Dom Duarte
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Author:  Hanne [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:54 pm ]
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Unless the whole bloody book is a bunch of shit and lies, but I find that hard enough to believe to disregard the idea

I find it difficult to believe that, plainly because he describes everything so correctly. I mean I recognize everything, it can't be made up. If someone tries to fake knowledge, it's easy to detect. And again, I do not care if it's the translator or the man himself. Or rather, the book is so full of the same thing, that I find it hard to believe that it's the translator that has put all these very good training tips into it.

It's about the athletisism in it all, and the understanding of training and horses. It's so difficult to explain how, but I trust we get to it when we progress through the book. I also find it fascinating how this is described in a style that is very different from how we explain things today, but still very recognisable.

I am looking forward to discussing more of the first part of the book, concerning the Will. I think that is very relevant to another recent discussion here at the Norwegian part of the forum.


Author:  tinuviel [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:51 pm ]
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Well, I do not find it very hard to belive that a mideaveal king would be concerned of other people's oppinions; they were not the supreeme rulers that the kings of the Enlightenment were. They were much more dependent on the good-will of their nobles. And also it seems to me that people generally were more concerned about their good name.

But it does say something about his character that cares enough about his rule and name that he feels the conflict, even if it does not supprise me. Even today rulers do have a quite heavy work-load.

And I need to get my own copy of the book, relaying on memory and what quotes are given here, does not enable me to contribute in the way I want here.

Author:  Henrikke [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:09 am ]
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I've now read the first little part of the book (Introduction and Chapter I), and I'm very facinated already. I noticed all the things you guys have said, but the first note I made on my post-it was that he always talks of the "Knight and squire" to be equally good horsemen. Or perhaps not equally, but they are both expected to be great horsemen, which is new reading to me. Not that I my self didn't believe that the squires would be great riders too, but I've never seen it written so plainly, and it is a common misunderstanding that squires were just helpers and not actually really skilled as well. It kind of just made me very happy to read. To me it shows how much skill was aqtually expected of riders.

Secondly I noticed that he points out how important it is, not only to have a good horse, but to know your horse well, take care of it and reduce their weak points and improving their qualities.

That proves that they would train their own horses, doesn't it? I've heard so many people argue that all nobles etc would just have other people train their horses and take care of them, so they would only have to be transported by it when needed. To me Duarte proves that wrong right here. He demands a powerful and athletic rider (eventhough I don't think he uses the word athletic) who is a great horseman with high knowledge on horses and know their own horses well. Which means that the rider would have to train as much as the horse, to be fit and powerful enough.

Just my first thoughts. More to come I can assure you ;)

Author:  Henrikke [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:31 am ]
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I realized now that it looks like I'v gone a step further in the book, so can't we start talking about the will now too?

I've read it a few times now, and I'm not entirely certain of what he means by the will here. Is it the will to become a great horseman he is talking about? That's what I get out of it at least.

What he sais about how the art of riding is the most important skill for a knight, makes all sorts of sense to me. I can't see how any other argument would make sense here, because, as Pelle an many others have said an endless amount of times, it doesn't help a thing to be an amazing swordsman if you can't get close enough to the oponent to use it.

I also find it interesting how he sais that courage comes with great riding skills.

This art brings, besides other advantages, courage to the heart. This is proven by seeing weak-hearted youngsters and men who confess to not being able to do on foot what the good and brave do, but who when on a horse, if they are skilled in this art, show themselves to be strong-willed and to believe themselves able to gain advantage over other riders, equally strong-willed, but with little skill in riding

I guess it in this quote also explains to us what he means with the will. It seams to me that he believes that you need to be strong-willed and I guess have a good selv dicipline to become great at the art of riding, and that the greater the skill, the greater the courage, which seams correct according to my own experiences too.

Author:  Hanne [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:36 am ]
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I welcome comments from the whole book, actually, but I have so little time for reading, that I myself am not able to comment more than a couple of pages each day. :D

I am reading the first chapter on the will now, and will post comments as soon as I have something to say. ;)


Author:  Hanne [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:58 pm ]
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First, I have to say that this text is so concentrated and interesting that I have to make notes as I read. I feel that to comment, I have to write more that Dom Duarte does himself, in order to describe what I mean. Does that not make him the better writer of us? ;)

First, he spends a lot of space on mentioning different qualitites in a warrior that all in his opinion are more or less valuable. All of these qualities have something to do with the "will". Most of all, he says that riding skill is important, and that (as I understand him) the self confidence improves with the riding skill.

I very much recognize the feeling of being more and more certain with my improving riding skill. I think I can first hand testify what he writes, as I have gone from being completely unable to ride correctly to being more athletic and precise all of three times during the last five years. This is due to my training from weak and unathletic to stronger, and two pregnancies and births in the middle of the process, that means two substantial setbacks of my physical ability.

I have very limited practice with sword and lance. And little strength in my arms and upper body. But every time I gain more strength in my body, I become better at ridning in a more precise way, and as a result, it gets very easy to hit the targets. I even see more clearly. That means I can see the targets more clearly with my eyes, which I can only guess comes from my ability to sit still on the horse.

I also am able to collect the horse more, which makes the canter more calm and controlled, and then the targets seem to stand still and wait for me, so that my still weak, girlie and unsteady hand easily reaches the target. It feels like I can ride in a slow motion picture.

Also, when the rider is able to collect and manouver the horse well, he can move into the best positions at all times, and the better the horse and rider, the more they can move quickly and presicely. Dom Duarte describes this very well, and I also appreciate how he mentions all the different ways a rider can be good, and thus train at being even better.

He writes that a good rider that is "strong-willed" is a more effective warrior than another rider, that is equally "strong-willed", but with little skill in riding. I am interested in this term. Strong-willed. What does he mean by that? I would like to come back to that.

For I have to mention a very important quote:

Always to have good horses, to know them well and to take care of them, improving their qualities, reducing their weak points, is worth more that knowing any other art imperfectly.

Many people think that this kind of training is something new. I think not.

Another interesting thing: Dom Duarte thinks that it's easier to train a good horseman to be a good fighter, than to train a fighter to become a good rider, and thus a valuable warrior on horseback.

We have the same experience. It is easy to train a good rider to perform in skills at arms. But of course, it depends on what you call a good rider. Interesting thing: Dom Duarte's description of "being strong" and having "a strong will" is very important in our description of a good rider.

Many of the riders that are considered good today, are riding mostly with their hands, and are riding rather heavily on the forehand, even in more advanced movements. That is, without true collection. To obtain true collection, the rider has to be very strong and balanced in his body, to be able to free himself from the focus on the hands.

In the third chapter on the will, he is as I see it, writing about the importance of developing one's mental abilities. It' interesting to see that the knowledge that mental training for riders is not a new thought. ;)


Author:  Hanne [ Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:57 pm ]
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I would like to bring Dom Duarte to attention once again. I discussed the topic a bit with David during the weekend, and he confirmed my suspicion that there are very few books on riding theory in Portugal. Also we discussed the fact that the riding tradition in Portugal seems to have been taught from father to son or riding teacher to pupil in every generation straight down from the medieval times.

I guess riding in Portugal is like skiing in Norway. Nobody bothers to buy a book on something you learn from your father or uncle or everyone living down the street. But everyone else in the world would like to tap into the generations of knowledge.

From what I learn from David and what I read in Dom Duarte, the teachings are still the same. Fascinating.


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