Chivalric Equitation is the term that encompasses all of the phases of a modern competitive jousting tournament. Generally, these consist of Jousting, the Melee and Skill at Arms challenge courses.
At the a’Plaisance Academy, our training program will teach the necessary skills for a student to eventually compete in full armour in the joust and melee or, for those whose interests lay in a more refined form of riding, in a skills based course which challenges both the horse and rider. For those who feel their talents are best displayed on the ground, we have opportunities in our Tournament Support Program.
The joust, which first became popular in France in the mid-11th century, is a military exercise carried out, not in the knight’s spirit of hostility but solely for practice and the display of prowess.
The goal of jousting is to simulate a clash of heavy cavalry, with each participant starting at each end of the tilt and cantering forward at high speed with the intent to strike their opponent on their shield or armour with a 12’ wooden lance.
Our jousting program will teach the necessary skills required for a student to eventually compete in full armour with a 12′ long wooden lance against another armed and armoured competitor. Our goal is to teach dedicated historical equestrians to become internationally ranked jousting competitors.
Our foundational knowledge will teach beginning students the basics of how to handle the lance and ride in armour while staying in balance and control of your horse. We also teach experienced riders more refined riding and lance handling techniques to help expand their knowledge and skills with an eye towards historical styles and presentation.
The melee (or buhurt) was the main form of the tournament in its early phase during the 12th and 13th centuries.
This fast paced, mock combat consists of mounted knights fighting one another in a free-for-all with the goal of scoring as many hits with their tournament baton on as many opponents as possible.
Our melee training program combines weapon handling and advanced riding skills. We teach our students how to properly handle and use the tournament baton to efficiently control the fight, as well as the more advanced riding techniques needed to effectively maneuver their horse to gain advantage over their opponents.
If your interests lay in a more refined form of riding in a skills based course versus wearing armour and charging at an opponent, our Skill at Arms training may be of more interest to you.
In our Skill at Arms program, we teach students how to handle a variety of weapons on horseback (i.e. the ring lance, sword, javelin, bow, spear, etc.) while riding through a variety of obstacles while trying to score the most points.
A variety of mounted games, such as “Tilting at the Rings”, “Saracen Heads”, “Spear the Boar”, “Cabbage Slice”, “Shoot the Stag” and “Javelin Toss”, etc. are taught.
If you have no interest in competing or have little to no experience with horses, we still have a place for you!
The most important team in a tournament is our Tournament Support Crew. As many as 14 or more highly skilled people are needed to keep a tournament running smoothly.
We teach all of the positions on the tournament field such as the various forms of lance handling, scoring, judging, helping competitors with their armour and horses, resetting Skill at Arms courses and keeping the list and tilt safe for everyone.