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    Posted December 28, 2012 by
    Front Royal, Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Weekends in America

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    Medieval Equestrian Weekends

    This is an addition to my first report on a Blast from the (Medieval) Past. I thought it might be useful to show that we do more than just Joust from horseback.

    While Jousting can be fun (and sometimes dangerous), there are many other games and activities we can do with the horses. One of them is archery from horseback. Anyone who has learned how to shoot a bow can attest to how important it is to maintain a certain steady form to ensure accuracy. Well, when you are bouncing on a horse, that doesn't work very well. It's a lot more difficult and while I have hit the target, I just haven't been able to score any points yet. Both me and my wife Laura have been practicing a bit but it is very challenging not only to shoot the bow, but also nock another arrow while riding. Still it's a wonderful challenge and gives both us and the horses something else to work on.

    Besides archery, we also can dress up the horses in medieval caparison, or covering, and go for a ride with friends. This type of covering is usually embellished with some form of heraldry to help people identify the rider. The caparison my horse Mac is wearing has a yellow Sun on it that was hand sewn by my wife Laura and it only 1 element of my heraldry. I still have to work on the other elements.

    We also practice various medieval type games from horseback as well as working to maneuver the horses through a type of obstacle course. Sometimes we use a wooden sword to knock off wooden rods from the tops of poles. Other times we use a pointed spear to catch rings off a pole or to pick up a target from the ground while on horseback. All of these games require a lot of practice as you have to keep one hand free for the weapon while the other hand helps control the horse (assuming the horse lets you).

    All of these games and activities help keep us and our beloved horses happy and in shape. Plus it allows us to meet new people and gives us an excuse to go visit them on our weekends.
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