And now for something completely different...
Mounted Crest Combat (ohh, ahh!)
Every rider affixes a crest to their helm, and the goal is to knock off your opponent's crest using boffer (foam covered) swords. We used fencing helms - a couple of which were available on loan from the barrony. (Mistress Rossilin seems to own some of every equipment imaginable...) Anyways, we only had three riders participate so the three helms we had were perfect.
We started out the day just warming up wearing the helms. They were different, for sure. But I didn't find it terribly uncomfortable, once I removed the barett from my hair which the helm was sitting on. I did, however, rather object to the fact that the fabric lining / harnessing inside cupped your breath straight back into your face. That was rather annoying to me. Nesta, however, had a different objection and found it kinda dizzying to ride in - out doors. She said indoors where it was darker anyways didn't bother her much. How strange. Anyways, none of the horses took even a first look at the helms, so that was a bonus.
Then - it started POURING down rain. We're talking a full on downburst. We'd moved the 100 gallon stock tank away from the area where a lot of water funnels off of the barn roof - so I dragged it back in place. And it took less than 10 minutes I think, for that to fill up. Granted, it's a large roof, but that rain was just coming down.
So we were kinda thankful we only had three riders that day. We went inside, because the Crest Combat doesn't require a lot of space. Rossilin and Nesta fixed velcro patches to the helms and to the bottom of some floral cones.
We started with very basic exercises of riding past eachother at close quarters. Then simple sword crosses as we passed.
And immediately it was interesting to see herd dynamics come out. All three of the horses were from our herd, and Jordan is the undisputed alpha of our herd. And Shadow, poor Shadow, is pretty much the undisputed omega. Getting them to approach within striking distance was challenging. Just look at Jordan's ears here:
LOL - Shadow knew better. At least things did get better through the session, but we need a lot more practice to tell these guys that when we are doing THIS, they need to set aside their prejudices. Yeah, good luck to us.
Getting more and more into it, we started some actual trying to hit the crest engagements. Here Jack is demonstrating one of his early panic attacks. Two or three sword hits were fine with him. Five or Six -- woah, man... he was OUT of there! (backwards) But he caught on pretty quickly.
In all it was just way fun to do something so unlike anything else we practice.