You’ve heard about K-9 units, but what about horse patrol? In this piece by Laker/Lutz Newsreporter Mike Camunas, we meet the Pasco Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. An volunteer unit, the horses and their human coworkers provide security, education and entertainment throughout Florida’s Pasco County. From community relations and fundraising to crime prevention and search and rescue, this unique team does it all! While the team is volunteer-based, all must pass through a stringent hiring process in order to saddle up. Human volunteers must pass a background check, must own a horse, must be able to transport the horse, and, of course, must know how to ride and to tack.
“A lot of work — safety is a huge thing, so there’s a lot of training and tactics to prepare ourselves for — lots of behind the scenes stuff, too,” said Dani McGinity, a Dade City resident who has been president of the posse since 2019. “There’s care for the horse, hay, the trailer — you put a lot of money into that — the fuel, feeding them, cleaning them. … You have to enjoy doing this, and if our volunteers are putting in that much effort to be here, it has to be fun and rewarding in some way.