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…


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!


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.


“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]

3 115th Jumping a Jeep

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


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]


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

Sometimes, they had to jump live humans…

Fort Sheridan Horse Show Stunt LCDM 92-24-255-1

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

Fort Sheridan Horse Show Stunt_LCDM 92-24-1175

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


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


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

…Or even other horses!



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


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]


More cliff-jump training. [Pinterest]


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…


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

 …Dramatic entrances…

Fort Sheridan Cavalry_LCDM 92-24-1187

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

 …And pulverizing the enemy.


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! 


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


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.


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.


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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