"Be yourself, everybody else is already taken"
Erin Jardine has been in love with horses since as far back as she can remember, but started taking lessons when she was 11. Erin loves to ride, and has taken up archery. She does not own her own horse, but she has a lease horse named Mira. From here on out, I'll let her tell her own story.
"I’ve been into horses as long as I can remember, but growing up in Vancouver BC it was difficult to convince my parents, we lived a hefty drive to the barn and it’s expensive!" Erin said.
"However when visiting family in Ontario, my aunt and my parents would always have an outing where we’d all visit a horse that my aunt knew. Aunt Karen was the one who got me riding by myself and steering from a young age. I remember as the years go by we’d visit different horses, and one owner even let me jump! I’ll never ever forget that experience."
"Finally I got lessons at 11 years old," Erin said. "I worked on two guest ranches and switched back and forth between English and Western over the years. Now, I ride primarily English."
"I love having goals and a purpose with the horses I ride," Erin said. "I was at a point in life where change was inevitable in a few personal areas. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled and was actively looking for something to spark my passion again."
"This is SO cheesy but I saw Wonder Woman in theatres and the first twenty minutes of the Amazons on Themyscira with the combat scenes, the horse warriors, the archery… I actually cried. I thought to myself, I could do that! So I went home and looked up horse archery, and sure enough it’s a real sport with international competitions, coaching certifications and even “Postal Matches” where you compete by mailing in your score!"
"Horse archery has a rich and deep history, one of the biggest figureheads of the time when horse archery was used in battle would be Ghengis Khan," Erin explained. "The gruella warfare of the nomads across Asia is where the sport of horse archery comes from. There are quite a few different styles of practice and competition, the Hungarian, Korean and Polish track being the three that I am most familiar with."
"The International Horseback Archery Alliance is the governing body where one would find their country’s organization," Erin explained. "The USA has the Mounted Archery Association of the Americas (MA3). These are great resources to find local clubs, coaches and events to see what horse archery is like up close. Finding a coach to help with gear selection and form is absolutely essential to your safety and that of the horse."
"I like to keep my cards close to my chest in terms of my plans for the future," Erin said. "I’ve never actually owned a horse in my life! So that is obviously on the radar."
"I’ve been a superstar leaser forever and have gone far with some really awesome horses, soon it will be time to embark on that one-on-one journey you get with a horse," Erin explained. "Until that point though, my lease mare Mira is coming along in her basic dressage training and I’m planning on taking her to a schooling show later this month. I haven’t shown in 10 years and I’m really wanting to get that going again."
"I’m also taking some coaching certifications in archery and I hope to soon be certified to offer consultations and lessons to horse people who are interested in horse archery."