FULL METAL JOUSTING… Have you seen this show?






Have you seen this show?

OMG.

Hubby and I sat down to watch it… and he was GRIPPED from the first scene.

Now, what guy is gripped when he watches a show about horses?… Yup, well, this show isn’t really about the horses.   It is about men who try to smack each other off of BIG horses by using even bigger sticks while wearing a thousand pounds of armor with cool logos.

They look like MONSTER ENERGY DRINK CANS sitting on top of horses.

OK, so it isn’t really my kind of show… BUT…

The horses are gorgeous.  The barn is gorgeous.  The grounds are incredible.  The arena is bigger than most airports and I swear the horses look really, really happy!

And why wouldn’t they be happy?  All they have to do is run in a straight line and stop at the end.  Turn around.  Do it again.  Half the time their rider falls off.  Oh and there is another horse running right at them at full speed probably talking smack over the fence.

It is a Stud Party where Testosterone meets Mantasy!

Hubby brought his dinner to the couch and settled in…

1

 

THE HORSES

OK, so while Hubby was drooling with the remote, I decided that I had to find out more about these horses.

(Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything on the internet so I’m going to email the producers of the show and ask about the horses.  I don’t know if they will write back, but I’ll try.)

The program hardly mentions the horses.  But I think they will concentrate more on the horses in the future as they hone this show.  After all, it is the first season…

Anyway, these ‘war horses’ (that is what they call them) are big, beautiful draft horses.  They live on this gawjus farm in Mississippi.  I’m guessing this farm is a jousting camp or something because it is set up for jousting.  Big everything. Big barn, Big grooming area, Big tack, HONKIN’ arena.  OMG.  They have all the toys!

Clearly, the horses are very trained to all of this jousting (way more than the humans…) so I guess this facility is probably a jousting training center.  After all, where do all of those Medieval Times shows train their jousters?  It has to happen somewhere…

Of course, this is all supposition… but I am determined to find out.

*I do have to add here that the head trainer of the show seemed very, very keen on his horses.  The horses may not be mentioned much, but the trainer loves them and chooses their riders carefully.  I liked that.  I liked him.

This is my fav horse so far. His name is Superman and he scares most of the contestants because he is 2400lbs of hot horse! But, he is one of the best rides, if you can ride him!

Don't let the drafties fool you - they can run!

 

So proud! Loved this artsy shot...

 

HUBBY TITTERS

Hubby was on the edge of his seat the entire show.  Each time there was a battle, he held his breath.  He was like a little boy watching, uh… a jousting movie!

Hubby loved seeing these guys take hits.  BIG hits.  ‘Call an ambulance’ kind of hits…

Really?

Yup.

Each time one of them would get ‘unhorsed’, Hubby would grab his mouth and gigglegulp, “Ohhhh that hurt.  heh heh hee hahhhhahha!”

I could not believe it.

Me: “These guys are all going to dislocate their entire spines and this is riveting you.”

Hubby:  “uh huh”

Me (watching a guy get pummeled to the ground):  “Why would you ever get back on and take another blow like that?”

Hubby (looking indignant):  “You have to.”

Me:  “Silly boys… You C-r-a-z-y.  If I ever got hit like that with a stick and fell off of my horse – you’d see my butt back at the spa in a nanosecond.”

Hubby:  “Oh no, this is GREAT!”

Sigh.

Yeeowch.

 

Up close...

 

Direct Dual Hits. Both jousters are 'unhorsed'. Uh huh. 'Unhorsed' is putting it lightly...

 

 

THE CONCEPT

The concept is based on Knights and stuff.

There is a wall between the two knights who are in full armor, on an armored horse, wielding an unwieldy loooooong stick and they are supposed to lower the bar at precisely the exact time that the armored shoulder plate of his opponent races by.

If both men hit at the same time, they look like puppets being pulled off of the horses by trip wires.  They fly off of the horses at a rate of speed that would leave their teeth behind.

Oy.

Anyway, there is a series of points given for different kinds of hits.  The one with the most points after 8 jousts (who is still alive) at the end, wins.

During the episode that we watched, one guy was carried off with a concussion.  I’m surprised they all didn’t have collapsed lungs and dislocated shoulders.

Hubby was thrilled!

This is a view of the wall during a training session

 

Training on how to get up from a hit... yeah, right... heh heh, just wait til it really happens...

 

THE CONTESTANTS

The idea is that these 16 men, from all walks of horse life (rodeo, eventers, jousters, trainers… here is the bio page), train for a week in the ancient art of jousting.

Then, after the week, they have a pyramid type challenge where the winners face each other until there is only one left standing.  He gets $100K

$100K.  $100K!!

