At some SCA events you will see colorfully-attired riders and horses charging at one another with lances, and taking part in games of skill which squires and other mounted warriors practiced in the medieval period.
SCA equestrian activities include mounted combat, jousting with opponents using foam or wooden lances, and games such as jousting at rings, hitting the quintain, obstacle courses, and archery from horseback. Youths may participate in those equestrian activities that don’t require wearing a helmet.
Equestrian activities enhance the medieval pageantry at our events!
The knight, who was waiting ready armed inside his tent, came out eager to joust and mounted his horse. His shield was buckled on, he took his lance and placed it in the rest. Both men spurred at full speed towards each other until they met. They hit each other full on the centre of their shields, with such force that one or both must have fallen if the shields had not split.
Froissart’s Chronicles, 1369
Want to join the equestrian activities?
- Start by contacting your kingdom’s Equestrian Officer and visiting your kingdom’s equestrian website. Some kingdoms have Facebook groups or email lists for equestrians.
- On Facebook – SCA Equestrian is a public, unofficial group for equestrians across the SCA.
You can see pictures and details about equestrian activities at
the SCA Newcomers’ Portal
Society Equestrian Officer
Melissa Midzor (Dame Arabella da Siena)
firstname.lastname@example.org | additional Contact Info
Insurance for Equestrian Activities
When hosting an SCA event where horses will be present for use in SCA related activities, an Insurance Certificate must be ordered and kept on file.
Equestrian Insurance is mandatory for parades and demos where horses and riders are representing the SCA. When ordering the Insurance Certificate, use the name and address of the sponsor of the parade or demo.
Ordering instructions can be found on the Insurance page.
Note: When filling in the beginning and ending times of the event, make reasonable time allowances for early arrivals and late departures up to 24-hours pre and post the event dates.
You can email the Insurance Certificate Coordinator for current information about Equestrian Insurance.
(See the Documents page for additional equestrian announcements.)
ON MINOR WAIVERS (July 1, 2007)
Any minor participating in Equestrian Activities must have their parent or legal guardian sign for the minor on the adult Equestrian waiver (general or State specific, whichever is used by adults at the event/practice). Where the waiver says “Legal name”, write “<parent’s name> as parent/legal guardian on behalf of <minor’s name>“, and then have the parent sign.
EQUESTRIAN WAIVER POLICY CLARIFICATION (2017)
We have been quite fortunate in recent years to be able to enhance our historical recreation and event ambiance by involving horses more in our normal proceedings and activities. In addition to the typical equestrian activities traditionally enjoyed we now frequently have processions, demonstrations and folks just riding around at events on horseback. Along with the added enjoyment such inclusion affords come some inherent risks, however. Horses are large animals and while we are quite careful about oversight and control of all horses at events, we can never completely rule out the possibility of an incident occurring which could result in an injury.
In 2017, new Equestrian site waivers were developed, to be used at any SCA event at which Equestrian activities are held or such animals are present. They include the standard event waiver language and must be signed at the gate by everyone attending the SCA event, even those with an SCA membership card. Signing a second, separate waiver is no longer necessary.
If you are uncertain as to whether or not an event should require the additional Equestrian Waiver, please contact the Equestrian Marshallate in your Kingdom for clarification. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
CHILDREN UNDER 5 INTERACTING WITH HORSES AT SCA EVENTS (2014)
History: In the past, there has been inconsistent interpretation on whether or not children under 5 could interact with horses at SCA events, due in part to the Authorization minimum of 5 years old. After discussion with BOD legal, we have determined that we do not prohibit children under 5 interacting with horses. However, we do need to make sure we (the SCA) are not part of the decision process in any way to allow such interaction, and that the sole responsibility for any interactions falls upon the parent/guardian. Typical example: families with children under 5 used to care and feeding of their horses at home. Marshals always retain the right to stop any activity that endangers others or the SCA
Policy clarification: “Per Society Rules, minors must be 5 years or older in order to Authorize in Equestrian. For equine interactions and activities that do not require an authorization, the Society does not prohibit children under 5 years of age. However, the Society of Creative Anachronism, Inc., its organizers and agents, officials, servants, and representatives, are not and will not be part of any decision process concerning minors under 5 years of age and in equestrian interactions and activities. These decisions are solely the responsibility of the parents and horse owner.”
“The parents or guardians of minors must fully recognize and acknowledge that equestrian activities are inherently dangerous and must sign the Society Equestrian Waiver to acknowledge the inherent risks associated with equines. Parents or Guardians must fully accept any and all liability for any injury or death to a minor child arising from interaction with equines and the decision to participate is solely upon the parent or guardian.”
REQUIRED EQUESTRIAN PAPERWORK AT SCA EVENTS/PRACTICES (2014)
History: There has been a large variance in the application of the rule concerning required equine health paperwork at SCA events. Some eastern and southern kingdoms believed they were required to check Coggins and Health Certificates for every event. Verification of health paperwork is NOT an SCA requirement. It is a site-specific requirement. There are already state laws governing the required paperwork to cross state borders for a show/event. It is not our job to check compliance with state/interstate laws unless the site (or state) specifically requires it.
Wooden Lance Jousting Program
See under Equestrian Documents
Experimental Equestrian Activities
If you would like to take part in the approved experimental programs listed below, please review the details and get in touch with the person listed for each program.
Rossfechten (Mounted Combat with Additional Simulators) – Armoured knights fighting from horseback is an excellent example of the combat conducted in the Middle Ages. The experimental Rossfechten program (mounted combat with special simulators/weapons) extends the SCA’s entry level mounted combat activities into advanced levels, and provides an opportunity for SCA members to more accurately re-enact medieval combat and the techniques described in period fighting manuals. (See Rossfechten under Equestrian Documents)
Mounted to Ground Combat (draft rules release planned for spring 2020) – Two major elements of the SCA are medieval combat and research into medieval techniques and practices. Knights on horseback are the quintessential image in virtually everyone’s mind when you mention the Middle Ages. While a jousting tournament plays a big role, most people also envision medieval warfare between armies — complete with armored knights fighting against mounted and ground forces.
The Mounted-to-Ground experimental program will develop a methodology and set of procedures to enable fighters on horseback to safely engage with fighters on the ground (and vice versa), with the goal of conducting Ground to Mounted combat scenarios.