[Horsebow] RH Thumb Draw pulling to the right

OrientalHero

New member
Dear Thumb drawing Horsebow users!

I've recently gotten a KAYA KTB 40lb. Shoots sweetly with my 35-40lb spined wooden arrows at 27" using a Mediterranean draw which lines up with my right eye (index finger tip in my mouth tip).

The issue is that I'm supposed to be doing thumb draw for Horseback archery and practicing at the butts, my thumb release means the arrows go to the right. They also waggle like crazy in the horizontal plane. The range is about 10m plus. The same arrows shot Mediterranean style go very straight. There might be perhaps an inch more of draw with the thumb release where again, I'm trying to line the arrow up under my eye but level with the mouth.

I'm using tape on the thumb and I've tried a hard leather thumb ring. It's not an issue with the joint as I used to do lots of rock climbing so my thumb's ok with that (besides, the thumb is held back/reinforced with the index finger!).
The string sits just across the pad of the thumb and I've tried passive and active (flicking the coin) releases.

The arrows pretty much mostly come out to the right and waggling from side to side like they were fish!

Heh, funnily enough, from horseback on the move I didn't have any issues hitting the target then. Perhaps all the distraction of the riding meant I didn't overly concentrate on the thumb draw... Or is the right shooting bias compensated for by the fact I'm moving?

Anyway, any help/advice would be appreciated as I just lost two waggling right fired arrows from the thumb draw as they hit the right side of the target (where the long metal bolts hold the target together) and broke off at the tip.
 

ChakaZulu

New member
First thing that springs to mind is that the string should not be on the pad of the thumb. It should be either in the crease of the interphalangeal joint or (better) on the proximal phalanx.

My other thought is about anchoring. Often finger shooters trying thumb won't anchor well, if at all. Where are you anchoring?

How far off to the side are they going? And is your draw length the same for fingers and thumb?
 

Berny

Member
If you think of the geometry of what you are doing, assuming you get to the same anchor point with string in front of dominant eye,
i.e. your rear sight is in the same place, your 1st finger knuckle which was essentially your front sight is no longer your front sight,
it should now be your thumb knuckle which would suggest your bow arm should opens out further to line up your thumb knuckle.

Alternatively skip the science & just keep drawing & loosing until you've learnt to hit the target consistently.

As to the fish-tailing - would suggest arrows are underspined. As per Chakazulu, are your draw lengths the same?
Either get heavier spine or poss. bigger fletches to get them to straighten up quicker.

My understanding of arrows spined for horsebows theory, is to go 5-10lb over bow weight.
 

ChakaZulu

New member
My experience is that the fishtailing is more likely to be a poor release, given that the arrows are ok for fingers. The difference in draw shouldn't make enough difference create big wobbles. Depends how if a difference there is...
 
Just a thought - you mention that you swap from thumb to mediterrainean and back (or imply that you do), so do you also swap the arrow-rest from the side of your hand (left side of bow with Med), to the side of the fore-finger (right side of bow for thumb)?

If not, and you're shooting the thumb release while the arrow is resting on the left side of the bow (side of the hand), then I'm not surprised they're whipping about!
 

OrientalHero

New member
Well it's archery night tonight so I'll try putting the string into the crease of the first thumb joint, or as you suggested to the proximal phalanx of the thumb (had to google that to confirm it was the second bone in the thumb!).
Anchoring is fairly consistent with the string pulled so it lines up with my eye.
In terms of deviation, if I line the arrow up with the centre of a 120cm target and I'm standing about 10m away it will miss having shot to the right of the target. I can and do compensate for this and get on target, but then occasionally I get what I presume is the correct thumb release and it goes more or less straight with lots less side to side wobble in the arrow.
When using mediterranean draw the draw length is pretty much the same as the thumb draw if slightly less. I'll have to get someone to check that though!
 

OrientalHero

New member
Riceburner,
Thanks for checking but I am swapping arrow side when I switch draw/release.
viz: mediterranean draw with right hand draw, the arrow is resting on the left side of the bow.
thumb draw with right hand thumb draw the arrow is resting on the right side of the bow.
I think Chakazulu is correct in that it's a poor release not the arrows/spine as the draw lengths for both TR and MR are pretty much the same (perhaps the MR is slightly shorter draw length).
As I said in my previous post, every so often (maybe once in 20 thumb released arrows) I get one that is quite straight. I couldn't work out what I was doing differently, hence this thread!
Shooting tonight, so I'll be trying the different position for the string on the thumb and also trying to make sure I'm doing the active "flicking a coin" release to see if that improves things.
I've been doing Mediterranean release for so long that it's hard to get used to the new release per se (seemed fairly accurate when on the back of a trotting horse with targets about 10m away!)
 

