People ask us a lot why we do what we do, once they’ve asked the inevitable question “is that really a thing?!” So what’s the answer?
Three years ago, I didn’t know mounted archery was a thing either. I’ve been riding for most of my life and have owned horses for many years, but outside of the odd documentary about Genghis Khan, horseback archery hadn’t really registered on my radar.
It was during a trip to the club where we used to ride in France once day that we first heard mention of getting on a horse with a bow in hand. Of course we immediately wanted a go, so were given a bow each and shown how to shoot it at a target on the ground. So far so good…….
Then came getting on the horse. And ambling along past the target at a walk. This is fun, we thought! Let’s go faster…….OK so once the speed increased, any hope of hitting a target went out of the window, but we didn’t care, we were enjoying ourselves. And that’s why we do it, it’s fun, pure and simple.
Of course there are many other reasons to like this sport. As you have to let go of the reins, you need to be able to use your seat effectively. Riding without reins is so good for improving riding position and the rider’s confidence. It’s also one of the most difficult things for many people to do, but giving them a bow to worry about instead is a good distraction!
We also like what we see of most of the horses. In a world full of dressage horses on tight reins and showjumpers wearing all sorts of bits of metal on their heads, it’s nice to see a sport that allows a horse to use its head freely. A lot of people, especially abroad, ride with just a headcollar, or sometimes only a neckstrap…..
Then there’s the opportunity to travel. Last year we went to the European Grand Prix in France and the French National Championships. BHAA members regularly compete in Sweden, Poland, Germany and have even been to the World Championships in Korea. And our own National Championships happen to be in a very nice spot in Cornwall……
So we can highly recommend horseback archery. Suitable for all ages, our youngest member is 8. If you would like to give it a try, please get in touch 🙂