Shooting a horsebow


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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Down under - Melbourne

    Shooting a horsebow

    Hi all
    I am interested in using a horsebow in the field, but how do you aim?
    I stringwalk my recurve barebow, but there is no arrowrest on a horsebow. Do you shoot off the knuckle? Outch! Vanes or feathers?
    What would be the best method of aiming? Stringwalk, gap, facewalk, instinctive or something else?
    I would like to have an idea before I go and buy one.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Central England
    Horse bows and Mongolian bows have a cult following in the UK and I saw a couple at a 3D shoot here in the UK yesterday.

    I believe most people here shoot either a gap system or instinctively.

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  5. #3
    Definitely instinctive. Shot off the knuckle, most likely with the bow canted off to one side. Some sites sell gloves to protect the bow hand from fletching cuts.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    Instinctive all the way. You have to be able to shoot (if on an actual horse) with the bow canted at various angles depending on where the target is. The only time you can hold the bow upright is when your target is directly to the side of your bow hand. Otherwise you would poke your horse with the bow.

    I'm a beginning archer, and decided that horseback archery was what I wanted to do. I'm learning to draw with my thumb, shoot off the knuckle, and shoot from the 'wrong side' of the bow. It is very gratifying when it all comes together.


    Oh yeah - Feathers, four fletch, so you don't have to look when nocking.

  8. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Somerset, UK
    It's pretty much been said, but I shoot a Hungarian bow both from the ground and on horseback.

    I shoot with the bow canted and I shoot off the knuckle with a Mediterranean loose. I wear a finger and thumb glove on my bow holding hand, but a leather glove would do just as well. I shoot wooden arrows with three feather fletch and with four inch shield fletchings, although I have also use four and five inch eliptical fletchings too. The fletching have the front edges whipped, to prevent them catching in the hand or glove. Failure to do this will result in about a 1/4" of fletching, inserting itself into your hand and ripping itself clear of the arrow. Don't ask me how I know this

    Aiming is instinctive and it is not hard to hit targets at medium to longer ranges in the open, but up close and in woodland is harder, and good for a laugh.

    I have two bows, both build by Grozer, one is 80lbs and the other around 30 lbs. The heavier is for ground work, the lighter for the horse.

    Shooting from the horse requires a whole new set of skills, not least, horsemanship and also the horse has to be trained.

    I will add some more horsebows to my collection as and when I get the time to shoot them.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Down under - Melbourne

    Thank you

    Thank you all.
    That was most informative.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Ontario, Canada

    I am of an understanding that you shoot horse bows from the "wrong side" of the bow. Why is this? Do you HAVE to? and also...what happens if you didn't? I am a lefty and would rather stick to shooting the arrow off the right side!

  11. #8
    Shooting off the "wrong side" is a result of using a traditional thumb ring. If you use fingers, you can shoot it the way you're used to doing now.

    Shooting off the wrong side in either style (either finger shooter on the opposite side, or thumbring shooting off the knuckles) will cause the arrow to flex opposite of the way we want, causing riser contact and all sorts of nasty stuff to happen in flight.

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