Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nine Mile Falls, Washington
• Horses: 0
Actually, we do it all.
We use a standin shield [which is a shield that is posted to a thick post in which the jouster hits for points]
We also use a Quintain, which is what you had described in your earlier post. That, we use also for point hitting for our shows. The standing shield is just a training mechanism.
When we do the actual show, we do not hit each other directly with the lances. Instead we aim for the shields. However, that DOES NOT guarantee a safe hit, or a hit that will not knock a rider off if not hit correctly. I've seen a thick, heavy lance split in two from two jousters practicing, seen the tips splinter to pieces, and have someone fall just by hitting the quintain.
None of these are 'safe' practices. However, we do not, and cannot, guarantee the safety of the riders. If for some reason someone falls, or gets hit, there are a lot of variables which go into the cause. The horse may have veered off from the line, the rider may have lost balance, the lance tip may not have been completely on the lance, their shield presentation may not have been correct, something may have been wrong with the armor, etc.
In all the jousts that I have seen, and partook in as a groundcrewman, the most the jousters got out of with were small bits of flesh being lost, and bruises.