An archer sits astride a galloping horse firing her bow and arrows at targets through the forest. It sounds like a video game, but it’s real.
Archery and horseback riding came together as soon as humans learned to domesticate and ride the horse, around 5,000 years ago.
Today, competitions like this one help keep the ancient activity of mounted archery alive. And modern video, like this unique and exciting perspective, are introducing the sport to more people than ever.
While horseback archery – or more properly, mounted archery – has maintained a small devoted following through the centuries, it has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with new clubs and competitions springing up in a number of countries.
There clearly must be a high level of trust and familiarity between horse and rider in exhibitions like this. If this video is any indication, the horse follows verbal commands more than physical control from the rider.
We do not know the specific details of this particular horseback archery contest, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s the visual from the mounted archer’s point of view that makes this video special.
Today, mounted archery is being practiced all over the world, with exciting competitions held in many countries. The Mounted Archery Association of America is one such organization in the United States.