12282RE: Equestrian Arts
- Feb 2, 2014
Happy New Year of the Horse to you and everyone else interested in horses, either as owners, riders or spectators, too!
I just read your post and wanted to respond. As a member of the SCA who has been here since the beginning, almost 48 years ago, I agree , the SCA is indeed what you make of it. As the former King, who created the first Office of Equestrian Arts in the SCA, in the West Kingdom, back in AS V, I want to say, welcome to the Office of Equestrian Arts in The West Kingdom and I applaud your proactive approach to this Office. Not only is it an important aspect of good management technique, but I hope it will help Equestrian activities grow in popularity and activity in Our Kingdom and hopefully elsewhere in the Known World of the SCA
I feel that Equestrian Arts in the SCA can and should be more than simply a place where owners and fans of horses get together every once in a while, to be seen and to do horse stuff. As you say, horses were part of daily existence in Period, and although that is not true today, they can still be an important element in our recreating the desirable aspects of that time.
Horses can lend an important and inspiring element to SCA activity, not just for the riders and those who come specifically to watch them, but also for those who didn't know that they would be inspired or enthralled, and see them at an event, perhaps close up, for the first time. There is an often unexpected element of impact on spectators and their physical senses, by horses that the sound, feel of the vibration in the ground as they pass nearby, perhaps, and sometimes even smell of horses, as they interact with the activity at an event or simple practice, that can instill emotion, awe, entertainment, enlightenment and in some cases a sort of emotional epiphany as the beauty of the horse is realized, as it moves and responds to the activity it is engaged in. This is perhaps best realized where horses are involved with physically or emotionally compromised individuals, but is clearly also the reason that Horse shows and more specifically horse performances, be they in parades, circuses, Joust show theater such as Medieval Times offers, or special performances such as Cavalia ( http://www.cavalia.net/en/cavalia-show-1 ) presents.
Over the decades of my involvement in Equestrian Arts, both in the SCA and outside it, I hear from spectators, as well as owners and riders, how much they enjoy and appreciate the presence of such magnificent animals, as they are involved in the activities of the event. As time passes and society becomes less and less connected to the land and formerly common animal interactions of any sort, the importance and psychological impact of the presence of animals, especially such large, beautiful and impressive ones as horses, will continue to grow. It is up to us all to do everything in our power to help keep horses well and thoroughly involved in the SCA's slate of activities, so everyone can see, experience and understand as much "Of the Horse" as possible.
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