[Horsebow] Consistent hand position - and nocking points


Well, I've got my Scythian XL and I've shot a few arrows at 10m. I've never tried using a bow Like this (tried a longbow twice). How does one get a consistent grip position? Or does it just feel right when your hand is in the right place. Then, how does one determine the correct position for the nocking points?

Any other advice that might help?

Any websites?




Active member
Have you got a photo of the bow? (So we can see the grip)

If you have a grip, then you have a reference point 'of some sort' so that you can find a) the best place (for you) to hold the bow, and b) from that, you can then figure out the nocking point on the string.

the other option is to add something to the bow as an arrow-pass - that's then the position you want the arrow to be at when at draw - you can then figure out the nocking point and where to hold the bow.

BUT - you will find a point after a while that feels 'right'.

Oh - and if you're shooting off the hand, then the nocking point (imo) wants to be about 1/2 as much again higher on the string than you would normally set up for shooting with a rest. This will ensure the fletches* won't brush much (if at all) on your hand. I've seen several people catch a fletch in the skin of their hand - even when wearing gloves.

Well - anyway - that's my thoughts. :) for reference: I shoot a 60lb Samick Mind50 horsebow with no grip and wooden arrows. I have a small piece of electrical tape as an arrow pass - just to reduce wear on the side of the bow (it can't be used as a sight as you can't see it at full draw).

* I wouldn't recommend using plastic vanes....


Thanks, that's very helpful. Here's a photo -

I've refletched some old xx75 arrows with feathers and used some spinwing top'n'tail tape on the leading edge to minimise the penetration potential. I'm trying shooting off a glove and found it surprisingly comfortable.

I guess I'll try shooting it for a while until the correct hand position becomes obvious, then I can figure out the correct nocking point.

Again, thanks for the advice.


New member
I have a Scythian at home as well - How are you shooting it - With a Thumb ring or off the fingers? I shoot mainly off the thumb but need to get a new ring as my current one is far too loose...

I created my hold/nocking point by finding the centre of the bow and getting a comfy hand grip then marked it with electricians tape....


New member
Hi Fbirder,

I've been shooting horsebows for the last 25 years, and there are a few things or tips I can probably offer.
Gripping point:
-since you are using a bow, which is covered with leather and nicely bandaged close to the grip, depending on your hand size you can always use the bandage as a reference point. Try to touch the bandage with your pinky finger, to start with. Later on you can loose up on the bottom 2 fingers, to allow a nice follow through.
-nocking point: after a few thousand shots the grip will have a mark on it, if your release is constant. You can use some dental floss or tie a rubber band around the string to mark your nocking point to start with. make sure your nocking point is about 1/4 - 1/3 of a nock higher than a level, so the release will be smooth, the flight of the arrow will be even, and the fletching will not hurt your hand.

I'll put some pictures on the AIUK facebook page, probably that will help.

After a while, you'll just feel the grip, nocking point, so you can remove all aids, and just shoot. Let me know if you'll have the chance to catch up in person, I'm more than happy to show a you a few things :)

Levente Koricsanszky



are you a thumb ring shooter?
If so, when you come up to Scotland any chance you could bring a couple for me/us to try out please?

(I'll give feedback on the bosses over the weekend.)

Hanley J.

One thing you could do is open your fingers as you draw the string, then close them before you release.
I notice your grip is a kind of knotted cord, which is a good choice for a horsebow, but you have to make sure you don't grip the bow too tightly.
One more thing I might mention is that you might want to try shooting a bit with your bare thumb, but be careful you don't hurt yourself! The intuitive nature of aiming ang shooting from horseback can make the added "feel" helpful for you, but if your bow is too heavy...
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Active member
Just an addendum to my comments earlier..

Last weekend I realised that the elect-tape on my bow had worn out so I replaced it in the field with some that was blue (the bow is mainly black). I immediately realised on drawing that I could see the bright blue tape and it was interfering with my pointing*. I stripped the tape off and so didn't have a marked arrow-pass nor grip point.

I didn't really think about it and found that pretty soon my hand just remembered the correct feel of the bow and my shooting was as consistent** as ever.

* 'instinctive' archer
** heh!

Hanley J.

See how, if you open your hand you're holding the bow with as you're drawing the string, the bow will settle into your hand into the correct positon? Make sure your bow's not too heavy, and try using your bare thumb. Make sure your elbow points down, not sideways.