It was once a highly successful technique for hunting, protecting herds and for war, but the medieval skill of mounted archery is now a modern skill that is being performed slightly differently.
Kirkconnell residents Rod and Michelle Walker will open up their property on Saturday and Sunday for a mounted archery workshop, which is set to attract people from across the Central West and NSW.
Ms Walker explained that attendees will begin on foot, before progressing to horseback.
“We’ll teach people archery on foot, showing them how to pull the bow back and shoot the arrow at targets,” she said.
“After we show them how to shoot at the targets, we’ll start getting them to shoot while walking and when they’re comfortable with that, they can start on the horse.
“We’ll also teach a blind nock, which is reloading without looking, which you’ll have to do when you get on the back of the horse.
“We’ll hold the horse, because a horse might get spooked if it’s never been exposed to this before. Then we’ll lead the horse around and once the person is confident enough, we’ll let them go by themselves.”
While on ground and horse back, archers will be required to shoot at a target that is roughly 10 metres away.
“You’ve got to try and shoot at about three targets, while the horse is going at a canter pace,” Ms Walker said.
“This weekend is designed as a great intro into mounted archery and it’ll be great fun.
“It’s a chance for people to come along and have a go.”
Ms Walker said mounted archery is growing in popularity in Australia, but is lacking in NSW.
She said it’s very popular in other countries such as Japan and Mongolia, where there are major tournaments.
For attending people, she said it’s preferable to bring your own horse, however, there will be horses available.
The workshop is designed for people of all ages, from children up to adults.
The workshop will be held on the Walkers’ property at Sherwood Park at Kirkconnell.
On Saturday and Sunday, the workshop will start at 9.30am, running to late in the afternoon on Saturday and finishing around 2pm on Sunday.
Mounted archery was believed to be first developed during the Iron Age, gradually replacing the Bronze Age chariot.
However, mounted archery proved slightly ineffective against a mass of grounded archers and was eventually rendered obsolete by firearm technology in the later half of the second millennium AD.
For more information on the mounted archery workshop, contact Rod and Michelle Walker on 6637 5218 or 0429 672 932, or contact their Facebook page Sherwood Park Mounted Archery.