This is the true story of an unusual hero. Tall, dark and handsome and often surrounded by an admiring crowd, this is no film star but an eight-year-old bay gelding from the Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police.From the Royal Wedding to the London riots to entertaining visitors outside Buckingham Palace, Merlin's career as a top police horse has been full of drama and unexpected challenges and his brave and loyal efforts have earned him celebrity status.Horses such as Merlin go through a challenging training process to prepare them for a life in the force. There are three stages of training: red, amber and green. Reports show that the young Merlin was sometimes naughty and spirited - but once his training was complete he was disciplined enough to maintain order at some of the toughest and most high profile events in London.This book looks at Merlin's daily life and duties and his fascinating partnership with his mounted police constable, Karen Howell. When Karen first met Merlin during his training it was love at first sight and over the years she has developed an intriguing bond with this brave, eccentric and deeply individual character.Including extracts from 'Merlin's Diary' and in-depth interviews with the officers who trained and work with Merlin day-to-day this book examines the extraordinary partnership between humans and horses in the modern police service. The author also delves into the surprising history of police horses in Britain and looks at how horses are a key part of law enforcement around the world.