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Hands up! Jumping single-handed

Jennifer Landels  June 13, 2017
Categories: Mounted Combat, News, Programs
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Riding Level 4: Jumping single-handed

One of the skills we ask you to show in the Mounted Combat program that you won’t find in most riding curricula is the ability to

12. Jump a small x-rail with single-hand reining

This, of course, is a prequel to being able to jump with a weapon in hand.  Granted, most mounted combat occurs on the flat, and you will almost never have to spar over jumps.  However, Xenophon thought it important, and thus we do too.

It’s likely in your lessons leading up to Riding Level 4 that your instructor will have you jump hands free, so jumping with only one hand on the reins, should be simple.  However, here are some of the things we will be watching for:

  • Rather than a two handed crest release or a following release, your rein hand is centred over the horse’s neck.  It is acceptable to either rest the hand on the crest for support or to follow with a forward hand.  Either way be sure not to bump your horse in the mouth or restrict the motion of the neck.
  • The free hand can be on your hip or held up.  It should not be resting on the neck or the pommel, nor should it hover over these areas, ready to grab hold (if you need to grab mane, do so with your rein hand).
  • Your body and leg position should be the same as for regular jumping.  Because of the more forward hand, there is a tendency for some riders to hunch the shoulders or have a roached back.  Think eyes up, chest up, back supported … as always.

Summer Courses

Beginner Riding & Horsemanship

If you’ve never been on a horse, or if it’s been a long time, here’s the place to start.  When you arrive at the barn at 11am, you’ll begin with a horsemanship lesson, familiarizing yourself with the horses and their tack, as well as how to groom, handle and tack them up.  Then you will have a riding lesson, working through the requirements of Riding Level 1 — the prerequisite to most of the fun stuff we do on horseback!

Saturdays, 4pm – 6pm
3 Jun – 8 Jul
15 Jul – 19 Aug
cost: $300 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Register here, or bundle with Mounted Combat Fundamentals and save $36.

Riding & Horsemanship Level 2

This course is intended for riders who have taken classes through the program and are comfortable tacking up their own horses.  Riders should arrive at 9:30am, to tack up and warm up their horses before starting their riding lessons at 10am, followed by Horsemanship Level 2 or 3 lessons at 11am.

Saturdays, 5pm – 7pm
3 Jun – 8 Jul
15 Jul – 19 Aug
cost: $300 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Register here, or bundle with Mounted Combat Fundamentals and save $36.

Riding Level 3+

This class is intended for independent riders who have achieved Level 2 or higher.  Riders are expected to be tacked up and warmed up prior to class.  Your own helmets, boots, and half chaps are recommended, as are safety vests for the occasional cross-country class, weather permitting.

Saturdays, 4pm – 5pm
3 Jun – 8 Jul
15 Jul – 19 Aug
cost: $200 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Stephanie Laversin

Horsemanship Level 4

These classes cover the material for Horsemanship Level 4, including grooming, tack-fitting, nutrition, farriery, vet & first aid, conditioning, and shipping.  A level 4 assessment is included at the end of the series.  These series are only offered around twice a year, so don’t miss it!

Saturdays, 5pm – 6pm
3 Jun – 8 Jul
cost: $100 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Kate Landels

Mounted Combat Playday

Sunday 2pm – 5pm
13 Aug
cost: $15 + $15 for use of school horse

Come out and practise your mounted games, sparring, and archery in a fun and friendly environment.  Prerequisites are Riding Level 1 for mounted games, Riding 1 + Beginner Horseback Archery for archery, and Green Spur for mounted sparring.

Beginner Horseback Archery

Whether you are an expert rider or archer, or a complete beginner at both, this is your starting point.  You will spend about an hour and a half on the ground learning the techniques of Hungarian archery from the Kassai school.  After that, you will begin shooting from horseback while our handlers lead your mounts past the targets at the walk.  Experienced riders may have the option to try shooting at faster paces without handlers if they are competent and comfortable at the walk.

Sunday 6 Aug, 10am – 1pm
cost: $149 + gst
prerequisites: none

Intermediate Horseback Archery

If you have taken our Beginner course previously and have a minimum of Riding Level 1 or the equivalent this course is for you.  Riders with Level 1 will walk and trot, Level 2 Riders will be able to shoot at the canter.  Last time we practised multiple targets on canter circles — what will we get up to this time?

Sunday 6 Aug, 2pm – 5pm
cost: $75 + gst
prerequisites: Riding Level 1, Beginner Horseback Archery

Mounted Combat Fundamentals

This 6-week series of classes is intended to give you the basics of swordplay from the ground to prepare you for fighting from horseback.  Participants at this level will practise from the ground and the falsemount to achieve the combat skills needed to attain the rank of Green Spur. Students who have their Riding and Horsemanship Level 1 and who attend all five classes can reasonably expect to attain their Green Spur by the end of the series.  Once you have your Green Spur, you can sign up for Intermediate Mounted Combat, and can spar in our regular Playday event, as well as competing in our annual Carosella tournament.

Sundays 1pm – 3pm
16 Jul – 20 Aug
cost: $135 + gst for 6 classes
instructor: Aaron Lamontagne

Register here, or bundle with Riding & Horsemanship and save $36.

Ongoing Mounted Combat Mastery classes

These 2-hour sessions focus on the weapons skills needed to progress from Green to Blue Spur.  Regular tuition includes classes taken entirely from the ground (no riding skills necessary).
Sundays noon – 2pm
cost: 2 hours tuition
instructors:  Jennifer Landels

You can register for classes in person at the front desk, by calling 604 568 9907, or online here.

jenniferlandels 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.