This post was originally published on Academie Duello’s blog in April 2013, and is part of a series detailing the requirements for the Green Spur, or first rank of the Mounted Combat program.
Blue Spur candidates are able horse-keepers with basic equine first aid knowledge, and are riding at a level that includes cantering, small jumps, and a secure and confident seat. Swordplay from the falsemount and horse are part of regular training, and spear is added to the repertoire of weapons. Accuracy and control are tested in mounted games, and Blue Spur candidates will have the opportunity to display these skills in public tournaments.
The Blue Spur Requirements include:
- Horsemanship levels 2 & 3
- Riding levels 2 & 3
- Swordplay from the Ground
- Swordplay from the Falsemount
- Spear Fundamentals
- Mounted Games
- Reading of Xenophon
How long will it take to get my Blue Spur?
As with all ranks, this varies from student to student, and depends on how often you ride and train. For a student attending on the Integrated Program, which includes two Cavaliere Classes and one Mounted Combat workshop per month it would take about a year to cover all the curriculum material, which breaks down like this:
- Horsemanship level 2: two months (4 classes)
- Horsemanship level 3: four months (8 classes)
- Riding Level 2: six months (12 classes)
- Riding Level 3: six months (12 classes)
- Mounted Combat checklist: approximately 8 workshops
Achieving Riding level 3 is probably the most difficult part of the requirements if you haven’t been riding a long time prior to starting the program. There is no substitute for time in the saddle, and a rider working towards her Blue Spur should expect to take advantage of as many Open Barns, Games Practices, and additional riding opportunities as possible. Part leasing a horse, or taking additional riding lessons is also highly recommended.
Over the next few months I’ll cover the Blue Spur requirements in greater detail. You’ll be able to find these articles under the tags “Blue Spur”, “Horsemanship” and “Riding”.