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.

Medieval Period

Medieval Equestrian Skill-at-Arms
In the Medieval period, jousting tournaments were held not only for sport and entertainment but also to keep horses and men trained and ready for war. The tournaments involved not only jousting but also exercises that do not involve the use of armour.

Sussex Yeomanry as a Group tries to give a flavour and feeling for the type of exercises that Medieval men on horseback took part in which involved the use of the quintain, lances, swords and daggers.

Hunting was also good training for war and some of the Group’s demonstrations are based on the horse and weapons-handling skills needed for hunting.


We have a gallery showing some of skills we demonstrate together with a selection of our costumes.



owned by Joyce Dudeney, is a 15.2hh, 18-year-old dark bay Andalusian/Connemara mare. Like Oscar, she was bought as a 4-year-old from the well-known Irish dealer based in Sussex – Donal Barnwell.

Willow’s full name is Wilful Willow – a name that she truly lives up to when taking part in Mounted Skill-at-Arms displays and competitions! To say that she is excitable is an understatement and speed is certainly not a problem for her!

Willow has taken part in numerous International SAA competitions in the UK and Holland. She has also taken part in Skill-at-Arms demonstrations and the musical ride at Battle Proms concerts for many years under the umbrella of Crown & Empire, at which events she has accompanied Oscar and acted as his ‘comfort blanket’ and dancing partner!

In general, Willow is a very gentle horse who has an excellent stable manner. She loves her food (carrots and mints in particular) and loves to be loved. On occasion, when being admired by members of the public at Battle Proms concerts over the years, she has almost fallen asleep.

Some of Willow’s photos