Horseback Archery – Donna Harrison Blog, September
I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and my husband gave me the fantastic present of a one-day horseback archery course, at the Centre of Horseback Combat in Hemel Hemstead (something I have always wanted to do). When the day of the course arrived, I approached the yard full of both excitement and apprehension. I love a challenge (and this most definitely was one), but also strive to excel at everything I do. I really hate the thought of failure and on this occasion, I really wanted to hit that gold in the centre of the target!
My video …
As expected, the day started with a group briefing where along with five others we sat around a table in the reception area where we were told about the centre, what they do, what to expect from the day. We also had the chance to watch a short video of the professionals in action, which quite literally took my breath away! The speed in which the professionals go, along with their expert eye for the target was amazing to watch.
Next up we were kitted out with a glove (left hand), belt and of course the bow. We made our way to the target practice area where we were taught how to shoot an arrow from horseback. The bow was a lot smaller than a standard bow and needed to be shot with an arrow quickly. The technique is very different than that of standard archery. We took our time practising our blind knocking (getting the arrow on the bow without looking) and then hitting the target before we were finally introduced to our trusty steeds for the day. I was lucky enough to be partnered with Romeo, a true gentleman who looked after me all day.
I must say that trying to shoot an arrow from a moving horse (even in walk), is quite difficult and I found myself getting a little frustrated, however, in this sport you need to be completely relaxed and focused. As a group we needed to work our way up from one arrow at walk, to three in trot, and if we were good enough we were allowed to canter, which unfortunately it didn’t get to do. There were two people on the course who had previously attended, and they impressed us all by getting up into the canter and both hitting the target.
My best achievement of the day is on the You Tube video above, where you will be able to see my run both from a go pro which I wore on my hat and videoed from the ground. You’ll also be able to see the joy on my face as I managed to hit the very centre of the final target!
I highly recommend the horseback archery course if you want a challenge and enjoy trying something different. Who knows what I will be trying next?!?! If you want to challenge me please feel free to send me a message and I will see what I can do.
Thanks for reading my blog, hopefully, you will stay interested and stay tuned for my next adventure.