Int-Equestran-art - 6/29/09
"Introduction to Equestrian Activities in the SCA" by Lady Lyonet Lamoureux.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
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
This article is part of a series of articles originally written for "The Avantgarde", the newsletter for the Principality of Avacal in the Kingdom of An Tir.
All the rules quoted here are based on the "An Tir Book of the Horse", which is the handbook of equestrian rules for the Kingdom of An Tir. Much of it is common in other kingdoms, but you should check your local rules and regulations before starting any equestrian activities.
Introduction to Equestrian Activities in the SCA
by Lady Lyonet Lamoureux
Greetings to the populace of Avacal.
Equestrian activities have finally crossed our borders and for the horsemen of our principality it is a time to rejoice, as we can now take to the field and do what it is our passion to do. The dedicated serve and assist, the combatants fight, the A&S specialists create, and now, the riders ride. It is a good thing as now we all have an additional way to honor our combined love of history.
For those of you who do not know what Equestrian is, it is a horse and rider performing their skills together as would have been done in the Middle Ages. Many of the skills performed are based upon military training or techniques used to prepare for tournament. Most of the below tournament descriptions are taken from "The An Tir Book of the Horse" (ABotH), page 14, the document that dictates the rules and regulations that govern these activities in the Kingdom of An Tir;
Behead the Enemy – Simulated heads are set on standards at pre-determined intervals. Riders weave between poles, striking the heads from the standards with a simulated weapon or baton.
Driving - Rules for driving (horse pulling a vehicle) events are currently being discussed by the Rewrite Council and the SCA KEO's (Kingdom Equestrian Officers), and therefore driving at an event is NOT currently legal in An Tir, with the exception of professional teamsters operating in a professional capacity (ABotH, Part III, Section C). We do expect that it will be cleared eventually, as two kingdoms are currently authorized.
Foam Jousting – Jousting using breakable foam lance tips.
Mounted Archery – Shooting at static targets while mounted.
Mounted Combat – Mounted combat using boffer equipment. Either one-on-one or in a controlled melee.
Pig Sticking (or 'Tent Pegging') – Targets are placed on the ground which the rider attempts to spear with a lance or spear.
Reeds – Sticks of varying heights are placed in a row or a double row to be knocked off by the rider as they pass. This game does not include weaving by the horse.
Ring Tilt – Rings of various sizes are suspended from the arm of a standard. The riders attempt to spear the rings on the tip of their lance. This martial game is usually run in a straight line. Smaller rings usually carry a higher point value.
Spear Throw (or 'Javelin Toss') – Throwing a spear or javelin through a ring or into a target as the rider goes past.
Tilting at Quintain (or simply 'Quintain') – A contest of lance work against a simulated opponent. A shield is attached to a horizontal arm that rotates on an up-right post. Upon being struck the shield begins to rotate around the up-right. Often the score is based on the number of rotations made by the shield around the post. Tilting at the Mock Knight is similar to Quintain, but the knight or shield rotates or pivots on a horizontal axis rather than a vertical axis.
All of these activities are done while rider and horse are wearing period garb and competing on terrain styled after period tourney grounds. Period barding is always strongly encouraged unless the use of such items causes a safety risk. It's not that difficult to make and barding can make the difference between a visually ho-hum event and something spectacular.
One of the best parts of the equestrian activities is that it is a great opportunity to re-enact one of the leisure activities of the middle-ages; a day at the tourney. Nobles and peasants alike enjoyed attending the festivals and taking time from their lives to just relax and enjoy the sport, not unlike modern man going to the football stadium or the movie theatre. There is no substitute for the excitement generated by the sound of thundering hooves and shaking ground as a horse with colours flying gallops past.
However, one must remember that mixing 1,000 lb animals who don't know any better with people who may not understand how to behave around these large animals can easily result in damages to people, animals and personal property. For this reason, the rulebook for equestrian activities is chock full of safety procedures. Many of them are based on common sense, many of them are based on expert knowledge and I highly recommend that anyone intending to participate in equestrian in the SCA should read the rulebook completely. The base SCA rules are detailed in The SCA Equestrian Handbook, and the "An Tir Book of the Horse" lists the rules adjusted specifically for use in the Kingdom of An Tir. Web addresses for both documents can be found at the end of this article.
This article is the first in a series that I will be issuing over the next few months. Please be advised that these articles are in no way written by an official source. I am neither an official in any capacity, nor am I an authorized marshal or ground-crew, although I do intend to walk that path. I am merely a concerned citizen, knowledgeable in this subject, who wants to make certain that we can all enjoy this new facet of our hobby equally and above all safely. The subjects I will be covering in the next few issues will be such things as (in no particular order);
- How to behave around horses and specifics for tourney grounds and stabling areas;
- Children and Horses: An emotional experience. How to make sure nothing goes wrong;
- Marshal and Ground-Crew requirements;
- Some training tips to get you ready to have fun;
- Specifics on tournament rules and equipment;
- Don't have a horse? No problem, there's still a place for you!
- Quad War 2008! It's gonna be great!
- Next Issue: Barding – Style & Construction
I believe that Equestrian is a valuable and fulfilling activity. It has grown strong in other kingdoms and there is already a healthy group of riders in our own kingdom core and our sister principality across the mountains. Let's all work together to show everyone that Avacal is as good as any other group in the Known World, as we already have in so many other areas.
SCA Equestrian Handbook - http://www.sca.org/officers/marshal/combat/equestrian/equestrian_handbook.pdf
The An Tir Book of the Horse - http://antir.sca.org/Offices/Marshallate/Equestrian/forms/AnTirBookofHorse2005.pdf
Copyright 2007 by Lya Lamoureux. <lyalamoureux at gmail.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, I would appreciate 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.