• Okategoriserade

    Fencing training has begun

    January started a bit slow training-wise. My fencing clubs classes did not start until this week that was, but now finally its go time!

    Before I only taken sword and buckler class, but I felt I wanted to expand to longsword as so much revolves around the longswords terminology in Rossfechten, and also, I want to be able to handle a longsword! My rossfechten partner-in-crime is also taking longsword and sabre courses, but in a club nearer where she lives, but she decided to come and train at my club as well. So today we where both at the longsword class that started for the term. It was a bit slow for us, since, my friend already gone one term longsword, and even if I haven’t really trained longsword specifically I know the basic of it. But it was still fun, and hopefully we will soon start with the mastercuts, which is what I need to know.

    Then after 2 hours of longsword training, my sword and buckler class began, so total of about 3,5 hours training. And tomorrow I will do sidesword with the third rossfechten girl!

    So this spring I will train about 4 classes a week in fencing on foot! I really hope that will show in my fencing skills!

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  • Training

    First cavalry training of the year

    Finally the first cavalry training of the year! Since I couldn’t bring Mod, my amazing friend Matilda lent me her lusitano stallion, Vappe. I had never ridden him before, but he is such a sweetheart, one would never think he was a stallion, and he is like 10th of Mod in with so was a very different experience.

    In the first session we just practiced the usual formations in walk and trot, and also turning on the hunches in line, so all horses turn with the same distance between them. It was very fun to ride a different horse, and what a difference it was from been riding Mod for 2 years.  On Vappe I could actually raise the wither to stop and move him, or use the hips, just the slightest, to move the hind legs. On Mod I can never do that, I have to like mold him to do things, and use so much strength to even get a reaction. Turning on the hunches was just like turning myself around, sure it had alot of things I could improve, but it was more about me and the horse getting to know each other.  Vappe was very nice to me, and tried to understand even though I must have been very unclear to him. I am used to have such a wide and huge horse that I must use my lower leg in a position very far back, which I dont need to on a normal horse, but I keep doing it as that is what I have in my muscle memory.

    In the second session we did environmental training, putting out all sorts of things in the manage, tarpaulins,  cardboard figures, wooden boards, obstacles and so on. Vappe couldn’t care less, so I tried to do some canter, which failed miserable. I think I was a bit stiff in my hip, and he thought it was very strange with everything AND me on the back. So me and Matilda swished horses and I got to ride her lusitano Eco for a while. He is such a nice horse to. Canter with him was much easier, and I actually did beginning of a canter piroutte.

    In the third session we went out to the paddock and practiced with smoke, and as before Vappe seemed not even to notice all the smoke. He was more annoyed over the bad ground, which was just iced snow.

    Im so happy I got to lend Vappe for today, it is so much fun getting the feel for another horse and he is such a asweetheart!

     

     

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  • General

    Desensitising of the horse

    Desensitising is the word usually used to describe how to train horses to not be scared of things. Which is very important of you are into reenactment or rossfechten. You need a horse that does not get scared by flags, swords, audiences, loud noises and so on.

    There are many theories and practices on how you desensitising the horse. If you are to gradually let the horse get used to things, just put the horse through it again and again until it no longer cares and so on. But most of the things I read is about getting the horse used to specific things, and sure I do that to. But that is not what I believe is the most fundamental part of the training.

    How I work is that I want to teach the horse how to react when it encounters something it finds scary. Cause then the horse knows what to do, and I know what the horse will do, and I will be able to handle it easier.

    The fundamental basis of desensitising I have is; You never run away from scary things.
    That might seem very odd as it sets against the whole prey instinct of the horse, but by teaching the horse how to handle it, it will be more confident and get less skittish and scared.

    This is something that is not just for desensitising training sessions, but something that is, as I said, fundamental, through out all my horse handling. Just as the horse is never to walk over me, we never run away from scary things, period. As soon as the horse shows fear or anxiety over something I like okay here is a training moment, in that moment. I don’t wait I train then and there.

