Best way to start learning to joust

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Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Templar Knight » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:13 pm

Ive never ridden before but want to learn to ride so I can eventually learn to joust. Would people reccomend I go on a event like http://knightsofmiddleengland.co.uk/events.htm


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Postby Phil the Grips » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:51 pm

Jousting is a long way down the line if you don't ride already.

Learn to ride- go at least twice a week, more if possible. Learn as many styles as you can, bearing in mind that most stables will look at you blankly if you say you are learning to ride to joust and teach you nice pony club styles that won't be of any use. Learn to fall off, expect to get broken, put money into any head injuries charity bucket you see as insurance.

The next stage is learning to ride with no hands (Parelli is good for this), and then carrying a big stick which adds a whole new level of "fun". Get into skill-at-arms scene too for experience of such stuff- cheaper, but not by much.

Then be prepared to work from the ground up for a jousting team as a skivvy to get the experience. Join any other cavalry reenactment team you can to get experience and known- reputation plays a very big part if someone is loaning you an expensive and treasured piece of horseflesh.

All the while save up for a decent set of harness- about £6K ought to do it for a basic start. Having your own horse makes things a lot easier- say goodbye to having any other life if you do get one.

And riding is only a tiny part of horsemanship- which is all the other bits you need to know inside out when dealing with horses. Get friendly with a good horse vet and farrier.

It is feasible, and I know a fair few people who got there and are getting there , but you'd have an easier and cheaper time tearing up £50 notes over a toilet for a few hours every day! ;)

Bogwoppit, Andy R and Celenbrithil( ?sp) are good people to ask.


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Postby Templar Knight » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:55 pm

Cheers, but can you explain more on saying good bye to any other life


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Postby Phil the Grips » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:57 pm

On top of any other life you may have ( school/work/family) then you'll also have to look after a horse- which means early mornings and late nights just for basic maintenance, and that's before doing anything fun like riding!


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Postby Templar Knight » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:59 pm

Oh, I thought you can put them in stables and can you pay people to feed them and stuff


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Postby Phil the Grips » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:02 pm

You can- it's called livery. Replace £50 notes with cheques for £250!

It is feasible but requires a lot of luck and a great deal of effort and dedication.


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Postby Templar Knight » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:12 pm

Ok, thanks, hmmmm, seeing as I dont want to do it as a proffesion it would be a big investment of money and time just for a hobby thing. So I think maybe when I win the lottery :lol:


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Postby Jack the Lad » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:55 am

Phil the Grips wrote:Learn to ride- go at least twice a week, more if possible. Learn as many styles as you can, bearing in mind that most stables will look at you blankly if you say you are learning to ride to joust and teach you nice pony club styles that won't be of any use.


It will teach you basic balance and the skill to control a horse. "Pony Club Style" is not at all useless if you cannot ride at all. I've seen many people claim not to need lessons as they don't need to know how to do "dressage", then have no balance and fall off all the time. I'd say it would take about a year to learn how to ride with a minimum of 2 lessons a week, and then - and only then - should you contemplate picking up a big stick.

Having done all of the hunting games, skill at arms and jousting in training, I know how hard it is. If you seriously want to do it, learn to ride first. I was lucky - I worked on a yard and could ride before I got into re-enactment. It gave me a massive head start over a lot of people.

Jousting is a specific hobby, and not all horses can/will do it, so when you can ride, have had jousting lessons with an experience stable yard and are competent enough to look after a horse, you can get one to train, however, the training will need the help of experienced people who are skilled in the training of horses for such skills

However, first and foremost, learn to ride, and ride well. Dressage gives you balance and control of the horse, jumping increases your balance (and is fun).



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Postby Phil the Grips » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:37 am

Sorry- my minor niggles coming out.

Nowt wrong with most riding club styles- just the obsession with sparkly hoof polishes and mane plaiting that rankles, probably out of all proportion of the reality of the usefulness of getting any saddle time.

Do dressage (nice classical form stuff- straight out of Pluvinel if you get it right), carriage drive (where I learned), jump if you can (I have an arrangement with horses that if we never leave the ground we can both get along fine :)).


