Visiting the Houston Police Department Mounted Patrol Stables might just be the coolest free thing to do in Houston. You know I love the mysterious red button in Downtown, but feeding the 38 HPD horses at the stables ranks just as high.
Bring your own carrots, quartered apples and peppermints, and you can stop in to visit the horses, during visiting hours. Just grab the kids and go!
(Also, know that these hours keep changing, so please check before you go. At the time of this post, the website says it is open daily, 8:00 a.m. to. 4:00 p.m., excluding city holidays.)
If you do have a group and want a formal tour of the Houston Police Mounted Patrol Stables, you can set that up for free as well. Details are on the HPD website HERE.
We organized a group and met on a Friday morning with for a demonstration and to feed the horses.
A HPD officer was our guide and taught us all about the Mounted Patrol. Kids and parents learned all about the division. One interesting fact is that the horses are good for public relations. In Downtown Houston or Memorial Park, people are generally happy to be confronted by a police officer on a horse... when they might be angry to be confronted by just a police officer.
We also learned that the Houston Mounted Patrol practices natural horsemanship and they feed the animals a natural diet and they are barefoot!
After sitting on the bleachers and learning about the horses, we went back in the stables to feed all the horses. There were 38 hungry horses that gobbled up everything we gave them!
Carrots, apples and peppermints are all allowed, but big carrots were the most popular. This way the kids could feed the horses without getting their hands in their mouths. Also, big carrots are better than than the little baby carrots... because horses don't know the difference between a baby carrot and a little finger!
The Houston Police Mounted Patrol Stables are very clean and the horses all stick out their heads to greet your kids.
I highly recommend this outing to all Houstonians. It is very unique adventure for your family!
Houston Mounted Patrol Stables:
Address: 5005 Little York Road, Houston, Texas 77016
Appropriate Age: Any Age
Hours: These change a lot... so please check before you go!