I guess they couldn’t get anyone to do it for $50K.  I mean, what kind of show starts at $100K?!

Anyway, these bulls all get to huffing and blowing as they spend the week together.  All of them size each other up and down.  Oy.

Then, they start the real jousting…

Too bad boys can’t cry on TV, because if they could, these guys would be bawling.   They get hit so hard and fall even harder.

I guess when you have a camera in your face, you can’t cry for Mama, but I think they all want to.  I swear, they were spitting dust and teeth and lungs…

Imagine getting hit by a huge pole, right smack dab into the sweet spot of your shoulder while the pole travels at 30 mph on top of a thundering horse!

Or better yet, getting thwacked in the chin when it misses going 30mph!!

No thanks.  I’ll just sit this one out…

Hubby wants to go to one of these camps.

He actually asked me if I could find out why there was no audience watching them joust.  He said he would pay to go see that show.

Hubby asked if he could have a week at that camp for Christmas.

I reminded him that he broke his neck recently…   He scoffed.  He said he now has armor in his neck so that would make him perfect to be a contestant.

I tried not to roll my eyes.

I liked this shot.

 

This one, too.

 

STANDING UP FOR THE HORSE.

So, I have to report that on one episode, the rider had a tantrum when his horse stepped on his foot – so he punched his horse in the face.

In the face.  Directly.

As_wipe.

Anyway, the trainer got so upset with this punk, that he had the guy thrown off the show… See, toldja the horse trainer loved his horses.!

Here is an excerpt from that show:

I took this from the HISTORY CHANNEL website

 

IN CONCLUSION

I think you might want to watch it just to see the horses and the grounds.  (Here is a link to the website for THE HISTORY CHANNEL)

Also, the horses are treated well and they don’t have to do much.  The horses seem really happy.  They just run up and down.  Sometimes they get to step on a fallen rider, but mostly, they just do their job.

So, this is a new kind of horse event.  Really, it is fairly easy for the horse and creates a new avenue for some of those jobless draft horses out there.

But, if nothing else, this is a horse show that your male friend/boyfriend/husband/brother… might actually watch with you.

And, in this one, the horse ALWAYS wins.  Love that!

 

If you click on the image, it will take you to the website to watch some of these videos. I liked 'THE FIRST HIT". It shows most of how it all works.

 

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Click here to read about Adella!

 

 

 

 

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12 comments have been posted...

  1. Sarah

    I read somewhere that this barn is actually one of the Universities in Mississippi barn. I think it was just borrowed for the show and is actually more of a hutner/jumper barn.

  2. Connie

    We are hooked on FMJ…really hoping to see many more seasons. At the barn where my daughter rides, the girls love this show and crave to see more and learn more about each one of the horses. Don’t get me wrong – we all like the men, too, but its the horses we LOVE!
    As for my husband and sons…they love to live vicariouslly through these men. How crazy is it to climb on a massive horse, hold a great big stick and charge at one another and see who can hit the hardest? …didn’t your mother ever teach you not to run with a stick?
    With that said….It’s a great show and we wish all those involved with FMJ a great success!

  3. Angie

    No problem. Glad to help. Someone said the horse that got punched was actually Superman, but I missed that episode so I’m not sure. Funny Superman story….we were showing at the Crow Wing County Fair in August of 2010 and were evacuated because a tornado was heading our way. Horses were flying out of the barn and my hubby turned around because he felt the floor vibrate and Superman was coming right at him at full trot. He jumped out of the way in time and kind of pushed himself off Superman’s shoulder to avoid going underneath. Either Jenny or Jason (not sure who was leading him) didn’t see my hubby standing there and it was bedlam in the barn as we tried to get everyone out. In the end, all horses safe and the tornado never came. My hubby is still one of Superman’s biggest fans.

    Jenny did say that she would consider signing up if they did a women’s version of the show. She’d like to hop on Superman again. He was quite a fun saddleseat horse. His actual ex-owners live in another town in MN and are friends of Jenny’s. That’s how she got him to train and ride. He was also the driving partner for my friend Kathy’s light horse when she was being trained to drive. When you are hooked side by side with Superman, you go where he goes and you do what he does. There’s no other option. LOL!

  4. Brooke

    I started watching the show because I wanted to see what kind of crazy person would willingly do this! Then I got sucked in by the horses…they’re beautiful! So I went online to see if I could find anything about them. I was disappointed that the show’s site didn’t have profiles for the horses. Superman is my favorite, so thank you to the person who posted additional information about him, and I just read the blog about Gulliver! Hopefully Shane’s wife is able to get you more answers about the horses. I’ll admit, when I first started watching, I was concerned for the horses’ well being. The humans are willing to put themselves through this insanity, but the horses have no choice. They seem to love what they do and the trainers take very good care of them and care about them. I was very happy to see them kick off the idiot who punched the horse. I’ll have to re-watch it to see which horse it was. I still get angry when I think about how someone could punch a horse and not feel bad about it at all.

