Elf Training: Archery on Horseback
My main goal in life is to become some kind of fantasy warrior. I’d love to be a rogue or an elf specifically. So, to help me achieve my goal, I learned how to shoot arrows from horseback.
Step One: Archery
First step was to practice the actual arrow shooting minus the horse. So, our instructors lined us up in front of some targets and basically said “If you can hit all 3 targets, then you are a yabusame master” (yabusame – horseback archery). So, my brother and I looked at each other and went *pew pew pew*, hit all 3 and looked back at our instructor. In his defence, he had no idea that we’d done quite a bit of archery before (and the targets were pretty big too). So the archery portion of the day didn’t actually take very long!
Step Two: Wild, Wild Horses
Next came the terrifying part. The horses. Now, I may be just a little scared of horses, always have been. I think it’s just because they’re so big. And also, that scene from ‘The Ring’ when the horse goes mad and jumps off the boat always freaked me out, so that probably played a part. This was my horse, she was called Chestnut; my brothers horse was called Sakura – surely something with such a pretty name can’t be that scary! And it wasn’t, until we hit a corner and she zoomed at full speed around it making me feel rather nervous.
Step Three: Don’t Hold on!
But that was nothing compared to the next step, riding AND shooting. This meant I had to let go of the horse, as I needed both y hands to shoot my arrow, so I was clinging on with my thighs like there was no tomorrow. The first time round, I didn’t actually shoot anything as I felt like I was going way too fast. The second time I shot one, but it was nowhere near the target, and the third, and final, time I managed to graze the edge of the target with my arrow.
I was so proud of myself for even just letting go of my horse, so the fact that my arrow was anywhere near the target was pretty damn awesome! After finally climbing down from the horse, I felt exhilarated, and just a little bit wobbly. I’m pretty sure I passed the first level of Elf training, so watch out!
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