Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to Ride Before a Prince

During the 16th century, riding evolved from its martial origins into an art form practiced by noblemen and kings. Instead of the medieval jousts and melees, horsemen began to display their skills in carousels, ballets, and individual performances. Grisone and Markham, two of the late 16th century riding masters, included in their riding manuals instructions on how to perform before a prince. The purpose of such a performance was to show a horse that was:
  “... just in pace, just in trot, in gallop, in carrier, in stop, in manage, in bounding, and finally, just of head, and just when he stands still, and to unite himself just with the will of his Rider that sits upon him.” (Grisone, p. 46)
This site provides basic guidelines of what the late 16th century riding masters considered essential to the comportment of the horse and rider, as well as an overview of the figures used in the 16th century menage. It is designed to provide modern reenactors with a starting point to recreate elements of these performances; I recommend reading the period authors for a more complete understanding of how to ride before a Prince.

Fiaschi riding before spectators, 1556

Copyright 2017 Jennifer Jobst

Please do not reproduce any part of this blog/web site without express permission from the author. She may be reached at jen jobst at gmail dot com.

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