By February 17, 2017
Fort Huachuca, Arizona -- Exchange students from Radebeul, Germany, the sister city of Sierra Vista, Arizona, visited B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (Memorial) Feb. 14 at Buffalo Corral here.
Their visit was part of a tour of Arizona for the students to learn more about the history of their sister city.
Chris Zimmerman, B Troop program coordinator, welcomed the students and explained the process the riders go through.
"Each of these people have been trained," he said. "They have gone through our cavalry riding school. It takes 5 months. You're going to get a little demonstration of some of their riding skills (today)."
B Troop demonstrated different riding patterns, a saber battle and a cavalry charge.
Zimmerman then explained some of the equipment the riders are required to carry and the history of the items. He showed them a poncho, a feed bag, blanket and saddle bags that were required to hold enough supplies for three days. Additional equipment included a canteen, tie rope and coffee cup to "alert the Indians that they were coming," Zimmerman joked. He then explained to the students the use behind the light cavalry saber and single action Colt revolver and a rifle.
When students asked how long it takes them to get their horses ready to ride, Zimmerman explained that one hour is the time frame a cavalry Soldier would have to get ready when they were on patrol.
"The horse is the first priority for the Cavalry," Zimmerman said.
A few of the students had horseback riding experience and asked about competing and learning good horsemanship as a rider.
"We call it military horsemanship," said Zimmerman, explaining these were all elements of becoming a B Troop rider.
The exchange students especially enjoyed hearing about the B Troop mission in their native language while Martina Peters, B Troop rider, answered several questions and elaborated on the history of the cavalry unit in German.
Margaret Mills, Ladies Auxiliary rider, B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (Memorial), rode sidesaddle and then explained the historical significance of women and riding on Fort Huachuca to the students.
Janet Schubert, a teacher chaperone from Radebeul, said the students were from four different schools and will be visiting a variety of locations, including the Grand Canyon.
John McBee, Sister Cities Commission member, said this visit is a yearly cultural exchange that happens every February or March. The students learn about Arizona by visiting several locations throughout the state.
"I believe it's a great organization, and we're happy to have great support from the City of Sierra Vista," McBee said.