We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine July 2016 - Page 9

practices, clinics or competitions or provide archery equipment or trained horses. Participants in clubs are required to have their own horse and archery equipment and be willing to travel to various locations, similar to a saddle club. The NHAA website has a list of schools and clubs currently available at www.horsearchery.us. The website also includes a list of clinics, practices, and competitions taking place all over the U.S.

Archery range safety and respect for the horse are key to keeping safe during mounted archery activities. Allowing riders to learn to shoot at their own pace and compete at their own pace is also important. Learning to blind nock while trying to control the horse and looking at the next target to aim and shoot can be intimidating at first. It definitely takes practice for most people. When practicing, it is always a good idea to wear a helmet that has a removable visor whether on the ground or mounted. That way muscle memory is developed so that arm and hand positions are adjusted for the helmet. Horseback archery takes a different set of skills than target archery. As Trey is known to say, "The skills learned in horseback archery translate to target archery. Skills learned in target archery don't translate to horseback archery."

Mounted archery in the United States is developing rapidly. There are differing opinions on what constitutes a safe ride, a safe mount, and what training is necessary for horse and rider. It is up to you to determine what interests you about the sport and where you want to go with it.

Googling mounted archery and watching YouTube videos is going to show how people from all over the world are doing horseback archery. Some are more daring than others. Some demonstrate techniques that would get most people hurt. Some are going to show exciting feats of horsemanship that make it look like anyone could or should be able to do that with

Trey Schlichting, A Company Mounted Archery, New Braunfels, TX

Photo by Bianca Stawiarski

no problems. Find an instructor who can help you perfect your

riding skills

and your

horseback

archery

skills.