ChakaZulu

New member
I would advise against the "flicking a coin" release. You'll never get it consistent, especially on horseback. You'll also never move your thumb fast enough to get it out of the way of the string, just like you can't with fingers. The principles are the same (assuming tape rather than a thumb ring). You relax the grip on the string and let it rip through. You may find it helps if you think of pulling through. I release by driving my elbow away from the target.

Also consider moving the anchor away from your eye and just looking at the target. Let your brain aim on its own without needing to look down an arrow.

I assume that you have checked your eye dominance?
 

OrientalHero

New member
Regarding Flicking coin active thumb release, it didn't seem to make any difference to my arrows.
Broke another arrow and that was one that hit the target! It waggled it's way side to side through the air and must have been weakened and broke off in the target... :(
One of the arrows just cleared the side of the target and then was out of sight behind it!
I'll try and get a video of the arrow in flight as it's quite neat to be able to shoot around the target!
Oh and quite a few horseback archers do quite an exaggerated follow through from the videos I've seen so I'll try the follow through next time instead.
Heh and the eye dominance isn't really an issue. I normally shoot recurve right handed. But I'm left eye dominant. But it was never an issue as I shoot recurve with one eye closed. Barebow I still shoot right handed but use both eyes. I don't seem to have a problem sighting with the right eye. I've also been checking by closing one eye and it's the correct right side eye I'm aiming with.
I've considered shooting left handed especially since I have an ambidextrous bow, but I'll cover that in another thread if I do!
 

ChakaZulu

New member
The ones with the big follow through are usually shooting fingers. It's a style/ritual thing more than accuracy. Best concentrate on a clean release rather than a big one!
 
Where are you drawing to? I think it was mentioned, but the thumb release allows a much longer draw, and by doing so, you'll be changing the angle the arrow is at when released (ie if your thumb is back to your ear when released, the arrow end is going to be 'more out' from centre) and so it may reduce the tendency to go right? (worth a shot anyway).
 

i32547

New member
Exactly what Dan mentioned already: do not use the arrow to aim.
Just look at the target.
If you must, use your left hand thumb as an indicator to set the direction the arrow will land, instead of how you would use the arrow point when shooting fingers. This will assist in getting the arrows to hit the target that you are trying to.
Use that as an indicator just to begin with, but try, as Dan mentioned, to just look at your target and shoot instinctively.
 

i32547

New member
By the way, THE reason why arrows fly off to the right when switching from finger to thumb clench, is the AIM.

OrientalHero,
Notice how you hit the target cleanly off horseback?
You just shot it instinctively.

Do not line the arrow up at all. Try not to line up anything. Just shoot aim instinctively.
But what I mentioned in above post regarding using your thumb as a guide should help you find a base. You will see after a short while that you are not even using your thumb to aim anymore, you will just look at target and your loosed arrow will strike it!
 

i32547

New member
I would advise against the "flicking a coin" release. You'll never get it consistent, especially on horseback. You'll also never move your thumb fast enough to get it out of the way of the string, just like you can't with fingers.
Dan, do you think?
Which lock do you use?

Isa
 

ChakaZulu

New member
If you're using a thumbring then things may be different but with tape I always teach a simple relax and pull through, basically like finger release but with the thumb.

I use a pretty basic lock: index finger locked over the thumbnail.
 
If you're using a thumbring then things may be different but with tape I always teach a simple relax and pull through, basically like finger release but with the thumb.

I use a pretty basic lock: index finger locked over the thumbnail.
I've been trying this occasionally - but with a 60lb bow the 'index finger over the thumbnail' is still really painful (the bed of the thumbnail hurts due to the pressure forced onto it). Is it the case that you just get used to it? I know I should really get a weaker bow to get my thumb used to the weight but haven't been able to justify it yet!
 

ChakaZulu

New member
I've not shot such a heavy bow but you might have the angle wrong if the weight is going straight through the nail bed. The string should be on the proximal phalanx, i.e. palm side of the knuckle.
 
I've not shot such a heavy bow but you might have the angle wrong if the weight is going straight through the nail bed. The string should be on the proximal phalanx, i.e. palm side of the knuckle.
I've got the string in the right place, but my nail bed is taking a lot of pressure from the finger restraining it (I think).
 

ChakaZulu

New member
What part of your index finger are you using to lock the thumb? And what angle is the thumb at? By which I mean is the weight going directly through the bone or along towards the tip of the thumb?
 
What part of your index finger are you using to lock the thumb? And what angle is the thumb at? By which I mean is the weight going directly through the bone or along towards the tip of the thumb?
Difficult to say tbh, as I haven't had another go at it for a while.

IIRC I was trying t get the 'middle' phalanx over the nail.
I was trying to keep the proximal phalanx of the thumb at approx 90 degrees to the string but don't think that's very easy as you'd have to cock your wrist outwards which seems wrong?.
 
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