  5. Angie

    Hi! I can give you some background on Superman since he used to live in my neighborhood. I don’t think that’s him in the picture. They ride him in a kimberwick and that horse is in a full cheek snaffle. You’d never stop him with that unless it’s got a twisted mouthpiece. Superman was from a farm in rural Brainerd, MN that breeds Percherons. He is broke to ride and drive and is a fabulous driving horse. Yes, his tail is docked (but he has a few straggly long hairs that used to get scissored off when he was being shown). He was trained and shown by a talented young lady named Jenny who rode him saddle seat. He’s been shown at the Crow Wing County Fair, WSCA Champ show in MN and at the MN State Fair as well as many open shows throughout the state. He is a very hot horse who needs lots of work to keep him out of mischief. He’s been known to go through fence and run a couple hundred yards wearing 12′ metal gate panels as bracelets. Didn’t phase him a bit. That said, he’s got a super cool personality and is very missed by his local Brainerd fans. He was intended to be a “husband horse”, but after being trained and shown it became clear that he was not going to be suitable for that; he’s too hot. So his owners sold him to Shane Adams. This is a great job for Superman. They love him and he’s well cared for. The biggest advantage is that he gets lots of work. I loved the episode where it shows James (I think) taking a hit on Superman. It’s shot from the back and James is pushed out of the saddle. You can actually see Superman purposely MOVE his rear end underneath James to keep him from falling off. GOOD BOY SUPERMAN! I love this horse and am glad to have known him.

  6. RiderWriter

    My son was watching this on a Sunday morning several weeks ago, and he said, “You know, Mom, you might really like this.” I scoffed at him thinking it was just another stupid reality show, which I normally avoid like the plague. But then… wait, LOOK AT THAT EPIC BARN, and wow, those horses are cute! I inched closer to the TV. I was supposed to be making brunch. Long story short, we didn’t eat for another hour and I became totally hooked on the show. Lucky for me, that day they were showing back-to-back episodes so people could catch up. Yes, I’m watching it for the horses, of course but also… well, as someone mentioned the riders aren’t half-bad, either. ;-)

    I, too, don’t understand how the men are able to function at ALL after slamming into the ground wearing all that metal. That would seriously suck. Or, taking a hit in the groin (haven’t seen that) or the face. I did see Jack get a tooth knocked out and thought that was rather grisly. In fact, I think the whole thing looks so taxing that I told Son I’d rather try to take a GP horse over a 5′ fence than take one hit from a lance.

    I’m chuckling at your husband’s enjoyment of the show. My riding buddy watches it with HER hubby, also a Navy man (a fighter jock with an ego to match, I might add) and he just looooooves it, too… hmmm. Must be the macho thing!

  7. nancy

    Jousting has been around for hundreds of years and I’ve always thought it was barbaric. There is a large school of thought among historians that the reason Henry VIII became a complete nutjob was a jousting accident. Francis I was killed by a jousting splinter through his eye.

    Not sure I could watch this, but glad hubby enjoyed.

  8. Jane

    I’ve been watching this show since it started, absolutely because of the horses (although most of the guys aren’t too hard on the eyes, either.) I agree with everything you said, but want to add a couple of things I’ve noticed. First, while it’s obvious these horses are well cared for and loved, I wonder why they don’t armor them for practice runs. The guys wear half armor and the lances are breaking like crazy, but the horses’ faces are completely uncovered. Also, I’m not very familiar with draft breeds so maybe what I saw is normal, but some of their tails seem very short to me. Surely they haven’t docked them? These two items aside, it’s a really fun show. Wait until you see the episode where not one, but TWO guys get it in the family jewels. OUCH!

  9. NANCY REEVES

    I LOVE your blog!! You talk about things that I just thought about days before…wonderful!!! My husband and son LOVE this show!! I watch just to see the horses and facility (beautiful!!). And the trainer does watch out for the horses and tries to match the riders to the horse. Plus I like that the horses are comfortable in the tack (no real harsh bits,etc). Not that they dont challenge the riders somewhat-some of those horses are not “plow” horses!! :)

  10. peg

    This is going on right now in McDade Texas at the Faire!!
    McDade is my hometown..
    YES,there are people watching-and cheering-and gasping..
    It’s over April 1st until next year..

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