Another weekend, another training and this weekend it was Skill at Arms on the schedule. Finorio is getting more used to travelling and training with other horses. Yesterday it was so clear that he was a lot more comfortable and able to relax while there were lots of other horses in the arena. Joy!
Here are some pictures from the training.
Througout the warm up Finorio behaved exactly as a grown up should. He is still younger in his head than in his body, as he was backed properly through the winter a year ago, when he was turning 5 years old. Now he is 6 and is nowhere near the level of training that would be for his age, but we are not in a hurry.
First excercise was cutting cabbage, first two right after eachother. Then a small jump with a target right after, and the last one where the target was on the left side. My focus is mostly on Finorio and placing him properly within range of the targets. This is why the targets gets quite difficult to actually hit at times, as my focus is elsewhere. But this is training and each time we are getting better.
The next exercise was with a spear, but using it as a lance. First we start out by picking up the spear, then we have to turn it around, place it on the hip to secure it, before getting the rings, first ring on the left side, next ring on the right side and the last one by using the spear as a “half-lance”. The target is low, so you need to drop your arm and for those of us with slightly higher horses you need to drop the tip of the spear aswell to be able to get the ring. My problem with this last bit was that every time I dropped the tip, I hit Finorio on the bum when I was lifting it up again, making him go more forward when we were supposed to stop. More technique training for me, me thinks!
Last bit of the complete course was to use the spear as a spear. Staring out with the spear in hand, poking at the piglets on the ground then ride around and throw the spear at the boar. The piglets were placed at the exact same place where they had tarpolin in strips last weekend, so Finorio was slightly sceptical to go close to the fence here so we were never anywhere near the piglets, but we tried to get them nonetheless.
We did all of the elements in one go in the end, and Finorio did very well. After the skill at arms course we were going to have a melee. Due to several riders and horses with different experience. We first did a pracice with only riding and giving “high five” to other riders. After that we had a few go’s with sticks, but only three people with fencing masks and a crest. I ended up just riding because Finorio gets a bit excited in this event, as he seem to feel a bit threatened so he tries to defend himself. As I’ve written about before he gets affected by other horses energy and he gets defensive. I know he gets better once he gets used to it so we just need to get more practice.
Besides from that he behaved very well and I’m very happy with his progress, both in training and how he is behaving while travelling to new places.
The last part of the day we had two guys jousting in armor. Finorio hasn’t seen or heard armor before so I wanted him to stay in the arena to listen to the noise. When Ivar entered the arena in full armor, Finorio stared at him, jumped away and ran back to him to check him out. That’s the thing I love about the lusitanos, they jump when they se/hear something weird, but then they HAVE to check out what it is. He had to jump a few times more, but since I know my horse I had him in a halter and a long lead so he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted. This gives the horse more conficence since he can run a bit if he wants to. By the end of the session he wanted to follow the armored guy down the tilt, so mission acomplished!
Here is also a little video I put together from the events of the day.