Horseback Archery

Last Saturday (november 9th) six people of our association had an exciting activity, they went for a course in horseback archery! Getting up early and leaving the SSC at 9.10 am resulted in a wonderful day. We went to the lovely people of Paard en Boog (Horse and Bow) in Kaatsheuvel, Jose and Arno, who regularly give lessons to people new to the sport.

The activity started with a warming up exercise, because (quoting Arno) “Some people think horse riding isn’t a sport since there is no warming up, so now we do one and it is a sport.”. We then proceeded to get a basic archery lesson in shooting, loading and how to “fan” arrows, so you can shoot multiple in a row. After some shots were taken, a little competition was in order. A relay of which team would first hit the target a number of times, this brought some competitiveness up in everyone and was very fun. Then the horses were fetched and saddled, all horses were ridden without bits or a mere halter, which was a new experience for some as well.

Divided over two groups, the track was ridden several times with shooting arrows from horseback. First, to get the feeling, in walk, then in trot and finally in canter. Loading an arrow in either trot or canter proved to be very difficult, only one or two arrows (out of three) could be shot, and most missed the targets. When everyone had ridden and the horses were back in their paddocks, everyone had turned cold thus we said thankyou and goodbye to Jose and Arno and went back in the van to drive back, get warm and eat our sandwiches. Altogether a fun and educational experience for our members!

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