Equestrians work as a team to support the horses.
Training starts on the ground with a warm up, introduction to equipment and the option of thumb release or Mediterranean/fingers. Then the horses. In most mounted archery competitions, horses are shared as most of us don’t have the time or money to transport our equine partners, especially internationally. Our horses’ care, comfort and needs are paramount. This is a unifying component; we all work as a team to support our four legged partners, even though we compete from the saddle.
Globally there are many types or courses and numerous ways of scoring. We had five courses in three days:
Fri., Feb. 24 First course, Gambler’s Choice ; 150 meters, 25 second par; 8 targets at various distances, different points (We had hay targets, 3-D deer, stuffed scarecrow). Second course, Hun; 90 meters, 16 second par; 3 targets arranged 30 meters apart; forward shot, side shot, and back shot (parting shot).
Sat., Feb 25, First course, Texas Multi; 150 meter, 25 second par; 5 targets at 7 meters, 9 meters, 7 meters, 15 meters, and 6 meters. A real challenge adjusting the speed of the horse and the arrows flight. Second course, American Arena, 61 meters, 10 second par, front and back shots, unlike other contests, every arrow counts, so a miss is points lost.
Sun., Feb 26, Quabak – a 25 ft. pole with a target on top (we used a pizza pan), 90 meter course with 16 second par. However, you can only shoot within about 6 meters at the base of the pole.