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21 Cavalry Photos You Have to See to Believe

It’s official: People in the cavalry were INSANE–and we’ve got proof. Check out this craziness….

At cavalry school, riders learned many important skills, like jumping while holding a lance overhead…

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Look ma, no hands! A German cavalry officer in training, 1914. [warhorsegazette.blogspot.com]

…or jumping a four-foot fence with two horses and a loaded machine gun pack–that doesn’t seem unsafe AT ALL!

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Capt. Joel L. Stokes with “Demon” and “Winnie Winkle” at Fort Knox in 1931. Stokes commanded the Kentucky Army National Guard’s Troop K, 123rd Cavalry Regiment. [kentuckyguard.wordpress.com]

Sometimes, if actual jumps weren’t available, the cavalry had to get creative.

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“Hey Walt, betcha can’t jump that jeep!” Walter J. Schweitzer, Troop “C” 107th Cavalry NG, jumping his horse “Big Cain” over a jeep at Fort Ord, Calif., in 1942. [freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com]

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Not to be one-upped… an officer of the 115th Cavalry jumping a Jeep. Courtesy Wyoming State Archives. [tamara-linse.blogspot.com]

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This horse does NOT look happy to be jumping a picnic table–or maybe it has something to do with his rider? He might have to repeat a grade in Cavalry School. [prints.national-army-museum.ac.uk]

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The original cross-country “table.” Fort Riley, Kansas. [Public Domain: Library of Congress]

Sometimes, they had to jump live humans…

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Crotchbuster! A horse-show stunt exhibition at the U.S. Army post Fort Sheridan in 1930. [lakecountyhistory.blogspot.com]

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Another bad idea being brought to life at Fort Sheridan, 6th Signal Corps, in 1930. [lakecountyhistory.blogspot.com]

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Whiskey, the famed Army horse at Fort Snelling, in 1930. [jumpinghorse.blogfa.com]

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Make it stop! Fort Sheridan, 1920. [idaillinois.org]

…Or even other horses!

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[uscavalry.org]

In cavalry school when your instructor says “Jump,” you ask “How far down?” 

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Every officer of the Italian Cavalry School in Pinerolo was required to go down “the descent of Mombrone” before they left the school. The 20-foot drop from the window of a ruined castle about three miles from Pinerolo was considered a test of nerve. [lrgaf.org]

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More cliff-jump training. [Pinterest]

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These guys are just jumping off a house, no big. From “Riding Forward: Modern Horsemanship for Beginners” written in 1934 by Vladimir Littauer, Captain, 1st Hussars, Russian Imperial Cavalry. [imh.org]

You also had to learn to ride while standing up, a skill important for photo ops…

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Fort Myer, Virginia, circa 1914. Cpl. Coffey, C Troop. [Shorpy.com]

 …Dramatic entrances…

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The 14th Cavalry entering U.S. Army post Fort Sheridan’s parade grounds in1925. Ekmark photograph.[lakecountyhistory.blogspot.com]

 …And pulverizing the enemy.

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German cavalry firing from the standing saddle position, 1935. [photosofwar.net]

If you had the honor of being sent to represent your country in competition, well, good luck with that! 

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Are they seriously supposed to jump that whole thing? [needasweetdistraction.tumblr.com]

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And who can forget Chilean army officer Captain Alberto Larraguibel, who guided his stallion Huaso over an 8’1″ jump in 1949, setting a world high jump record that still stands today. [horsenation.com]

Forget blue ribbons–just try not to die.

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The winner of the silver medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Captain Thomson (U.S.A.) on “Jenny Camp”, takes the 35th obstacle during the cross-country competition. Out of 50 entries, 27 horses completed the course, three were fatally injured, and two horses were unable to finish on account of lameness. [fotosochi.ru]

All things considered, though, it could be worse. You could be in the camel cavalry–imagine trying to steer one of those things around a battlefield! No thanks.

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The Imperial Camel Corp Brigade was a camel-mounted infantry brigade that the British Empire raised in 1916 during the World War I for service in the Middle East. [wikipedia.org]

In honor of all those cavalrymen who served their country honorably and left the world a better place, GO RIDING.

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