Riders from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery visited the North Norfolk Coast (Picture: British Army).
Beachgoers in Norfolk were in for a surprise as almost 100 Army’s horses visited the coast for equestrian and military training.
Among them, 19 went swimming in the sea and tested their agility and courage.
Besides being an attraction for visitors and locals, this exercise makes them better mounts on ceremonial duties in London.
Soldiers from the unit deploy on operations around the world when required and uniquely in the Army, this unit is currently 50% female.
The annual visit to Norfolk is a vital military and equestrian training exercise which the unit would struggle to deliver in the confines of a London-based barracks.
However, not all horses have the confidence to go into the churning surf, especially when the sky is as grey as the “ground” and the horizon’s moving.
Worse is the uncertainty of experiencing the sands beneath their hooves shifting and sinking.
By trusting their rider and overcoming their fears, the bond between the two is made stronger.
Major Harry Wallace, Commanding Officer of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, believes that the visit is 'an excellent opportunity' for the horses to take a well-earned break:
“The Troop always enjoys themselves on the region's beaches and what they learn here will make them better prepared for the rigours of the ceremonial duties to come this autumn in London.
“With the Dutch State Visit, the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, and the Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday celebrations we’re going to be busy!”
Stationed in King George VI Lines, Woolwich Barracks in London, all of its soldiers are trained to drive teams of six horses that pull six First World War 'thirteen pounder' state saluting Guns
Since their last visit to Norfolk, The King's Troop has taken part in a series of high-profile events including:
- The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
- Trooping the Colour
- The Royal Windsor Horse Show
- The Royal Welsh Show
- The Queen's Life Guard duties in the summer, to allow the Household Cavalry Regiment to leave London for their own equestrian training.
Pictures courtesy of the British Army.