Trimarian Heavy Mounted Combat Guidelines Limits

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Trimarian Heavy Mounted Combat Guidelines
1. Limits: This activity requires a special authorization. Only the kingdom equestrian officer or marshals designated for this activity may approve riders to participate in this activity. Authorization is three-Step Process. Mounted combat candidates must be authorized for riding and mounted games, authorize on the ground and then on horseback. Horses must be deemed “authorized” for mounted combat by the marshallate.

  1. Safety: Safety for both the rider and the mount must be maintained at all times. All activities must be stopped at the first indication of an unsafe situation. Equipment failure on fighter or horse, or a rider having difficulty controlling their mount, is cause for stopping all activity.

  2. Equipment: Marshall may fail any piece of equipment deemed unsafe for participants equine or human.

  1. Weapons: Swords are the only accepted weapons for heavy mounted combat.


a. General

      1. Swords shall not exceed 48 inches in length.

      2. All swords shall be used single-handed.

      3. Thrusting Tips are not allowed.

      4. Sword Fittings: Any acceptable heavy combat sword fittings (sword hilts, Pommels, basket Hilts) may be used on Mounted combat swords.

      5. No sword shall exceed two and a half pounds (2.5 lbs) in weight. This weight includes sword fittings.

      6. No sword of any type may have a butt spike.

      7. Swords shall not have striking or thrusting surfaces on both ends.

      8. Pommels shall be firmly and securely affixed.

      9. No blade, haft, or shaft of a weapon may be less than 1¼ inches (33mm) in diameter.

      10. Swords shall have a hand guard such as a basket hilt, quillions, or equivalent. Any quillion that extends more than ½ inch beyond the hand, when the sword is held normally, must be 1¼ in. in diameter at the ends. Further, it shall not be possible to force the guard more than one-half inch (½”) into a legal face guard. NOTE: The tsuba style guard generally does not violate this rule.

      11. No weapon may be taped with spiral stripes of black and yellow. This coloration is reserved for Marshallate staves.

b. Construction (Rattan Core)

  1. The rattan core shall be 1 inch, unshaved, before padding.

  2. Edges and tips of all swords must be rounded.

3. The full length of the blade, including the tip, shall be wrapped in such a

way that no rattan splinters protrude.

4. The entire striking surface of the sword shall be covered with one half

inch (1/2”) of closed cell foam.

5. The cutting edge shall be marked with contrasting tape.

B. Armor: The only armor required is a helm and neck protection. Leather gloves are suggested to prevent abrasions during mounted combat. Shields are required for authorization, but are optional for HMC after authorization. Groin protection, if used should be incorporated into the saddle in a manner that does not interfere with rider’s seat.

1. Helms:

a. Helms shall be constructed of steel of no less than 18 gauges. Be aware that some steel sold as 18 gauge measures less than .0625" (1/16” or 1.6mm) and is too thin. Eighteen gauge is the minimum for stainless steel also. Because the mass of the helm is an important part of the protection, no titanium, fiberglass, or other ultra-light materials may be used. NOTE: The finished thickness of metal in a helm must be 18 gauge; beware that dishing can thin the metal. Accordingly, if a spun-metal top is to be used in the construction of the helmet, it shall be a minimum of 16 gauge steel. The process of spinning the top thins the metal, thereby requiring a heavier gauge.

b. All joints or seams shall be constructed in one or a combination of the following ways:
i. Welded on the inside and outside.

ii. Welded with a single bead that extends through both surfaces.

iii. Lap joints, welded or brazed at the edges of both pieces.

iv. Riveted with iron or steel rivets no more than 2-1/2 inches (63.5 mm) apart, or with equivalent riveting techniques. Screw or pop type rivets, along with other lightweight rivets, are not to be used.

