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Mounted Archery is a​n Ancient Art Undergoing a Modern Revival

Mounted archery is a martial arts discipline with recorded histories dating back more than 2500 years. The earliest depictions of mounted archers are found in artwork of the Neo-Assyrian Empire of about the 9th century BC. Mounted archery is a type of archery where an archer shoots from a bow while riding a horse or some other riding animal. As a technique it appeared in large open areas, where it was highly successful for hunting, cultural ceremony, protecting herds, and for warfare.

Horse archery was for many groups a basic survival skill, and additionally made each able-bodied man, at need, a highly-mobile warrior. Native Americans were also powerful horseback warriors. The buffalo hunts of the North American prairies may be the best-recorded examples of bow hunting by mounted archers. Mounted archery found expression worldwide through cultures as disparate as the Scythians, Huns, Mongols, Japanese, Koreans, Sioux, Ktunxa, and Turks. The horse cultures of the Asian steppes mastered reinless riding, the fine riding skills necessary for mounted archery and design and use of the composite bow.

Mounted archery appeared for the first time during the Iron Age as a more practical replacement of the Bronze Age chariot. Persians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Scythians, the Parthians and even the Roman armies incorporated horseback archers into their cavalries. Once firearms were introduced, horseback archery faded into the pages of history.

Mounted archery is considered internationally as a martial arts discipline with its roots in the domestication of the horse and nomadic way of life. Today horseback archery is both a celebration of cultural history, as well as a dynamic, growing modern martial art and sport.  It is enjoyed in many countries around the world, with many local and international events highlighting an array of different courses and styles of archery.

For more detailed archery and mounted archery history visit