What kind of horse do I need?
The great thing about Mounted Archery is it’s open to all breeds of horses. From Arabians to Quarter Horses to even gaited breeds, everyone has their favorite. The only requirement is if you choose to be competitive, your horse needs to be able to canter 90 meters in 14 seconds, something easily achieved by most healthy horses. The most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about your prospective archery mount is trust and communication. Since mounted archers ride reinless, you must have a horse where there’s a good line of communication using your seat and legs. Mounted Archery is a great way to improve the bond between rider and equine.
What kind of equipment do I need?
Mounted Archery only allows the use of a traditional recurve without a shelf or arrow rest. There are many bowyers out there who specialize in the making of horse bows, but just about any bow without a shelf or rest will do. Keep in mind you will be shooting this off your horse, so try to stay with a bow around 53” strung or shorter so you’re not poking your horse accidentally in the hindquarters. Compound bows are not allowed.
We also recommend getting a set of arrows as well, so you can continue shooting in between practices at the range. There are numerous other pieces of equipment you can add on later, such as quivers, bow gloves, arm guards, and thumb rings, but a bow and a set of arrows are the most essential.
What if I don’t have a bow and arrows or a horse?
We will soon have a few bows we will rent for a fee of $5 on a first come, first serve bases. In the future, we hope to have a few horses we can rent as well, but in the meantime, you don’t need a horse to learn archery and the principles of mounted archery on the ground.
Will you teach me to ride?
We are not riding instructors and do not feel qualified to teach riding. We recommend finding a local instructor and communicate with them what you are looking to do and specify that you would like to learn to ride without reins.
How much do you charge?
HPMA does not charge a membership fee, however we do require for insurance purposes that everyone is a current member of our national organization, Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3). At this time, a yearly membership is $55 per person or $75 per family. Since we do not charge to ride with HPMA, we do ask that everyone helps out with range maintenance, such as pulling arrows, redressing targets, and cleaning up.
What is MA3 and why do I need a membership?
MA3 is the acronym for the Mounted Archery Association of the Americas. It is the non-profit national governing body that High Plains Mounted Archers is affiliated with. In turn, MA3 is affiliated with the International Horseback Archery Alliance, which is the international governing association. You can find more information on MA3 at mountedarchery.org. HPMA does require anyone shooting or riding on our range to be a current member of MA3 for insurance purposes.
What are rankings and postal matches?
HPMA offers MA3 rankings throughout the year. Similar to earning a belt in karate or another martial art, rankings allow individuals to see how they are progressing. Rankings are not mandatory, but are a fun way to compete against yourself.
Postal matches are for those with a little more competitive spirit, and are great because there’s no traveling! The IHAA determines which course will be run for the current postal match. Then Mounted Archery clubs from around the world compete in their own backyard, on their own horses. Forms with results for each competitor are turned in and tabulated to determine placings. For more information on courses and styles, visit our page MA3.
Do I have to compete?
Not at all! We welcome people of all levels and aspirations. There’s no pressure to compete.
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