EQUIPMENT FOR MOUNTED ARCHERY
HORSE AND TACK
Any breed of horse can excel at mounted archery. They need to be trained in the basics of going forward, stopping, turning, and backing. You should be able to ride them at a canter on a loose rein without them running off and they should respond well to leg cues. The goal is to ride down the track at a canter after dropping the reins to the horse's neck.
Basic training for the horse is your responsilibty. You will need to show us that your horse has these basic skills before we can allow you to shoot on the range. If you need assistance in basic training or riding lessons we suggest you look into working with a professional horse trainer.
Any saddle that you feel comfortable riding in is a good choice. Archers use all kinds of saddles including western saddles, dressage saddles, McClellan type saddles, and endurance saddles. Saddles with either a very low horn or no horn at all are preferred. Headgear is what is comfortable for the horse and what you can use to remain in control.
You will need a traditional recurve bow without a shelf or an arrow rest with a draw weight of 30-45 pounds. We suggest a bow with a length of 50-52" when strung. This length is easier to handle when shooting from a moving horse. An inexpensive option in the beginning is a small youth bow with a low draw weight that you can use until you see if this sport is for you. To shoot competitively it is required to have a bow with no shelf or arrow rest. No compound bows allowed.
You will need a minimum of a dozen (12) arrows. They can be carbon, aluminum or wood. A feather fletching is essential for better accuracy since you won't have time to make sure the index feather is on the appropriate side. Plastic veins are stiffer and less forgiving in this situation. The tips need to be target or field tips. For some types of courses you will need flu flu arrows with blunt tips (bottom arrow and tip in the photos).
A quiver is what holds your arrows. They can be leg, hip or back style. Some courses require you to shoot from the quiver while others require you to shoot from your hand only. Photos to the right are examples of three
different kinds of thigh quivers. The one on the left is custom made by Knavish Designs off of Etsy, the middle one is custom made by Serena Lynn of South Texas Archery Riders and the one on the right is from Ravenswood Leather.
You will need at least one target to get you started shooting. You can make your own by following several DIY videos or purchase one from a local sporting goods store. As you get further along in your training you will want three targets to practice with.
Bow Hand Glove - The bow hand glove protects your bow hand from the fletches on the arrow. As the arrow slides across your hand when released the fletches can cause minor cuts.
Three-Finger Glove - This glove protects the fingers if you use a three-finger release when pulling back the string.
Thumb Ring - When shooting with a thumb draw some archers use a thumb ring. They can be made of leather, horn, wood, ivory, or metal. They protect the thumb when pulling back the string.
Arm Guard - Arm guards protect the forearm of the bow arm from string slap. If your elbow is rotated towards your body when the arrow is released the string can slap it causing a painful bruise.
Bow Hand Glove
Three Finger Glove
Long Arm Guard
Regular Arm Guard