When Orlando’s hooves resonate, containment is trotted. In Pont-l’Evêque, a small commune in the Noyonnais region, this 17-year-old Spanish horse has been watching every afternoon for the past two weeks for proper compliance with the measures that came into force on March 17.
Above, there is Natacha Dubœuf, young woman in training within the school of sworn equestrian guards of Buire (Aisne). A training that is still little known, like the profession for which it is intended: private horse riding. An agent in charge of certain judicial police missions, directly attached to the public prosecutor, whose functions are at the border between the rural guard, the ASVP or the municipal police … on horseback.
“Mediation and prevention”
“It is a kind of local police, a liaison between elected officials, the gendarmerie and the inhabitants,” sums up Natacha Dubœuf. It is first of all a lot of mediation and prevention. “
If his theoretical training continues, this is no longer the case for practice because of the health crisis. But no question for the young woman to sit idly by. In March, she approached the mayor (SE) of Pont-l’Évêque, Olivier Ghiri, who quickly validated this unique device in the Oise.
An agreement was signed in the process between the municipality and the school. “An obvious collaboration,” says the city councilor, who is also a municipal police officer. This made it possible to set up a good citizen action. “
“General surveillance of the town”
In the streets of the small boat town of 600 inhabitants, it is out of the question for the equestrian guard to be satisfied with ensuring only respect for confinement. “It’s general surveillance,” supports the rider. We have an eye on the shops, on the houses left by the owners and we forward the information. “
We must also stay in touch with the most vulnerable people, thanks to a list drawn up by the municipality. “I even deliver the medicines to a single woman who is afraid of going out of her house,” says Natacha Dubœuf.
Its daily volunteer round barely launched, the first inhabitants are already manifesting themselves at the windows. “We quickly create a link with them,” assures the professional. The reactions are positive, people are reassured by this presence. Some are even waiting for this meeting. “
“A plus for everyone”
Like this old lady who is already waiting on her doorstep, a carrot in hand for Orlando. “I’m glad to see you,” she breathes. “It makes a daily connection, it reassures, appreciates another neighbor. And then for the little ones, it is not common to see this horse every day. Elia, 4, even wanted to draw this Orlando, whose name she has a hard time pronouncing. “This presence is a plus for everyone,” smiles his father.
Throughout its three hours of daily tour, many have eyes only for the faithful Orlando, new attraction of the town. “The horse plays a huge part in my mission, recognizes Natacha Dubœuf. It allows a different approach and soothes. He has this charisma that provokes something in people, even the most recalcitrant. He’s a real teammate. “