Horses! Kilts! OMG Horses! (Or, Why The Renaissance Faire Is Awesome.)

The title of this post might be a little bit misleading. Not because there aren’t horses and kilts — I didn’t take pictures of said kilts, though, I’m sorry, I was too busy ogling the men in them — but because I have my reservations about Ren Faires. When I turn up at one I kind of feel like a Trekkie at a Furry convention. I might appreciate and understand the enthusiasm and extreme fannishness of those present, but I am not One Of Them. While I enjoy A Game of Thrones as much as the next girl (Peter Dinklage, how are you so awesome?) and am actually a medieval history fan from way back, I mostly just find Ren Faires kind of awkward. My default reaction in these sort of cosplay situations is to find an appropriate huddle and start talking Doctor Who while pretending that nobody in the conversation is actually dressed up as a Stormtrooper, but when everybody who greets me calls me “my lady” (or more frequently, “my lord,” which is great for my self-esteem, thanks a lot), and when sometimes people say things like “doth” in a serious and straight-faced way, it just makes me realize that I am in the wrong crowd. I begin yearning for the fjords regular old Highland Games events that are much more in my wheelhouse. (There are several of those coming up in the area over the next few months, though, so expect plenty of photographs of kilts in this blog’s future.)

Still, it’s nice to get out and mix with those outside your social circle and specific niche of geekdom, and events like this are a jolly good time. The Utah Renaissance Festival and Fantasy Faire (click that at your own risk, because it will play music at you whether you like it or not) has been on for the past couple of weeks here, so I decided to give it a go, primarily because of The Knights of Mayhem, a full-contact jousting troupe I had last seen a few years ago in Arcata… I blogged about that over here, in case you missed it and/or wish to look at pictures of pretty horses again. They also have a show on National Geographic Channel, though I’ve never seen it on account of not getting that channel. Sadness.

Anyway, I really thought the jousting was the best part, so here are some fun jousting photos. What I notably did not get are shots of the actual impacts, though you can see a few of those on that previous blog I mentioned. I had a great idea to try this time standing in a spot where I could look down the list to get photos of the horses charging right at me, but completely failed to factor in that there would be squires at the ends of the lists to help stop the horses after each charge. Good going, me. Anyway, here are some guys on horses.

You guys, I have a serious crush on this horse. SERIOUS. I mean the guy’s okay and all, but LOOK AT THAT HORSE. LOOK AT IT.

I quite liked this one too, but not with the kind of burning passion that I liked the other one. This horse is Daisy (her full name, we are told, is “Daisy the Destroyer, because her opponents will be pushing up daisies!” har de har har), and she is clearly a Belgian, and that guy riding her is Jason Armstrong, and he is clearly a Canadian. You can tell because even when he’s talking smack he’s polite about it.

A little love for the ponies. You might notice that the bay shire in the background (I think they called her Lady Chaos?) is being ridden by two different guys in these photos. The armored guy pictured riding her is “Sir” Edward, and this guy is one of their knights in training, who also wanted to have a go when they were playing their skill-at-arms games with the spear-throwing and whatnot.

They all had pretty decent aim with their spear target practice. I can guarantee you that I would miss. And probably fall off the horse. Look, they run REALLY FAST, okay?

Daisy is new to jousting and was not very keen on setting herself up in the list. Actually, she tried to take down the list several times. And thought about taking down some spectators, too. I was marveling at how the crowd wasn’t moving out of her way until suddenly they all scrambled for cover, and then I lol’ed. Is that bad?

OMG THIS HORSE. She’s a Shire, by the way. In case you were wondering. And considering forming her fan club.

The way these huge horses just ROCKET themselves down the list, I would probably soil myself. I’m man enough to admit it, I’m just not man enough to do anything this insane. Look at this horse, she’s just like, “Screw this, I AM GOING TO RUN NOW OKAY.”

Daisy the Destroyer seems to be aware that she’s very photogenic.

This is seriously the only shot I got in the vein of what I wanted, which was pictures of the horses charging RIGHT AT ME. Don’t worry, I had a really big zoom lens, I wasn’t going to get anywhere close enough to be actually charged at.

I have some more photos of the festival, including some snaps of the Oak Hills Vaulters kicking ass and taking names; you can find those over here on Facebook (and you don’t have to be a Facebook user to see them).

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10 thoughts on “Horses! Kilts! OMG Horses! (Or, Why The Renaissance Faire Is Awesome.)

  1. Interesting. I like some of the photos.

  2. your photosare the biz! and that shire – i agree! she is very like my bonzo only brown. and a lady hoss. and obviously jousting rather than pootling around…

    • Thank you! Shires are amazing horses… if I ever own a horse again (unlikely, considering how broke I am and how much they cost) I’ll probably have a draft breed. It’s really nice to see horses like this too that are so obviously well exercised! :D

  3. What a fabulous group of photos, and yes those horses are stunning!!

  4. Hey there nice post. Love the photos :) Good on you! Maybe you”ll like carolinebakker.com

  5. Re: the Shire–I’ll fight you for her. OMG, she’s beautiful!!

    • I KNOW RIGHT?! She was fantastic in action too, those horses shoot out of the end of the list like they’re coming out of a freaking cannon.

      And to make matters more insane, it’s somebody’s job to stand at each end of the list, directly in front of the galloping horse, and help to stop them. Mostly by holding up their hands and saying “Whoa.” Which the horses often do not listen to. Crazy.

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