Horse Sense

The final item on Horsemanship 1 checklist is:

11. Demonstrate safety and common sense when working around horses

This is something our examiners make note of during the whole of the horsemanship assessment. We want to see that you are calm, confident, and sensible while handling your horse. Most candidates are very good at staying clear of the kicking zone and handle the horses well.  However marks are often lost for these common mistakes:

  • Horse is unsecured at some point.  For example, the candidate has not kept the connection of arms and halter around the horse's neck while switching from bridle to halter or vice versa.
  • Lead rope coiled around hand or dragging on the ground while leading.  The first could cause broken fingers; the second is a tripping hazard for handler and horse.
  • Reins hanging down to ground.  Not just a tripping hazard, but could also cause a broken bridle or an injured mouth if the horse steps on them.
  • Human feet in danger of being stepped on, either when leading or picking hooves.
  • Stirrups not run up when leading the horse.  This could spook a horse when the stirrups bang against his sides, or get caught in doors and gates.

While we don't give specific turn-out marks at this level, your own attire should be safe as well.  This includes:

  • closed-toe footwear to prevent foot injuries
  • well-fitting clothing: no loose or flowy bits to spook horse or snag on tack
  • long hair tied back
  • minimal and safe jewelry: necklaces worn inside shirt; no dangly earrings or large rings
  • gloves available

For a good review of safe handling techniques with a tied horse, we can revist Ally and Noah

Bonus QuestionHow could you improve the way Noah is tied?

This brings us to the end of the Horsemanship 1 series of blog posts.  If you are planning to assess in the near future you can go back and review them all by selecting the 'horsemanship level 1' tag. Even if you're looking at level 2 or higher, these make a good pre-assessment review, as all the material builds on this base.

Next week I'll start a series of posts focussing on riding tips.

Upcoming Events

There are no Cavaliere courses this weekend, which will leave you free to attend the Kassai Horseback Archery Tournament.  Here are the details from our friends at Borsos Torz Horse Archery Club:

Saturday May 26th  Horseback archery competition is for Kassai members only.  Afternoon is the foot archery competition open to any archer, no compound bows. We might throw in some swords, spears, tomahawk, whip show, games to spice
it up. Saturday night is a cooking competition every team group has to feed
their warriors and guests.


Sunday May 27th Open Kassai Horseback Archery World Cup. Any horseback archer can participate as long he signs and accepts the Kassai rules, our track etiquette, and can demonstrate safe riding and shooting: at least one arrow from a cantering horse.  The results are posted on www.horsebackarchery.comKassai World Cup. We don't provide horses for competition but if you make friends you can borrow some.


We are located in Mount Currie on a Native Indian reserve. The property isaround 10 acres. Last May we hosted the Native Unity ride with 51 horses riders and their support team. Camping is free of charge with two outhouses and running water, solar shower, summer kitchen.

For more details go to:

Sadly, I can't go due to Pony Club testing happening the same weekend.  But I sure hope some of you will!


Mounted Games

If you can't make it as far as Mount Currie but still want to get your equine fix in, you can come down to Joe Brown Park in Surrey to cheer on the Pony Club members in the Prince Phillip Games playday this Sunday, May 27th, from 9:30am - 2:30pm.  This is the last playday before the finals, so competition is heating up!

K_wizard_b El_wizard

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.