Verbal commands can be utilized successfully to assist in controlling your horse. This is especially important when riding with your reins on the horse’s neck while you shoot your bow. And unlike a horse used for other sports, most horse archery horses are best trained to ignore your body’s balance and upper leg, so that you can turn in your saddle to shoot from a variety of angles and not have your horse turn with you!
Select your own cues — from words to syllables to simply noises made with your mouth — to communicate your desire to speed up, slow down or stop. Hopefully, you already have a good “whoa” on your horse for any situation!
Remember the old saying, “Horses don’t learn, they remember.” Start with one thing and build. Slowly. Each horse is different, just as we are. Make the training short and direct and you will be more successful.
Start by training your horse off the course to the verbal commands using other cues the horse already knows for these responses. Then develop the response to the verbal cues alone. Then move into the course without your bow, first at a walk, then other gaits, until you are communicating successfully/dependably every time.
Of course, review of any skill with your horse, basic to advanced, builds successful communication for you as a team. And end with something the horse already knows well and give him lots of praise.