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Hey, I'm really into Horseback archery, I have never tried it but it looks really cool. Does anyone do it? One day I'd like to go to a kassai school. Anyone ever been to one? Do you have any advice or tips for starting?
 

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I can't say I know much about it, atleast not competition-wise, but I'll be going bow hunting as soon as I have a horse that won't mess with me the whole time :p
I only have a compound bow with a 65lb draw weight and s horse that doesn't appreciate leg/seat cues..A horse trained as such (as well as rider) and a specifically designed, short longbow with a high drawback weight.

From what I understand, it's the same as mounted shooting goal-wise, except not in an arena and a bow instead of 2 guns. :p
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I checked out the photo albums on the website Tessa posted and WOW does that ever look amazing! It looks like there's some serious fun to be had in that sport...and the costumes, how awesome!

Never mind dressage, maybe this will be my new pastime...
 

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It's something I'd be interested in, too. Not just the archery, but doing anything that involves using both hands for something other than holding the reins. Even something as simple as getting out the camera and taking a good picture...
 

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Alright, so I was once a certified archery instructor (certification expired in August) and in my training, the finger hold is index finger above the nock of the arrow, middle and ring finger below. You want your finger tips only on the string, not the arrow. However, most of the archers I am seeing pictures of are doing it differently. Probably not a mistake and I wonder why? A lot of them shoot like this-




Which, according to my training, would technically be wrong. Any ideas?
 

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talk about costumes and fun. here is Japanese mounted archery: Yabusame.

saw it done in Tokyo, many years ago.

pretty cool. look at how long the bows are.

 

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I agree with you completely, tessa..it's very wrong, lol. I'm curious as to why though..possibly for fact that they generally don't twist sideways and shoot more ahead of themselves than perpendicular?
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Alright, so I was once a certified archery instructor (certification expired in August) and in my training, the finger hold is index finger above the nock of the arrow, middle and ring finger below. You want your finger tips only on the string, not the arrow. However, most of the archers I am seeing pictures of are doing it differently. Probably not a mistake and I wonder why? A lot of them shoot like this-




Which, according to my training, would technically be wrong. Any ideas?
If you ever shoot from a running horse you'll likely abandon the three finger draw you were taught.

In this photo it looks as if the rider is using a pinch draw. It works. Gives a cleaner release than the three finger draw, but depending on the draw weight it can be difficult. Lighter draws work well for this.

If you're using a heavier draw that was the norm for the ancient horse cultures of the Asia with their short, but very powerful bows, you would likely go with a thumb draw like they did. Where the thumb is used to pull the string back and the arrow is still pressed against the index finger.
 

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Actually, at a closer look she might be using a thumb draw. Looks like there might be enough room between the finger position and the string to allow for the thumb to be pulling the string back.
 

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That makes sense, lbs not miles. You need speed, not strength. I knew it couldn't be a novice mistake when 90% of these highly skilled archers were doing it. I went a-searching for different types of draws- heres what I found:

So, you were totally right lbs not miles.
 

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If you're using a heavier draw that was the norm for the ancient horse cultures of the Asia with their short, but very powerful bows, you would likely go with a thumb draw like they did. Where the thumb is used to pull the string back and the arrow is still pressed against the index finger.
Yeah, as with most things, there are a lot of different ways that work. Some get embedded in a culture, either because they work well in that context, or because it's the way "real people" do it. As for instance I'd bet that the Mongols, or the Lakota or US Calvary, didn't ride their horses at all the way a modern dressage school would think is correct.
 

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If I am not mistaken, that photo is of Katie Stearns (AKA the Flying Duchess), a who is an international star as far as mounted archery goes.

It is generally a better idea to use a bow with a lower draw weight for competitions so you do not tear up your rotator cuff.
It is also a lot more difficult to draw a bow standing on firm ground than on a moving horse. You're likely to hurt yourself with constantly pulling high draw wt. bows in quick succession such as is required in competition.
 

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I do some mounted archery! It's difficult to learn, but once you have your muscle memory down, it's extremely thrilling. I personally use a Mongolian draw--it's become the most comfortable for me, and I'm pretty quick at it. The pinch draw, I'd expect, is faster, but I find the Mongolian draw to be a good blend of speed and security. One of the guys I work with (we do medieval reenactment) can do three arrows at a pass with the Mongolian draw. Right now I'm only doing two, but I'm still learning.
 

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I do some mounted archery! It's difficult to learn, but once you have your muscle memory down, it's extremely thrilling. I personally use a Mongolian draw--it's become the most comfortable for me, and I'm pretty quick at it. The pinch draw, I'd expect, is faster, but I find the Mongolian draw to be a good blend of speed and security. One of the guys I work with (we do medieval reenactment) can do three arrows at a pass with the Mongolian draw. Right now I'm only doing two, but I'm still learning.
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!
 

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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.
 

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Subbing, I've been interested in picking this up!
 
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