A freezing winter’s morning. I walked out of my front door to the sounding of horns. Excitedly I looked down the road. If I’m lucky, I hear them go past my door three times a year – but I’ve never before been outside to witness the spectacle head on.
I refer to The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery – at least I think that’s who they are. They seem to use this avenue to get wherever they’re going and the sight is so glorious it takes your breath away.
I looked to my right and started to walk down the road. Sure enough – there they were approaching the traffic lights. Two mounted policemen on beautiful grey mares led the way, blowing whistles furiously to stop the traffic.
The noise was of hundreds of hooves clattering and the rattle of gun carriages.
I walked slowly on as they started to trot past; horses in pairs, sleek, strong, with shiny coats and nostrils flared, tossing their heads in the wintry air, their breath hanging, suspended.
The riders were almost incidental; such was the magnificence of these animals. As they passed me, set on reaching their destination, tears came to my eyes and I felt humbled, privileged and in awe all at once.