I've been reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin and getting curious about war horses. A thousand pound animal that can run around all day carrying a 200 pound knight and 300 pounds of steel or more is pretty impressive. Here's a group of people called New Riders of the Golden Age who claim to be the only realistic full-contact jousters in the world.

The New Riders of the Golden Age from War Horse Farm in Sarasota, Florida, have been jousting professionally since 1982 and have appeared at Renaissance Festivals, state and county fairs and other events all over the USA and Canada. Knight on Percheron steed

The use of Belgian, Percheron, Shire, and Clydesdale horses and full suits of period-designed 16th century tilting armor differentiates the New Riders of the Golden Age from groups and organizations presenting staged theatrical medieval jousts. The use of period equipment allows the New Riders to engage in an authentic full contact joust, and the great horses add an unmatchable sense of power and presence to the joust. Over twenty years of developing equipment, refining technique, and performing live at large outdoor venues have polished a unique presentation and confirmed repeatedly that audiences do appreciate the real thing.

The whole concept is fascinating to me. Horses were an integral part of human civilization for thousands years, but we've pretty much moved past them now, both in war and peace.

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