INCLUSIVE HORSEBACK ARCHERY (iHBA)
Inclusive horseback archery (iHBA) is the para-sport version of hba but it aspires towards the involvement of a broader group of people than other competitive para-equestrian disciplines.
The benefit of sport to physical health is well documented; improved motor skills, balance, strength, and aerobic endurance. Self-esteem is raised by the accomplishment of mastering a new skill and there are social benefits in practising it. The mental-health rewards of hba are numerous too: from the focussed mind-set, precision, relaxation, repetition and acute attention to detail required of instinctive archery, to the companionship and trust involved in looking after horses and riding without rein contact. These benefits are even more marked for people who are normally restricted in their activities due to their health, and the opportunity to be competitive through iHBA is often cited as being highly valued.
Inclusive hba is horseback archery for those contending with extra challenges (regarding physically shooting a bow from horseback and/or effectively training), such as:
- Physical disability - injuries, congenital disabilities, chronic medical conditions, and visual impairment.
- Mental health disorders - Post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression.
- Conditions that affect learning - autistic spectrum disorder, ADHD, behaviourally challenged individuals.
Honest self-certification is the basis of iHBA both with regards to whether a person's condition genuinely affects their ability (at that time) to participate and train, including the gait at which they ride. A central feature of iHBA is that people should participate and compete at the level where they feel most comfortable. We should celebrate the excellence of the best walk-gait horseback archers and not pressurise them to move up to canter-events. At the other end of the spectrum, iHBA eligible riders should have access to national teams if their ability warrants this.
iHBA was recognised by the IHAA in 2020 and is still early in its development - watch this space for further developments.. Postal match participants may register as iHBA riders and published results will include iHBA as a category.
The IHAA was established in late 2013.
Bringing the Global community of Horseback Archers together via Postal Matches and a standardised Grading System.