If you're wanting to get started in this fascinating sport, beginner camps at Seawinds probably offer our most complete and enjoyable introductory opportunity. Because we have established tracks and horses trained for horseback archery, even complete beginners to both riding and archery can progress to the point of shooting from horseback in a single weekend experience.
Beginner camps present a broad but thorough first exposure to the three educations of horseback archery:
1. learning the unique primitive archery technique that works on the back of a horse,
2. preparing the horse to be brave to the archery and confident when ridden without rein tension, and
3. learning the unique riding style that works for stable and accurate shooting.
In a weekend beginner camp we present all three of these educations and then bring them together in a small group at a pace that is safe and enjoyable.
While each camp is limited to eight participants, Sunday morning the campers become the ground crew for a training session of seasoned Seawinds club members training on the track, giving a close-up and hands-on experience with the sport in its more advanced stages. Then, according to participants' comfort level with the horses by this time, we put it all together on the backs of the horses with the bows and arrows in hand. Some people chose to simply walk the horse while shooting, while more advanced riders may choose to take their first shots from a canter.
Most folks pitch a tent to stay on site for the weekend, but some choose to travel daily for a 9 am-5 pm training. Everyone is welcome to join the evening campfires. Campers who are staying on site are invited to arrive and stay Friday evening or Saturday morning prior to start time. Bring your own tent and camping gear, and all your favourite camp foods for the weekend. As the Summer progresses our Seawinds garden offers up lots of very local potatoes and salad greens which campers are welcome to harvest to supplement their meals. We have a rustic outdoor kitchen with excellent running North Mountain water and sinks. You can clean up under the sun or stars with our lovely warm outdoor showers.
In summary the beginner camps offer a primal experience living in nature with horses, a momentary pause from our modern routines and responsibilities, and a phenomenal introduction to an ancient art. Whether it leads to you to a life as a mounted archery athlete or its the first and last time you try the sport, you will leave here with lasting memories, new friendships, and some badass warrior skills!
Minimum age for camp participation is 8 years old, but please note that this requires an ability to stay focused for the challenging days of the camp which is above the capabilities of some 8 year-old children. We ask that children under 14 have an adult accompany them if camping overnight, and children under 12 must have an adult present on site during the daily training. Total cost for a beginner camp is $345 including HST to complete the registration process. This fee must be paid within 1 month prior to camp start date.
Summer 2022 Beginner Camp Dates