Unleashing Arrows from Horseback

In the world of sports, there are those who seek the thrill of competition. Those who push the boundaries and redefine what it means to excel. For Brandy Von Holten, a former competitive martial artist with dreams of Olympic glory, the journey took an unexpected turn towards the art of mounted archery. 

“Mounted archery found me,” she remarks, reflecting on the moment she first tried her hand at shooting from her mule and scored a bullseye. Unwilling to participate in sports with subjective judging, she was drawn to the exhilarating challenge of mounted archery.

Hailing from South Texas and later settling in Missouri, Von Holten’s diverse background and tenacious spirit equipped her for this new endeavor.

“Mounted archery is for the crazy people looking for something different,” she explains. “It’s about putting your reins down, running, and shooting.” From ground-based competitions to specialty shots, mounted archery offers a range of challenges for enthusiasts.

Getting started in mounted archery requires the right equipment and mindset. Van Holten emphasizes the importance of investing in quality gear and seeking proper training. Her own struggles led her to create resources for beginners, including manuals and online classes available on her website.

Navigating the intricacies of mounted archery involves mastering both horseback maneuvering and shooting techniques. Despite the sport’s challenges, Van Holten finds joy in its unconventional nature. 

Despite misconceptions about age and difficulty, she believes mounted archery offers boundless opportunities for newcomers. “The best mounted archers are 50 and 60 years old,” she notes, challenging stereotypes and welcoming all to embrace their inner “weirdo” and join the adventure.