• General

    Recharging batteries

    I have layed low a little with my online activity, not completely gone, but just, taking a little break, finding the joy in it again, having some vacation time.

    I spent time out in my family cottage on an island in the archipelago, just swimming in the ocean, enjoying the sun, solving cross puzzles, beating my little brother with swords, you know the usual summer things. But now Im back home in Gothenburg again, which actually feels nice. I really missed my horse!

    My life is weird, because it really goes in cycles, which I should know by now, but for some reason I never learn. So in the beginning of summer I was a little down,  because my calender was, like, empty. There was not much training, not much for my horse, I dont know, everything had just ended and I felt, like abandoned. I must say, the feeling was not justified, and I dont really know why I felt like it, maybe because I just for the first time in a long time had… well time? And for a while nothing went really smooth, the horse was acting up, the car was acting up and so on.
    Anyway, then, now, its crazy. I dont even want to look in my calender because Im double and triple booked for all this fun amazing stuff! And I met and meeting all these amazing people, and Im like, why was I ever feeling down? Why didn’t I just take that window of free time to just recharge and take a break, instead of feeling sorry for myself?

    So back to crazy Linda-life, with going to Germany to perform with my reenactment group for four days in Germany next week, then weekend after that is Norway and then it just is an ball in motion… I think it is going to be a really cool autumn!

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  • General

    Family visit

    Last week my dad was visiting and of course he wanted to see Talhoffer.

    Talhoffer was in a very nice mood, he had his days where he suddenly freaks over basic things, but not this day. I saddled him up and rode for abit in the arena and when I was done dad asked if he couldnt have a go.

    I was a bit hesitent as I never had a beginner ride him, and I had experience rider having difficulties. I just saw for my inner eye Talhoffer sprinting one way and dad going the other, but thought if you never try you never know.

    Said and done we got dad up in the saddle, which was a tad to small for him, and to short stirrups. But off we went, and it went remarkable nice!

    True Talhoffer didnt really want to leave my side and I had to try to get dad to understand that you had to move the shoulders on him, not just kick him with the feets…. and also that he is on a curbbit so you need to get the outside when one turns. But all in all, it went pretty nicely considering dad is a beginner and Talhoffer is… well Talhoffer.

     

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  • General

    Renaissance Horse Names

    I find the need to first say, I am NOT a fan of the Duke of Newcastle, all the reasons why is a post in it self, but just let say I find him a pompous jerk. However, he has listed a bunch of suggestion for horse name in the back of his book, and, for some reason I just find it so fascinating to look at historic pet names!

    I want to think it says something about the persons, or time, but I haven’t really found out what… Anyhow, he divides them into three categories; “italian and spanich”, “french” and “for dutch horses”. Only the last specifies he that its “for” dutch horses, otherwise one might believe it just list of the orgins in the names. But I guess he thinks you should give a horse from the nation it comes? (or at least a name that sounds like its from that region, I doubt that neither italians or spaniards would agree they have the same language).

    Here is the Spanish and italians:

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  • General

    Resa utomlands med häst

    (Since this post is about travelling with horse from Sweden, it mainly concerns Swedish people, as the rules differs in different countries, and therefore this post will be in Swedish)

    I maj åkte jag ned till Tyskland med min häst och i föreberedelserna till resan så blev jag förvånad över hur lite information det fanns om att åka utomlands med häst. Därav tänkte jag skriva om hur det fungerade för oss.
    Disclaimer: Jag är en privatperson och ingen expert på detta område. Detta är bara min egen upplevelse, om du ska iväg och resa var noga med att kolla upp med de myndigheter och länder som gäller för din resa.
    Resan jag skulle göra var ner till mitten i Tyskland och rutten var via Danmark och färjan Rödby-Puttgard.

