- If you don't have something protecting your fingers, you will wear all of the skin off your finger tips.
- Protection comes in the form of finger tabs, archer gloves (which are basically just leather fingers and a wrist strap) or full on gloves with reinforced finger tips.
- And while gloves are nice, you can get a few arrows out before your fingers get sore.
I do not suggest shooting without SOMETHING protecting your arm. EVER. (Not the arm that is pulling back the bowstring. The other one.) Unless you want to experience sling strap in all its glory. Which you don't. You can either have an arm guard, which can be anything from a little shield of thick plastic veins woven into a little guard or a leather guard. Or maybe even a long sleeve for short term. It needs to protect your entire inner forearm though.
- What is sling strap you ask? Well, as you release the string/arrow, the bowstring doesn't go straight. It wobbles a little to the side as it snaps the arrow into flight. It will also slap your arm. Ouch. And leave a giant purple bruise and possible a bit of a welt or rash depending on how hard it hit you.
- If you keep your arrows in a quiver on your back and then go run through the woods, vaulting over logs and large rocks....guess what? All those arrows are going to go flying out as soon as you make your first jolting landing.
But why? AESTHETIC!
- What can you do? Well, you can have a draw string on your quiver or maybe a little flap...Or if you have a newer bow, you can take a cue from modern hunters and buy a little plastic quiver that straps on the side of your bow staff.
- Even if you don't: Quivers are for transporting arrows and while your brave young warrior should be able to snatch their arrows from the quiver in a fight, they should grab a handful and HOLD THEM IN THE HAND THAT IS HOLDING THE BOW WHILE THEY SHOOT. Or they can take the arrows and ram them into the dirt, drop to one knee and pick them up from there, Robin Hood* style.
- If your character has a long bow...its kind of hard to shoot those from horseback. Sorry. I suggest giving them a recurve or maybe the bows used by Japanese carvery. (Sorry I don't know the name)
- On that note: if you are writing about archery in a different culture, LOOK UP THEIR ARCHERY!
It might be very different from the Longbow style AND the attitude of the archers. In some places, archery is more ceremonial and considered an art. In ye old England, the longbow men were known for their ability to quickly and accurately fire in battle and over long distances.
*The BBC Robin Hood. When he is in the Holy Lands with King Richard and they are attacked...Its in a flash back