There is something satisfying about working hard at a difficult physical endeavor. “Honest Sweat” is the term that comes to mind.
I am currently on location at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival, in Mt. Hope PA. Once again, I’m back in the saddle, and riding in medieval harness.
Today, we had a long rehearsal in the hot tiltyard. The white sand bounced the bright sun back into our eyes, as we practiced making passes with lance and shield.
I have never ridden with these three fine Knights of Noble Cause – and I’ve only been on this particular horse for three days. But already we are trading hits on the ‘suns anvil’ working ourselves and the horses in a curious ballet of faux combat. All the skills necessary to deliver a killing blow with a lance, and none of the intent to do so.
Of course, the horses don’t know that.
Walking the horses afterward, cooling them down, Scraping off their honest sweat, is a kind of communion with them. Horses welfare first – last and always.
Time enough for me to shower later.
I’ll let my honest sweat dry.