c. Welds must be sound and rivets secure.
d. Laced neck guards on Japanese-type helms are allowed providing the lacing material is strong, not frayed, and tied in such a manner that should it break or cut, it will not allow the neck guard to fall open. Upon inspection, any broken laces will be grounds for failure of that piece of armor.
e. Face guards shall prevent a 1-inch (25.4mm) diameter dowel from entering into any of the face guard openings. There is no maximum width of the openings; however, the materials used around the openings must be of sufficient strength to prevent a full force blow from collapsing the opening.
f. The helmet sides and face guard shall extend at least 1 inch (25.4mm) below the bottom of the chin and jaw line when the head is held erect.
g. Bars used in the face guard shall be steel of not less than three-sixteenths inches (4.8mm) in diameter, or equivalent. If the distance between crossbars is less than two inches (2"), one-eighth inch (1/8") diameter bars may be used. Face guard bars should not attach to the interior of the helm, unless of structurally superior design and workmanship.
h. All visors shall be attached and secured in such a way that there is minimal chance that they will become detached or come open in normal use.
i. There shall be NO major internal projections; minor projections of necessary structural components shall be padded. All metal, inside and out, shall be free of sharp edges. External projections must not be excessively damaging to opponents or their weapons.
j. All parts of the helm that might come into contact with the wearer's head shall be padded with a minimum of one-half inch (13mm) of resilient or closed cell foam, or equivalent, or shall be suspended in such a way as to prevent injurious contact with the wearer. Similarly, parts of the helm that might come in contact with the wearer's neck or body should be padded.
k. All helms shall be equipped with a chinstrap or other means of preventing the helm from being dislodged during combat. An equivalent might be, for example, a strap from the helm to breastplate or a chin cup suspension system. A 'snug fit' is NOT an equivalent. The chinstrap should not be so thin or so placed that it could strangle the wearer. The use of a boot or shoestring, leather thong, or cord as a chinstrap is prohibited.
2. Neck Armor:
a. The larynx and cervical vertebrae, sometimes called the "neck knob", must be covered by the helm, by a gorget of rigid material over padding by a mail or heavy leather camail or aventail or by a collar of heavy leather lined with foam or equivalent padding.
b. Gorgets must be constructed so as to distribute the force of a blow to the neck area in such a way that damage to the neck is prevented.
c. The larynx and cervical vertebrae must stay covered during typical combat situations (i.e., turning the head, lifting the chin, etc.).
d. No other part of the neck may be exposed when the head is tilted forward and backward and from side to side such that a one-and-one-quarter inch (1-1/4") diameter dowel (i.e., an SCA sword of minimal thickness) may be laid horizontally into contact with it. A one-and-one-quarter inch dowel that can be inserted point first into a gap so that it touches flesh is a concern, but not necessarily indicative of an unsafe helmet/gorget combination.

  1. Hands: No hand protection is required. Leather gloves are suggested to prevent abrasion to the hands

  2. Knees: No protection is required for knees

  3. Elbows: No protection is required for elbows.

  4. Kidneys: No kidney protection is required.

  5. Groin: No protection is required for the groin. Athletic cups are not allowed. If groin protection is used it should be incorporated in a manner that does not impede the rider’s seat.

  6. Shields:

a. Shields shall be constructed of wood. Shields shall be at least one-half inch (1/2") throughout
b. Plastic shield bosses are allowed on shields, although discouraged. A good attempt should be made to make them look period. Stainless steel salad bowls are too easily dented and are not allowed as shield
c. Shields shall be edged with leather, or other padding in such a way as to minimize the damage to rattan weapons.
d. No bolts, wires, or other objects may project more than three-eighths inch (3/8") from any part of a shield without being padded. (Rounded shield bosses are not included in this category
e. No shield shall have openings or holes of more than one inch diameter.
C. Mount Equipment:

1. Eye Protection:

a. Three types of eye protection are acceptable for horses; full-faced police riot protection, Racetrack eye protection of the blinker type, or period style eye protection. The protection must clear the horse’s eye in all directions by a minimum of ¾ of an inch.
b. Police Riot gear. Full-faced riot protection made of 1/8 lexan attached to the bridle of the horse. The protection must clear the horse’s eye in all directions by a minimum of ¾ of an inch. This type of eye protection includes a nose bridge protector that rises to the poll and eliminates the need for additional poll protection.
c. Blinker style. The lexan/acrylic eye protection used by jockeys and trainers at the racetrack. This consists of individual eyecups of approximately 3.5-inch diameter. The blinker must use transparent full eyecups. Partial eyecups are not an acceptable substitute. Eye protection of this sort may be incorporated into a period horse garment providing the garment ensure proper placement of the eyecups at all times. The protection must clear the horse’s eye in all directions by a minimum of ¾ of an inch.
d. Period eye protection: Any period material can be used that meets the following requirements.

