The Well-Groomed Horse

Grooming the horse is one of the most important skill sets a rider needs to have.  It allows you to check your horse for injuries, helps increase the circulation to his skin and muscles, prevents chafing from dirt under the tack, improves his appearance, and provides valuable bonding time. As you progress through your Horsemanship…

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Steampunk Fights

Let’s start with an analogy, not only because I have faith that my readers understand analogies, but also because you’re guaranteed to understand this one: Jedi is to lightsabre as Steampunk is to Bartitsu Jedi don’t have to use lightsabres (in fact, I’m surprised there aren’t more who eschew them), it’s just appropriate and therefore…

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A Horse in Hand is Worth Two in the Field: catching & haltering

The second item on the Horsemanship Level 1 checklist is: 2. Enter, approach and safely halter horse in stall or paddock There are a myriad of videos out there, but really, you can’t do it much better than this little girl: (Just watch to about 1:35 – it gets a bit chaotic when her sister…

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Forteza Fitness in Chicago is doing some cool stuff!

My friends Greg Mele and Keith Jennings as well as associated others, including Tony Wolf, have setup a new salle of swordsmanship, Bartitsu and much more in Chicago. The centre is called Forteza Fitness and it is the new home of the Chicago Swordplay Guild and the Bartitsu Club of Chicago. They recently got some…

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Thursday Drilling Recap: Rapier Collection Drills

Every Thursday I get together with a few of my senior students and we work on drills, sparring exercises, and body mechanics.  Generally I have us stick to fairly fundamental exercises.   I personally just love working on fundamentals and have found that this is always where the greatest opportunity for improvement lies, no matter…

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Boxing a Kangaroo (bad idea)

We all have fond memories of this: And recently on Bartitsu.org, Tony Wolf reprinted an article from 1893 entitled “The Kangaroo as Prize Fighter” which discusses the change from the Kangaroo’s natural defenses into a human-like stance. It looks like this (not pretty): I think the appaling part of the 1893 article is the closing:…

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English or Western, part II

Last week we looked at the relative merits English and Western saddles.  This week we’re looking at the much thornier issue of reining style.  It’s one of the hardest adjustments to make when switching from one type of riding to the other, and proponents of each will often argue fiercely against the other. In dressage,…

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English or Western?

I’m often asked why we use English saddles in our Cavaliere program.  After all, doesn’t the western saddle, with it’s high pommel and cantle, better mimic the shape of the medieval jousting saddle?  Isn’t it easier for beginners to stay secure in the embrace of all that extra leather?  The short answer to both these…

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Horsey Holiday Fun

A mixed bag of (sometimes barely) equine related frivolity for you this week: Bronies Seriously?  When I heard this interview on Q a couple of weeks ago I had to do a reality check to make sure it wasn’t actually April 1st.  But apparently there’s a sub-culture of twenty-something guys who watch My Little Pony…

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War Horse

I don’t think I’ll be going to see the movie “War Horse”.  Not because I tend to find most Spielberg movies a bit too treacly, and not because most horse movies make me yell at the screen (why do movie makers think we won’t notice when they swap a 16 hand bay for a chestnut…

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Test your knowledge

The UK Pony Club has just launched a new ‘Pony Prep’ website: http://www.ponyprep.org/training.php While it is quite obviously aimed at the younger set, it nonetheless has some good instructional videos and simple quizzes you can take to test your knowledge: especially useful for those assessing Horsemanship level 1 on the 27th.  You don’t need to…

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