Organize a Processional
This article is in progress.
by Mistress Kerij-e
A processional is defined by the An Tir Book of Horse as <definition here>.
- Even if there is only one horse, there still needs to be an EMIC and the insurance has to be activated.
- Confirm with the autocrat that horses can be brought into the court area. Arrange for a wide aisle (enough space at the end to turn around) and a "holding" area near court. We have found that for courts after fighting, that leaving up one eric makes a great place for everyone with the horse to wait.
- Recruit Outwalkers. 1 or 2 at the head and 1 beside the rider. The one beside the horse needs to be able to potentially snatch the person off the horse or catch them if they bail. Someone with a bucket and fork should be standing by.
- If the Royals are not part of the processional, ask permission to bring a horse into court and get onto the schedule.
- Plan an egress and regress route.
Horse for the processional
- Choosing a horse is critical to success. A calm horse that doesn't mind people, that can stand be led and stand fairly quietly is good. If being ridden by a particular large or awkward person, a horse that isn't upset by an off-balance rider will stand quieter. A horse that doesn't mind a slack or loose rain is also good.
- The saddle used should be easy to get in and out of. Portuguese saddles and jousting saddles are particularly difficult.
If you are using an English saddle, I recommend a "jump strap" for the rider to hang onto if they are feeling off balance.
- Bridle and bits. It is up to you and the horse owners if you want the riders to actively use the reins. Some people clip "fake" second reins onto the cheek pieces to give the rider something to hold onto. Some people prefer to use bitless bridles. Do not assume that the rider knows anything about using reins and warn them not to yank on them. Remember, for riders at this level, they will be led, so they don't need to steer.
Mounting and Dismounting your riders
I highly recommend doing this away from court. Have the horses ready, decked out, and have lots of treats ready! If rider is dismounting in court, have them practice getting off. Preferably on to a mounting block (or box). If a lady is being assisted (ie: lifted off her mount by a gentleman) have them practice. Make sure skirts are being handled so she doesn't flash the populace.
- Remind riders, to remove dangling items such as:
* Knight chains, long necklaces, and chains of state
- Always provide a mounting block, the taller the better.
- Hold the rider's garmet, cloaks, trains, etc. while mounting.
- Hold the offside stirrup. Inexperienced riders tend to stand in the stirrup longer.
- Common mistake for inexperienced riders. Not putting their foot into the near stirrup before mounting. Trying to "throw a leg over" from the mounting block.
- Riders dismounting sometimes drag or hang off the reins. Sometimes they drop them completely. Make sure someone is always holding the horse.
Waiting for Court to begin
Hopefuly you've managed to not have to wait.
- Keep an eye out for dogs and small children, both tend to dart out.
- Watch for big feather hats. Don't know what is about Landschkenchts, but horses hate 'em!
- In warm weather if you are standing around for a while, you may want to flip caparisions and long skirts to keep the horses comfortable.
After the riders have dismounted, the outwalkers should bow, turn the horse and leave. If the horse has left any gifts, this is the time to remove them.
- As you are leaving, be aware of what is going on in court. It is not uncommon for a cheer to go up before you've cleared court.
I recommend returning directly to the equestrian area, usually only the poop carrier, the person leading, and a few outwalkers are needed.