Medieval Times is one of the largest owners of purebred Spanish Andalusians (P.R.E.) in North America. The relationship between horses and trainers is a powerful one. This bonding can take weeks or months. But once the bond is made, the rider and the horse become one in the performance – expressed in grace, strength, and speed. The Medieval Times magnificent stallions are born performers.
Outside of learning to lunge, sprint and stay focused during the heat of battle, their horses are also masters of the dance, performing graceful and fluid leaps and promenades in unison. This activity is known as “dressage,” which has ancient European origins. Sometimes referred to as “horse ballet,” it is a training style that plays off a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform.
Dressage training is considered a standardized and progressive method of training. The end goal of this training is to have a horse that responds smoothly to commands with minimal encouragement from the rider. Once a horse has excelled in training, it is time to move into the limelight as a pampered performer. With all of their teaching and practice, the horses can’t wait to get in the arena to perform. It’s what they love to do.
Each castle’s Master of Horse ensures the health and happiness of the horses – who can serve a Knight for 12 years or more – and tends to the castle’s stables, ensuring all the horses are comfortable, clean, and fed with the finest hay and grains.
The Master of the Horses spends years working with the royal horses, training them to stay true and strong in the most heated moments of the battle. Each horse, no matter the breed, has its own personality. The Master of Horses works with their temperaments, helping the bashful to grow bolder and the wild to grow tamer. The Master of Horses uses these personalities to help pair the horses with the right rider. Each horse works with a specific group of knights. This bonding in the form of daily walking and riding can take weeks or months. But, once the bond is made, the rider and the horse become one in the performance, expressed in grace, strength, and speed.
Although the Medieval Times magnificent stallions are born performers, retirement will come to them all. They enjoy retirement with the best veterinarian care, delicious food, warmth, comfort and socializing with all of the other horses on the ranch, young and old.