Horseback archery has been used in warfare since man could swing up on a horse. Artifacts and cave paintings depict mounted archers shooting both for wild game and for sport. Horse archery gave riders a great advantage engaging their enemies while mounted on an animal with so much speed and stamina not possesed by foot soldiers.
In modern mounted archery, we use shorter than average (between 54″-56″) recurve bows without a shelf. Often the bow weight is quite a bit lighter a draw weight than what you might find for a hunting bow, between 35lbs and 40lbs. Mounted archers can easily shoot hundreds of arrows at a practice, it is just easier on the body. There are two distinct styles of release used for horseback archery as well. Here at the Rogue Mounted Archers facility we practice both the Mediterranean Traditional Three Finger release and the Mongolian Thumb Hold. Both are acceptable worldwide and both have their advantages.
Last least, the most important aspect to horseback archery is our partner, the horse. Much training goes into the making of a good archery horse, but the benefits of having a bond an archer forms with their mount is worth the effort. There are saddles designed specifically for mounted archery, however, any saddle will do. There are no specific tack guidelines. However, proper fit ensures the comfort of the horse and the safety of the riders. I can tell you from experience, most horses do very well at taking to the bow. If we are patient, the reward is great.
Horseback archery is enjoying a comeback. Interest is growing in this facinating sport. It is not only a fun and exciting for the riders, it is engaging for the audience as well. We welcome all who are interested in learning more about this amazing horse activity to check out our instructors page. Or if you would rather observe, attend a clinic or competition. Mounted archery takes horseback riding to a whole new level.