GW-Dressage-art - 2/25/17
"How to Ride Before a Prince - Gulf Wars Equestrian Competition" by HL Bridget Rede of Dunvegan.
This article was added to this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium, with the permission of the author.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
Originally posted to the Facebook "SCA Equestrians" group.
The author's paper can be found here: http://www.florilegium.org/files/EQUESTRIAN/Rd-b4-Prince-art.html
The score sheet in PDF form can be found here: http://www.florilegium.org/files/EQUESTRIAN/Scoresheet-Rd-b4.pdf
How to Ride Before a Prince -
Gulf Wars Equestrian Competition
by HL Bridget Rede of Dunvegan
Jennifer Jobst to Gulf Wars Equestrians
February 20 at 10:00pm
There's a new Equestrian War Point this year - How to Ride Before a Prince. This form of competition was first showcased at 50th year, and is based on late 16th century equestrian handbooks, which instructed riders how to demonstrate their mount's skills before an audience. The best example of such instruction is from Grisone (1550), in a chapter literally entitled "How to Ride Before a Prince."
Since this is a war point, I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to prepare as much as possible, so the goal of this email is to explain what it's all about. I've attached or uploaded both the class handout and the scoresheet that will be used, so you can do a bit of advanced preparation if you're interested in competing.
What exactly is this all about?
In the late 16th century, riders would show off their horses to other nobility. You can think of it like a medieval dressage test, except the movements were different and the performances were not scripted - riding masters of the time simply encouraged you to show your horse to the best of his ability. That's the goal of this competition - you want to show off your horse's comeliness, grace, and training.
So how do I do that?
First, ride only at the gaits that you are comfortable at (at 50th we had riders who performed only at a walk, but also riders who performed at all three gaits). Then, choose the patterns and movements from period riding manuals that you can do and your horse will look awesome doing. This can be anything from a simple serpentine to backing up to side passing to doing weird lateral squares with quarter turns on the haunches (de la Broue had some crazy ideas for patterns!). The handout I've uploaded provides a few ideas of period training patterns, and I will bring my stack of period riding manuals for you to get other ideas. Many of these books are available for free online, just look in the references section of the attachment for links. I've also created a short video here that shows a few examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0115kajqLCA&t=2s
A few guidelines on creating your pattern:
* You should begin and end your pattern by bowing to the judges (per Grisone)
* You should include at least 3 documentable period movements in your pattern (but can have more)
* Your pattern should not take longer than 5 minutes to complete
* You'll need to mark on your scoresheet if you competed at 50th year
Ok, I've got an awesome pattern in mind. Now what?
There's a scoresheet you can download and fill out. You need to include each movement you perform, and a reference to that movement. Documentation is part of your overall score, so making sure you've got everything documented is an easy way to pick up points. NOTE: I will have score sheets available at GW and will help you fill them out, so you don't need to show up with everything completed.
Who will get to compete?
There are 8 slots for each Kingdom and their allies to compete in. If there are more than 8 people interested in competing for each kingdom, the kingdom will need to decide how to choose their champions. Champions will sign up for a specific ride time and have 5 minutes to complete their pattern in front of the judges.
How will this be judged?
Since this is "How to Ride Before a Prince," this will be judged by the Royalty of both Trimaris and Ansteorra to keep things as fair as possible (more details on this as I know for certain who is judging). Your judges may not be riders themselves, but will receive instruction on what was considered "comely and just" by the 16th century riding masters, and will judge to those standards. Based on how things were judged at 50th, riders who performed their patterns smoothly and gracefully were scored higher than riders who performed more complicated patterns that were not as graceful. However, judges do tend to be impressed by movements that look complicated (especially if they are done smoothly and gracefully), so keep that in mind. At 50th, judges also awarded extra points to horse and rider pairs that carried themselves in a medieval form - i.e. those who looked like something out of a medieval manuscript.
Holy cow this sounds complicated and intimidating!
Don't worry, this will be fun! If you do exactly zero prep, you'll be able to show up at the war, sign up for the "Ride Before a Prince" classes on Sunday and Monday, and have a performance ready to go by Tuesday. I'll be on hand to help you choose movements and fill out score sheets, and I'll have all my 16th c. riding manuals on hand for reference. In addition to class time, I will be on hand all day Monday to help work on specific movements. I want everyone to be successful and have a chance to learn about and experience what the nobility of the late 16th century would have perceived to be beautiful riding. We'll even have live music to perform to!
Please let me know of any questions you might have. I look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks!
Yours in Service,
-HL Bridget Rede of Dunvegan
Copyright 2017 by Jennifer Jobst. <JenJobst at gmail dot com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.