You can’t document heads prior to the late 17th century, rings is barely in period and the source it is based on is questionable.  Pig sticking the way it is done in the SCA is pure stupidity from a hunting point of view. Who spears something that heavy and rotates it above their head?  So there go three of the “games” right out the window. The carry the princess doll, beer mug racing, egg and spoon and other 4H/pony club type games are not.  ( Sure “they might have” but can you document it?)   arena based “trail” challenges and the like are all modern day 4H crap.  Crests is not period, but wearing them is.  I can go on but I won’t.  There was and still a lot of “who is to say” stuff without documentation because that is easier than doing the research. ( I do research on equestrian stuff and don’t find it all that difficult other than the amazing lack of period resources on the topic)   LEDs on barding, sure they had them in the Middle ages , along with M-16s and Phantom jets.


So what is documentable? (At least what I’ve found and done research on)



Mounted Combat ( if you use clubben rules)


Mounted Archery

Thrown Spear and javelin


Polo like games (Asian/Middle Eastern)

Races ( They were a contact sport in some areas)

Hauling with a wagon or cart



Whatever that crazy Mongol ring game is called

“Stunt” riding


Stuff I’m looking for:


A better source for mounted sword training ( heads)  and rings.

 I am working on finding the obstacles and hazards a warhorse was trained to deal with. ( The one’s I remember are:fire/smoke, jumping, decaying corpses, loud noises, but there were at least six more) It is driving me crazy since I had the source in my hands back in Erie and can’t find it now.



I’m not saying that we should stop doing the 4H stuff or inventing new “might have been done” games, it would just be better if the stuff that is obviously modern or undocumentable wasn’t treated as if it were period and thus making the SCA look like romper room for medieval studies.

Take care,



From: Historical Recreation in the Kingdom of Calontir [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Eowyth ža Sišend
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014 2:18 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CALONTIR] Similarities to Equestrian Re: [CALONTIR] canine activities


Pageantry is period and most of the "games" that we do are in fact pulled from period sources (reeds, rings, quintain, heads), not to mention actual jousting & mounted combat. Those fall under the "weapons" activities, I suppose.

Also - racing - totally happened and may (or may not) have involved actual weapons. ;-) 

Now - the way that we run 'challenges', no, I don't believe that would have been in practice back then. But the elements that make them up certainly were. It was about practicing the skills needed & training the horses for what they needed to do. And who is to say that they didn't combine running at a target with a lance, to be followed swiftly with cutting the head off a dummy? Seems practical to me.


In Service,




On Wed, Dec 25, 2013 at 6:27 PM, Alexander Caithnes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Most of the stuff the eqestrians do that does.'t involve weapons is
modified games from
Pony Club or 4H. Why not research actual things instead of norrowing from
modern sources? To me, taking stuff from modern game sources is kust plain
lazy. If you eant to make stuff up, at least base it on something in
period. There are lots of illuminations out there to extrapolate from.

Take care,

> So, a little further investigation leads me to believe that the rules were
> written between 1558 and 1569.  Elizabeth didn't take the throne until '58
> and in '69, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk (the credited writer of the
> rules) was imprisoned for treason.
> I agree that we can't use a live rabbit.  We would have to modify the
> rules to allow for a mechanized rabbit.  We could run two dogs at once
> around a course and the winner would be the dog in the lead at a certain
> point.  Or perhaps the dogs get points for being in the lead at different
> spots along the course.  The issue I foresee is the two dogs deciding that
> the rabbit is less interesting than each other.
> As for other competitions, we should talk to the equestrian people to see
> where they came up with the various competitions they do.  I'm sure we
> could do something similar to an emprise.  I'm also picturing a small
> crane for a weight lifting competition.  I'll keep looking and see what I
> can find.  But I wouldn't restrict ourselves to only those things we can
> document.  More stuff to do = more fun for all.
> Murd