        1. Provides at least ¾ spacing to all components of the horse’s eye.

        2. Does not inhibit vision of the horse substantially.

        3. Is highly impact resistant. (Will stand up to repeated raps from bare 1.25 inch rattan).

        4. Supports 200 pounds repeatedly pouncing on it.

        5. Must be approved by a HMC marshal.

        6. Clears the horse's eye in all directions by a minimum of 3/4 of an inch.

    1. Poll Protection: Poll protection traditionally used for trailering is adequate to protect the horse from injury. A minimum of one-half inch (13mm) of resilient or closed cell foam, or equivalent that covers the poll area is also sufficient.

    1. Tack

No Rider shall participate in Heavy Mounted Combat without a saddle, headstall, and reins. The headstall will incorporate some type traditionally accepted means of control. These may include; bit, snaffle, hackamore, bosal, mecate, no rider will ride a mount without headstall. Neither Native American war bridle style rigging nor neck ropes will be considered an equivalent.
a. The intent of this section is not to allow the marshal to interfere with style. This is simply for horse and rider safety. A marshal shall not fail a piece of equipment for personal taste.
b. All Tack Must be in serviceable condition.
c. Saddle must fasten securely enough to ensure rider stability. The saddle should be significantly tightened to allow the weight of the rider during mounting without rotation.
d. No loose or hanging attachments that may present a hazard to horse, rider, ground crew, or marshal.

e. Any rider who can demonstrate a piece of equipment for control of the horse to

satisfy the marshal that the equipment is both humane and safe may use the equipment

in lieu of a traditional bridle.

4. Scoring: Legal targets to minimize contact with the horse are head, arms, and torso

above the solar plexus. Neck shots are counted lethal but discouraged. In trying to both protect the horse and maintain a period perspective on the value of a trained mount this system of scoring represents attempting to kill rider and capture horse.

Conventions of combat

In judging "injuries" the fighters are presumed to be fully armored according to the standards of Trimaris, despite the actual armor worn (Society Marshall’s Handbook, "Conventions of Combat", IV.A.1). This means that if a blow strikes a protruding area of a fighter's helmet (i.e., a jutting faceplate or an exceptionally tall conical helmet) with sufficient force, the fighter is dead, no matter if the fighter's head lies under that particular part of the helmet. Likewise, if a good blow strikes a piece of arm armor that stands far off the arm of a fighter, the fighter's armor is his or her arm for the purpose of calling the blow.

A slash to the face must be (at minimum) almost, but not quite, as hard as a good blow to any other part of the head or body. Draw cuts to any part of the face, head or body need not be called.
Head- One hit is a kill

Neck-One hit is a kill

Torso- Above Solar plexus one hit target is killed.

Below Solar Plexus Two hits striker is killed

Arms- Two hits target is killed (blows are counted equipment is not dropped)

Horse/ Saddle- Striker is killed. Excessive striking of horses is grounds for removal

from the field.
5. General Conventions: General Conventions. Where not clearly delineated the rules of mounted combat defer to kingdom heavy combat rules.
a. Holds - All holds are general, meaning any hold called on the field ceases all activity riders will place weapons across the tops of helm to quickly identify all have heard.
b. Charges - Riders may take any gate to engage but must slow to at a walk for the last two strides before contacting an opponent.
c. Engagement After lay on is called fighter are considered engaged until one is eliminated or a hold is called.

6. Prohibited Activity:
a. No intentional striking or kicking the opponent’s horse. Rider may be removed

from play for the day.

b. Charges Riders may take any gate to engage but must slow to at a walk for the last two strides before contacting an opponent

c. No grappling of any sort

d. No handling opponents Tack, harness bridle etc

  1. Shield's will not be used as an offensive weapon

  2. Thrusting is not allowed.

Trimaris Heavy Mounted Combat Guidelines Page

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