“I’m addicted,” said Allyson White of New Buffalo, one of Hockaden’s students. “It’s a completely addicting sport. It’s fantastic. I love it.”
White competed in his first competition last year. She started learning archery on horseback about a year ago, she said.
Allison Goldberg praises her horse, Bo, after Goldberg shoots an arrow on horseback.
“The name of the game is speed and precision,” White said. “It’s hard to be just precise. It is a fluid movement.
Hockaden said she had to learn how to notch an arrow without looking. She would sit on the couch, watch TV and notch arrows for hours to become an expert. It’s a skill White wants to work on.
White went to Tennessee for her first competition. She has learned that she has a lot to learn. There are different types of shots to learn. Hockaden taught a technique that she believes is easier. The thumb pull taught by Hockaden exerts about 30 pounds of pressure on the thumb.
It becomes instinctive after a while, Hockaden said.
“Once you know everything, you need to train your horse,” White said.
Angie Peck, of LaPorte, rode her horse, Beau – “your barn drama queen,” she said. Beau and the other horses were gradually desensitized to archery.
The newly created archers brought their horses into the arena, took them around the archery equipment so they could see that there was nothing to fear, and then stroked the horses with bows and arrows to help them adjust to the equipment.