Improving Your Game Scores: Rings

by Ed Carthall aka Earl Edward Ian Anderson, KSCA

I have been asked to give some of my insight on how you can improve your game scores. I will try to give some hints from time-to-time of what I do and think. I hope this will give you a better understanding of the games and improving your scores.

Rings in sight

This is one of the things that I think could improve your ring's score. I call it “riding though the ring.” It is a mind-set that I find works, if you can visualize the process. As with any martial art the mind is the best weapon. The mind needs to understand the all principles involved and this is just one that could help with getting your scores to improve. After you get the mind to understand you will need to train the body to do what the mind sees.

But the first step is to get the mind to understand how to accomplish the task.


Think about riding the tip of the lance though the rings, instead of trying to take the ring, with the lance tip.

Most people think that they need to take the ring. If you are trying to take the ring you will be reaching and leaning to get the ring. The problem is that you may not feel the change in your seat on the horse, but there will be one. When you are reaching, your weight will shift slightly. This will affect your seat on the horse, and that will affect your horse. She/he will try to move in the direction you are leaning or reaching. This then changes your set-up for the next ring. You will need to compensate for the side movement of the horse and this will mess up your aim. Sometimes, on a very good horse, it will cause them to do a flying change of lead that will move you both about two feet sideways, totally missing the ring. This will happen just as your lance gets to the ring because that is when you are reaching for the ring and inadvertently shifting your weight.

All of this movement has caused your tip to move more than you want it to and you will have lost sight of the ring and the tip, all at the last instant.

So what you want to do is keep calm in a settled seat. Now pick a focus point beyond the ring.  Line up lance tip, ring, and focus point in a straight line. Now ride in a straight line to that point. In the process, I find that I get the ring onto the lance tip.

This is the one skill that will improve your scores more than any other.  So, to recap:

• Keep thinking about not reaching for the ring, and keeping a settled seat.
• Think that the ring is a point in space that you need to move the tip of the lance through.

This skill will become more important when you start the jousting with an opponent. As is the original purpose of the rings, it is to train for the joust and as we are practicing the joust, we are finding it helpful.

I hope this will help with this one game.

Email-me if there are questions about a topic you would like me address. ERIDU@PACIFIER.COM

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