Soldiers of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse carry on cavalry traditions-Video

Video / January 18, 2019 / Project number: 18-0261

(Members of the Strathcona Mounted Troop are performing in front of a large crowd. Their horses are following each other in a circle. Musicians trumpet their performance in and an announcer introduces them to the crowd.)

Announcer: The Strathcona Mounted Troop is a ceremonial troop made up of the soldiers of the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians).

(Sergeant Paul Kruhlak, Ride Master, is in a barn. A horse is in the background.)

Sgt Kruhlak: The guys come down here. They volunteer to take this on and learn about our history and our traditions of being in the cavalry.

(The Strathcona Mounted Troop are mounted and performing in front of the crowd.)

Sgt Kruhlak: The troop itself, in its entirety – learning how to ride a horse and then going out on the road during the summer and promoting not only the regiment, but the Canadian Armed Forces as well.

(Captain Sean Coughlan, Troop Leader, calls drill for the cavalry. They march in a line.)

Capt Coughlin: The thing that excites me the most about working with this team and seeing them in action is everything coming to fruition.

(The mounted troop are in a field, practising on horses.)

Capt Coughlin: Throughout the off season we do still have a job building the ride, building new members up. And there's a lot of effort put in by some of the senior riders in the troop to pass on skills.

(The mounted troop is performing in front of a crowd again.)

Capt Coughlin: So when we go out on to the field for the first show of the season, it's an incredibly humbling and proud moment to see all that hard work and effort come together during the performance.

(Corporal Coleman Germann, Strathcona Mounted Troop, is outside of a barn. A horse rests its head against a fence.)

Cpl Germann: The charge itself is probably the most honourable part of the whole ride itself. If you're the guy who gets to call the charge, you get goosebumps before you call, you get wound up; the horse even feels it under you.

(Capt Coughlin calls a charge while the mounted troop is performing. He points his sword forward, the rest of the troop drops their spears forward, and they gallop onward.)

Cpl Germann: So once you actually hear the charge get called and it becomes pretty much a race to the end alongside your buddies, weapons drawn, it's a very powerful moment.

(The mounted troop is performing in front of another group.)

Cpl Germann: The performance for kids is easily the best part of the job. Between doing the ride itself and seeing the smiles on their faces, out of nowhere you'll hear these kids chanting a certain horse’s name, like, "Shadow. Shadow." We have never even been here before and these kids are chanting one of our horses in terms like, "Yeah, he's like the best horse. We're so happy he's here."

Cpl Germann: At the end, us riders talk about, "Yeah, I had like five kids say that mine was their favourite, so clearly I have the best horse," kind of thing.

(The mounted troop is performing in front of the original audience.)

Capt Coughlan: From June until approximately September, we're generally on the road riding throughout western Canada at all kinds of venues. But it's not all just fairs and jumping events. We also do educational programs where we go out to schools.

(A soldier has his horse by the reins. He closes a gate. He then brushes the horse.)

Capt Coughlan: On top of that, we've started working with Canada's Soldier On program, and do a week-long ride course where they bring in current members as well as former serving members that are dealing with operational stress injuries, and try to provide some therapy between the connection and relationship that's built with working so intimately with the horses.

(The soldier pets the horse. Cut to Kruhlak in the barn.)

Sgt Kruhlak: The soldiers that come here, they get a true understanding of what the horse means, what the horse did, what the soldier was up against through all those times.

(Capt Coughlin and the mounted troop are performing again in front of the first crowd.)

Capt Coughlin: Eyes right!

Sgt Kruhlak: That's what it's all about: is keeping the traditions and history alive. And the Mounted Troop, it presents that – year in, year out.

(The Canadian Army watermark appears onscreen, with text: “Strong. Proud. Ready.” Fade to the National Defense signature, then a Government of Canada wordmark)

 

 

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