The Mounted Combat Progression

The last item on the falsemount checklist for the Blue Spur is

Demonstrate the mounted combat guards and show their use.

To review the 13 mounted combat guards take a quick look at this video:

You don't need to know all the many uses of each guard, or the alternate names, but should be able to demonstrate at least one action (defence or attack) from each.

  1. Vera Croce, 'true cross' - an all-purpose resting guard, useful for simply riding while carrying the sword.  Many attacks and defences are available in short tempo from this guard.

    bicornu w spear
    Bicornu / Vera Croce with spear
  2. Posta Bicornu, 'horned guard' - similar to a couched lance, this guard is useful for collecting the opponent's sword, and delivering a counterthrust.
  3. Finestra Destraza, 'window guard (right)' - an excellent guard for shedding the opponent's sword across the horse, it is very easily followed up with a mandritto.
  4. Dente al Cinghiara, 'the boar's tooth' - with the wrists crossed, the sword is hidden from your opponent's view by your horse's shoulder (when passing right to right), making this very much a refused guard.  It's an excellent guard from which to deliver true- and false-edge deflections.

    Cinghiara Disteza
    Cinghiara Disteza
  5. Cinghiara Disteza, 'boar's tooth extended' - also known as coda longa sinestra, this is simply cinghiara with the sword pointing back along the flank of your horse.  It can deliver a more powerful rising cut on the left than simp cinghiara and protects the side of the horse as you pass your opponent.  We also sometimes refer to this guard as sopro braccio, especially when the sword hand is slightly higher.
  6. Guardia di Testa, 'head guard' - as the name implies this guard protects the head -- of both you and your horse and defends the right side (if you are right handed).
  7. Posta Longa, 'long guard' - most commonly seen as a cavalry charge or lance guard, the extended sword makes a powerful thrust, especially combined with the velocity of a horse.  Coming into two-point and bending low over the horse's neck decreases your opponent's targets and extends your reach even more.
  8. Finestra Sinestra, 'window guard (left)' - this guard protects the head, shedding the opponent's sword to the right, and is easily followed by a roverso.
  9. Coda Longa e Disteza, 'long tail, extended' - often arrived at as an attempt to get a final strike in passing, it also protects your horse's haunches from your opponent's following strike.
  10. Guardia di Facia, 'face guard' - the matching guard to testa, this protects the high line (face) on left side of the horse.

    Posta di Dona Sinestra
    Posta di Dona Sinestra
  11. Posta di Dona Sinestra, 'lady's guard (left)' - like vera croce (and posta di dona on the right shoulder, which is not part of this progression) this is a good resting guard from which many attacks and defences are available.
  12. Coda Longa e Larga, 'long and low tail' - we fondly nicknamed this one 'stabba di peasant', because it is a thrust against an opponent on the ground.  It can be used to protect your mount's legs from infantry attacks as well.
  13. Guardia Alta, 'high guard' - aside from a victory salute after stabbing the peasant, the high guard is useful for delivering attacks to most targets with descending or ascending blows and thrusts.

To prepare for your blue spur assessment, practise moving fluidly through the guards as well as delivering attacks and defences from all 13 both from the ground and a falsemount.

Next week we'll shift our focus back to Horsemanship, and begin looking at the level 3 requirements.

Upcoming Classes & Workshops

Cavaliere Classes
Saturdays 28 June, 16, 23 & 30 August
time: 4:00 – 7:30pm
cost: $60 1 flex-pack credit

This Saturday is the last Cavaliere class before we take a break in July.  We will be running riding and horsemanship assessments.  If you want to assess your levels please let us know ahead of time.  Classes will resume in August.  If this is too long a time to spend out of the saddle, remember you can use your package credits for private riding lessons.

Open Barn
Come out and practise your horsemanship, riding or sword skills at our monthly Open Barn.  This is a chance to work on the areas you need to.  Riders must have their level 1 riding or equivalent, but those without level 1 can work on grooming, handling and swordplay.

date: Sunday 29 June, 1-4pm
cost: $10 to ride a school horse; for horsemanship or with your own horse, free!

Cross-country schooling
Friday 4 July
time: 6-8pm
cost: $60 or 1 flex-pack credit
pre-requisite: Riding Level 2

Starting at 6pm I will take two groups of up to 4 riders cross country schooling in the back fields.  Riders must have a minimum of riding level 2.

Prix Fiore Workshop
Friday 11 July, 6-8pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op
cost: $60+gst or 1 flex-pack credit
Instructor: Jennifer Landels
Pre-requisite: Riding level 1 or permission from the instructor

We had so much fun at the last Prix Fiore workshop I've decided to squeeze another in before I leave in July.

Intro to Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 6 July
time: 10am – 1pm
location: Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $149

A taste of everything in the program.  Learn about grooming and tacking up, get some swordplay fundamentals, and ride a horse with sword in hand.
prerequisites: none

Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 6 July
time: 1- 4pm
location: Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60

Swordplay from the ground, the falsemount, and from horseback.
prerequisites: Intro to Mounted Combat or permission from the instructor

Mounted Games Practice
Fridays, 18 & 25 July
time: 5-7pm
cost: $5; $15 with use of school horse
pre-requisite: Riding Level 1

Practise your hand-offs, pick-ups, put-downs and flying changes to improve your chances at Carosella this September.

Mounted Combat Skills
Sunday 27 July
time: 1-4pm
location: Academie Duello
cost: $60 or 1 flex-pack credit

This on-the-ground session is vital for developing your swordplay, spear and wrestling skills and to sign off your green and blue spur checklists.  Sessions take place at Academie Duello on the ground and from the falsemount.

Private & Group Riding Lessons
Mondays 30 June, 7 & 14 July, 5 – 8pm

To make up for the lack of Cavaliere Classes in July I will be adding some extra private and group lessons.  I currently have spaces available on Monday evenings in June & July  Some Wednesday & Tuesday spaces are available as well.  Contact me directly at jennifer (at) to book.

Mark your Calendars

Beginner & Intermediate Horseback Archery: Saturday 9 August

Carosella 2014: Friday – Sunday 12-14 September


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.