Knights were in existence between 500 AD and 1500 AD. Although they were most popular and important between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. In the early middle ages, contrary to popular belief, most knights were freeborn peasants, and in Germany some weren't even freeborn. Then, around 1000 AD the status gained in popularity and importance in warfare and was shifted mostly to the aristocrats. In different countries there were different qualifications for attaining knighthood. Such as in Aragon where birth alone was the decision maker for knighthood. In Germany a person could be raised to nobility, he would now be eligible to be dubbed. Any Patrician family in Italy were automatically made into knights, but they enjoyed no special priveliges because of this. The rich in Castile were also allowed to join this order.
Provided one met those requirements he could begin his training. During his first years he would be raised by his nurse, his mother and other women of his household. He was taught to behave and be courteous, as a knight should have good manners. At the age of four or five, he was given a pony, this is considered the first training in a knight, they learned to ride horses and would be doing a lot more of it over the years. The child, at the age of 7 or 8 left home and all women supervision to serve in the household of his father's lord or king. This was the first stage, the boys were called Pages. The job consisted of attending upon his master, or the family. The pages are little distinguished from other servants of the household.
Between the ages of 14 and 17 the page made the rank of Squire. This promotion had a religious solemnity. The young man after being conducted to the altar, either by his parents, or by their representatives, who carried lighted, wax, candles. The priest blessed a sword that had been placed on the altar, and then Girded the young nobleman with it. At this point in a young knight's life he got to begin the real training. They now learned weapons;Sword, Mace, Crossbow and shields.
Physical excercise was a key point in a squire's training. The young
men would run great distances followed by beating blocks of wood with
an axe or mace. The point of such work was to keep a man from tiring in
battle. Squire's were also obligated to work as stablehands, the point
of this being to familiarize themselves with the beasts that would carry
them in battle.