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Postby lucy the tudor » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:01 pm

Jumping is addictive too though, probably not wise to start as you may end up just showjumping- it's cheaper than jousting, which is like saying sailing a fifty foot yacht is cheaper than power boat racing...
I can ride, I even have stables ( no roof , but stables) and a paddock, which in theory would make it a lot cheaper to have a horse than for some. But I would agree with the total loss of all other life, and sheer terrifying nature of the amount of dosh they can consume in the form of shoeing , feed, vets bills and tack, before you even look at transport to shows.
I'd still do it if I won the lottery, like a shot, and may look at getting something small and easier maintenance when the kids don't need me so much, ie. when they are in their mid twenties.
I do enjoy watching other people joust though.
We can dream :wink:


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Postby Jason » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:24 pm

Destrier can help get you up and running and are open to new memberships currently. Group training sessions take place over the winter, usually once a month and range from the pro jousters right down to complete beginners at riding. (Obviously not all mixed into one session!)

http://www.destrier.org.uk/

Nicky Willis at Tournament Stud does both private riding sessions (more expensive), or open group sessions (cheaper but shared time).

Finally, when you have enough riding ability, skill at arms and jousting sessions too are available at Tournament Stud: www.tournamentstud.com. Some are organsied on a group basis, so would require membership of that re-enactment group, other are open sessions booked in advance with who ever wants to join in. TS 01280 851125



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Postby Templar Knight » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:06 pm

Cool, wow , tournament stud homepage video is amazing. I think I'll start to learn to ride and get into learning different styles and when I've finished college I will then think about the jousting side of things. Cheers for all the info


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Postby Andy R » Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:23 pm

I agree with Amy.

Learn to ride first before thinking about riding historically.

Historical riding is simpler than the mainstream equestrian activities at intermediate level, and mainstream lessons will give you a good grounding in riding basics - lateral movement, impulsion, how to use your seat, rein contact and working on the bit.

All these things help make a better horseman.

To quote two people.....

Pat Parelli wrote:with riding a horse, you have a peddle for each foot, you kick to go and pull to stop - Right? - WRONG


Rod Walker wrote:A horses brakes are not in it's mouth


Every time I see a Skill at Arms show where folk are trotting round with a sword held out hitting targets which are so large it is probably more dificult to miss them (and yet some still do) it makes me wonder why folk want to get on a horse with a sword before they learn how to ride competantly.


Phil, the Pony Club are as organised as the Mafia, and twice as vicious. Given the skills they show, these little bendy people are fantastic horsemen. I've taken pony clubbers and put them on the field before where they have excelled at everything they have been asked to do - most of the time they laugh and ask if that is it?


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Postby lucy the tudor » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:17 pm

I can only agree about Pony clubbers, we were trained to remove saddles at the trot, do "round the world" ie turn a full 360 on the horses back at up to a canter, and gallop and jump bareback. Then when we were 14 we started to take things a bit more seriously.
We weren't as good at vaulting as some area clubs, but we gave it a go ( I was lousy at it)
Some of the ponies were so sharp they could have probably done most disciplines without the presence of a child for steering anyway...
I just wish I still had the same confidence in my own immortality as we all had then. :?


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Postby Jack the Lad » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:58 pm

Andy R wrote:
Every time I see a Skill at Arms show where folk are trotting round with a sword held out hitting targets which are so large it is probably more dificult to miss them (and yet some still do) it makes me wonder why folk want to get on a horse with a sword before they learn how to ride competantly.


Phil, the Pony Club are as organised as the Mafia, and twice as vicious. Given the skills they show, these little bendy people are fantastic horsemen. I've taken pony clubbers and put them on the field before where they have excelled at everything they have been asked to do - most of the time they laugh and ask if that is it?


100% with you Andy :D Some shows I've seen have lacked pace and skill. Shows involving horses can be so easy to get right, yet they are so easy to get wrong... It amazes me on how many shows appear to be about the riders not the skill of horsemanship.

The pony club produce some of the best riders. I missed out on that, but am fast catching up as an adult. The skill you need to stay on!!! And I have a motive to stay on - I've stopped bouncing. And as for being a bit too sparkly... There's nowt sparkly with poo and mud and 4am starts for that competition.



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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby darrelltemplar » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:25 pm

a good group for learning cavalry skill is the sealed knot in all fairness to them if nothing else they have bloody good cavalry and good trainers (saying that so do ecws)



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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby jellie-kat » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:34 am

Ok just my two-penneth, yes going to a riding school is good. Going to tournament stud and destrier are all very well. But be careful. Knowing how to ride will not necessarily mean you can then go off and joust.

You horse (any horse) is the most important part, they are not just a vehicle, or a means to and end. Going to a riding school will mean you pay yur £25 a lesson, you get on - plod around - get off - go home. To really be able to joust you need to become at one and at peace with the horse you ride, understand them and let them understand you, an enormous amount of trust is needed. You need to be able to spend time with a horse, looking after it, feeding it, being its best friend, not just riding it. You need to get into a mindset that the horse is by-far more important than you.