    De reglerna jag hittade för resan var ganska enkla:

    Från jordbruksverket:

    Hästar inom EU måste ha ett hästpass

    Utförsel/införsel EU-länder samt Norge, Andorra och Färöarna
    *Hästar som förs ut ur Sverige ska vara undersökta av en officiell veterinär inom 48 timmar före lastningen.
    *Veterinären ska skriva ett hälsointyg där det framgår att hästarna är friska enligt de hälsokrav som gäller inom EU. Intyget gäller under tio dagar. Under den tiden kan hästarna resa obegränsat mellan länderna inom EU samt Norge, Andorra och Färöarna.
    *Den som för ut hästarna ska behålla hälsointyget under sex månader för att kunna visa upp det för officiell veterinär vid till exempel smittspårning.
    *Om transporten tar mer än åtta timmar ska utrymmet där djuren transporteras vara utformat så att de kan stå upp och ligga ner i naturlig ställning. Om det behövs ska du kunna sätta in skiljeväggar som skyddar djuren.

    Jag var även i kontakt med Tyska jordbruksverket och fick svaret att de behöver ha ett chip och pass och angående veterinärintyg skulle jag prata med det svenska jordbruksverket.

    Hälsointyg

    Hälsointyg måste göras av distriktveterinären och gäller i 10 dagar. Ska man vara borta längre än 10 dagar måste man göra ett nytt veterinärintyg. Jag bokade in veterinären dagen innan avfärd och själv trodde jag det skulle gå till lite som en besiktning, men den var mycket simplare än så. Veterinären kollade chipet, lyssnade på hjärta och lungor, tog tempen samt ville se han skritta i fram och tillbaka i stallgången. Det var det, och gick på 1500kr.

     

    Övernattningsstall

    Jag bokade in ett övernattningsstall i närheten av färjan i Danmark. Just detta fick jag tips av en som rest samma väg som mig innan, men det finns även flera om man googlar. Hon som hade det var jättetrevlig, det kostade 150DKK per natt och ingick strö, men inte hö. Talhoffer stod i en box inomhus och vi kunde ställa höpåse utanför som hon gav sedan på kvällen. Vi fick även ställa av transporten på gården.

    Övernattning Danmark

    Jag fick tips av hon som hade övernattningsstallet om ett AirBnB som låg i närheten som andra som stått över med häst bott på och tyckt varit bra. Själv har jag aldrig bott på AirBnB, men har haft familj och vänner som rekommenderat det. Det kostade 550kr för två personer och var som ett vanligt hotell/vandrarhem, med en länga med rum som hade eget badrum och toalett.

    Färjan

    Färjan Röby-Puttgard tar ca 45 minuter och går två gånger i timmen om jag minns rätt. Man kan köpa biljett i förväg, vilket jag gjorde, men jag valde flexibel biljett som gjorde att man kunde komma till vilken avgång man ville under hela dagen. Men man skulle likagärna kunna köpa biljett när man kommer.
    Jag ringde de innan och frågade om man behövde säga till innan att man kom med häst, men det behövdes inte. Inte heller när man visar biljetten när man kör in till färjan ville de ha information om detta. Man får inte stanna kvar på bildäck under gång, men det är inte heller låst, så det går att gå ned och titta till hästen under resan.

    Övrigt
    I form av formaliteter var det inte så mycket mer. Men jag kan säga lite om min egna tanker i övrigt. Många som jag pratade med var oroliga över att vi skulle åka på autobahn i Tyskland med hästtransport. Den sträckan vi åkte låg hastigheten mellan 80 och 120 km/h, som i Sverige och då det är tre-filig väg kändes det lugnare att åka med hästtransport än när jag bara åkt med bilen, för med transporten ligger man i jämnhastighet i omkörningsfilen. Tillskillnad när man bara åker själv och ligger i omkörningsfilerna och zigzagar fram. Samtidigt som det är tre-filigt ligger de värsta dårarna längst i från en själv. Det som var största problemet var egentligen att det kan vara välidgt långa köer som man kan bli fast i under lång tid, vilket inte är speciellt roligt med en häst.

