Asbury University horses join police forces across the U.S.

The institution's unique police horse training program is conducted by students

This April, nine Asbury University horses trained for police work by 14 Equine Program students will join mounted unit departments at the University of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts State Police and the cities of Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; Hampden, Massachusetts; and Scottsdale, Arizona.

A group of college students on horseback

“We really couldn’t be more pleased and blessed with the leadership opportunity this provides for our students or the amazing, unequaled quality of horses that are being sent from Asbury University across the United States to serve alongside the brave men and women who protect us daily as part of mounted units,” said Asbury Equine Director and Associate Professor Harold Rainwater ’69 in a university news release.

Student-trained police horses

Celebrating 26 years of its Equine Program, Asbury University is the only university in America with a police horse training program conducted by the students. In 2001, through participation with the National Police Horse Colloquium at the Kentucky Horse Park, Asbury University students began training Percheron-Thoroughbred cross horses to be used for service mount units.

“Asbury is fortunate to be located in Central Kentucky, the heart of horse country,” said Asbury University President Dr. Kevin Brown. “As a Christian university that has spent well over a century in this region, we are so thankful to celebrate a world-class equine program with world-class staff and faculty on world-class Kentucky bluegrass property.” 

Equine Assisted Services major

Along with the police mounts’ work, in 2022, the Equine Department launched the Equine Assisted Services major for those interested in working in therapeutic settings with horses. These students will be helping patients physically, mentally and emotionally.

“Equine Assisted Services is a relatively new concept,” Rainwater said. He called the program a “new frontier” with a focus on serving people and helping horses in many fields around the equine world.

“This major is for students who are interested in learning how to incorporate equines into services for humans, including healthcare services, education services and adaptive riding services,” said Cathrin Wilbanks ’11, assistant professor of Psychology and Equine Studies. “This program offers growth and healing opportunities, through connecting with horses and entering their world. We are at a prime place to provide students with career routes that make sense and lead to jobs in the equine industry.”

In October of 2022, the Asbury University Equine Program dedicated the 29,000-square-foot Henry and Elsie Bayless Arena. This new facility features 26 stalls and a Western riding arena on Asbury’s 343-acre Equine property. This arena accommodates growth in the Police Mounts and Western Riding programs.

To learn more about the Asbury University Equine Department, visit




Related Posts

Gray horse head in profile on EQ Extra 89 cover
What we’ve learned about PPID
Do right by your retired horse
Tame your horse’s anxiety
COVER EQ_EXTRA-VOL86 Winter Care_fnl_Page_1
Get ready for winter!


"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.