This was one of the 50 challenges that I have been MOST excited about. A true physical challenge for me to try something unusual and demanding, combining horse riding and my freshly acquired (basic) archery skills. Fortunately one of the few UK centres that offer this was only an hour away from home and after the restrictions lifted I was able to go ahead with my booking, the sun even came out for us. All looking good, so what happened?
How do you go about learn this ancient sport, popular in Korea, Japan, Turkey, and Mongolia? You start on the ground getting to grips with your bow and arrows and perhaps the trickiest part of the whole thing which is to load the arrow on to the bow without looking. All done by feel and involved a lot of faff factor as you try to persuade your fingers and thumbs to do as they are told. After that you get on the horse, speak kindly to him and hope he knows his job as well as they claim, which marvellously he did, and off you go!
Like any new activity this was in turn both exhilarating and then frustrating but overall as each in the group achieved their own levels of success I felt that we all ended the day with huge feeling of achievement. I really did that! I would certainly do it again, once you have the kit and the space it’s a low environmental impact sport, although requires access to suitable horses, large fields and archery sets so is quite restricted, but there are clubs in the UK where you can participate.
The additional surprise element of this challenge came to me on my drive home. I have had some issues weighing on my mind to do with my work. I’ve been considering various ways forward without really coming to any conclusion and that hasn’t been a particularly joyful state of affairs. Then after this day of doing a completely different, absorbing and new activity I felt a wave of clarity come over me. That evening I took active steps to move forward, resolve my dilemmas, and feel lighter and more positive. You could say a bit retrieved…
Was it just coincidence that I felt so positive after this particular activity when I’m a December baby…. Sagittarius, the half human and half horse, is the centaur of mythology, the learned healer whose higher intelligence forms a bridge between Earth and Heaven. Also known as the Archer, Sagittarius is represented by the symbol of a bow and arrow. Sagittarius launches its many pursuits like blazing arrows, chasing after geographical, intellectual, and spiritual adventures.