Frequently Asked Questions
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Are your weapons real?
Yes and No: we do not use genuine antiques of the period, but replicas of the weapons that existed then, or fantasy weapons built to the same standards. They have the weight and feel of the weapons used during the time periods we represent. We do not keep our blades razor sharp, for obvious safety reasons. We are not really out to kill one another. We are actors, not fighters.
How did you get into this?
Some of us were actors or artists who wanted to branch out or add to our skills. Others of us were competitors in the horse world wanting something new and different to do with our horses. Still others started as hobbyists with one of the many re-enactment organizations out there. All of us shared a fascination with swords. Yes, most of us have regular day jobs as well, part of full-time.
Is it hot in that armor? Is it heavy?
Yes. To both. Modern milling techniques make the cold-rolled steel replica armor we use both heavier and less strong than most genuine armor of the period. But if you wear it long enough, you get used to it.
What does it take to become a Seattle Knight?
A lot of work. But worth it. We run an academy for people interested in becoming a Seattle Knight, or merely learning more about stage combat. See the join us link at the bottom of the page.
What kind of horse is that?
We have used a variety of breeds over the years, including Andalusians, Appaloosas, Arabians, Friesians, Morgans, Mustangs, Quarter Horses, drafts, and crosses of all of the above. The breed is less important than the horse's mind and disposition. He or she has be to not just physically able to do the job, but mentally and emotionally. Not all horses can stand up to a charge from another horse, nor can all of them handle the excitement generated during a performance. Though one of our best jousting horses (Chance) was a draft-cross, we usually do not use drafts because knights did not use them. Draft horses, as we know them, are a relatively modern invention.
What kind of tack do you use? And where do you get it?
Tack that fits, works, and is as close to period as we can get. There are saddle makers who specialize in period-reproduction saddles and tack. Some saddle designs haven't been changed much in the past 500 years. If you can't find a period saddle, Peruvian Paso and Spanish bullfighting saddles are almost perfect, when you can get them. Many modern endurance saddles can be easily adapted. MacClellan cavalry saddles -- the real ones, not the cheap, knock-off replicas -- also work really well for horses with narrower backs and higher withers. If you can’t afford a better option, some Western saddles can be used, if you cut the horn off and can otherwise disguise them sufficiently. Dressage, Hunt Seat, and most English saddles are not recommended. Barding and caparisons are built by a number of craftsmen-and-women.
Where do you get your armor and weapons?
Some of the Knights built their own armor, after researching patterns and techniques. Some also make and sell armor for others as a side-line to their day jobs. Most of the armor is purchased from other places; there are several excellent armorers around, and many companies that import armor pieces from manufacturers around the world. It is always best if you can manage to find an armorer who knows what he or she is doing, and have your armor built specifically for you; no armor, not even maille (sometimes mistakenly called "chainmail") is one-size-fits-all.