An expert on the history of horse-archery. Mike is also a practising horse archer and the founder of the first horse-archery club in California – the California Centaurs. Horse-archery is his passion. He gives demonstrations, teaches clinics and writes on the subject. He has presented segments about both horse-archers and chariot-archers for several television programmes; whilst riding, shooting and speaking to camera during the action.
His book The Composite Bow ( Osprey 2016) deals with the horn, wood and sinew recurve bows of Central and Eastern Asia and the Middle East in all their complex diversity and their use for horse-archers as well as for infantry-archers.
His fascination with horse-archery is part of his overall interest in all forms of historical archery. Mike’s book, The Longbow, has been widely hailed as a classic on the subject. He is currently writing a book about The Crossbow and has plans to write about the Japanese bow (yumi). His dvd Archery – Its History and Forms (72 mins) is an acclaimed overview of many styles of historical archery.
He has shot bows from galloping horses and from galloping chariots. Chariot-archery is a particular interest. He has been shot at (with rubber blunts) on horseback wearing a hora – a Japanese device that billows like a sail when riding at sped and dissipates an arrow’s energy (it works !) and (again with rubber blunts) wearing medieval plate armour and driving an ATV at speed towards a line of longbowmen. He has shot incendiary arrows and arrows with fireworks attached (an early Chinese method). He has shot from inside arrow loops and at arrow loops from the outside at a number of different castles. He has shot many different types of crossbow – including shooting a crossbow from a galloping horse.