Then once this has happened you need to figure what type of jousting you want to do.
Historical factual show (a la armouries) - like a history lesson on horseback
Re-enactment show with a little bit of audience camaraderie(sp?) (a la Horses Through History) - little more daring
Or full flash jousting "show" (a la Geoff Winship (aka god)) - not historically correct but give that oooh aaah ooow factor for the public, with spectaclier falls and whatnot.

Then of course some people class "jousting" in with skill-at-arms, just cause you can take a ring or hit a quintaine doesn't mean you can joust against another fella on an 'Orse.

Phils tips n tricks are correct.
It's expensive, no matter if you own a horse or not.
It's time consuming.
It's gunna hurt. (they say you're not a proper rider until you've fallen off at least 7 times - if this is true then i'm effing brilliant lol :lol: )

Any horse can Joust, this is a fact. Infact both horse and rider can learn together. The new experiences can bring the pairing closer together. Geoff Winship is a man of amazing ability, he comes from a circus background and showmanship, but he knows his horses. All this Monty Robert and Parelli horse whispery malarky, Geoff was doing before they were born, many of the horses in his shows over the years he has bought at auctions, some green as grass and un-backed, within a week these horses have been in the shows and know their cues.

Its all very well seeing all these re-enactor show based groups going around, and all power to them and i respect them for bringing jousting up to the forefront and incresing people's knowledge of it all, but sometimes they're out for themselves "look at me i'm jousting!" effect, to their other re-en mates.

All i can say is go and watch Geoff Winships show at some point (i know i keep mentioning him but the guys a genious) he is 74-ish now still rides in his shows and never touches the reigns of his horse all the way through, go watch the show enjoy it for that, but go watch the horsemanship. THAT is the key to a good Jouster.

Hokay more like Ten-Penneth than Two. But its said and done now. Hope things are clearer.

Don't be put off though, its a life-changing hobby to take part in, and life-changing for the better. Enjoy your start in this large but secretive world.

Ellie x x x





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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Andy R » Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:56 pm

jellie-kat wrote:Parelli horse whispery malarky,


Having seen Monty work on a friends problem horse at close quarters I'll leave him out, but Parelli just started out as good old fashioned horsemanship in a box, but it has unfortunately turned horsemanship in to hor$eman$hip and an almost fanatical, evangelical way.

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(problems may not be solved imediately and may require further payments)


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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Jason » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:28 pm

Ellie, Im afraid I'd have to, respectfully, question the idea that 'any horse can joust', especially when using authentic armour and with proper contact. It takes a long time to train a horse to joust 'properly' and I have tried many and more than a few simply aren't up to it, or at least don't want to do it more than a few times before jacking out.

The theatrical 'jousting' is an effective entertainment display and they certainly have good horsemanship skills, however there is a difference to be considered where attempts at authenticity are concerned. Wearing and performing in real plate with an appropriate helmet is both difficult and stressful for both horse and rider. Dealing with scripted events in theatrical costume is markedly easier physically and mentally than un scripted 'real' jousting where the hits can be very big indeed and the lance after impact can go anywhere at speed, I know as I've done both professionally.

The two types of show are similar only in billing. The 'medieval stunt shows' are great in their entertainment value, showmanship and riding/training skills. They are a very different creature indeed to taking a solid lance for real on the field.



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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby jellie-kat » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:30 pm

Personally i do believe any horse can joust with the correct training and relationship with its rider. It;s getting the horse used to what its going to be doing in a way that suits them (for example: some kids underachieve in schools and are disruptive, doesn't necessarily mean they are thick in that particular subject, the way they are being taught just doesn't suit them) .

As you know horses are incredibly clever creatures, and, unless a broody mare or a randy stallion, are for the most part quite placid too. They just need to get used to their surroundings.

I understand the differences between the types and have to admit by bias toward the "medieval stunt shows" what with family background in said shows for many years.
I completely respect the ability of full-harness jousting and the skills required by both horse and rider to achieve what they do. But i do have to say that not ALL stunt shows use spaghetti lances, the ones we have been involved with use scaffold piping, incredibly heavy and dun'alf pack-a-punch.

All these points should be scaring our dear Templar Knight enough, no? :lol: :lol:

@templarknight: don't be scared tho, it's only the high possibilty of death that looms with this hobby/profession...IT'S GREAT!!! :lol:



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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Jason » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:23 pm

Ellie, Thanks for your considered reply, I pretty much agree with most of what you say, though I'd happily let you try to take a couple of my lovely beasts down the tilt. One simply hates other horses coming at him head on.

