Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Preparing for the Apocalypse

Or, rather less dramatically put, Equestrian Archery lessons.

That's me on Nash. Nash is a bossy mare, but once she gets going, she's very good.

So, Monday evening was the first ever Equestrian Archery lesson of the season. It was cold, wet and generally miserable, so we headed into the arena to train. Nash doesn't much like the arena, so she was a little... uh... bitchy. Still, it was good fun.

The trainees were myself and J.M-B. as the other interested parties found they didn't have the time. My Kung Fu sister N.T. joined us for a gander to see if she might be interested in taking it up.

Neither J.M-B. or myself had ridden for a while, nor had we shot in a while, so this lesson was a reintroduction to riding and shooting. I was on Nash first to warm ourselves both up. And J.M-B was doing this:

Then we switched. J.M-B. did this:


While I did this:


We shot with the thumb release. I managed to give myself a blister without knowing it. The sudden pain in my thumb when the blister tore open alerted me of that fact.

Owie!

Without a plaster handy, I just had to suck it up. I tried shooting left handed. Yeah, that was abysmal. Then we decided it was time to shoot from a canter, and then the fun really began. Now I'm not so skilled that I can nock an arrow whilst riding (yet), but I did manage to shoot the target and hit it. The first pass I shot and missed. The following two passes, I couln't even pull the bow as the arrow kept dislodging. Then on the fourth pass, this happened:

video

I have trouble keeping my heels down, you can see, but I'll correct that soon enough.

And then it was J.M-B.'s turn:

video

It didn't take her quite so many passes to get it right.

All in all, a brilliant evening, and I can't wait to do it again! The trainer, Chris Kovach, is fun and easy to learn from. He's also extremely accommodating. He rearranged his schedule to take us on Monday, and will be again to accommodate us on Sunday mornings. It's just awesome fun. I'm so happy to be training with him!

If you're in the Ottawa area, and have the means and the time to get to Kemptville, do go and check it out. Chris' website is here. Check it out. You won't be sorry.

Last night was the first night of Martial Arts training in a couple of weeks. Already achy from riding, it was absolute torture... but so, so good! The last hour of training has been devoted to an exceptionally traditional way of training, and the focus is on Mantis Kung Fu for that hour (our school focuses on Mantis, but also teaches a number of other styles including San Shou, Pi Gua, Baji and Ba Gua. The philosophy is one of inclusiveness and openness to other forms of Martial Arts). It was intense, but so much fun!

Writing wise, I did nothing, of course. I mucked about until late in the day when I decided to start the preliminary spelling and grammar check. I didn't finish it as I had started so late. I might finish it today. I might not. I've given myself permission to slack off.

Right, I'll stop boring you and get on with my day. Here is today's Forgotten English:

Fire-Fanged

Fire-bitten. Spoken of oatmeal &c. that is overdried.
- Francis Grose's Glossary of Provincial and Local Words, 1811

Burnt, overheated, dried; fire-fangitness, the state of being overheated, burnt.
- Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1898-1905

Cheese is said to be firefangit when it is swelled and cracked, and has received a peculiar taste in consequence of being exposed to much heat before it has been dried.
- John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 1808

7 comments:

KuietKelticGirl said...

Very cool! I'm now officially envious. I can only imagine how difficult it is to stay on a horse and guide it, while knocking and drawing a bow, and shooting it to actually hit a target. But as hard as it all looks, it definitely looks like fun!

Genevieve said...

Wow Sonia! You look fantastic on horse back releasing your arrows!!! Equestrian Archery looks so fun, I wish we had something like that here. Also, I've decided that if I can't have a Percheron I'd like a Shire (probably sport horse type). Love you lots Sonz and so glad you're having fun... BIG Hugs!

S.M. Carrière said...

It's actually not that difficult. Nash is a good horse, and she's done that run hundreds of times. She know what to do. Horses are actually very responsive, so all you need to do is know the correct signal, and they'll do as they're told... assuming they're not spoiled, or just cranky (Nash was pretty cranky Monday). I really recommend going for a ride. Start out simple, a hack or something. There's nothing as wonderful as being astride a horse.

Thanks, Genevieve! Equestrian Archery is tonnes of fun! I adore it. I'm not sure what a Shire is. I'll look it up.

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

So glad you posted the videos! I was trying to imagine how it would look. At the conference this past weekend, I took a two-hour class from a martial arts instructor, the purpose being to help us write fight scenes. She was trained by a WWII kamikaze pilot. I imagine you're pretty good at fight scenes with all your training.

~Debbie

S.M. Carrière said...

Oooh... I don't know how good my fight scenes are. It's a little difficult to judge objectively!

Pam Asberry said...

Wow, S.M.! That was SO cool! I am so far behind on my favorite blogs (yours included); I saw that you had posted these a few days ago but wanted to save them until I had time to really enjoy them. Definitely worth the wait. I grinned from ear to ear when I saw you nail that target. No matter what you say, that looks SUPER hard. I don't think I could do that in a MILLION years. Thank you so much for sharing these!

S.M. Carrière said...

You're very welcome, Pam. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I adore doing it.