I’m excited to share my latest adventure with you: mounted archery. Since I started doing archery, I’ve been on the lookout for new challenges and unique experiences.
Mounted archery is just that – a thrilling combination of horse riding and archery. In today’s blog post, I’ll share my top tips for shooting a mounted archery bow and mastering this ancient art.
So, saddle up and let’s ride into the world of mounted archery together!
1. Choose the right bow
Because their compact design and lightweight construction make them easy to handle while riding. I personally use a 45-pound draw weight recurve bow, but you can choose a bow with a draw weight that suits your strength and skill level.
2. Familiarize yourself with the equipment
Before you even think about jumping onto a horse, spend some time getting to know your bow and arrows. Practice your shooting stance, grip, and release technique.
You’ll also want to choose arrows that are well-suited for mounted archery. I prefer using wooden arrows with feather fletchings, as they’re more forgiving in terms of flight and easier to handle when things get intense.
3. Build a solid foundation in horse riding
You can’t be a mounted archer without a trusty steed, right? If you’re new to riding horses, learn the basics carefully. Start with walk, trot, and canter before attempting any archery.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being comfortable on your horse. It’s crucial for your safety and success as a mounted archer.
4. Develop a bond with your horse
You learned horse riding, now be friends with your horse. Spend time grooming, feeding, and simply hanging out with your horse.
This helps establish trust and familiarity between the two of you. After all, you want your horse to be just as excited about mounted archery as you are!
5. Master the art of shooting from horseback
This is where the fun begins! Start practicing your archery skills while sitting on your horse. Begin at a standstill and gradually progress to shooting while walking, trotting, and cantering.
Focus on your form, aiming, and releasing the arrow smoothly. Remember, practice makes perfect!
6. Learn to shoot without looking at the target
When it comes to mounted archery, looking at the target can actually slow you down. Instead, try to develop a sense of instinctual shooting. This means relying on your body’s proprioception and muscle memory to hit the target without having to consciously aim.
Believe me, it’s not too hard. Just practice more, and you’ll learn it!
7. Perfect the art of nocking arrows quickly
In mounted archery, speed is key. You need to be able to nock an arrow and shoot it within seconds. To do this, develop a system for holding and grabbing arrows from your quiver.
Personally, I like to hold a couple of arrows in my bow hand while keeping the rest in my hip quiver. This way, I can quickly nock and shoot without fumbling around.
8. Stay safe
Safety should always be your top priority when practicing mounted archery. Wear a helmet, use safety gear, and follow guidelines.
Take care of your horse too. Make sure they’re comfy, rested, and looked after during and after practice.
9. Join a mounted archery club or take lessons
To boost your abilities and learn from seasoned archers, consider joining a mounted archery club.
These clubs often host regular practice sessions, workshops, and competitions, providing you with a supportive community to help you grow as a mounted archer.
I’ve met some of my best friends and mentors through my local club!
10. Compete in tournaments
Finally, once you’ve gained confidence and honed your skills, consider participating in mounted archery tournaments.
Competing against other skilled archers is an excellent way to push yourself and learn new techniques. Plus, it’s incredibly exhilarating and rewarding to showcase your hard work in a competitive setting!
There you have it – my top tips for shooting a mounted archery bow and embracing this ancient and fascinating sport.
With patience, practice, and dedication, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a mounted archery pro. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your bow, saddle up, and let the adventure begin.
Happy riding and shooting, my fellow archery enthusiasts!