House Guards and Horses

“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”
― Adlai E. Stevenson II

Meandering past Horse Guards Parade in Westminster a couple of weeks ago, we got the unexpected pleasure of seeing the riders and horses put through their paces. The Household Cavalry are made of of some of the most prestigious regiments of the British Army due to the fact that they are members of the Queen’s personal guard. Their history goes back to the 17th century and their museum (housed in the Horse Guards building), which forms the traditional entrance to St. James’s Palace, is well worth seeing if you’re interested in British military history.

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The first hint that something was going on was the sound of hooves on stone.

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The other half of the guards regiment (the Life Guards are in Red, the Royal House Guards and and 1st Dragoon, also called the Blues and Royals, are in the blue. For obvious reasons).

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Of course, the men are only half of the stars of the show.

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I was really impressed to see the riders actually on guard while on horseback. Specifically that the horses were tolerating the hordes of tourists butting up against them to try and get pictures without kicking them straight in the head. I was waiting for some kind of equine disaster, but the training the horses get is impeccable.

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