The Carosella Companion: your guide to the weekend

With just a few days left till Carosella 2013, here are the logistics, and some practical tips to help you make the most of your weekend.

Getting There

All the activities happen at Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, at 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond, south of Steveston Hwy, at the junction of Andrews.

Bus: take the 402 bus from the Canada Line Brighouse station.  Busses only run every half hour on weekends, so be sure to give yourself ample time to make your connections.

Cars:  the parking lot at the stable is reserved for instructors, organizers and Red Colt members and boarders.  There is street parking available on Andrews, and north of the farm on No 2 Road.  If you have a lot of equipment you are welcome to come into the parking lot to drop it off before moving your vehicle.

Trailers: horse trailers should be backed into the parking lot to unload, and then can be moved onto No 2 Road.  If you prefer to unload on the street, we have volunteers who can put out cones and direct traffic.


Registration is 9:30am each day.  Please check in and confirm your classes ahead of time, as workshops start promptly at 10am.

Participants in the Grooms’ Competition may check in at 8:45 on Sunday.

Carosella is open to the public during the following hours:

  • Friday: 10am – 7pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 4:30pm

What to Wear

Carosella takes place rain or shine, so dress for the weather and wear removable layers.

Riding (Intro to Mounted Combat, Riding, Horseback Archery, Mounted Games)

  • Mandatory:  helmet, and boots or shoes with a smooth sole or light tread and a 1-5 cm separate heel. Some loaners available.
  • Recommended: breeches or close fitting lower body wear, light gloves if desired.
  • Long hair should be tied back and jewellry removed.

Workshops on the Ground (Longsword, Grappling, Spear, Rider Conditioning, Unmounted Games)

  • Comfortable work-out clothing
  • Running shoes or comfortable boots (the grounds may be muddy)
  • Gloves for weapons work (optional but recommended)

Green Spur Tourney

  • Mandatory: riding boots, gorget and visored hockey helmet or similar head and face protection. Some loaners available.
  • Recommended: arming jacket or similar torso protection; elbow and shoulder guards; knee pads; padded or rigid gloves.


Richmond Pony Club will be running a concession on Sunday only, with coffee, snacks and soft drinks.  They will be taking pizza orders for lunch — place your order by 11am to take part.

For Friday and Saturday we recommend you bring bag lunches, or plan to take a break and drive to Steveston or London Landing.


There is some seating for the tournament available on hay bales and lawnchairs, but spectators are encouraged to bring folding chairs if desired.

Free Activities

  • Workshops, clinics, lectures and the tournament are free for spectators and auditors.
  • Tours of the grounds (and the chance to pet horses) will happen several times a day
  • On Sunday the Academie Duello performance team will be doing demos and giving free swordplay lessons.

Rules of Conduct

Horses, though by nature gentle, are large, unpredictable, easily frightened, and capable of causing injury to humans intentionally or unintentionally.  While every effort is made to maintain the safety of all participants and equines, students acknowledge that working with horses and in equine environments is dangerous, and the added use of weaponry and associated equipment even more so.

Students are reminded to abide by the rules, posted or verbally transmitted, of Academie Duello and Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op.  In addition, these safety guidelines apply:

  1. Walk, don’t run, in and around stables, paddocks and arenas.
  2. Do not enter the stalls, paddocks, or fields containing horses without permission of the instructor or horse’s owner.
  3. Do not feed anything to any animal without permission of the owner or instructor.
  4. Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements that may startle horses.
  5. Close and latch all gates and doors behind you.

Abuse or cruelty of any kind towards horses will not be tolerated.  Participants who are deemed to be handling horses roughly will be asked to desist.  Failure to comply will result in the participant being asked to leave the property.


  • Ask questions.  Organizers and instructors can be identified by their wine-coloured t-shirts.  Don’t hesitate to ask, whether its about the finer points of arm-locks from the saddle, or the location of the bathroom.
  • Pace yourself.  These are three long days outdoors.  If you are unaccustomed to riding or martial arts training you may find you reach your body’s limits by the end of the day.  Feel free to take a break at any time, or switch to a concurrent workshop if your muscles and brain need a change.
  • Hydrate and refuel.  It’s easy to forget to eat and drink.  Bring snacks and a water bottle.
  • Never mind the weather.  Although it’s often nicer in Richmond than in Vancouver, we do still get rain.  That never stopped knights on the march, and it won’t stop us.  But do bring a change of clothes so you can get dry.
  • Leave your nerves — and your pride — at home.  Everyone was a beginner at some point, and horses have a way of making even the most experienced of us look foolish from time to time.  Take a big breath and relax.  It will make it easier to learn, your horse will respond better, and you’ll have more fun.

Registration closes on Thursday.  For the complete schedule see the Carosella pages, and we’ll see you on Friday!Carousella logo

Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.