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On Horsemanship

Posted on by jenniferlandels

The final item on your Blue Spur checklist is: Read and demonstrate an understanding of Xenophon’s On Horsemanship. Written around 300 BCE by Xenophon the Greek, On Horsemanship is the oldest known complete work on the care and training of riding horses.  (There is an older Hittite treatise on conditioning chariot horses, and an incomplete text by Simon of Athens,…

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Throwing Your Weapon Away … from Horseback

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Blue Spur: Throwing a Spear from the Saddle The final Mounted Games item in the Blue Spear checklist is: Safely throw a javelin from the halt and walk without emphasis on accuracy. Since we don't even ask you to hit a target, this is, (in a sense) even easier than the earlier requirement of hitting a target from the ground. …

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Learning to Let Go: couching and releasing the lance

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Blue Spur Mounted Games: couching and releasing the lance At the Blue Spur you are not expected to do actual combat with the spear, or even joust against the quintain.  However, we do want you to be able to: Demonstrate couching and releasing of the lance. Couching 'Couching' refers to holding the spear in one hand and tucking it under…

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Cutting at the Canter

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Blue Spur Mounted Games: Block Cutting The second mounted games skill we ask you to demonstrate for the Blue Spur is cutting to the blocks: Cut and thrust four out of five block targets using a synthetic or wooden sword in good form, three times in a row, while at a trot or canter. The blocks, which are roughly 3"…

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The Brass Ring

Posted on by jenniferlandels

What do fairground rides have to do with mounted combat?  A lot, it turns out. [caption id="attachment_15451" align="alignright" width="300"] Ring-spearing on the antique carousel at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris[/caption] The children's game of spearing rings from the back of carousel horses descends directly from knightly games.  In fact even the word 'carousel' comes from the Italian 'garosello' or 'little…

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Throwing your Weapon Away

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Blue Spur: The Thrown Spear The spear is not only a useful weapon for mounted and ground encounters, it is also beautifully aerodynamic and easily balanced for throwing.  Even stone-age spears were designed to be thrown, and this function of the shorter spear lasted all the way through most of history, to the modern sport of javelin.  Aside from its…

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Manoeuvres of the Spear

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Blue Spur: Disengages and Slips of the Spear Once you have learned to find, gain, and strike with the spear, we increase the complexity of drills by asking you to: Demonstrate manoeuvres of the spear: disengages, counter-disengages, and slips. Disengage A disengage, or cavazione, is often performed in response to having been found.  In its simplest form, your aim is…

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Gaining Advantage

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Blue Spur: Finding & Gaining the Spear Last week we looked at the three advantages of True Edge, Leverage, and Crossing as they apply to the spear or polearm. This week we are examining the mechanics of finding and gaining. Finding the Spear To find your opponent's spear, cross your spear tip over top of your opponent's debole.  The amount…

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Finding Advantage

Posted on by jenniferlandels

In the last two posts on spear fundamentals we looked at attacks and defenses of the spear.  For your Blue Spur you will also need to Demonstrate finding and gaining against another spear. Those of you who fight with rapier will be very used to the ideas of finding and gaining.  If you spar with a longsword you will also…

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Defences of the Spear

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Blue Spur Spear Fundamentals: Basic Defences from the Ground Last week we looked at attacks with the spear as demonstrated in the Blue Spur curriculum; this week we'll focus on defences.  There are six defences to practise: three from the high ward and three from the low ward. Defences from the High Ward Forehand (against a high attack to the…

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