NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - For as many officers who train to join the New Orleans police mounted unit, only half will actually make it.
"They know what the horse is gonna do to what degree in every situation and that's the biggest thing out there," said NOPD patrolman David Waguespack.
Before they can get working together, horse and rider, both technically peace officers, have to make the cut, some won't and there's a specific reason for that.
"They have to like somewhat bond with the horse," Waguespack said. "They gotta get used to the horse and the horse will get used to them."
Sometimes, as is the case between two human colleagues, that just doesn't happen.
"That's a twelve or 1400 pound animal. Before they get out of this class they have to show us total control because things can go wrong out there."
"Out there" being Mardi Gras, New Years Eve celebrations or any other mass gathering the two officers would be in action.
Once or twice a year, a new group of officers train with their animals, bred at the prison in Angola, to enforce the law and learn each other.
"That horse is your partner when you're out there and you're his partner."