The past days' careful Aikido horse training has proved successfull on the two mares that currently are prepared for Iceland's first horseback archery clinic, scheduled for the coming two weekends. Both mares are family horses and have not been trained for competitions or breeding shows before.
Both have learned the cues for riding without reins, which is the basis of Horse Aikido: responding to the rider's body language, not as a result of physical dominance, but out of a mental connection, in addition to soft directing cues. As a result of this schooling, it is now possible to stop, turn and speed up without even touching the reins.
They appeared safe and calm, and quite happy with their new project, and today were ready to take the next step: shooting the arrow from horseback into a target, thus creating a sudden energy rush and an unexpected, heavy sound when the arrow hits the target. Both mares were fine with the experience and given a two day's break from schooling.
Tomorrow evening there will be a lecture on different traditions and methods of horseback archery in Europe and Mongolia. Pettra Engeländer will demonstrate her archery at Bogfimisetrið/The Archery center in Reykjavík, and participants will be given the opportunity to try Pettra's horse bows she brought from the continent.