    So how do I train this . It doesn’t have to be a big thing the horse finds scary, it can be anything, maybe its a trash bin that its googling. First thing I do is stop, as I said we never run away from scary things. And what I basically mean is, the horse is never to go away from thing feeling scared, so I need to change the feeling. The next things I do, is walk over to the scary object. The horse don’t need to follow me if it doesn’t want to, but I walk over to the thing and I tap on it. Maybe give it a shake. If its a trash bin (and the horse is not in a panic state) I probably will open the lid and let it fall close. The horse will maybe flinch, but that is okay, I just stay still and let him handle it. When he has calm down, I will invite him to come over to the object, and maybe he will come and sniff it and I will give praise. Or he wont, and that is fine, I wont force him. Then, if there is grazing, I will let him graze and just be in the moment, and then we walk away, very calmly and slowly. If the horse is still a little on edge, I will walk deliberately very slowly, and use very slow movement. This will force the horse to walk slowly and that actually trick the horses mind to start to calm down.
    So even if he isn’t totally calm and relaxed when we the first time walk away from something it finds scary, I want the overall feeling to be a good one. It will be “Yes we encountered a trash bin, it was a bit scary, but I had a bit of grass, and it didn’t eat me”. I DO NOT want ” We encountered a trash bin and it seemed like it wanted to eat me so we hurried away!!”.

    By doing this again, and again, and again, the horse will learn that when he meets something he is not sure about, we don’t run away, but wait for my (the rider/trainers) instructions, cause he/she will handle it. And also as for every encounter with something he at first finds scary, and nothing actually is feeding that fear, he learns that things are not as scary as they seem.

    Its next to impossible to convey every scenario in text, since every horse is different and every situation is different. If a horse find something really scary, or maybe I don’t have the time to go all trough the above, I will settle with that at least I will walk calmly with the horse away from things, trying my hardest to see that the horse at least walks in a slow pace.

    You will still need to train the horse for specific things. Like if you are to shoot with muskets, you will need to train with muskets, but this will help in the training of the specific items.

     

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  • General

    Capriole – Not for War

    I have always been told that the capriole was a movement trained for war. You hear alot of people saying this, but already years ago, this seemed to me a bit odd. It started when I read Bent Branderups book “Academic riding” and he pointed to a painting showing the feet of a horse, behind antoher horse, if I recall correctly, that was in a terre a terre or a mezair (he had his front hoofs together in the ground and then the rear feet together but up in the air below the belly. It doesn’t really matter, the point is he pointed out a painting from medieval times showing movement we today could see in the schools. This was more than ten years ago, and after that I have taken a point in looking for movements in old paintings, and it has occurred to me that I have never seen a capriole in a battle painting. I have seen them done by fancy school horses, yes, but never in setting where they are used for war.

    Also when getting into the rossfechten I have seen it popping in discussions that the high airs was not used for war. Which I found very interesting, since it tied into the fact that I had never seen it depicted.

    What does the litterature say about it:

    Gueriniere writes there are two excersises: one of war and that of the schools
    “The excersise thought a horse for war is” to go freely to either hand, set off with speed, stop, turn freely on the hunches and be trained for noises, fire and so on.
    And then says “the school excercise comprizes all the airs invented by the masters of the art, which ought to be practised in the school” (and then lists the airs).
    The question is if he means that the schooling of the horse is diveded in these two or if its for different horses. One trained for war and the other for the art.

    Also Pluvinel writes “Many airs were developed largely for the gratification of the individual rider and for their spectator appeal.” He writes it though that the war horses was trained in the high airs (but referreing to medieval times), cause could they perfom the airs they were also fit for battle, even though they couldnt perfom it in battle due to heavy armour.

    Pasquale Caracciolo says:
    “Maybe someone will consider useless and vain that a man toils to teach these jumps to his horse; but he is wrong, because in addition to the fact that a horse that goes swaying from jump to jump it is beautiful to see, certainly, by lightening his arms and legs through these exercises, he becomes more agile and more ready for all the other virtues that are required. Just as though the ball game is not in itself necessary to the Rider, it cannot, however, be denied that in addition to giving him some ornament, it is also very beneficial to train him to the use of weapons. One must first consider the size, ability, and the inclination of the animal, and when these things are adequate, it is out of doubt that teaching to their horses these exercises is useful and honorable to young people eager to stay well on saddle, and that by means of this discipline, the horses will become every day more agile and lighter, while maintaining temperance and the prescribed order. But the one who would train a very fast horse, or one particularly suited to war, to these jumps and exercises, would be a fool, because in military operations they would rather produce hindrance and damage instead of any benefit to the Rider, as we have already said before

    I think it is pretty clear that even the contemporary masters agrees the high airs are for show, and not for war. Also talking to people doing rossfechten, who have had horses done the capriole for real says it is of little use. If you have done even a little mounted horse back, you will understand why. The tempo is all wrong. In mounted combat speed, balance and turning is everything. In a capriole you loose everything of that. Both the rider and the horse will be thrown off balance when landing, and even if it is just for a small amount of time, that is still time you dont have. The standing capriole is a little different, both the horse and the rider can still be in balance, and the horse can then put his hind leg under him and go.

