Monday, January 23, 2012

Preparing for Lysts on the Lake 2012

Well, it's getting to be that time again. Time to start preparing for "Lysts on the Lake 2012". This year Lysts will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 4,5 & 6, 2012. There are rumors that there will be a Chivalric Martial Arts International (CMAI) Syposium the week before "Lysts on the Lake" where experienced competitors can hone their skills, and those with little to no experience can learn the basics and compete against each other in a mini-tournament.

Since I am wife to one of the jousters who will be competing and am good friends with many of the other jousters, ground crew and participants, I can't help but become involved with it all. Not that I mind. I love the all the excitement and spectacle of contemporary competitive jousting. I feel honored to play my own small part in the largest competitive jousting tournament in the modern world.

Preparation has actually been going on for some time now. Planning for and participating in an annual event of this sort usually begins as soon as one finishes recovering from last year's event. Jousting, like many sports is not an on again, off again sport. You pretty much have to practice it year round. However, our group of friends began jousting practices specifically aimed at preparing for competing in Lysts 2012 a little over two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, two days before that first jousting practice, I tripped and fell while trying to move around some welded wire fence panels and broke my knee. Just a hairline fracture, but it's still causing me problems. I also did an unknown amount of damage to the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments) in my leg. So, although I attended that first practice at DASH's arena on January 8, I really wasn't paying much attention to what anyone was doing, and I did not get any pictures.

I did notice that my horse, Shadowfax, despite having not been seriously ridden in over a year, did pretty well. Hubby's horse, Ziggy, is 25 years old and although he is still very healthy in most ways, he's just getting a little too old for all the rigors of a competitive jousting tournament, so hubby has decided to see if he can train Shadowfax to joust. After this first practice, things seem promising.

Fortunately, JJ and her husband were at this joust practice. They took pictures and JJ wrote up a nice account of the practice on her blog, Wyvern Oaks: "A Fabulous Weekend of Riding" The first part of the post talks about a jumping lesson, but the latter part of the post discusses the jousting practice.

SG on Saga makes a pass at the quintain.(Thanks to JJ for the picture)

The next weekend, Jan 15, some other friends held a jousting practice to prepare for Lysts in Katy, Texas. I didn't make it to that one in any way shape or form. However, my hubby Foxfire drove down with SH in order to participate. Because Shadowfax had developed abscesses in both front feet, hubby decided not to take him, and instead helped SH train DA's horse Moose. You can see pictures of that practice in Fred Facker's Zenfolio album "Jousting Practice".

My next post will deal with the jousting practice on January 22 at DASH's arena.

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