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Soldiers and horses from King’s Troop Royal Artillery throw shadows across the beach

Soldiers and horses from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery splashed in the sea as they took a break from ceremonial duties in London.

The unit, which stars in the new Downton Abbey movie, is the Queen’s ceremonial saluting battery and fires gun salutes for state occasions and royal birthdays.

Its soldiers are trained to drive teams of six horses that pull six First World War ‘thirteen pounder’ state saluting guns, and its gunners are also trained as combat soldiers.

Around 120 horses and 150 personnel left their barracks in London for an annual training visit to the North Norfolk coast.

They are based at Bodney Camp during their two-week visit, which includes three days on the beach at Holkham.

While the work may look fun, it is designed to build trust between horse and rider.

The bonds formed while working with horses in the waves, with hooves sinking into the sand giving a sense of uncertainty, help the teams deal with unpredictable events during high-profile ceremonial duties back in London.

Yesterday was their final day on the beach at Holkham, but they will go on to further military training, navigation and show jumping before returning to Woolwich Barracks.

Shadows are cast on the beach at Holkham in Norfolk by the famous King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The visit is a vital military and equestrian training exercise which is impossible to deliver in the confines their London-based barracks

Not all horses have the confidence to go into the sea, especially when the ground beneath their hooves shifts and sinks. But by trusting their rider and overcoming their fears, the bond between the two is made stronger; vital for dealing with the unpredictable during high-profile ceremonial duties back in London

Not all horses have the confidence to go into the sea, especially when the ground beneath their hooves shifts and sinks. But by trusting their rider and overcoming their fears, the bond between the two is made stronger; vital for dealing with the unpredictable during high-profile ceremonial duties back in London

One of the most important reasons for the visit is to give the horses a well-earned break and to take them for a gallop along the beach and a swim in the sea

One of the most important reasons for the visit is to give the horses a well-earned break and to take them for a gallop along the beach and a swim in the sea

Around 120 horses and 150 personnel left their barracks in London for an annual training visit to the North Norfolk coast. They are based at Bodney Camp during their two-week visit, which includes three days on the beach at Holkham.

Around 120 horses and 150 personnel left their barracks in London for an annual training visit to the North Norfolk coast. They are based at Bodney Camp during their two-week visit, which includes three days on the beach at Holkham.

While the work may look fun, it is designed to build trust between horse and rider. The bonds formed while working with horses in the waves, with hooves sinking into the sand giving a sense of uncertainty, help the teams deal with unpredictable events during high-profile ceremonial duties back in London

While the work may look fun, it is designed to build trust between horse and rider. The bonds formed while working with horses in the waves, with hooves sinking into the sand giving a sense of uncertainty, help the teams deal with unpredictable events during high-profile ceremonial duties back in London

A horse rolls around in the sound during The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk. Yesterday was their final day on the beach at Holkham, but they will go on to further military training, navigation and show jumping before returning to Woolwich Barracks

A horse rolls around in the sound during The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk. Yesterday was their final day on the beach at Holkham, but they will go on to further military training, navigation and show jumping before returning to Woolwich Barracks

Soldiers and horses from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk, as they take a break from their ceremonial duties in London. The unit has moved almost 100 horses to Bodney Camp in north Norfolk for two weeks and the beach training is used to help horses and riders develop trust, which is vital for their high-profile ceremonial duties

Soldiers and horses from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk, as they take a break from their ceremonial duties in London. The unit has moved almost 100 horses to Bodney Camp in north Norfolk for two weeks and the beach training is used to help horses and riders develop trust, which is vital for their high-profile ceremonial duties

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery is the Queen's ceremonial saluting battery and fires gun salutes for state occasions and royal birthdays. But the horses and soldiers were this week seen on the Norfolk coast for training exercises

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is the Queen’s ceremonial saluting battery and fires gun salutes for state occasions and royal birthdays. But the horses and soldiers were this week seen on the Norfolk coast for training exercises

A rider crashes through the wave on his horse, as he engages in a trust-building exercises with the animal. Both are also taking a break from their ceremonial duties in London

A rider crashes through the wave on his horse, as he engages in a trust-building exercises with the animal. Both are also taking a break from their ceremonial duties in London

Four riders gallop along the sand at Holkham in Norfolk earlier this week. The unit has moved almost 100 horses to Bodney Camp in north Norfolk for two weeks and the beach training is used to help horses and riders develop trust, which is vital for their high-profile ceremonial duties

Four riders gallop along the sand at Holkham in Norfolk earlier this week. The unit has moved almost 100 horses to Bodney Camp in north Norfolk for two weeks and the beach training is used to help horses and riders develop trust, which is vital for their high-profile ceremonial duties

Soldiers and horses from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk, as they take a break from their ceremonial duties in London

Soldiers and horses from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery exercise in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk, as they take a break from their ceremonial duties in London

Four riders gallop along the beach in Norfolk as they take a break from their ceremonial duties. The riders and horses work together to build trust ahead of future ceremonial events

Four riders gallop along the beach in Norfolk as they take a break from their ceremonial duties. The riders and horses work together to build trust ahead of future ceremonial events

A rider tries to control his horse as they both battle against the waves on the north Nofolk coast. Around 120 horses and 150 personnel left their barracks in London for an annual training visit to the North Norfolk coast

A rider tries to control his horse as they both battle against the waves on the north Nofolk coast. Around 120 horses and 150 personnel left their barracks in London for an annual training visit to the North Norfolk coast

Four riders control their horses while in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk. Not all horses have the confidence to go into the sea, especially when the ground beneath their hooves shifts and sinks

Four riders control their horses while in the sea at Holkham in Norfolk. Not all horses have the confidence to go into the sea, especially when the ground beneath their hooves shifts and sinks

One rider struggles to control their horse as they work on trust-building exercises with the animal. Another rider is seen holding on to the reins of his horse

One rider struggles to control their horse as they work on trust-building exercises with the animal. Another rider is seen holding on to the reins of his horse

Two soliders appear to be enjoying themselves as they ride their horses through waves at at Holkham in Norfolk

Two soliders appear to be enjoying themselves as they ride their horses through waves at at Holkham in Norfolk

Four riders gallop along the beach at Holkham in Norfolk, as they take a break from their ceremonial duties in London

Four riders gallop along the beach at Holkham in Norfolk, as they take a break from their ceremonial duties in London

Riders try and cope with the difficult conditions in the sea as they work on building trust with their horses at Holkham in Norfolk

Riders try and cope with the difficult conditions in the sea as they work on building trust with their horses at Holkham in Norfolk

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