The Household Cavalry provides the Queen’s Life Guard daily and Sovereign’s Escort on State occasions, mounted on horseback. They maintain their world-famous traditions dating back to 1660. Having enlisted in the Household Cavalry to serve with either The Life Guards or The Blues and Royals, you will join the Guards Company in the Army Training Regiment at Pirbright for basic military training – training which is common to all recruits joining the Army.
You are taught drill, physical fitness, how to handle and fire your personal weapon, map reading and elementary fieldcraft – and basic military skills, which, in an emergency, might save your life. At the end of this 12 week period of basic military training, those not becoming Mounted Dutymen move to Bovington in Dorset to carry out specialist Royal Armoured Corps training as either an AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicles) Driver or a Gunner.
After this six-week course you join one of The Life Guards or The Blues and Royals squadrons of the Household Cavalry Regiment.
Those selected for Mounted Duty remain at Windsor to complete a further 16 weeks in Riding School. Here you will have your own horse which you must feed and look after at all times, to help you understand the animal and build up a working relationship.By now you will have learned to think for yourself. On a horse you need to think for two, which requires patience and practice.
The expert instruction in Riding School will build up your confidence and riding ability. Gradually you increase the amount of outdoor riding until you are ready to learn sword drill, jumping and cavalry foot drill.
A final four weeks are spent riding in ceremonial uniform before your Passing Out Parade in front of the Commanding Officer, as one of the most highly trained soldiers in the Army.
You then join either The Life Guards or The Blues and Royals Squadron of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at Hyde Park Barracks in London.
I found this article I came across recently in the New York Times about the Geneva Cavalry rather interesting. I feel like a fact finding trip may be happening soon. An acquaintance of mine runs this Swiss Geneva Airport car hire website. Sort me out John. Thanks 🙂