Horses from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery have been enjoying some extra-curricular activities across country as they take a “well-earned” break from ceremonial duties.
The horses and mounted gunners spent a week at the Defence Animal Training Regiment in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, during which they took part in showjumping, cross-country, and hacking, as well as working on the flat.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is The Queen’s ceremonial saluting battery, firing gun salutes for state occasions and royal birthdays, and is the army’s smallest military unit. The soldiers are trained to drive teams of six horses pulling six First World War “thirteen-pounder” state saluting guns. The unit, which is based at a purpose-built equestrian facilities in the Woolwich Barracks in London, is known for its musical drive performances at shows including Royal Windsor Horse Show, with many of the manoeuvres remaining unchanged since it was first performed in 1897.
Captain Jonathan Brooks said it makes a “relaxing change” for the horses not to be in central London, and to spend time away from ceremonial duties.
“Around 100 soldiers and horses from two of our sections have already been able to enjoy a week at the Defence Animal Training Regiment,” he said.
“It is a fun week for the horses and the troops and it also helps strengthen the trust and confidence between horse and rider, which is vital when performing ceremonial duties. When not practising their equestrian skills, the soldiers enjoyed adventure training including white-water rafting and high ropes.”
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