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Archery training: the bow on horseback

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Archery training: the bow on horseback

The horse is attentive but stays relaxed while the bow is handled. Photo: Dagmar Trodler

Training with the schooling horses for next weekend's horseback archery clinic proceeded today.

Pettra Engeländer and Martin Rutishäuser continued their training of teaching the mares to follow the rider's cues with no rein being involved. Both horses improved in response, and it was obvious that the bonds between horse and rider had strengthened during training. Yesterday the grey mare had become aquainted with bow and arrow for the first time, and also with the sound of a release. The black mare had watched her closely. Today it was her turn, straight with a rider on her back. She appeared attentive, but not worried, when the bow was drawn and the tension of the rider's body changed.

As horseback archery has not been performed in Iceland so far, there are no experienced horses, no targets, no tracks or suitable training facilities. So everything has to be built up from the scratch, and exciting pioneer project that requires a lot of creativity. The two horses are closely monitored regarding their reactions, and given breaks at any time. But both mares are curious and eager to learn and experience new challenges.

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