The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) is based at Knightsbridge Barracks in London and provides ceremonial troops for all state occasions; for example, State Visits, the State Opening of Parliament, The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping The Colour) and the Garter Service.
HCMR has two sabre squadrons: The Life Guards Squadron in red tunics and The Blues and Royals Squadron in blue tunics.
Soldiers start Phase 2 training with a 12-week riding course at the Household Cavalry Training Wing (HCTW) in Combermere Barracks, Windsor. There they learn the basics of military equitation and horse welfare. Riding, stable and horse management and equipment husbandry are all taught in detail. These 12 weeks are followed by a 4-week Kit Ride at Knightsbridge Barracks where recruits are shown how to clean and maintain their ceremonial equipment, and how to ride in it.
Success qualifies soldiers as Mounted Dutymen, and they gain a diploma in Equine Management.
Mounted Dutymen can also qualify in specialist trades such as farrier, saddler and tailor; and HCMR is proud of its links to the associated City of London Livery Companies.
Daily HCMR mounts The Queen’s Life Guard at Horse Guards in Whitehall, London. HCMR is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and has about 300 officers and men. Nearly all new Household Cavalry recruits go to the HCMR first. There they learn to ride and spend about a year on ceremonial duties before going to the operational regiment at Windsor. Many recruits have never ridden a horse before.