Originally Posted by Tessa7707
Sweet!! "only doing two" hahaha, that's hilarious. So, I'm curious as to how you go about preparing your horse for this? Any special precautions?
Also, if you could clue us in on some lingo, I would be thrilled. Thanks for posting!
Sure! Our horses are mostly even-tempered drafts. We have a Gypsy, a Drum, two Shires, and a Friesian/Shire mare that we're currently using, and one of our troupe members does everything on her BLM mustang. Last year, for desensitization, we practiced archery in the barn while the horses watched (shooting away from the stalls, of course!). This turned out to be a good idea, since two of them were antsy about the sound of the release at first.
Of course, all of these horses also joust with us, which, we've found, is excellent practice for the archery--if a horse is willing to let you get hit with a pole at a hard run on its back, it's probably not going to bat an eye at an arrow being released. And some of the principles are the same, anyway, since in both sports, you drop the reins. The horse needs to be able to run in a straight line without any connection at the mouth, and the rider needs to be able to control the horse and balance using only their legs and seat (if I'm not mistaken, Kassai shooters are required to learn the sport bareback to encourage this). Some of us shoot while sitting the canter, some of us shoot from the jousting two-point. Since we don't compete except against each other, we aren't sure about any regulations for this, and for us it comes down to preference.
In terms of shooting itself, mounted archery is a little bit different from standing archery, and not just in terms of draw technique. You release from "inside" the bow--so if you're drawing with your right hand and holding the bow with your left, the arrow will be resting across your left thumb on the right side of the bow. I haven't done standing archery in a while, but if I recall, that's contrary to how it's usually done. We also hold all the arrows we intend to shoot in our bow hand. I've considered trying a hip-quiver, but it's really, really difficult to find an arrow, nock it, and shoot it in what amounts to two strides, so if it's already in hand it's one less step to worry about.
Aim! Aim doesn't exist in mounted archery, at least for me. I mentioned muscle memory in my initial post, and while I'm sure some of our troupe members still attempt to sight before release, I do not. I've come to a reasonable understanding of where the arrow is going to go simply by drilling position into my head--the position of the nock on the string, the position of my hand on the bow, the position of the arrow relative to my hand. By learning consistent positioning of my body and the bow and arrow, I can control my aim with reasonable success simply by angling the bow up, down, left, and right as opposed to trying to sight down the arrow.
As far as "lingo" goes, I guess I don't know a lot, because most of what we've done is self-taught. I know the draw terms, I know some terms related to the Kassai school, and some related to the Korean school. My favorite mounted-archery related term off the top of my head is "Mogu," a type of Korean mounted archery in which one rider goes ahead and throws cotton targets into the air, while another follows behind and shoots the targets with turnip-headed arrows dipped in ink.
:) I'm not an expert, but I'm happy to try my best to answer any questions anyone has! It's a super fun sport and, I think, good for any rider looking to improve their balance and discipline.