Pictures And now for something completely different...? (Well there's no prefix for it, anyway!)

JFTD-WS

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It's been a while since I've done an "I did something daft at the weekend" report, but I thought this one is probably daft enough to warrant its own thread. Possibly shouldn't be in C&T, but... well... what are you gonna do about it? :p

I decided to take my mare, Skye, to do some horseback archery. Skye's pretty cool about life - she's played a bit of polocrosse (badly, mostly my fault), umpired a polo match (the chap handed her back and said he thought poloX horses were hotter than that!), aces TREC and trail courses and runs barrels and stuff too. I didn't think archery would be a huge ask, but one never knows with horses, and it doesn't do to count ones chickens, so I was slightly nervous the day before (as Ester can probably attest!).

Aside from getting lost on my way to the venue, being late, and having a minor mental breakdown over an insurance disclaimer form (Me: "Define novice/intermediate/advanced?! Are we talking RS or BE standards?!"... Coach: "Um, can you canter?"... Me: "errr... seriously?!"...), it was all going swimmingly. Textbook organisation skills right there. I followed that up by having a complete "WTF?!" at being told to make a triangle with my hands so I could see said coach, then to point at him... I don't like being told to do things I don't understand!

However, this lead to the revelation that I'm "left eye dominant", apparently. I'm right handed, in that I write with my right hand by choice, but am also sort of ambidextrous in that I draw and sometimes write left handed. This meant I had to shoot from the wrong side and everything after this was done in reverse, which wasn't at all confusing o_O Part of me wonders if this has some relevance to my inability to catch at polocrosse - something I was always disproportionately bad at... it's my excuse and I'm sticking to it at this point.

We started on foot, without horses, learning the technique. Brought horses in, warmed up, had a canter around with no hands etc, then we looked at the shooting position, which I would describe as "the mid-90s John Whittaker standing trot", swinging the lower leg back, which is great for me as my lower leg loves swinging back over fences already ;) Finally we introduced the horses to shooting, one at a time, shooting next to them on the ground, then from their backs standing still - being held, or, in Skye's case, not even bothering, because this is the level of zen we're working with:



Then we shot from walk (literally once, from walk, with Skye!), and then canter. I was slightly surprised at a very rapid progression to canter, but she was truly epic about it, and I reckon the coach had guess that messing around in trot would only annoy us both!



Initially, we were shooting at a target 90 degrees to my right, which is the easiest shot (I gather), then we "progressed" to shooting at a target obliquely in front of us. The former was moderately successful. The latter may require further work... I couldn't get the arrow ready to shoot in time to make the shot, and was persistently failing to aim properly. I think it took three repetitions of the advice "aim, draw, aim again, then let go" before I actually attempted it and found it worked... Apparently people who coach this stuff know what they're on about. Who'd have thought it?!



In summary:
1. Skye was completely mega, and is awesome in every way. Seriously. Quarter horses are epic. (Almost as epic as highlands!)
2. Archery is epic.
3. Don't rely on me in a post apocalyptic horse-back battle. I'll probably shoot the wrong people, and I will definitely pull some unorthodox facial expressions while I'm doing it...



Anyway, it was great fun, and I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone who fancies having a go at something different. Can recommend a good coach in the East of England (and possibly loan a Daemon-highland to anyone who wants to borrow a pony!). Wanders off to look at horse bows on the internet...
 

D66

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Excellent stuff!
R handed and L eye dominant will be why you can't catch at PoloX. Had a friend from a shooting culture family who was the same - whole extended family was disgusted he couldn't shoot anything.
 

Rowreach

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I've been wandering round looking at things through triangled fingers and then pointing at them. It's quite fun. I'm quite good with a shotgun (not from horseback obviously) but I haven't used a bow and arrow since I was about 6 and made one.
 

Keith_Beef

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That looks like a lot of fun. There was a horse archery afternoon up at the yard this Sunday, that I couldn't attend. I lent a foam block and target stand, and asked the coaches to organise another session.
 

JFTD-WS

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Excellent stuff!
R handed and L eye dominant will be why you can't catch at PoloX. Had a friend from a shooting culture family who was the same - whole extended family was disgusted he couldn't shoot anything.
Aha. Good to know. I thought I was just rubbish. Turns out I'm actually "special" instead :p

Thanks! I'll have a proper look and work out what I need :D

I love Skye, she's just brilliant!
She has her uses, for sure :D

Cracking write-up and I love the photos!!

Skye could be earning her living as a stunt horse with that kind of relaxed attitude!
Thanks! Haha, well if anyone needs a super chilled orange lump for stunts or similar, I'm game. She could do with earning her keep :p

wow looks like amazing fun, I've always wanted to try that on horseback!

great picks and isn't Skye just amazing. Does she have a sister?
It's great, I really recommend it if you get the chance! She is pretty epic, but no sisters I'm aware of...!
 