     

    Tyska bensinstationer har dåligt med vatten. Eller de kanske inte har dåligt med vatten, men det var inte tydligt vart de har vattenslang, och när jag frågade blev jag inte mycket klokare. Så när vattendunken hade tagit slut hittade jag ingenstans att fylla på, så slutade att jag gick in och, väldigt tidskrävande, fyllde på den i kranen på toaletten istället. Tills nästa gång kommer jag ta med två dunkar med vatten, för att kunna ha extra (nu var det väldigt varmt när vi åkte, så en transport under mindre sommarhetta hade inte krävts lika mycket).

    Under utresan behövde vi inte visa några andra papper än biljetten till färjan

    Hemresan behövde vi dock identifiera oss själva med pass när vi reste in i Danmark och sedan även när vi skulle in i Sverige, där de även ville titta i transporten för att se att vi inte smugglade människor. Däremot var det ingen som någon gång ville se några papper på hästen eller hade frågor om honom.

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  • General

    Lödöse medieval fair

    The day was spent as Lödöse medieval fair, an event that has become an annual thing to visit. Such a lovely day, the sun was blazing, maybe a little to much, but rather that than last year when it was pouring down and windy. We were a few people from the fencing school that went together so we went round the market, looked at some of the acts and just took in the environment. I must say, unfortunately, that it was not as good as previous years, there where much fewer market stands, and the where the acts, and markets stands, previous years have held a very high historical standards, they where not very historical this year. Which was too bad, because one of the things that I really liked about Lödöse was the genuine medieval feeling, with medieval music and jesters, but now it was more modern music trying to feel medieval.

    Anyway, it was a nice day anyhow. And Im starting to notice how small the reenactment scene in Sweden is, as it was crazy how many people I bumped into that I knew or met before somewhere or another. Ended up just having conversation with people all day, but it was a great day. its just so much fun being able to be around people as crazy nerdy as me (like where else is a normal topic of conversation which would hurt the most, a bullet or an arrow to the thigh, leading into how much damage each weapon would make and how you remove an arrow head….).

    Of course I forgot to take any pictures, so here is the dogs, exhausted after a whole day out in the sun and with people. And of course, Speja had to choose to sleep on the fabric I am working with…

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  • General

    Walpurgis night

    In Sweden the 30 of April is Walpurgis eve. Its a tradition to light bonfires and… well I think that is it. We stand out in the cold and watch fires, and all the teenagers use it as excuse to get wasted.

    As one might figure its not a holiday I really celebrate, I cant even remember the last time I actually did something special for Walpurgis night.

    But yesterday was a full day, filled witj everything, horses, swords and dance. First I was in the stable for a couple of hours getting Mod ready for sale.

    Then it was the first session on the new tango class Im taking. I was a bit nervous, as it was a new place, new people and so on. But I was pleasently suprised! Here it was abit younger (can you say cooler?) crowd, the teacher is from Argentina, and focus was much more on feeling and presence. Which I really liked! Just not taking the steps, but, I dont know how to explain it, really getting the feeling.

    My back is somewhat of an issue, because I get critic that I tense up, which I think other interpet as Im being uncomfortable, but it because in the close embrace my back tense. Which makes me tense…. but Im thinking the better balance and the more practise, it will get better.

    After tango class it was straight to sword and buckler practise. Where we celebrated with cake! Because in our manuscript, the I33, a women is depicted as a fencer and referred to as Walpurgis. So we feel that Walpurgis eve is really ours to celebrate as bucklerists!

    And after cake, what better way to celebrate than beat each other with swords! So the last hour or so we just sparred. Great fun, even though I was dead tired. Which I told a sparring partner at one time, and he was like “so I dont have to prepare for all the grappling” and I was like, no, no grappling tonight.

    Instead I tried to focus on really lookibg for openings and strike and parry at the same time. It went,, well not really as good as I like. I really need to be less wobbly with my sword, so will need to find excersices for it.

    But all and all, awesome Walpurgis eve! I cant convey how I love our club, training is always a blast! Its just amazing people to hang out with! 

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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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  • 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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