Tamil Nadu: Marina’s angels on horseback – Times of India

Chennai News
They overcame the sceptical voices from family and friends. The occasional falls from horsebacks and broken bones are not going to deter them. Five policewomen, part of the Greater Chennai police’s mounted branch have been stamping their mark and changing the narrative of horse-riding being a male preserve.
Constables M Jasmine and P Suganya have been part of the branch for more than a decade now, while R Malavika, T Punitha and C Mahalakshmi have completed a year. The mounted branch has 26 horses and as many men apart from the five women.
The women constables say that the horses have become their friends overtime and while on the saddle, they feel powerful and on top of the world.

The sport of equestrian, and more specifically of dressage, which tests a rider’s ability to make horses perform specific movements through subtle communication, is now a cake walk for them, though their duty involves waking up as early as 4. 30 am and patrolling the sands of the Marina warning visitors not to enter the waters and to help those stranded in the beaches and keeping an eye on miscreants.
P Suganya, of Coimbatore has completed a decade in the mounted branch, despite initial hesitation and opposition from friends and family. “I had seen horses only in movies until then. Now, I command and control every step of them ,” she said.
Suganya was selected as the best woman rider at an event in Haryana and was second in the 38th All India Mounted Force Meet in 2020. That was the first time Ta- mil Nadu police participated in the meet and these women credit IPS officer Shekar Deshmukh for the feat.
M Jasmine, of Ramanathapuram, says that mingling with the horses has made her experience a new world.
“Even a small change in the rider’s mood will reflect in the animal’s behaviour”, she says. Jasmine who got pregwhile part of the mounted branch brushes aside the perception that horse-riding will affect chances of pregnancy in women.
The young colts in the force — R Malavika from Trichy, C Mahalakshmi from Dharmapuri and T Punitha have all managed to stay for more than a year.
Mahalakshmi has grown up with horses. “Wearing this prestigious uniform and riding a horse was my father’s dream,” says Mahalakshmi.
“Once we get to learn their behaviour, then you won’t have the heart to leave the mounted branch,” says Punitha.
Police commissioner Shankar Jiwal, who is keen to encourage the women in the mounted branch, said, “I am happy a lot of women are willing to join the mounted branch and moreover they are trained so well which got us a lot of medals”. The state government has sanctioned 25 more horse stables for ₹3 crore.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/tamil-nadu-marinas-angels-on-horseback/articleshow/91634963.cms