JFTD-WS

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I've been wandering round looking at things through triangled fingers and then pointing at them. It's quite fun. I'm quite good with a shotgun (not from horseback obviously) but I haven't used a bow and arrow since I was about 6 and made one.
Is it? I may have to make a habit of it... I've been cantering Dae around the countryside this afternoon, standing up in shooting position and turning round to shoot (invisible) targets behind me with my (invisible) bow :p I'm not sure I trust myself with a shot gun. I'd probably shoot someone. On purpose :p

Yay ๐Ÿ˜
I got a fabulous Scythian now from flagella dei in Hungary-lots oh great reviews and itโ€™s the prettiest bow ever :)
Fab pony you have there!
Cool I shall have a look at those, thanks :D She's not bad, for sure. Not for the glue factory today, anyway ;)

Ooh this looks fun! Sounds like you both had a blast and she really is a poppet!
It really is good fun... I recommend it entirely ;) BTW - not a poppet - she's a big, scary, dangerous war horse who would kill you in battle. Honest ;)

Looks like great fun!
Totally!

God I'd love to do this! I've only ever used a bow and arrow once and found it incredibly hard work but real fun! Looks great :)
I'm going to guess that the bow wasn't ideal for you if it was hard work - might need a lighter draw weight or something (as if I know what I'm talking about here - ha!). But of course, everything is even more fun from the back of a horse too ;)

Love it! What a chilled out mare you have - would love to give this a try with the Beast one day.
She's pretty cool! You should. You absolutely should!

That looks so much fun! And Skye is super chilled, no way Buzz would tolerate that :D
Haha, she's cool - she has a proper QH brain which when switched on can be really alert and on it, but totally switches off too. It's very useful!

That looks like a lot of fun. There was a horse archery afternoon up at the yard this Sunday, that I couldn't attend. I lent a foam block and target stand, and asked the coaches to organise another session.
Absolutely. Hopefully they will!

Awesome, that sounds like a great day! love the photos
Thanks - it was pretty cool!

Looks fun, I have a fb friend in the U.S. who does this, she has some amazing pics and videos๐Ÿ˜
I'll bet - the guys who do it "properly" are completely insane / scary / fast!

Best Carrot! Sounds like a great day! *ponders booking flights with a large suitcase to fit a QH...* :D
Well you'd be welcome to borrow a pony... But I don't think any plane is making it off the ground her fat arse in the hold :p

Skye is such a dude! Fabulous write up. Sounds a lot of fun x
Thanks - she is pretty mega! :D x

your horse looks super chilled, great pics
Thanks! Yes, she does "chilled" rather well ;)
 

albeg

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Well you'd be welcome to borrow a pony... But I don't think any plane is making it off the ground her fat arse in the hold :p
Ooh that would be awesome! It's more than likely (hopefully!) the next time I'm across the water with a riding hat it'll be for something TREC-related, but if I'm over your way I'd love to meet the terrific trio!
 

TPO

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Awesome report! The photos show just how much fun you're both having. Great write up :D

P.S. I pity hho admin if they needed to make a new prefix for all your activities ha ha I have a vague recollection of you attacking monsters (stuffed bin bags??) with a lance on horse back??
 
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pixie27

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This looks so fun! Skye is awesome, love how focused she looks in the last pic. Adding this to my bucket list!
 

JFTD-WS

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This looks so fun! Skye is awesome, love how focused she looks in the last pic. Adding this to my bucket list!
Totally! It's great fun, you should try it if you get the chance! She is pretty epic, and her concentration face is a lot nicer than mine!

Ooh that would be awesome! It's more than likely (hopefully!) the next time I'm across the water with a riding hat it'll be for something TREC-related, but if I'm over your way I'd love to meet the terrific trio!
I'm just back from a TREC committee meeting, actually. I feel like I need committing to some kind of asylum now :p You'd be very welcome - though where we'll actually be depends on timing ;)

Awesome report! The photos show just how much fun you're both having. Great write up :D

P.S. I pity hho admin if they needed to make a new prefix for all your activities ha ha I have a vague recollection of you attacking monsters (stuffed bin bags??) with a lance on horse back??
Thanks! Hard not to have fun with a giant-arsed chestnut QH! Er... I think you're talking about my Uruk Hai. Fergus, Daemon and I attacked them with swords. We also had a flying dragon and a sword fight with a friend of mine. I need a life :p


Observe the white hand of Saruman on its "head"...

That's a fab report, if I were closer (and younger and more agile! ) I'd love to give it a go!
Ha, well Simon does travel, so if you were interested, you could probably lure him down your way... You don't need to be agile or young (and you're not bloody old anyway!)!
 

Boulty

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Looks awesome... Ah to have a horse actually in ridden work, a lorry (sold mine, see previous point) & the ability to aim (no really, I struggle to throw balls of paper into a bin a few feet away & often randomly drop things which I guess wouldn't go down too well if I dropped anything expensive & horse archery bows sound like that may fall into the category of expensive but delicate!). Hmmm even if I could fulfill some of the above my orange numpty is not quite so chilled as your wonderful Carrot (He identifies himself as more of a Rincewind & would be somewhere in the next County by the time the arrow reached the target (having probably left me as a sacrifice to the monsters somewhere along the way!)

I ah also sympathise with feeling the need to be committed somewhere post TREC committee meetings to make sense of what was actually discussed / agreed on (most of ours are done via conference call which is a slightly surreal experience for someone who doesn't have the sort of job that requires this ie me!) I don't need much encouragement to be confused by TREC anyway sometimes as let's just say map reading is not a strong point of mine!
 
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