I'd never heard of anyone using scaff poles to joust! Presumably they are aluminium not steel, and counterweighted perhaps and not couched under the armpit, because if they were to hit someone they certainly would pack a punch. I might try it at the wekend againt the quintain and see. FYI Tony Capwell and I have used solid wooden war lances too (against the quintain not each other yet) with Griff's esteemed help and they are real buggers to handle and hit with. Its amazing what a few ounces of steel on the end of a 12ft pole feels like - really heavy.



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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Andy R » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:39 am

All of mine would go down a tilt, but only one of them would really enjoy it.

Our youngster (just backed this spring) probably would be fine, as so far he seems to be completely un phased by anything.
His problem solving skills are quite good also. He picked up rugs the other day and put them over an un-energised electric fence to get the height down so he could pop over it in to the adjacent field.

I don’t see an issue with riding in tin if you are confident in your seat. I was put in to harness that was ill fitting and heavy due to being 16g cold rolled stuff on a Welsh trekking horse for a film job.
The tin, although not nice to ride in wasn't the issue. What I didn’t like was the letter box view afforded by the helmet. It was this that actually sucked a good deal of my confidence out compared to riding with good visability in an open faced helmet earlier in the day.

So while I don’t see anything particularly difficult in straight forward jousting down a tilt rail (especially with a counter tilt) and I could never understand why some people made such a big deal about it, I can appreciate the issues of not being able to see what you are doing - although this may also explain why folk are keen to invest in the best helmet they can (not to mention the tin)

On the whole, I think I preffer pegging :rock:


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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Templar Knight » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:21 pm

Well, had my first riding lesson today, and was really good. Going back next Saturday. I went to Warwick International school of Riding, http://www.warwickridingholidays.co.uk/index.htm
who also share the grounds with Knights of middle England.


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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Cat » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:31 pm

Ellie, you sound just like your Dad! :eh: :D
Templar Knight, over the last 6 years myself and my Significant Other have gone through the whole horse riding/ownership/shows etc etc. At the start I had never sat a horse, he had been a competent rider 'back in the day'.

Brief outline: I say 'I didn't know you rode! I'd like to do some cav riding at shows, why don't we get lessons.'
Get lessons. He finds it all comes back quite quickly, I find it harder but not impossible.

Once I get as far as canter-without-falling-off we go and train some at Janet's. (6 months into the saga.)
I realise how crap I am, and that he is not bad, but that there are some awesomely good horsey bods out there.

Still enthusiastic I get a free session on a skewbald mare in her own field and have an unscripted dismount that results in a ride in an Air Ambulance. I hadven't broken my neck, but I've still got some nice nerve pinch and damage from it.

I decide to continue to work with the cav group but as ground crew, he continues to ride. Politics happen (and they will, even in nice groups) and we leave it alone for a while.
Our own group then sets up a cav wing and we are in on the birth of that.
I find a facility for commentating skill at arms and joust shows...so I can still get my adrenaline and jollies without going airside.
I do get back onto a horse at a different yard and promptly get airborne again. Decide I'm too old and break too easily.

He discovers that a problem with being a big chap is that anything smaller than a draft beastie is too small for him, and he backs out of riding rather than hurting the horses. HOWEVER, for his 40th some idiot buys him a horse, thus ensuring that he has no time any more for her, his family or regular re-enactment. Whilst he loves the mare, after 8 months or so it bacomes obvious to him that the cons outweigh the pros, and he sells his girl, to many tears and much heartbreak.

In the past month I have sat on the lovely horse of a friend, as said GG is the illigitimate offspring of Victor Meldrew and a kitchen table I'd have to try hard to fall off, but haven't got faster than a sedate walk yet. He has also ridden said horse at a nice canter and is getting a bit reminiscent. We have a chance of him getting some rides at Janet's again as she has some bigger beasties, and he rode as a mounted squire at the Joust at Bosworth.

SO...it may break your heart, takes over your life, leaves you skint and can hospitalise you. Would I have done it differently? No, except I'd have listened a lot more to practical advice at the start.

(Pauses for breath...) Here endeth the lesson! Do it by all means but only if you are prepared for it to utterly take over your life.


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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Lady Roos » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:44 pm

Dear Templar, good for you; showing an interest in jousting.

