REINS in one hand, iPad in the other: this could be the new look for the NSW's mounted police force.
For the first time, the NSW Mounted Police Unit is trialling iPads and other devices that give officers on horseback real-time access to the same information as their colleagues in patrol cars.
The unit's commander, Inspector Kirsten McFadden, said the world's oldest continuous mounted police - formed in 1825 - now had access to the newest technology.
''We can actually go out there as a high-visibility patrol and get the latest technology and the latest multimedia attachments … at our fingertips,'' she said yesterday.
''There's nowhere you can actually go and plug a power point into the back of a horse, so for us it's a really good day.''
Sporting jodhpurs and riding boots, Inspector McFadden was speaking at a Redfern stables open day as part of 150th anniversary celebrations for the NSW Police Force.
She said the event in inner-city Sydney was an opportunity to show that horses still had a vital role to play in modern policing.
''We have a great height advantage: people can see us, we can see them. That makes us a real attraction for places of high management of people at one place and big crowds,'' she said.
''It's like the eye in the sky.''
Some 800 people had turned out by midday despite the dreary weather.
Caroline Martin said she had come to see a different side of the horses than she was used to.
''I used to work at a bookshop that was on the corner of Cleveland Street and Baptist Street.
''In the evenings I'd hear the horses clip-clip clip-clop, and I'd look up and see the rear end of the horses as they headed down Crown Street.'' AAP