continued The riders in Tijuana's mounted police are officers from the Tijuana police force who have had prior experience with horsemanship. In the future, their ranks will be supplemented by new officers trained for the mounted force in the police academy. Valdéz, a former member of the Mexican Army's cavalry, handles the training himself.
Six riders direct their mounts around the corner of the stables to a ring. One hundred feet in diameter and partially surrounded by grandstands, it's called a lienzo. It's a show ring for traditional Mexican charro riding. Under the watch of Valdéz, who stands on a raised platform just outside the ring, the officers walk their horses in slow circles. On a word from their chief, they form into a single file and nudge their mounts to a trot, then a canter. Valdéz orders the group to cluster on one side of the ring. From the opposite side, two of the younger officers walk into the ring. After 20 steps or so, one of the riders shouts at the men to halt. When they don't, the passel of riders gallops forward, surrounds the two men, shouting at them to get down on the ground. Four of the horsemen stay in the saddle, surrounding the two men on their knees, while two riders dismount and handcuff them.
Next, they perform the exercise with the two "delinquents" running across the ring toward the platform Valdéz is on. The sight of six horses galloping up behind the running men is impressive to his visitor, but Valdéz is not happy. He yells at one of the officers, "Don't wrap the reins around your hand like that when you dismount." To a mounted officer he yells, "Get around to the other side and cover the whole area."
The riders repeat the drill, this time covering all four quarters around the delinquents. The dismounted officer, instead of wrapping the reins around his hand, drapes them over his chest and shoulder like a Miss America sash. This allows the horse to move freely but not walk away while the cuffing is going on, Valdéz explains. "Much better," he calls to his officers.
To his visitor, he says, "Two or three more weeks and we should be ready."