I am of the device that if you want something done; you have to do it yourself. And there are very few (read as: none) to train rossfechten with in Gothenburg and the knowledge and understanding of rossfechten among regular fencers are very limited. So I checked with my fencing group if there where any takers on a small practical and theoretical introduction. And 4 people said yes!
Its a bit weird that it is easier to get fencers who have never been on a horse before to try it, then get non-fencing riders to ride with a sword. Even though swords and lances can be very good tools to improve your “normal” riding, but oh well.
Said and done, on Sunday we met up in the stable and I tried to convey the concept and how fencing and riding is connected. Since this was a crash course in riding, with people whos experience with riding extended to pony rides as children, I tried to relate it to the fencing, in hope of it to be easier for the fencers to understand.
Riding wise my main focus was turning, cause that a fast lane to understanding the hip aid, and its also the fundamental in rossfechten. So first task was to ride in an eight around poles, mainly using hip and leg aid, which they managed surprisingly good for being first time and on Mod who is not that happy to move forward at all.
When body was somewhat tuned into the horse we continued to a swords and also some lancing. The thought was never that to get them good at the various plays, but to get a grasp on how timing, dynamic and distance is very different on horse back but doing so using real plays from the manuscripts. In the very end I got Talhoffer and they got at least to see and get some feel of two horses together.
All in all it was a fun day. I wanted to show that rossfechten is NOT about rushing towards each others just bashing swords, that real rossfechten is about control and being in-sync with horse, using the horse movement in the fencing. And I think I managed that.
The guys seemed happy and did not looked to overwhelmed leaving, so hopefully it will be at least four less people I wont be hearing saying things like “You only do cuts from horseback”.