Tiny Tim

For people who knew Stormin’ Norman, Tiny Tim is a smaller version lookalike!  His breeding is not identified in his passport but he has the appearance of a cob and has already proved himself to be an amazing boy!  Over the weekend of 31 October/1 November 2015 (only a matter of days after he was bought by David Whyte) he attended his first SY training weekend and excelled in each and every discipline!  Nothing seems to phase him.  He is certainly a horse to look out for! [In case anyone is worried – it isn’t a rose in David’s left ear, it is a Remembrance Day poppy!]

Skill-at-Arms training video

Video

As referred to in our Advertorial, Bernie Barker is the person who helped John Dudeney open up the sport of tentpegging/mounted skill-at-arms to civilian riders in the UK to take part in.  This video was made by Bernie some years ago.  He planned to make a complete training film for mounted skill-at-arms and tentpegging.

Sadly this project was never finished but what does exist is both very informative and useful.  A great deal has changed in the sport since the video was made.  However, the principles have not.

 

Training

As did the Yeomanry regiments of yesteryear, our Group puts great store in training.

Think of the 8 P’s – Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Pathetic Performance!

Our training encompasses not only the horse and rider combination but also ground crew.

People who are our ground crew are essential for training days, shows and demonstrations. Nothing can realistically happen without them. It is not enough to enlist someone off the street for the day. The people on the ground need to know what is happening. This helps to keep not only them (personally) safe but also the public and the horses and riders. It also enhances performance and presentation.

Our training encompasses general riding skills (i.e. flatwork, grid work, jumping, etc.) as well as the skills required in order to safely perform the many disciplines that fall within the general term of ‘mounted skill-at-arms’.

We work with owner/riders. It is very difficult to train a rider in the many disciplines that are necessary to be part of our group if they do not own and ride their own horse regularly as they are unable to go home and practice. To train a horse that does not get consistent work from one rider is not as satisfactory as working with a horse that is in private ownership.

Our training is carried out in Sussex by people who are knowledgeable and experienced horsemen/women. They are also knowledgeable and experienced in the safe handling of various weapons on horseback and the disciplines that involve the use of such weapons.

Over a period of time we will add further photos and articles to this section that will cover different aspects of our training. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please make contact with us.

Cherokee

Cherokee is a 15.2 unusually naturally marked Irish Draught cross Standardbred, now 12 years old.

This horse has tried many different disciplines in the past including driving and polo but these never quite worked out due to his unique ability to coordinate his legs in fantastic combinations. With his career on a downward spiral Cherokee found his forte on the skill-at-arms field.

He now takes part in many riding club activities and has performed at the battle proms and many other skill-at-arms competitions and displays. Among his more quirky habits he has a passion for candy floss, orange ice-lollies, can make himself at home anywhere and simply loves to travel.

See more of Cherokee in his gallery 

Widget

One of the only ponies in the club, what Widget lacks in height, she more than makes up for with her huge character and copious amounts of mane!

She is a typical fat fluffy pony mare, with strong opinions and unique jumping style!

Having spent most of her years at the Ditchling Common Stud Riding School, she has learnt most of the cheeky ways of riding school ponies to avoid work and attempts to spend all her time eating!

Despite this, she is great fun to ride, and when out tentpegging, she clearly enjoys herself and is great fun to ride, even when the occasional squealing tantrum occurs!

You can see more of Widget in her own gallery

Liquorice

Liquorice is a 16hh black Irish Cob mare. Born in 1999 in Ireland, she has lived most of her life in Sussex. She has a lovely character, which makes her very easy to handle on the ground. When ridden, she will do anything for you within her capabilities – as long as you ask her politely and in a manner she approves of!

Liquorice has a varied career, for many years in the riding School at Ditchling Common Stud and, since the closure of DCS in 2013, in private ownership. Whilst she does not have an athletic build, she has proved to be successful in both the dressage and jumping arena at a local level. However, there is no doubt that Mounted Skill at Arms is her favourite job – she has taken part in numerous SAA competitions, displays and demonstrations across the UK and in Holland. Her impressive stature, combined with her gentle nature, make her a popular horse with all who meet her.

 

Liquorice has her own gallery of photos

Louis

Louis ( Lewesboy) is a 16.2 chestnut Irish Sports Horse. He is now 20years old.

Originally bought as a show jumper , he was never quite brave enough to make the grade.

He has taken part in many riding club activities including dressage at which he has done well in elementary tests. He has performed at many skill-at-arms competitions and displays, including Battle Prom displays, and re-enactments.

 

See Louis’ gallery

WW1

A typical yeomanry regiment at the outbreak of WW1 is represented. At that stage no tin hats were worn – only soft peaked. Also, only 50 rounds of ammunition were carried in a bandolier by the riders. Horses were at a premium – the front line regiments had priority which meant that finding mounts for the Yeomanry posed a problem. The Sussex were lucky in that a large proportion of their horses were hunt horses of the East Sussex, Crawley and Horsham Hounds.

Pre-war First Aid Nursing Yeomanry is also represented. An interesting article entitled “A Women’s Nursing Yeomanry Corps at Work” was written by Lynette Beardwood who has been instrumental in helping Joyce of Sussex Yeomanry have made (by The Cavalry Workshop) an accurate copy of one of the uniforms that was worn by Lilian Franklin who was one of the founder members of FANY [now FANY (PRVC). The intention is for Joyce to wear the uniform at Sussex Yeomanry WW1 demonstrations/displays.

NB Whilst the WW1 uniforms that are worn are based on/copied from WW1 uniforms and are as accurate as possible, it should be borne in mind that primarily the purpose of Sussex Yeomanry is to demonstrate the equestrian sport of mounted skill-at-arms. As such, sometimes the carrying of weapons by some members of the Group is not historically correct.

We have a gallery showing some of skills we demonstrate together with a selection of our uniforms, click here to have a look