Horse Archery Australia
Horse Archery Australia teaches one of the most fun sports in the world that you can learn from Australias leading Horse Archery Instructor Katrina Kruse.
This most amazing equestrian skill is now growing rapidly in Australia and around the world.
Who would have thought that the lost art of hunting and warfare from Horseback for hundreds of years would now be so popular with Kids, Mums, Dads, Young Adults...... everyone of any age can do it.
It's a sport that does not require that 'special' breed of horse, or that expensive specialised tack. In fact, the only rule for the type of equipment that can be used is the type of bow used in competition. A simple bow with no sights, shelf or centrefire, it needs to be able to be shot equally from either side of the riser.
Basically a stick and a string!
Here at Horse Archery Australia we sell equipment specific to the sport and are extremely knowledgable on what works for the different size, strengths and ages of clients and whats legal for the sport. Make sure you are buying the best.
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Oh but the places you can go with that bow are amazing. Lives have been changed. Amazing adventures enjoyed and friends of a life made. If you don't believe us then check out our Testimonials and see just how much people have gained from learning through us.
It's not just the Archery from a Horse you learn ..... its so much more !
The modern sport of Horse Archery started about 20 years ago. In 2017 the 13th World Championhisp was held.
Even in the time since we established our school it's amazing the growth in this sport around the world, and its not slowing down.
So hows it all done? Well most tracks use what we call a run which is cordoned of with ropes or some sort of delineation line to basically steer your horse as you wont be holding the reins. You will be required to shoot and reload (nock on) your bow any where from once to up to 18 times or more depending on the 'track' you are on.
There are quite a variety of tracks. A bit like the different tracks you get in Eventing or Show Jumping, some you won't know what they look like till you get to the event. These are usually the hunt style tracks.
Others are pre set, similar to dressage tests. It's all written out and can be set up and trained on at home. These are the most popular tracks and are usually straight or slightly curved tracks. This is what most competitions and clinics use.
At one of Horse Archery Australia's Intro Clinics we start the day with a simple way of training your horse to go down the run and respond your voice and seat. Plus this session helps them settle into a new environment if they've not been there before. We call this "Runway Training".
After that we spend a couple of hours without the horses doing ground archery. This is when we teach or improve your archery skills. Dont worry if you don't have any, most people who come to one of our clinics have NEVER picked up a bow before, and their horses have certainly never been shot off either.
So we spend a couple of hours teaching archery skills that work from a horse, as thats our ultimate goal. These techniques are very specific and quite different to regular ground archery and have a very unique set of safety aspects to be respected as well. All of this is explained and taught at our clinics.
We have lunch after the ground archery session and afterwards we bring the horses back into the arena and introduce them to the bow with you shooting beside them from the ground. This continues until we see the horse is relaxed. With some it may be only one arrow and with others it could be much more, we work with the horses in this part of the clinic. ( A preparation suggestion is to do some safe desensitisation training with your horse prior, just so it doesn't confuse the bow with a whip and the sound it makes also with the crack of a whip)
Once your horse is OK with it all, you will mount, and with Katrinas assistance, shoot from your horse, most times starting out at the halt or slow walk. Once you and your horse are confident you will be sent solo down the runway, at the walk to start, and away you go shooting those targets.
Its amazing for me to watch a student go form being a bit concerned about dropping the reins in the morning Runway Training session to them being very determined to load that arrow so they can shoot the target. It's still one of the things that gives me a lot of pleasure teaching this sport.
Your comfort zone gets an expansion
We usually suggest doing a two day clinic when you start out, as it helps to solidify the training for both you and your horse. But don't worry if you can't and one day is all you can do, its better to get started properly and continue with your training at home after learning the correct and safe techniques for this sport.
As for those 'specific' bows I mentioned earlier, well we have a Horse Archery Equipment Shop, go have a look at them. We carry as much stock with us to clinics as we can, so you can also have a try before you buy.
We also supply customised arrows for the sport, along with arm guards, gloves, quivers and more.
Again you will notice most of this equipment is very different to what you find in a regular archery store, because shooting from a 500kg animal is not the same as to shooting from the ground....its waaaaay more fun.
So you've done your first clinic, got some gear and want to get going at home. Whats next? Well at the clinic we tell you about how to set up at home and what to watch out for. At the end of the day if every arrow you fire goes into the target its fine, but its those missed arrows that are usually the problem, so you need to be aware of your overshoot area.
It does not cost a fortune to set up a run at home or even find targets, Kids boogie boards, some pig tails, orange cones or bollards and some rope and you are away .
Australia has been the most progressive country to date with its Grass Roots growth of this sport. Thanks to Katrina writing and introducing the Walk and Trot grades here years ago. But if you feel you want to go straight to canter, then go for it, but keep it safe and don't forget your form.
There are regular clinics held all over OZ and NZ by Horse Archery Australia, along with competitions. In 2019 & 2020 we will be running a lot more competitions at a regional level around the country.
There are also State and National events held each year. Plus the opportunities to compete internatinally are boundless. And to answer the question you are thinking, No, you dont take your own horse with you, its just too expensive.
You use the Horses provided at the event.
Regardless of your aspirations, if you just want to have fun at home, dabble in a few walk trot competitions, make it to the nationals or reach for the stars and compete internationally its all available for you here at Horse Archery Australia.
So what are you waiting for, jump onto our Clinics page to see whats coming up in your area
If you want to keep up to date or get involved via social media we have quite a few Facebook pages.
Horse Archery Australia
Medieval Horse Sports Australia
and for your local state by state action check out
NSW Horse Archers
Vic Horse Archers
Tas Horse Archers
SA horses Archers
WA Horse Archers
FNQ Horse Archers
SEQ Horse Archers (our closest to home base)
Dont panic Kiwis you get one too
NZ Horse Archers
If you have any questions you would like answered just drop us a line here