First of all, you had to be a man to become a knight,
although women sometimes did go o crusades. You were supposed to
come from an aristocratic family, though some people lied about their family.
You needed money or land, being a knight was very expensive. An ambitios
young man would try to marry into a noble family in order to gain wealth
and status. Finally you must prove yourself in battle. As a
sign of becoming a knight, another knight would dub you knight, [which
means another knight would tap you on both shoulders with a sword, or in
the early days cuff you on the side of your head]. To celebate Whitsun
in 1306, King Edward 1 of England held a Feast of the Swans at Westminster.
The king knighted his eldest son, who then knighted just about 300 young
It was best to start learning all the skills at a young age. Young boys at an age of seven or so, were often sent to another castle as a page, serving the family and learning good manners. The growing page learned to ride skillfully, then he learned how to charge at a quintain [a wooden target that was usually designed to swing around and knock the page down if he was slow and clumsy. A boy's very first horse would probobly be made of wood and have wheels, and his first lance would probobly be a broom handle.
At about fourteen years of age, the page became a squire. His job was to help a knight get ready for battle and to fight at his side. In the yard of the castle, a soldier taught the young squire to fight, using wooden or blunted swords or other weapons. They could also stay fit by westling or swimming.
After expiriencing warfare for about four years, the squire could now be "dubbed" and become a new knight. Usually the squire would undergo a vigil, [or a knight of prayer,] befor the ceremony. Swords and gilt spears were symbols of knighthood that the knew knight could now wear.