Border Patrol Agent Cesar Gomez, from Woodland, CA, rides a horse during training exercises at the Boulevard Customs and Border Protection Station in Boulevard, California on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. The U.S. Border Patrol plans to add a second horse patrol unit for about ten horses at a new facility in rural Boulevard, about 60 miles east of San Diego, near the Mexican border in September. The border patrol has long relied on horses to police the border because the animals are less expensive and last longer than vehicles. But some question the additional horse patrol, particularly in light of a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that was critical of the border patrol s ability to measure its apprehensions. Border Patrol figures show apprehensions have gone down considerably since 2009. The criticism also is part of the larger debate in Congress right now about how to allocate money and if stepping up border security is the answer.
Photo by Sandy Huffaker, for The Sacramento Bee