Horses and riders from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery enjoyed a well-deserved break from ceremonial duties at the Defence Animal Training Regiment in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Showjumping, hacking and cross-country riding were some of the activities the 25 horses and mounted gunners enjoyed as part of a week of equestrian training.

The soldiers and their charges also worked on their dressage and flatwork skills.

“It makes a relaxing change for the horses not to be in central London and to spend time away from state ceremonial duties,” said Captain Jonathan Brooks.

“Around 100 soldiers and horses from two of our sections have already been able to enjoy a week at the Defence Animal Training Regiment.

“It is a fun week for both the horses and the troops and it will also help to strengthen the trust and confidence between the horse and rider, which is vital when performing ceremonial duties in London,” he added.

When not practising their equestrian skills, the soldiers enjoyed adventure training, which included activities such as white water rafting and high ropes.

Click on the gallery below to see larger images of the horses and soldiers in action

About the Artillery

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is Her Majesty the Queen’s ceremonial Saluting Battery firing Gun Salutes for state occasions and royal birthdays.

Based at a purpose-built equestrian facility in Woolwich Barracks in central London, the King’s Troop is the Army’s smallest military unit.

The soldiers are trained to drive teams of six horses that pull six First World War ‘thirteen pounder’ state saluting Guns.

They are renowned for their impressive musical drive performances which can be seen at country shows around the country — many of the manoeuvres, which are ridden at speed, have remain unchanged since first performed in 1897.

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