Introduction to Mounted Skill At Arms - The Lance
I often think of the film "A Knight's Tale", which I love for the actors and equine bling... however our lances are somewhat different to jousting ones. For a start jousting lances are very, very heavy and designed for a game. The ones used in mounted skill at arms were issued to soldiers in WW1 and are more of the lighter stabby variety. Antiques are bamboo, and some are still in use today, but the majority of riders have swapped to carbon fibre, as for one thing checking a 9ft parcel onto an airline has posed a few problems, a sectional has lots of advantages.
What to expect if you attend a clinic?
The sessions generally involve a bit of "wooden" horse work (i.e. anything you can sit on that roughly resembles horse height).
This gives riders chance to practice holding the lance, so you get trained how to hold and maneuver the lance for the safety of your horse and others around you
Link to lance drill (on a bale of hay!) - with BTA's Major Puckey, who isn't acting, he is a living blackadder character!
Once the rider is happy we progress to mounted work, and work a lot in walk to get both horse and rider used to swinging the lance around... don't expect anything pointy to start off with as progression to a sharp tip lance is only once the instructor is happy with drill and one handed horse control.
Rings can be tried to get horses used to the equipment, our infamous "gallows", which tend to be a lot less scary than the name implies.
The main point is to have FUN, and this is ideal for any horse, its just a bit harder if you have a big horse and short legs!