If you are a new member and want to try equestrian activities in Calontir, the following page is made completely for you. A survey was sent out through social media to the populace of Calontir, and the populace responded. This page is intended to guide only and in no way should be referred to as gospel on how to participate in arts and sciences in Calontir.
You would like to get started participating in equestrian activities in the Kingdom of Calontir, but you don’t know where to start. What would the experienced members tell you to do?
- I would ask them if they have experience with horses (ie: do they know how to ride) and, if not, I would suggest learning how to ride would be a good start. Either way I would encourage them to find events that have equestrian activities to attend. There they could either watch and learn or volunteer to help and learn. I would also direct them to Ld. Alexander or Kaie (the only two equestrians I know by name). Also, the yahoo group Calontir Equestrian or the Facebook page SCA Equestrians.
- Just show up! There is a constant need for ground crew for games, plus bringing horses to any event is a lot of work. Generally pitching in and helping will go far. Come prepared though- closed toed shoes, and if you want to help with ground crew, the best time to show up is about an hour before the scheduled start time.
- Join the equestrian yahoo list. Introduce yourself. Volunteer to become ground crew. It’s hard to become part of the equestrian community if we don’t know you.
- Wear boots, helmet if under 18. Show up and help with the field. Ride someone local at their barn. Take lessons. Ask someone on the field if you can borrow a mount. Watch them ride first as some mounts are a tad to lively for beginners. Ask how the animal reins. If you don’t understand, have them show you. Ask if an animal has any quirks. Some are herd bound and just can’t stand to leave their herd mates, and bawl and call all the way away, but bolt back once direction has changed. Remember to smile, it relaxes your body and relaxes your mount also.
You have been participating in equestrian activities for a little while. You confide in an experienced member that you’d love to hone your skills. What advice would an experienced member give you to get better?
- If they own or have access to a horse I would suggest they google “SCA equestrian games” for resources on the games and how to make the equipment (or at the very least learn the ‘patterns’) to play the games so they can practice.
- Take lessons outside the SCA. Cross train or train in another discipline – go Western, go English, try dressage, try driving, try ranch or working competitions, try jumping. Anything to keep your mount engaged and you communicating with your mount.
- Take lessons from a trainer or meet up with an equestrian that owns a horse and is willing to volunteer riding time. But don’t expect free lessons. Horses & Time are expensive. You have to put in the time outside of SCA events if you want to improve.
Where can you get constructive feedback on your equestrian skills?
- Events that host equestrian activities, the yahoo group Calontir Equestrian or the Facebook page SCA Equestrians.
- At an event or official practice. Let a veteran rider or Marshal know, then participate in the activities or ask for specific help between activities.
We asked experienced members how did you get started in equestrian within Calontir or the SCA?
- I was just authorized about a month ago at an event. I’ve been interested in SCA equestrian events since it was first allowed. I’ve loved horses and riding my whole life but wasn’t in a situation to be able to participate until recently. As of right now I am making a ‘Reeds Game’ set so I can start practicing. I hope to start making events with my horse by next year.
- I ride for fun and people. I enjoy the games a lot, even though I am still very much a novice. I’m not particularly interested in the jousting parts, but that’s ok because there are always other things going on also. I might ground crew for Jousting, which would still allow me to participate.
- My friend has mules. I had my back fused in 2007, so ground fighting is not an option for me anymore. I found that the equestrian part isn’t hampered by this and have enjoyed riding all my life. Made sense to put the 2 together.
- I’ve been riding since I was 10 years old and have always loved horses. I was ecstatic when I learned that I could combine my love of the SCA with my passion for horses. William the Marshal in 2009 was my first equestrian event and I haven’t looked back. I ride because I enjoy it. I can live in the moment and quiet my mind. I feel connected to my horse and I feel that we are creating something together as a team. It is incredibly rewarding to teach a horse something or to be successful on the field.
We asked several experienced Calontir members: What has been the most rewarding part of participating in equestriant within Calontir, for you?
- As a novice, I really enjoy seeing how other people interact with their horses, and it helps me be more confident when I see I’m not the only beginner playing. Everyone is very helpful and welcoming.
- Riding in historically accurate clothing or armor gives me a medieval moment. I feel that I can understand how my pre-17th century counterparts felt and rode themselves.
- More things to dress up, research, make equipment for, dream up games to keep riders and mounts engaged. Currently working toward driving and either driven archery – archer is passenger or driven thrown weapons – again passenger does the spears, axes javelins etc.
- Watching the program grow, not just in Calontir, but everywhere! Seeing the smiles of new riders get authorized and intermediate riders win their first competitions. Being involved in coordinated a spectacle like the Gulf Wars Processional or escorting Their Majesties into Court and knowing that we are adding a special medieval moment to those who participate or watch. Knowing that Kacey & I have been a part of that growth, those authorizations, those moments for other people is the most rewarding.