[Horsebow] A question for all you horse bow boys and girls

Yew Selfbow

Active member
Seeing as Eastern and Asiatic horse bows are becoming so popular, I'd like to ask if any of you are going the whole hog and using a thumb ring to shoot. If you are, how are you finding it and did it take a lot of "getting used too"?.
.....just curious....
 


Dorset Lass

New member
Ironman
I do shoot using a thumb ring but not all the time. I would have gone over to thumb ring completely but there was a question mark over how it would be viewed at GNAS competitions so I started to concentrate on Mediterranean loose. I am not sure whether I will now make the change but just keep a thumb loose for horseback archery. Initially I had longer arrows so that I could use both releases (because with a thumb loose you are drawing back further) but now I have shortened my arrows and a thumb loose would mean getting arrows specially for that - it will have to wait until I have a lottery win I guess!

Anyway I found it really surprisingly straightforward to make the change. I think with these bows they 'like' being shot with a thumb ring so it feels natural. You just need to remember to put the arrow on the other side of the bow, and I have been taught to cant the bow so that the tip moves slightly to the right (I am a right handed archer) and twist in (slightly) the draw hand so that the arrow is held firmly on top of the shooting hand thumb. This is why this loose is so useful when shooting from a galloping horse.

Others have said that they shoot them 'flat' - I think there are many different styles of asiatic draw and release so there is something for everyone.

The main thing is that because the bows are short they are better suited to a single draw point rather than three fingers.

I didn't like the actual thumb ring because the fit is so important and I couldn't get one to fit just right, so I made a leather thumb ring which is really comfortable and works very well.
 


Berny

Member
I'm a wannabe horse archer

....been playing with thumb release (without ring) for a couple of weeks (primarily with #35 jelly recurve) for fun.
Been looking for a horsebow to buy .... but conflicts (including spondoolicks) with other bow purchases have delayed.
Did some research into thumb rings - one view was that the thumbs rings sold by a certain Uk supplier were not right for the job,
another view was that boiled leather was most adaptable to the individual.
So, thought I'd try that as soon as could find a large enough piece of leather.
Have shot #60 Kassai Wolf III (not mine) with bare thumb - was ok, but dunno if could keep it up for a days shooting.
 


You just need to remember to put the arrow on the other side of the bow,
Could you (or someone ) explain why this is?? What's to prevent a thumb ring being used with the arrow on the left side of the bow? (right handed archer). Or is it just the tradition?
 


Berny

Member
To do with paradox, arrow spine & the way the arrow reacts on loose i.e. sliding off from fingers or thumb.
So think about it - if the standard RH finger release, puts the arrow on the left side & the arrows comes of the fingers to the left,
then if the arrows is comes off the thumb to the right it should be on the right side of the bow.
 


Dorset Lass

New member
Ironman
Yes that is right, but apparently very skillful thumb loose archers are able to release the arrow so smoothly that there is virtually no paradox at all and they are then able to use either side of the bow interchangeably. Meanwhile for the rest of us it is the other side from the Mediterranean loose.
 


ian s

New member
I got my horse bow 2 years ago, I saw an article about making a thumb ring out of a spoon; after nearly cutting my thumb off I decided I would try that again. A few months ago I tried again with a leather tab found it worked very well and will add noticeable performance to the bow. Due to the weight of the bow I tend to shoot from the fingers but I do like to shoot from the thumb when accuracy isn't important.
 


chris munc

New member
strangely I found using a thumb loose with the arrow same side as for mediteranean more acurrate than using a platform tab. However an old injury means my thumb does not like this method.
 


To do with paradox, arrow spine & the way the arrow reacts on loose i.e. sliding off from fingers or thumb.
So think about it - if the standard RH finger release, puts the arrow on the left side & the arrows comes of the fingers to the left,
then if the arrows is comes off the thumb to the right it should be on the right side of the bow.
Ah -yes - that makes a lot of sense - I hadn't looked at it from that perspective.

Makes me want to get the wallet out and get that SKB I keep promising myself so I can have a go at it!
 


N.Vodden

New member
Ironman
Hi there :)

I've been shooting a Korean traditional bow with a thumb ring as my main style now for some time. It did take a while to get used to but now if I shoot a bow from my fingers it feels totally alien!

The 2 strangest parts of adapting to this style was anchoring, and aiming. Anchoring as this bow is drawn back so far, that my die-hard reference of tab under chin, string along chin and nose from recurve was useless and I had to get used to the feeling of anchoring at the side of my face and way further back than usual. This took longer than any other part of the style but I now have a repeatable and steady draw and anchor.

The aiming part of the shot was also bit of a quandry. Coming from 4 years or so of sighted recurve, moving to unsighted full time was a challenge and I kept trying to find reference points, work out gaps etc etc all to no avail until ~HUN~ at my club, a firm believer in instinctive traditional archery convinced me to just make the shot, and dont aim..... for those who have seen the Last Samurai, think '...no mind'. By this I mean I take my stance, follow my draw routine and stare down the target as I anchor and loose but I do not actively aim per s?. If I was asked where the point is when I shoot, I couldn't tell you. It is repeatable, but not actively enforced if that makes sense. When I started doing this, consistency came in and my shooting improved a lot and I really enjoy the more relaxed shooting, not so technical and focused on every little nuance of the sequence. My thumb ring shooting form has changed from how it was early on and I have settled into a routine that is now the norm, there is a short video of me shooting with a thumb ring here... ‪Shooting Form with Kaya KTB‬‏ - YouTube

Overall i'm really enjoying shooting with a thumb ring and dont think i'll be going back anytime soon. I've tried a few other bows since adopting the KTB a while ago, including buying a Wolf flatbow recently but always go back to eastern bows and thumb ring shooting because its just feels so much better and more natural for the style of bows I am shooting.

