If your visiting Canada in the summer months and want a truly Canadian experience, the RCMP Musical Ride is a show worth checking out. Between May and September every year a troop of RCMP officers and their horses tour the country performing an incredible choreographed show to waiting audiences.
For those who don’t know, RCMP stands for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP makes up a federal police force and all members of the musical ride are police officers.
After gaining a minimum 2 years experience as an officer, members may apply to become part of the musical ride. Though many have little to no previous experience with horses, after much training and practice they become accomplished equestrians.
The musical ride first came about in 1876 as a way for the RCMP to demonstrate their skills and entertain communities across Canada. Now a long standing Canadian tradition, the ride consists of 32 horses and riders with one officer in charge, all performing a choreographed routine set to music.
During their performance, they showcase cavalry drills that would have been used during times of war, as well as a variety of other impressive moves. Moving in unison, sometimes in pairs and sometimes as an entire unit, its a very impressive and entertaining event to watch.
As a horseback rider myself, I can appreciate the difficulty involved in moving beasts weighing 1000’s of pounds in unison, and the coordination involved on the part of horse and rider. The musical ride is a demonstration of control, perfect timing and coordination and requires hours of practice. Watching this all come together is like viewing the ballet on the grand scale, were the ballerina’s comprise of 1500 pound animal working together with their rider.
After the ride, the officers and their horses spread out around the arena and allow spectators to come over to meet both horse and rider.
I took a short video of just one of the many choreographed moves that group perform during their 30 min show. They make it look so easy!
Have you ever seen the RCMP Musical Ride?