There are many decent bows available on the market for mounted archery.
Some of the best-mounted archery bows that you will often see being shot at some of the top horseback archery competitions are the bows made by reputable bowyers such as Saluki Bows, Alibow, Nemethy, Samick or Freddie.
However, please remember, regardless of the reputation of the bowyers, you need to try the bow yourself before buying.
Below, I’m going to give you some guidance on what to look for before buying a bow for mounted archery.
Requirements for Bow Used in Mounted Archery
In mounted archery, you can’t just use any bows that you want. Bows for mounted archery must satisfy the following requirements:
- The bow must have no arrow rest or shelf as they are not allowed in mounted archery. As you draw to shot, the arrow must rest on your bow hand.
- The bow must not be a compound or a crossbow.
- The bow must not have a cut-out (centreshot).
- The bow must be barebow which means there is no weight, stabilizer, sight, clicker or any other aids used.
In essence, bows used in mounted archery must be a traditional bow without the addition of modern-day enhancement such as wheels or cams.
What to Look For When Buying a Mounted Archery Bow
Most horse bows used in mounted archery have a length between 48″ and 64″ long.
If you’re taller than average or have long arms, you may want to use a longer horse bow than a shorter one. Or if you shot using a finger draw, you may as well prefer a longbow since longer bows give less finger pinch.
The cons, longer bows are more difficult to wield on a horse, and they are slower to shot and less accurate than shorter bows.
For those who shot using a thumb draw may prefer a short bow since a thumb draw doesn’t have a problem with their fingers become fatigue as thumb drawers used their thumb not fingers to hook the string.
The problem with a short horse bow liest in the angel that it creates when you draw the bowstring using your fingers.
On a shorter bow, this angel can become too acute, if the angel created is too acute then the fingers can be pressed together onto the arrow which can make your fingers become uncomfortable and cause fatigue after a prolonged shooting season.
The draw length of the bow that you choose depends on the maximum safe draw length that you reach at full draw.
For example, if you have a draw length of over 28″, you need to ensure that the bow can accommodate your draw length otherwise the bow will break if overdrawn.
Draw weight (or called poundage) is another important indicator when you are going to buy a bow; you need to ensure that the bow is not too heavy for you.
If the bow is too heavy then you would be overbowed when you draw which can seriously affect your shooting accuracy and cause injury.
A sign of overbowing is when you need to use your body and bow arm to help you draw the bow. If you cannot draw while keeping your body and bow arm stay still then you can be sure that the bow is too heavy for you.
In many cases, it’s better to pick a bow that is too light than too heavy.
Most mounted archers especially beginners use recurve bows since they are easier to use with some seasoned archers are seen using straight-limbed bows sparsely in a tournament.
There are two types of recurve bows: static and working. A working recurve bow is the recurve bow that does not uncurl when you draw it, whereas a static recurve bow does not uncurl when you draw it.
The decision to get static or working recurve depends entirely on your personal preference as there is a little different between the two.
The decision to choose between a heavier bow or a lighter bow, once again, depends entirely on your style and personal preference.
Some people with a tight grip and a less than perfect release form might choose heavier bows since they are more forgiving, while other that has a better release form might opt for lighter bows to harness the bows’ quick nocking advantage.
All the factors that I’ve mentioned above along with the style of the grip correlate highly with each other to determine the comfortability of the bow that you use.
The only way to determine if the bow is right for you or not is to try it and see if you feel comfortable with the bow.
Bows come with a different range of price from low end to high end. You can buy a horse bow as cheap as $30, or you can spend as much as $3,000 for custom-made horse bow.
I wouldn’t recommend getting a bow that costs more than $300 unless you’re professional mounted archers that compete in a pro tournament or the likes.
A bow that costs around $200 to $300 is quite good for most people that take this sport as a hobby .
Recommended Bows for Mounted Archery
Some of the best bows for mounted archery include:
- Freddie KTB
- Freddie Black Shadow
- Samick SKB
- AF Turkish Recurve Bow (check price on Amazon)
- AliBow Nomad
- The Grozer Pecheneg
- ArcheryMax Mongolian Style Longbow (check price on Amazon)
- Old Scythian
- Nemethy Rock
- PG1Archery Horsebow (check price on Amazon)
- AF Handmade Crimea (check price on Amazon)
Recommended Reading: How to Know if Your Bow’s Draw Weight is Too Heavy