Friday, October 31, 2014

Mounted Archery

  Mounted Archery

Opal standing after the costume class.
When I started the challenge and decided my performance piece was going to be Mounted Archery, I had no idea I would end up getting so hooked in it.  Hooked hard.  I recently got my bow and was able to start introducing it to Opal.  I posted a picture on one of my Facebook group pages a few weeks ago and I've had several people ask how I got started with this whole archery adventure.  While I am still very VERY new to it all, I will share what i have learned and done so far.

Since I had not shot a bow since I was in girl scout camp when I was like 12, I wanted to start with a beginning archery class.  The Bass Pro in Manteeca near us has a free class offered a few times a month.  During the class we went over basic form, technique, and left the class knowing what pound bow we were best suited for as well as any additional gear we would need.  (Like an arm guard for me) If you have never shot before, I would deffinetly recommend taking a beginning class.

Preparing a horse for mounted archery
Our barn owners were kind enough to shoot a few arrows for me and Opal before I took the class.  First we started with shooting in front of you, then next to her, and finally off a mounting block over her back.  Opal was non-reactive to this, which let me know I could proceed in the buying of gear. 

Once I got my gear I started in the tack.  We had a costume class for our barn Halloween Play Day, so I went as an Archer.  It was the first time I had ridden Opal with the bow, but it let her get use to me drawing and moving the bow around as we moved.  I did this without arrows.

 Carrying the bow for the costume class.

The next day I had a halter and lead rope under the bridle so my friend, Carol Douglass, could hold the lead rope while I shot.  This was just a precaution in case Opal decided to walk off or spook.  Since Opal didn't mind arrows flying in the air, the next 2 days I did not have her held.   Right now we are just shooting at a stand still, once my form/aim/groupings become more consistent we will begin moving.  At my barn we have a 4-5 stack of straw with salad plate sized targets painted on the bales.

Mounted archery competition 

From what I have researched, I have learned a few things.  Please keep in mind, I've spent less than a month reading up on this and I am still learning, but here's what I have found.
In competition traditional bows are allowed.  No compound or mechanical triggers/releases are allowed.  Neither are bows with shelves.  Recurve, Asian (Hungarian/Mongolian/Horse), Long Bows seem to be the main stream.  Also a draw weight between 30-40 pounds seems to be what the average is for competition.
You will notice my Monarch Recurve Bow has a shelf, so it will not be permitted in competition.  My bow is also a 20 pound draw, I was able to draw a 30 pound, but my form suffered rapidly from the weight, so the lower draw allows me to shoot more arrows with more accuracy.  My bow was a fairly inexpensive one and is strictly for me to gain the basic skills of archery.  Eventually I will get a more appropriate bow, but since they cost a lot more and usually come at a higher draw strength, the bow I have is good for what I am using it for.

Currently my gear list includes the following
Monarch Recurve Bow
12 Easton Genesis arrows 
Bow String wax
Case for Bow
Hip Quiver for Arrows
Arrow Tube for Storage
Arm Guard
Bow Stringer 

Useful Links 
Below are some of the links I have used to read up on mounted archery.  Several I found on Pinterest.
  • The Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (lists 'local' places where people are practicing mounted archery or places to do lessons, as well as competitions)
The next two links were given to me at Bass Pro as places who sell bows and have good reputations.
I have spent the last couple weeks reading a lot.  Like I said, I got hooked on this hard.  If there's something I didn't cover, or you have a question, please feel free to ask.  Its a lot of information to take in and sort out.

Carolynn and Opal practicing.

Kip's Horsemanship Throwdown Progress

18 rides
27 hours total

Goals Completed



Do a Job

Preformance Piece - Mounted Archery: in progress

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