In the early 1900s, the U.S. Army had a problem. Most of its West Point cadets lacked the experience and discipline to develop riding skills. So they brought in several of the famed Buffalo Soldiers—black non-commissioned officers who were considered elite equestrians. But these men still faced discrimination. They stayed in separate barracks, ate in their own mess, and encountered racism from students and faculty alike. They were also tasked with cleaning the stables and other menial tasks. Still, army officials called the program a success in training the cadets how to ride.