This is a kind of horsey post, I'll likely xpost it to my horse blog too.
Since moving to Michigan I've gotten pretty involved in the Great Distance Derby, which has connected me with some local, likeminded horse people. I've gone to Flint to donate water with them on two occassions and gone on some trail rides. I even 'walked' a trail ride with Gwyn in hand just to get out and socialize while I was pregnant since I wasn't allowed to ride.
The person who organizes GDD has also started organizing a Michigan and Midwest Mounted Archery organization, and is bringing clinics to the area. I wasn't able to do anything last year, but I have done some mounted archery with the SCA back when I lived in Florida. I was a fan of it then and I see no reason why I could do it now. At this point I'm trying to dial back my expectations of what competitions we can do without really sinking time and money into some training for Gwyn and myself and being realistic about what is within our reach and what is possible in the future.
Anyway, that's musings for a whole post on its own. Suffice it to say, mounted archery is a pretty darn reasonable hobby and the clinics are reasonably local and kind of budget friendly with the added bonus of including camping! Yay! I love camping!
So for christmas, Eric got me a very basic, junior archery set. Two arrows, a cheap bow and finger and arm guards that are not meant for my fingers or arms.
A nice January day!
For winter training, my friend Heather organized a group of us to meet up and do an activity called Archery Tag at a local indoor sports complex.
You get totally cool face shields that fog up the moment you start sweating.
And play on an indoor field with fake grass and 'obstacles'
It's basically like dodgeball but with a bow and arrow.
AND SO MUCH FUCKING FUN OMG
The arrows are blunted foam and while you can feel them make contact, you aren't hurt, mainly because each team is kept separate from one another. You don't cross into the other team's territory and the neutral middle is where you aren't allowed to shoot from or be shot.
You can see me in the top part of the picture aiming at Heather, lol.
I've just let loose an arrow!
The game starts with all the arrows in the middle, Hunger Games style like the Cornucopia.
The referee counts down and then it's a mad dash to the middle to grab arrows and then back to be out of range (or at least at an easily dodgeable distance) or hop behind an obstacle to snipe the other team.
You get someone out by hitting them with an arrow. But, if you grab an arrow, the person who shot that arrow is out and someone on your own team can rejoin the game.
I like hiding behind things, but the constant crouching and standing up to shoot and dropping back down. Let's just say I did a LOT of squats. My legs burned FOR DAYS.
You can also see the white target with black spots. The game was won if you either took out all the opposing team by hitting them or if you knocked out all five of those foam circles. Our team won boths ways!
Team "Don't Shoot Me!" which is retrospect was in poor taste....
The plan is to do this monthly in the cruddy winter months (Feb and March) before clinics start up and riding can begin in earnest again. Until then, I'll be using my baby bow to desensitize Gwyn because I'm planning to do a clinic in June! I'm so excited!