Besides, it just looks cool too :)

 


Genghis

New member
I've also been shooting recently with a thumbring - I tried a horn ring but couldn't get the size and fit right. I think they need to be very carefully made to fit your thumb comfortably.

I use a leather thumbring now as others have mentioned and it works well. I'm shooting a 55# Scythian horsebow with Tonkin cane arrows from the right side (I'm right handed) and it's great fun.

Just for added info, I bought two different spines of cane shafts - one dozen around the same as the bow weight for Mediterranean draw and a dozen 10# over bow weight for thumbring shooting off the right side of the bow.
This was advised as a good place to start by my ammunition expert :darkside:

Be advised though that the thumb needs to be worked up gently to anything approaching full draw as the pressure on the thumb tip joint is considerable :jaw-dropp
 


N.Vodden

New member
Ironman
Hi Berny.

I started with a simple leather homemade thumb ring, and also tried out a Grozer brass ring, a horn ring and one carved from a white billiard ball by a friend at the club and found I couldn't get on with solid rings. Didnt like the feel of them, far preferred the leather.

~HUN~ at Pentref and myself played around with a few designs, and I ended up with one that he made for himself and didn't get on with but I found very comfortable and i've been shooting with it for almost a year now and its showing practically no sign of wear aside from moulding to my thumb. This is what it is shaped like...

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Igneas/Archery/Improvedring1.jpg
http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c92/Igneas/Archery/Improvedring2.jpg
 


ChakaZulu

New member
I'll reply in more depth later, but since I'm in the airport lounge on my way back from the World Horseback Archery Championships, I can't resist adding my tuppence now!

I tend just to tape my thumb, but I'm moving a thumbing. They do have to be well fitted and many people make their own. There was an excellent how to article in the British Horseback Archery Association newsletter a while back by a guy who's made dozens if them. Many people have success with leather: the Malaysian team have been using leather thumbrings this week.

It's true that off the peg thumbrings generally don't fit. However, I've just boughtbone of them (tried it on at the shop) and got one that was a little too big. Then I slid a thin piece of leather under it (between thumb and ring). That helps the fit. It's now glued on, with a flap sticking out the wrist end of the ring. That adds some protection to the skin where the string rests. I'll post pics when I get home.

I find the thumbring improves my grouping hugely. The only reason I don't use one all the time is that it can be diddly on horseback: mocks sometimes go under the ring instead of on the string!

Actually, that was a fairly full post...
 


Dorset Lass

New member
Ironman
I'll reply in more depth later, but since I'm in the airport lounge on my way back from the World Horseback Archery Championships, I can't resist adding my tuppence now!
Was that in Japan Dan? I would have loved to have gone to that but unfortunately my prowess with horseback archery would be nowhere near up to the required standard! How did the UK do?

Lucy
 


Yew Selfbow

Active member
I'll reply in more depth later, but since I'm in the airport lounge on my way back from the World Horseback Archery Championships, I can't resist adding my tuppence now!.
Looking forward to hearing about the Worrld Horseback Champs..... got any photo's ......cheers Chaka
 


rmcpb

New member
Just a bit to the side to this thread but connected. Does anyone successfully move between a horsebow and a standard recurve? I am finding the change from a centre shot recurve with anchor under chin to a horsebow with a thumb release is a bit too much.

I don't want to let go of the recurve but really enjoy the horsebow. Maybe I'll have to admit defeat and go to the european release on the horsebow but that is not what I want to do...................
 


ChakaZulu

New member
Was that in Japan Dan? I would have loved to have gone to that but unfortunately my prowess with horseback archery would be nowhere near up to the required standard! How did the UK do?

Lucy
Hi Lucy,
It was in South Korea. Hot, very humid and altogether the most excellent thing I've done in years, if not ever. Wonderful people, great food and accommodation, lovely horses (if a little insane) and a top-notch competition.

Full results aren't out yet but basically we finished mid-table in everything except for Claire coming 4th in the single shot (missing bronze by about half a second) and the team mogu, in which we did get bronze. For who don't know, mogu is basically a three horse race in which one person from one team tows a 2' cloth-covered wicker ball along a rough 100m track while two members of the other team chase him and try to shoot the ball with ink-dipped blunts. Very fast, fairly dangerous and outrageously good fun!

Photos are being sorted as I go. I'll let you know when they're up.

Dan
 


Hi Lucy,
It was in South Korea. Hot, very humid and altogether the most excellent thing I've done in years, if not ever. Wonderful people, great food and accommodation, lovely horses (if a little insane) and a top-notch competition.

Full results aren't out yet but basically we finished mid-table in everything except for Claire coming 4th in the single shot (missing bronze by about half a second) and the team mogu, in which we did get bronze. For who don't know, mogu is basically a three horse race in which one person from one team tows a 2' cloth-covered wicker ball along a rough 100m track while two members of the other team chase him and try to shoot the ball with ink-dipped blunts. Very fast, fairly dangerous and outrageously good fun!

Photos are being sorted as I go. I'll let you know when they're up.

Dan
Sounds excellent!

Will you be doing a full write up somewhere?
 


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