The squad that was led by Pete only had 97 people instead of the usual 120 of a full squad.
They were not the "mounted archers" Lorist had in mind. They were not mounted archers, rather bowmen on horses.
Back when Lorist was at Morante City, he read a book that mentioned that during the dark ages that followed the fall of the magical civilization, a type of mounted archer unit emerged. Those archers were able to fire their arrows from horseback and could even shoot backwards while their horses rushed forward to eliminate any enemies that dared to give them chase. Anyone that fell into their sights would never be able to escape and they never engaged the enemy up front. Instead, they were skirmishers who rode their horses near their enemy's flank and used hit and run tactics to harass them until the enemy formations crumbled. Just like the Mongol mounted archers.They could regroup and disperse at will and their mobility allowed them to show up on the battlefield or vanish within moments. In one instance of those legends, they even managed to obtain victory over an enemy which had ten times their own numbers after four months and didn't have many casualties. Every time their enemy sent out a group of soldiers to pursue them, they would entrap them and lead their enemies along as they shot from afar until they wore the enemy numbers down. According to the books, that tactic was called kiting because it was much like how a person would pull a kite along and never getting close to it.
Pete explained to Lorist that firstly, they did not have suitable bows for that purpose. While the bows that some nobles use when they hunt can be shot from horseback, the firing distance is not far and can only reach around 40 meters ahead because they're relatively weak don't fire with much force. While that is sufficient for hunting animals like turkeys and rabbits, it's completely useless against magical beasts or soldier formations. Of all the bows available to them, the one with the strongest force and the farthest firing distance is the longbow. It can fire arrows that hit targets 100 meters away and even pose a threat to Gold ranked knights. Even though the bow itself has weaker tension than a hunting bow, hunting bows can only shoot as far because of the heavy arrowheads that are used to hunt magical beasts.
The longbow is recognized by most, if not all, as a bow that is able to fire the fastest and deadliest arrows which makes it one of the most crucial ranged attacking methods for offense and defense alike. However, it's not suited to be used on horseback even if the horse is not moving because it's exceedingly hard to draw it and maintain balance on the horse at the same time.
Josk had spent huge amounts of effort to even make sure that our men can fire when their horses are stationary. Of all of them, only Josk could continually fire arrows on horseback without falling off while the rest of them would lose balance after only three shots.
Additionally, if they don't use longbows, they would not be able to match the enemy's firing distance, and if we approach them too much, they would be attacked instead and be unable to retaliate. That's why, to form the ideal mounted archer unit that Lorist had described, the first problem that had to be solved is creating a type of bow that can be used on horseback that can also rival the firing distance and strength of a longbow. Other than that, they also lacked the horses that can perform like those used by the mounted archers he described. Of all the horse breeds on the Grindia Continent, none of them would be able to fit those criteria.
The mounts of the mounted archers he read about must be robust and have excellent endurance and stamina. They must also be able to recover their energy quickly to be able to run long distances as well as being agile and reactive enough to be able to travel on both flat and mountainous terrain to be able to escape enemy pursuit. They must also be hardy enough to be able to resist cold and hot weather as well as having high resistance to diseases. Perhaps the most important requirement they must have is to be able to consume huge amounts of feed and also digest them at a quick speed. No horse on all of Grindia is capable of that.
They were mounted with Northlander Horses, which were different from other breeds and they could be considered to be the more balanced type among their kind. While they are easy to raise and take care of, they are far from being able to serve the role of those horses used by the mounted archers he talked about. If they did not have enough feed, the horses would lose weight and when coupled with a long distance journey, these Northlander Horses would end up completely useless.
If the mounted archers that Lorist mentioned rode Northlander Horses, each rider would have to bring at least 7 to 8 mounts with him so that he would always have a fresh mount to switch to and loads of horse feed to be able to maintain the horses' physical condition. Using the battle he mentioned as an example, two regiments consisting of 2000 riders would require at least 10000 Northlander Horses. While Zeno Horses and Baligali Horses are better for long distance trips and have great endurance, the way to feed and maintain them is even more complicated than that of Northlander Horses.
Lorist ordered Pete’s mounted archer brigade to defend Hidebull. Even though the mountain barbarians haven't caused any trouble in recent years, it's best if they remain vigilant.