Participation in any Equestrian activity within the SCA requires an “authorization”. This is simply a process whereby we determine that you have been made aware of our safety rules and have demonstrated a minimum level of skill to indicate that you are not an apparent danger to yourself or others when participating.
This is true of all martial activities in the SCA but is especially important for Equestrian, where things are made more complex by the addition of another thinking entity with its own agenda, the horse!
You can use your own horse to authorize if you own one, or borrow one if you know someone else who has one. Otherwise, the EQ marshal can try to put you together with someone who would be willing to loan a horse for authorization.
Before you can authorize you need to have had a basic level of training to ride, meaning you must be able to demonstrate the ability to control/partner with your horse, and handle unusual situations should such arise. Horses are independant creatures with their own personalities; it is between the rider and the horse owner to make sure that the rider and the horse are a good match.
You also need to read the SCA Equestrian handbook and familiarize yourself with the general rules for horses and riding at SCA events. The EQ Marshal will explain what is specifically expected of you at the time of the authorization.
Once you have been authorized and the paperwork has been submitted, you are able to ride at SCA events, subject to general SCA rules and any site or event specific requirements.
Beyond general riding, you can advance to separate authorizations for riding in our games competitions, such as tilting at the rings or javelin tossing, etc. Also, there are separate authorizations for Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, and wood lance jousting. The possibilities are almost endless! Talk to the local or event Equestrian Marshal for more details.