Our highly respected Andalusian (P.R.E.) horses, with their amazing power and agility, perform intricate and difficult dressage movements during our show.
Pure Spanish Horses, (P.R.E.), were prized by Medieval Royalty for their astonishing strength, dexterity and even temperament. Andalusians are known for their signature white or light gray coat, but they are not typically born that way. Young Andalusians are often born dark gray or brown. As they get older, their beautiful coats gradually turn completely white or light gray. A small number of rare Andalusians remain dark black throughout their lives, less than 5% according to the National Association of Purebred Horse Breeders of Spain. The unmistakable beauty and fluid movements of the P.R.E. horses gives them the honor of being called the “dancing horses” by many guests.
The American Quarter Horse is a champion that excels at sprinting short distances. Their ability to outdistance other horse breeds in a quarter mile or less is how they got their name.
As one of the treasured stars of our shows, Quarter Horses can be seen racing with their knight during the games of speed and skill, including the javelin throw, ring pierce and flag toss. You may even see them carrying brave knights to compete in swordfights and jousting. Their agility and intelligence make them a true asset in battle.
The powerhouse of the horse world, the Friesian has the strength to carry a knight in heavy armor into battle.
Because of their strength, it’s believed that the Friesian came into popularity in the Middle Ages as a war horse. This regal steed is distinguished by a long, gorgeous mane and beautiful hooves. Through the centuries, the breed almost became extinct, but has made a big comeback as a performance horse. During our show, the Friesian has the honor of carrying the Lord Marshal onto the field.
Road to Stardom
Life on The Ranch
Medieval Times is the proud breeder of our very own stars of the show, the Andalusian (P.R.E.) horses. The beginning of life at Chapel Creek Ranch is a beautiful event. With nearly 250 acres of rolling hills, a river running through the property and state of the art stables, Chapel Creek Ranch is home to more than 300 horses. Each Spring, foals are born and early human contact is essential. As soon as the yearlings are ready, they begin to train with simple steps including the introduction to lead ropes and halters. The first few years of our horses lives are focused on keeping them healthy, happy and trusting the humans who work with them.
Around the age of three, the horses move to comfortable stables inside one of our ten North American castles. Each castle has between 20 and 30 horses who become part of the Medieval Times Family of performers. The Master of Horse spends years working with our royal horses, training them to maximize their natural abilities and enjoy becoming stars in our show. Given that each horse has its own personality, the Master of Horse works with their temperaments, helping the bashful to grow bolder and the spirited to willingly follow intricate commands. The horses are pampered every day with showers, grooming and training. We have outdoor paddocks and ranches nearby the castles so the horses can enjoy time outside to play and relax. Each castle has a vet with 24/7 care available as well as regular check-ups.
Our horses can serve a knight for 12 years or more. The Master of Horse ensures all the horses are healthy, comfortable, clean and fed the finest hay and grains in the Kingdom. Each of our knights are assigned a horse to consistently ride so they can form a bond of trust and know one another’s personalities. Once trust is established, the rider and horse become one in the performance, harmonizing in a show of agility and artistry. Each castle has a vet with 24/7 care available for our horses, as well as regularly scheduled check-ups. The Farrier visits to take care of the horses’ hooves and each horse has regular dental care as well.
The Art Of Dressage
Our magnificent horses are taught the art of classical dressage from an early age. Our trainers work with each horse to help them remain focused as they become proficient in performing graceful maneuvers such as promenades in unison. Our horses are masters of the dance, performing dressage movements to music written specifically for these portions of the show. One of the most popular parts of our show highlights the “airs above the ground” where one of our well-trained P.R.E. horses jumps high into the air with all four legs off the ground, called the Capriole. The Art of Dressage has ancient European origins and Medieval Times proudly preserves this tradition.
We are committed to nurturing and ensuring the best care and comfort for all our animals. As our horse performers begin to age and slow down, the Master of Horse carefully determines when it’s time to ease them into retirement. The vet is consulted, and a plan is made to allow the horse to retire with dignity. This can be a bittersweet time for all the Medieval Times family. A long and happy retirement awaits our horses back where it all started, at Chapel Creek Ranch. In the serene setting of the ranch, our horses live out their lives getting the royal treatment.
The Royal Falcon
The soaring falcon is a majestic sight to behold. The Royal Falconer who trains and commands our falcons must embody patience and trust and harness the abilities of the fierce falcon. The cheers of the crowd inspire not only the falconer, but the falcon, as well.
Take a closer look at these majestic birds during a stop at the mews, their spacious chambers at each of the castles. The Royal Falconer takes pride in talking to the Queen’s guests about the art of falconry, which pre-dates the Middles Ages and has played an important role in the survival of both man and bird.
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