    This is not to say caprioles never happened, just that it wasn’t a movement trained for war. I can see a capriole happen when a horse is corned or the excited and the rider gives the “wrong” aids, and it has, but that is not the same as being a deliberated used movement.

    The high airs could have been developed as a way to train the agility of the horses, and then it took higher form when jousting turned into more show pieces in the 16th century and they started to have carousels. Which was more like a beauty and art show, than the previous more sport event.

    But I am still curious if war horses actually where trained in them, or they only trained school horses for the high airs. I am sure it probably differed. But like in Gueriniere book when he divides the training in two. Will the school horse not be trained for the war part, but the war horse in both, or do they have completely separate trainings?

     

     

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  • General

    Riding pants

    I dislike normal riding pants as I find them to tight and you cant really move. I want something I can both ride and fence in, and, as happens, wrestle in. I also love the early 1900 estethic and always loved the knickerbockers.

    So latley I have been looking for a pair, but not really finding any I likem. As I want them quite loose and below the knees.

    And when I recieved the perfect knickerbockers fabtic, I decided to try to sew a pair myself. I havent sewn anything really since highschool (except a few newsboys caps these last weeks), and I just took eye mesure of a pattern on the computer and just winged it.

    They are far from perfect and a real tailor would probably be horrified. Bur they are wearable and I can get away with it as long as you dont look to closley. So all in all, Im happy.

     

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  • Okategoriserade

    Not according to plan

    Things are NOT going according to plan.

    The plan was to sell Mod as soon as possible and get a new horse, either buy one if I by chance there is someone suitable out, or lend one until I found one to buy.
    Then one I would be able to have time to train for all the events this summer.
    But no.

    Mod is lame. I thought it was just that he strained himself playing in the muddy pen with his buddies. But 4 days later and he is still not better, so tomorrow I will go to the clinic.

    So not only I have a horse I cant sell. I have no horse to train with. I have cavalry training to attend, shows to practise for and technics and dressage I need to improve. I have clinics and training weekends further down the line that I need to plan for. And on top of that the money. Money I could have put into a new horse, or saddle.

    And on top of all that missing fencing training due to needing to go check on horse as he is on stable rest. And of course feeling sorry for Mod, for hurting….

    Yes, Im whining, but all these things adds up. Its not just that he is lame and that sucks. Its all that it entails.

    At the moment all I can do is wait. And I hate waiting, I want to be proactive, Im restless, I need to DO stuff!

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  • Manuscript

    Hutter -mounted fencing

    During a sparring session a while back, we were just playing around with what to do and did a technic where one person is coming towards a non-armed person in half-sword. The non-armed then takes the sword over the other persons head and pulls.

    Off course there are issues with this, like being avoided getting stabbed by the sword and so on.

    Then I went trough Jörh Wilham Hutters manuscript and found a similiar technic! Granted he uses his own sword to place upon the opposers neck, but still!

    (For video go here and it shows at min 10:00)

    I tried to deschiffer the old German text, but failed. Cause I wonder how he gets to there without getting a sword in his face or chest?

    Here is the text if someone is intrested

    So dich ainer also hatt vber fallen wellen so win[d] dein knopff in die höch vnd das ortt gegen der erden vnd wind wol vber Sein arm daß schwertt lass hurren in dein mitelhaw vber dein kopff legs im sein hals vnd greiff mit deiner tengken hand in dein schwertt truck wol nider zeuch an dich So wirfts du in von dem gaul deinen zaum wir[f] an den hacken wie oben Gmalt Stett das stuck haist Beschliesnus beÿ dem hals

    Link to wiktenaur

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  • General

    Uphill

    In my head I like to plan things out, it is not a straight line, like I get to A to get to B to get to C.

