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Sep 18 2013

Great Moments in Horseback Archery: Shoulda Had a Bigger Shield

One thing you should never do, if you’re the leader of a company of equestrian experts, is allow the Viking announcing events direct the audience to choose your shield. Given a choice between large, medium, and comically microscopic, you can imagine what everybody chose.

The Viking's assistant holds up a shield for the audience's inspection, as Alan looks on.

The Viking’s assistant holds up a shield for the audience’s inspection, as Alan looks on.

No, not that one.

Alan graciously accepts the infinitesimal shield the audience has chosen by popular acclaim. We're such evil barstards...

Alan graciously accepts the infinitesimal shield the audience has chosen by popular acclaim. We’re such evil barstards…

Yepper. That’s the one. You’ll have to look closely – it’s that wee silver thing that looks like a mini flying saucer.

Alan was very gracious about it.

Now, firing arrows from horseback is rather difficult. You’re steering something that’s got a mind of its own with your knees. You’re trying to draw your bow with a rather large head and neck in the way, and believe me when I say that even a canter is quite bouncy and prone to throwing off your aim. No surprise that Laurie missed her first shot.

However. She only missed once…

She draws.

Laurie aims at Alan.

Laurie aims at Alan.

She shoots! She scores!

You can see the arrow has left the bow. Note that Alan is holding the shield in a wise place - wise until you realize the thing's designed like a bulls-eye...

You can see the arrow has left the bow. Note that Alan is holding the shield in a wise place – wise until you realize the thing’s designed like a bulls-eye…

Oh, my, did she ever not miss this time round.

An enlarged version of the above, showing where Alan has bravely taken the shot.

An enlarged version of the above, showing where Alan has bravely taken the shot.

If you’re having trouble seeing the arrow, click through for a larger version and pay especial attention to where the shield is.

Well, needless to say, Alan demonstrated that even in full plate armor with a small but thick shield, taking an arrow to the crown jewels isn’t the best experience.

Alan crumples as Laurie rides to victory.

Alan crumples as Laurie rides to victory.

Mind you, I think he was playing it up for dramatic purposes. These were, after all, blunt arrows. And he did have quite a lot of steel on.

Laurie wasn’t done with him yet, though. In the video that follows, the maniacal laughter is courtesy our Viking announcer. It’s not quite right, is it?

However, you can see Alan recover quickly, and in a future video, you’ll see him hamming it up thoroughly, and so a good time was had by all.

And once again, my little point-and-shoot got the shot.  Thing’s almost as awesome as the Free Lancers.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    rq

    Is she wearing Mongolian dress?? If so, that is awesome.
    And this, I think, is my favourite horseback skill.

  2. 2
    Trebuchet

    Yup, Mongolian dress. Horseback archery wasn’t exactly a European skill.

    Several other ladies also tried the archery, with a bit less success. Alan was dissing them by turning around and holding the shield over his butt! It’s a great show.

    Still waiting for flying pumpkins….

  3. 3
    leni

    Cool :) I have always wanted to learn archery, looks like a lot of fun.

  4. 4
    leftwingfox

    Did you ever see this? The Macintalk narrator is a bit annoying, but the actual technique demonstrated is pretty awesome.

  5. 5
    Jackie

    One of my kids is trying to talk me into horseback riding and archery classes. I’m pretty sure this is exactly what he has in mind.

    1. 5.1
      rq

      I’d recommend starting with them separately, but, you know, you only live once. ;)

  6. 6
    RainbowSlushie^.^

    So funny. I love archery and horseback riding, but I haven’t done both in forever. I would love to again someday for sure I think =)

    If I had a rural existence I would probably practice archery and hand knife throwing pretty obsessively I imagine. That’s in addition to baking, gardening, hanging laundry out to dry outside, milking goats/cattle, tending sheep, etc. I’d also LOVE to learn dagger fighting, as I practice bayonet fighting extensively and it was SO fun =~)

    It would be so nice to have like 2-3 acres to just practice this sort of thing on, host events. I would love to bake like pies for these events but also do archery in them, etc. Sounds like a great world really :+)

    Living in the city is so frustrating in these respects :(

    Nice videos though. ^.^

  7. 7
    RainbowSlushie^.^

    Practice should have read practiced as that is past tense and refers to intensive training I received eight years ago in bayonet and kbar fighting, as well as training four years prior to that.

    Regardless, this sort of stuff is still pretty intriguing to me.

  8. 8
    RainbowSlushie^.^

    One of my kids is trying to talk me into horseback riding and archery classes. I’m pretty sure this is exactly what he has in mind.

    It’s fun, you should try it if you want to. I haven’t done either in like ten years, but it’s fairly fun stuff =~)

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