I agree wholeheartedly with Jason, some horses just won't do it; whether it's because they just don't want to (for whatever obscure reason) or because they have had a bad experience.
I've seen horses that are terrific jousting horses, do several shows a year, are almost classed as 'veterans' at this game, go to a show and come back totally ruined. This because of the lack of training of the riders and the slight miscalculation when lowering the lance! "Oh dear, sorry, was suppose to hit the person, not the horse!"
Hence being able to joust with your own horse, that you have spend time with and that trusts you and vice versa would be the most ideal situation. Again, as Andy said, having a horse from a very young age ie. 3 years old, would be terrific. The drawbacks, as have been mentioned before, are the costs of keeping one plus the amount of physical work you can do with a youngster is limited until they are fully grown. Can't make them carry too much weight too soon.

On a slightly different note; when you get to the stage that you are ready to joust in full armour and you are ready for your first show, make sure that you joust against an opponent that you have spend time with ie. training together. Make sure that you are compatible and have the same standards. The last thing you want is jousting against someone that favours different rules, ie fishing, sweeping etc. Jousting is competitive, but you have to be able to trust your opponent.

If you are serious about this, and I've been reading that you are now having lessons, speak with people like Jason; people who actually do this on a regular basis and do it good - they will be able to advise you on the armour and how it affects your riding and how you have to adjust your seat. The authenticity of your saddle and other horse trappings, the lances that you'd use: the weight, the lenght, the tips etc.

If you would like to explore jousting with a view to incorporate more 'stunt' stuff and plastic armour (which is very high entertainment value in it's own right), go and see a show by the 'Devil's Horsemen' (I'm sure they have a website, which should give you a very good idea on their approach). Anything in between, would be confusing.

Wishing you all the best, and I'm certain that you'll achieve your goal.

Kind Regards,
Miranda


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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Andy R » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:52 am

Lady Roos wrote:I've seen horses that are terrific jousting horses, do several shows a year, are almost classed as 'veterans' at this game, go to a show and come back totally ruined. This because of the lack of training of the riders and the slight miscalculation when lowering the lance! "Oh dear, sorry, was suppose to hit the person, not the horse!"


I have to say this is my greatest worry with equestrian re-enactment.

As an adult I have only ever punched one person in anger, and this particular person T boned me and then tried to grab my reins.

I have come close when ECW cavalry have hit my horse, or over competative C15th types coming in hard with polearms that slide off the armour and go off in random directions. Seeing ECW infantry activley hitting the horses with polearms was also something of an eye opener

I'm there by choice, my horses isn't. My horses are a part of our family and they get the lions share of the blood, sweat, tears and cash that we shed.

We have had youngsters who have been unridable for as long as three years while we wait for them to grow on physically and mentally, but the relationship you have with a horse (although all ours are currently ponies - even the 16h1" pony) while doing the ground work with them is invaluable.

And talking of ponies, here's a 14h2" Western Isles garron that we were doing remedial work with in order to re-home. I'm 6'2" and he is absolutely fab. (this was taken on the ground where they filmed the battle sequence in Gladiator, and where the tented village is in Nottingham)
Image
He spent one Saturday doing 2'6" to 2'9" show jumping, the vet came out in the afternoon and said he was 99% blind (Uveitis, AKA Moon Blindness). Well, no one told him that, so the next day he was running on top form while we went tent pegging...!!


Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing them, but never through riding them: unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die



http://www.16ld.org

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Cat
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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Cat » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:03 pm

Andy, I've just seen your signature line. Very appropriate to me! :D Your beastie sounds game. 'Nobody told him so...'

Templar Knight, on re-reading what I wrote I realise that it sounds somewhat negative....it wasn't meant thus.
It was more as a 'do not underestimate the commitment needed to this, in time, money and stamina...it really will take over your life, if you are serious about it.' You can't do it part-time or expect to be anything like the same afterwards (or ever again!), and your loved ones will see a lot less of you unless they join in.

On the plus side the feeling of achievement, the friendships both human and equine, the simple joy of standing in the muckheap on a January morning to thaw your feet out, a horse huffing horsey breath into your hair cos it's got its head resting on yours (particularly poignant after a garlic and molasses feed...) and the welcoming whinny when a particularly beastie sees you are all things I miss very very much.


http://www.blood.co.uk. You get biscuits and everything.
A'Stanley A'Stanley!

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Mick,M
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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Mick,M » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:14 am

Well its all been said, IMHO go to Tournament Stud and have a word with nickyn she'll put you straght :lol:



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Lady Roos
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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Lady Roos » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:17 pm

Agree with above. :thumbup:


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Cat
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Re: Best way to start learning to joust

Postby Cat » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:34 pm

Nicky N being the tall, lively lass who was at Kelmarsh?


http://www.blood.co.uk. You get biscuits and everything.
A'Stanley A'Stanley!


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