Not what one expects to see out in the field, is it? Seems that these are mounted police officers who periodically take their horses out for training in the forest.
And they were dramatically different to our mounted police. Good, fit, well groomed and decently put together horses to start with. Yes, the one on the left has an ugly head- it's worse in the picture than in real life. The officers were sharp in appearance, their tack and turnout well up to horse show standards. B shows anyhow. #$%^&^$ wash bowl helmets, though. Very workmanlike, as was their trailer when I saw it later.
Juuust a coincidence they were in this particular forest this particular day. Like the young Amish neighbours who just happen to drop by when “Lost” is on. As M. L. used to say when circumstances required her to beat a horse, "Just because you have to do it doesn't mean you can't enjoy it."
They were clearly having a great time, and stayed well up throughout. Still, they were policing- very alert, sizing things up, teaching their horses, covering each other, riding to patrol not to goof around. Their commanders would have been proud of them. Hunting IS excellent patrol training, and these heirs of Kellerman (NOT Brigadier Gerard) were taking good advantage of it.
There was a story a while back about some hunt "saboteurs" (hunt annoyers is more like it) who travelled from Kent to France to show some French antis how to do it. I can just imagine these women discovering these bums who had come from a foreign country, armed with axe handles, just to cause trouble and try to ruin the day.
The English trouble tourists might learn first hand about a hickory shampoo.