Heads

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This article explains one method used to make the targets for the equestrian game called "Heads" or "Saracen Heads" or "Behead the Enemy". Heads constructed using this method meet the requirements for the Inter-Kingdom Equestrian Competition rules as of March 2015. The set pictured below belongs to Mistress Eleanor fitzPatrick and Baron Duncan Kerr and was constructed and modified by a number of people over the years.

Heads4.jpg Heads1.jpg Heads2.jpg Heads3.jpg Heads5.jpg

Materials

  • 1.25" PVC in sufficient length for the height and number of heads you wish to make.
  • JB Weld
  • large craft magnets - one or two per pole
  • leather scraps
  • styrofoam wig stands
  • large fender washers, one per head
  • duct tape
  • rope
  • scrap fabric
  • step-in electric fence posts or wood for bases

Method

Cut the PVC to the lengths you want. Typical is 5', but they often vary in height. JB Weld the magnets to the end of the PVC, then wrap a scrap of leather over the top of them and secure with tape, as shown. Spiral-wrap the PVC in pretty colored duct tape, or decorate in some other manner. Duct tape tends to last longer than spray paint and not chip up in travel.

Wrap the wig heads in duct or strapping tape for reinforcement. This step isn't required but it'll make them last a lot longer. Duct tape a fender washer to the bottom of each. Use sufficient tape for a secure hold but not so much that you interfere with the magnet grip. As you can see from the picture, the tape wears out over time and will need to be replaced periodically. Cover the heads with fabric to hide the ugly duct tape job. This set is covered in a large square of fabric secured with a knotted tie around the "neck".

Drill a hole through each PVC post below the magnet for the lanyard rope. These ropes are a simple slip knot loop at one end, then fed through the post and knotted on the other side.

There are many possible methods to stand these up. Where it's possible to pound things into the ground, we used an electric fence post that fit inside the PVC post. Any old post will do - we happened to have some lying around that fit once we cut off all the insulators. The above wooden cross was a hack put together by Baron Duncan Kerr to allow us to stand these posts up in our personal arena where the sand footing won't hold the head posts up against the wind. Two lengths of 2x3 were rabbetted together into a cross shape, then a hole drilled through them to hold a piece of PVC that fit snugly within the heads posts.