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6907New Riders

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  • henrikofhavn
    Dec 3, 2007
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      Speaking about fighters riding at events, it comes to mind that
      availability of a horse for them to try out is much more of an issue
      than many might think. First of all, it seems to me that most people
      who have regularly been offered a private horse to ride within the
      past 4 years, here in The West ( and I suspect elsewhere as well) are
      either Royalty or special interest people such as knights or
      Principality or Kingdom Guard members, who are asked to get active in
      Equestrian activities in some fashion or are otherwise personally
      motivated to do so. It seems only under such conditions that some
      horse owners offer the use of their own mounts for others to ride,
      and it is usually only a few who do so. As a result most non owners
      are left to finding a mount on their own, if they want to ride at
      all. This usually requires not only motivation on their part, but
      also knowledge of resources that they can access, be it a private
      stable, rental facilities or owners of horses they can arrange to
      ride and usually access to some form of instruction as well. In some
      cases it requires knowing that a variety of methods of horse access
      are possible and arrangements such as sponsorships are not only
      common, but who to contact to enter into such an arrangement and what
      problems are to be avoided and how to do so. And most if not all
      these options don't provide a horse at events to ride and
      participate and compete with other riders , on. That involves
      transportation and stabling issues that are even more expensive and
      restrictive in terms of time and money ( not to mention ability and
      experience )as well.

      For a novice these can be daunting obstacles to riding in the SCA. I
      know many SCA riders try to help new riders overcome such deterrants
      to riding and certainly the new handbook has reduced a few more, but
      some potential riders have other barriors as well, be they social,
      financial, scheduling, location or other. Again I say rental horse
      availability offers a partial , but significant solution to this
      delema. Another is for private horse owners to consider freely
      offering thier own mounts to others to at least try out some
      activity, if only for 15 minutes, at events. I realise there is a
      certain degree of risk in doing so, and I don't mean anyone should be
      allowed to get on a strange horse at will. Caution and good sense
      should strongly apply here. But it seems to me that owners have
      behaved in a rather conservative manner, here in The West, and have
      not offered horses to others to get acquainted with, much less ride,
      as a whole. Even offers of the use of a horse to expereinced riders
      seems rare. Only a few owners are the exception to that trend, and
      they demonstrate that over and over on a continuous basis. I think
      every owner should consider making their horse more available to non
      riders in some fashion, even if only to pet. We should all work to be
      ambasidors to the horse world, especially to non onwers at all times.
      (I know too that a few individuals have abused the privalige of
      riding a privately owned horse, going beyond the owner's stated
      restrictions, when offered the horse to ride, and this can be a
      problem as well. But these are usually issues that are individual in
      nature and can usualy be dealt with as such by the people involved.)
      Opening up the activities of the equestrian community to all members
      of the known world, on an inclusive basis rather than an exclusive
      basis, seems like something we should all strive for, each to our own
      degree and each in our own fashion. I'm not saying anyone is wrong in
      what they do, only that I feel we could and should do more to get non
      participants involved with horses in some way in the SCA.

      "Do a good Equestrian Deed daily!"

      Henrik of Havn
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