To Less Thirsty Crops

Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.