Horseback Archery in the Medieval Age

medievalforest recurvebowsThere had been a surge of interest in outdoor sports as of late. Some take it slow by simply shooting bows and guns in a forest, some even will go to the extent of hunting big game animals, but to some it is an opportunity to compete like doing horseback archery. But what really is horseback archery. What comes with it and what are its roots. Not a lot of people know. What they see is just simply shooting arrows while you are on a horse. But there’s more to it and it is full of history. Don’t get the wrong impression, not because old people shot compound bows long ago, well, you can do to.

Mounted archery first came out back in the Iron Age, prior to that what people had been using were chariots and was immediately replaced. Mounted archers were first depicted in the Neo Assyrian Empire art from the 9th century BC.

Combating this way need a wide are to run, maneuver, and even flee otherwise you can be easily defeated. Also, light horse archers are also vulnerable to some foot archers and especially crossbowmen, who are in turn are smaller targets for mounted archers and can easily outshoot horsemen. Large armies rarely relied on mounted archers but there are a lot of battles have been won where archers played a leading role towards victory. Even the amateur general Crassus have led a huge army, with poor cavalry against Parthian horse archers and cataphracts and ended in a severe defeat at the battle of Carrhae. The Persian king Darius the Great lead a battle against the skilled mounted Scythians, who for some reason, refused to engage in inclined battle; he conquered and occupied the land but ended up retreating because he lost so much troops against the Scythians. But in the end, he still kept the lands he conquered. A lot of other great leaders used mounted horses in their campaigns like Alexander the Great, the Han dynasty against the Xiongnu nomads, Philip of Macedon, Mongols and Romans.

The fall of this warfare started when it became apparent that when armies started amassing foot archery. Foot archers and crossbowmen can obviously outshoot mounted archers and a man standing alone is a smaller target than a man and a horse together. In the crusades, the Crusaders matched the Turkoman horsemen with their own crossbowmen and the Genoese crossbowmen were in favor against both the Mamluk and Mongol armies. Due to their success, the Chinese armies amassed crossbowmen to battle against the invading nomad armies. Any army who wanted to fight with bows will normally dismount and exchange arrows against the enemy. But dismounted Mongol archers exchange arrows while sitting down when they are dismounted from their horses. Finally, when modern firearms were developed it rendered mounted archers completely obsolete. From the 16th century onwards, different armies started developing mounted soldiers with firearms.  However, the usual arquebus and musket were too big and awkward to use on horseback, firearms such as the carbine had to be invented for this kind of warfare.

Recurve bows are now popular among outdoor enthusiasts. It’s becoming a well-loved weapon used for sports or for hobbies. Experience using a recurve bow by finding the right bow for you. If you are a hunter, whether a professional or an occasional hunter,you can also find recurve bows specifically for hunting.