||"No Time Is Ever Lost That Is Spent In The Saddle"
--Sir Winston Churchill
Have you ever received "the blank stare"? Seems to happen to me A LOT! Mostly when I'm explaining to just about ANYONE in Los Angeles why I'd rather be mucking stalls & playing with my Queensland Heeler at 6 a.m. than taking urban-assault yoga, schmoozing with Hollywood-types, or reviewing the latest "new age" hoopla over fashion-conscious coffee at Starbucks. Ugh!
Granted I was born on the wrong side of the Atlantic to be a "real" cowgirl, but I'd like to think I've been relatively well converted.
This site is an attempt to highlight my interests and, hopefully, satisfy all those friends and family members who want to see the latest pics, or hear about my wacky horse-related hobbies, which include: Showing and training Tennessee Walking Horses importing training and selling North American Single Footing Horses, Jousting and doing other medieval equestrian games, oh, and occasionally chasin' cows too!
|The Altavia Equestrian Guild
In 2003 I helped found the Barony of Altavia's Equestrian Guild, a medieval/historical reenactment group. Altavia is geopolitical group of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA...www.sca.org). The Barony of Altavia includes most of the Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and is a component of the Kingdom of Caid (Southern California).
Practices are informal and a lot of fun! Period garb for you and "barding" (the period drapery or strapping) for your horse is optional but very welcome. Loaner garb and barding is available upon request.
To join the group's eList, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AltavianEquestrian/
We practice several types of medieval equestrian games which were once used to train kinghts and soldiers in the art of mounted warfare. Many of these games are still practiced in some form in modern times as "gymkhana" games, so for those equestrians who are new to the SCA, many of the games will feel familiar!
Here's a description of some of MY favorite medieval equestrian events!
Ring Tilt - A classic display of accuracy with lance or spear. Rings of various sizes are suspended from an metal or wooden arm and riders attempt to spear them on the tip of their weapon.
Quintain - A display of lance work against a simulated opponent. A shield is attached to a horizontal arm that rotates about an upright post. A padded, weighted bag may be attached opposite the shield. The rider approaches, with lance couched and strikes the quintain as would have been done to an approaching opponent.Beheading the enemy - Simulate heads are set on poles at predetermined intervals. Riders weave between the poles, striking the heads from the poles with simulated sword. This is a timed event.
Pig Sticking (or Potato sticking)- Spearing objects on the ground. Targets or simulated heads are placed on the ground and the rider attempts to spear the object with his lance.
Javelin Toss - Throwing a javelin through a ring or at a target in a hay bale as the rider goes by.
Quest - A test of skill or intelligence. A trail ride with points to locate, puzzles to be solved and/or skills to be demonstrated.
What Are Singlefooting Horses?
My mother and I occasionally import North American Singlefooting horses from a breeder friend in North Western Alberta, Canada. It all started in the Fall of 2002 with the purchase of Equinox Shir Khan, a NASHA-registered single footing horse who is also a Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse (KMSHA) and eligible for Rocky Mountain Horse registration (RMHA).
Next thing I knew, I was putting more people in touch with Shir Khan's breeder and now Equinox D'Artagnon, Equinox Stormy Weather, Equinox Beauty...and quite a few more are living in the U.S.
You could say it has snowballed!
Singlefooters are a "gaited" breed of horse. They have a smooth, no bounce, lateral gait for miles of pleasureable, comfortable riding. Still a relatively small registry, NASHA horses incoporate the "best" traits found in lots of other "gaited" breeds built on a foundation of mountain horse bloodlines.
The NASHA horses I am importing are not bred for showing. They are selectively bred to be your perfect trail riding companion, and make excellent prospects for Competitive Trail Riding, Endurance, Ride & Tie, Mounted Orienteering etc. It just so happens, they will also do you proud in a show ring too!
Horse Sales, Conditioning, Training & "Other Stuff"
I'm an amateur. I've been around, on, under or with horses for most of my 30-something years. I do enjoy starting, training and conditioning my own horses and sometimes work with friends horses too. I also volunteer for a therapeutic riding program and I'm often keeping my eye out for suitable mounts for handicapped children and adults to ride. If you would like more information about what I do and what I'm looking for, email me!
The "singlefoot" Gait
The horse who started it all: Equinox Shir Khan, NASHA/KMSHA being ridden by my mother, Sally.
Shir Khan is enjoying an endurance riding career now.
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