Horseback Archery

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Horseback Archery

This is a discussion on Horseback Archery within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • From horseback bow and rifle training
  • Horse archer

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    12-30-2012, 09:08 PM
Horseback Archery

This may go under "training" but I feel it would get a better response here. Has anyone ever done archery off a horse? I know that it is done, and have watched plenty of horseback archery videos on youtube. On the ground, I'm a fairly decent archer and co-coach an archery class once a week. I'm also a great rider and have been riding horses for 13+ years.

I would really like to combine my two passions, but I have no idea how to train a horse to let me shoot off it's back. You need two hands to shoot, one to hold the bow, one to pull the string. I'm just not sure how to teach my horse A) not to be afraid of the bow and B) how to listen to me without reins, as I'd have to let go of them to shoot, or have them be super long to hang on to while I hold the bow.

Has anyone ever done this? Any thoughts even if you haven't?

And for those of you freaking out about the danger of it: Archery is considered the safest sport in the world. For real. There is no accidental discharge, like with a gun. The most danger would actually be me falling off and landing on my bow. The arrows are kept in a safe quiver on my hip or back. The arrows are fired at a target made of straw. (For anyone who knows the difference, I shoot "traditional" aka recurve aka what you see them shooting in the Olympics. I don't shoot compound or cross bow). The target is in an empty field with no animal or humans near by that could be injured when I miss.
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    12-30-2012, 09:13 PM
There's a fairly long thread on it in the Riding forum. Horseback Archery

Don't think you'll find anyone freaking about it ;)
    12-30-2012, 09:25 PM
Green Broke
I would love to do both archery and shooting from horseback. I think it would be tons of fun.
    12-30-2012, 11:04 PM
I do too! Thanks for linking that thread. Horses and archery are my passions and I'd love to combine them. I'm not sure if a "regular" horse can do it, as the one person mentioned that s/he rides drafts to shoot. Hmm... Do you shoot too, Cat?
    12-30-2012, 11:09 PM
Super Moderator
The Japanese have a long history of mounted archery. It is still competitive today. They steer through leg cues.

    12-30-2012, 11:17 PM
Originally Posted by Horsequeen08    
I do too! Thanks for linking that thread. Horses and archery are my passions and I'd love to combine them. I'm not sure if a "regular" horse can do it, as the one person mentioned that s/he rides drafts to shoot. Hmm... Do you shoot too, Cat?
I shoot a cap gun from my mare, how I got her used to the cap gun was from the ground first, never shoot near their ears though!
I would take her in the round pen and have her follow me on a lead while I shot the cap gun. At first she stayed way back on the lead but eventually I got where I could shot it while beside her and then from her back....
    12-31-2012, 01:15 AM
Those are awesome pics. Some day that'll be me! Haha.

That isn't a bad idea, maybe just have her beside me while I shoot. I might just tie her next to me while I aim. The lucky thing about guns is you can shoot one handed. Not so with archery, but it is the method that counts! I think i'll give it a try. Thank you for your input!
    12-31-2012, 02:29 AM
Hmmmmm I can't even imagine how hard that would be. I enjoy both throughly but never even thought about mixing the two. I have a few horses I can ride stricty with my legs, maybe I should try this one day. However loping without my reins does scare me just a weeee bit lol
    12-31-2012, 03:05 AM
If you noticed in the picture the horse is running between rope you don't need to steer
    12-31-2012, 11:01 AM
Horseback archery is something I'm really interested in too - though I am verrrrrry rusty and need a lot of practice on the ground before I give it a try, and I have a feeling my green broke mare might need a little time too! But I'd love to hear how training your horse goes for you - keep us posted!
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