    Its more like, this is the way I get to point A. But if that road is blocked, I can go via point 1 and when I get to point 1, if I do not want to go to point A, I could go to point B.
    I always have plans, and backup plans, and trying to think of the most efficient and effective way to get to my goal.

    But then, more often than not, life mines my road. Things I cannot foreseen or plan for, just blows up my path. And then the previously very straight and nice road, or it didn’t even had to be straight, but still nice windy country road, is now just gone. Its frustrating cause I want to tell the mine that exploded this time, but at this point I can’t. Its just something that disrupted all my plans, it may not be a big thing, it may be a huge thing. I will tomorrow or within the weekend. But I did not need this right now.

    However, Im a soldier, sailor, a grenadier, a cavalerist, a warrior. I brush myself off, clench my teeth and plow on. Cause there is no alternative.

     

     

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  • Horses

    Changing horses

    I bought Mod two years ago fulfilling my childhood dream, my own horse.

    I had worked with arabians for for ever so everyone was very suprised when I ended up with a draft horse. But I always loved draft horses, and I think I was coloured from a performence I saw as a child, set in the 1700 and Carolean soldiers in their blue and yellow rode in to the arena on North Swedish draft horses. Also, in my ignorance I thought a north swedish would be somewhat historically accurate.

    Bottom line is I did not know rossfechten was the thing I wanted to do. Had I known that I would have been looking for a different type of horse. I dont think no north swedish can do rossfechten, on the contrary there are many lighter built energetic ones that I think would fit.

    But Mod is heavy built in front, and has big issues with raising his wither. Not that he cant do it, but it is massive work. Also he does not have the mentality for diving into dressage work. He is lazy, and his biggest joy in the world is standing still and eating.

    He is amazing at travelling and with other horses,  but I need a little more than that.

    Mod is the most charming horse, but he also has alot of will. It is a hard desicion parting with him as I put so much work into him. No one, including me, believed we come as far as we have on such short time. But then I think, I could had come even further with a little more willing horse.

    We had fun and we have been noticed everywhere we gone ❤

    This week I have 2 persons that are coming to look at him and now its getting real.

    But all in all, I think he will be happier somewhere else, and that makes it a little easier.

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  • Manuscript

    Tournament manuscripts

    As one does when one cant sleep, Im sitting and browsing trough tournament manuscripts and as usual when I get curious I get 101 questions and thoughts, and to not spam all the facebook groups I will just put it down here.

    First of all I stumbled across a drawing I recognized. It was an illustration from the Turnierbuch Ritterspiele (Cod.icon. 398), where thet seem to have a really weird crest melee, only I have seen it before. As I posted about in a facebook group, cause it was so weird, only the picture I posted was a sketch, not a fully colored drawing.
    So said and done, I dug up the other tournament manuscripts,  Cod.I.6.4.1. And yes it was the same picture! And not only that, all the other picture was the same, only they where sketches! I found that interesting in any case.
    The melee it self its just weird, with all the sewing gear on their heads, and lances that almost is really wide.

    Next thing I started to reflect upon was the equipment.

    Look at the horses, there hood covers all their head, including their eyes! And then there are the bells. It is kind of weird place to put bells, maybe they are to ring in the horses ear so they do not spook for other sounds? Its the hood over the eyes also a non-spooking thing? It seems abit dangerous for the horses not to see as if you are thrown of balance, the horse have no idea where the other horse or rider is. Maybe thats why they need the knee armour?
    Also the riders do not really have that much protection other than sort of shields, both that cover their front and their knees (which then might be due to horse crashing was coming due to lack of sight?). But if you look at the illustrations where they are unhorsed, they seem to tumble out the armour fairly easily. Especially the knee plates, which I wonder how they are fastened, as when they fall of they either seem to be stuck on the saddle, or fall to the ground. So they do not seem to be strapped on the the rider. In some images when they are on the ground, they seem to be strapped together, which makes me think that they might be put over the saddle as later pistol holster. For the people who knows, please enlighten me.

    Its also the squires (?) that catches the riders when they fall. In the picture its almost as they catch him in the impact moment, but maybe its just artistic, that its just that they are there when the horse stops?

    For more tournament manuscripts, check out the library on jousting manuscripts

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