Society Equestrian Meeting held at Gulf Wars

Society Equestrian Marshal, Mu'allemah Yaasamiin al-Raqqasa al-'Alaa'iiyiyya reports that a meeting for the equestrian community was held at Gulf Wars XVI.

Society Equestrian Meeting held at Gulf Wars, March 16, 2007

The meeting was opened by the Society Equestrian Marshal, Mu'allemah Yaasamiin al-Raqqasa al-'Alaa'iiyiyya. She started out by telling everyone present that we need to all work together. We need to learn to agree to disagree. We need to be one happy family. Friends do not hurt each other.

Gleann Abhann, the 19th Kingdom of the Society, now has a KEO, all the Kingdoms of the Knowne World now have horse programs.

The Society equestrian program has Equestrian (EQ) Marshals out there who should not be Marshals. This needs to be cleaned up without hurting anyone.

The Society Equestrian Book is in the process of being re-written to make it easier to understand and to mainly address safety issues. It has received the blessing of the Society Earl Marshal. It will be going before the BOD at their next meeting. After the Handbook is made Official – go ahead and start making changes to your own Kingdom’s Handbooks if you want to do so. You can add the cultural items for your Kingdoms.

Per the Kingdom’s Domesday reports there are over 1,000 authorized riders in the SCA and 160 EQ Marshals.

Train hard and have Fun. People need to not come to the EQ field unless they’ve been properly trained to do what they’re doing. Don’t just throw people on horses and qualify them. Stop doing authorizations on maid/push button horses – this does not usually reflect people’s abilities. Make new riders train well before they get authorized – they need to earn the right to be an authorized rider. Be careful about training people because of the liability issues. Authorized riders – we will trust your judgment – what you’re able to do. Someone who’s not an authorized rider will have to have lots of supervision. Realize that not all EQ Marshals are good trainers – not all of them are good with people.

Encourage Knights and others to come out and play – don’t keep your program too closed off. Don’t guard the flame – share the fun.

Liability issues – riders need to inspect their own equipment – do their own safety check. The EQ Marshals should not be doing this because of the liability issues.

You are a safety officer for the SCA – we need to protect our insurance coverage. If we mess up, we could lose the fact that we only pay $35 a year to be covered and play in this organization.

If you have a problem with an EMIC at an event, don’t cause a scene, report it after the event. Treat people like adults not children.

Leave ego out of things. Leave personal issues at home. Keep your butt in the saddle – be respectful. Past conflicts have affected relations with the Crowns and their EQ programs.

There are no “unofficial” practices. – anywhere that SCA court business, authorizations, etc. happen, it’s an event and therefore “official”. You can have an “unofficial” practice in your backyard, but don’t do authorizations there. You are liable if you doing things by SCA conventions, i.e. authorizations. It becomes “official” if there are SCA EQ Marshals present and running things.

You must have insurance coverage for any SCA workshops, practices, etc. One $50.00 fee can cover the one site if you send in the dates for the whole year. One date change and you’ll have to get a new certificate for the new date. If you ride in a parade – register as a re-enactment group, not as the SCA if you haven’t got the SCA insurance certificate for it.

VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE!!!!! To comply with State Laws and the SCA policies -SCA EQ Signage must be posted at every event where there are horses present! See the SCA Marshal’s page on the SCA website for the correct signage. Do not change a word on it – that is illegal! Each State has its own verbiage. If your Kingdom covers more than one state, make sure you have signs for each state where EQ activities occur and used the correct signage. If you do not have the correct signage posted at every SCA event where horses are present – your program will be suspended! Follow the signage size rules. There is no minimum number of signs required – do whatever is reasonable for the site.

Also, EQ rosters and waivers need to be in use! We must follow these rules. No exceptions!

There is some work being done to see if there can be a waiver at the gate that covers EQ activities.

Our legal counsel is not seeing much hope for minor waivers. Florida and Georgia have passed State Laws that there are no such thing as minor waivers. Many States say that parents cannot waive their children’s rights - Act accordingly.

Minors should ride their own horses, with their own tack. This creates less potential liability issues. Don’t do anything for them, that you might be potentially blamed for if there is a problem. No loaner horses, no loaner gear or weapons, don’t give them any training. They need to provide anything that might fail. Ground crew can hand them up their own equipment, but it would be better to have the parent be the ground crew.

There are no prescribed areas for barriers – i.e. for processions, in an open field. People holding lead ropes can be considered a barrier. It can be EQ Marshals stationed every 100’, out-walkers, hand-walkers, a truck blocking the road, signage, bells on horses for mounted patrol, etc.

KEOs have been put on a roster system – they will get a signed warrant – just like Heavy Marshals.

Grow your EQ program – with training – all EQ Marshals should be trained enough to be KEO – they are in essence deputies to the KEO. They must be a people person, make reports. Be trained before you become an authorized rider and marshal. KEOs need to be more thorough at warranting their marshals. KEOs should be the only person making EQ Marshals. Create efficient safety officers for the program.

The Society Equestrian Marshal has a say in who the KEO is in each Kingdom.

This is the Age of Cooperation (Lewis & Clark). Help people in the SCA understand what we’re doing – they already think we’re cool.

There was a discussion about whether an EQ Marshal needs to be a rider or not. In some instances someone has an extensive equestrian background and due to age, disability or whatever, can no longer ride. They can still be an asset to an EQ program.

Guidelines and conventions will be set to help us when changing the rules.

Trust is important –earn it—you’ve earned the trust of your horse because you’ve been respectful of his/her needs. Same for each other. Let’s treat each other as adults.

The group was thanked for the heavy combat melee that happened before the meeting on the battlefield. People were really impressed. We were invited to do it again next year.

There was a discussion about stallions being at SCA events. There was talk about how some can be fine, some not so much. Mark them? Regardless, an EQ Marshal has the right to refuse any horse on a site if they are a problem.

Notes Taken by Duchess Angharad Banadaspus Drakenhefd and edited by Mu’allemah Yaasamiin al-Raqqasa al-‘Alaa’iiyiyya, Society Equestrian Officer.