Frequently Asked Questions:
What type of arrows do you suggest for these bows?
For the best possible performance we recommend wood or carbon fiber arrows that are spined to match your bow. Horsebows are not a center-fired bow and require a slightly more flexible arrow to flex around a larger grip size. Please visit our ARROWS page for more details and charts to assist you in determining which arrows best fit you and your bow.
What are some tips for maintaining the bow?
1. It is recommended to keep the bow unstrung when not in use. It is ok for display but should be unstrung when put away.
2. Keep away from excessive heat and under weight. The worst you can do is leave a bow in the back seat of a car with a heavy load on top on a hot day. This of course, can warp the bow.
3. Care for the bow: for those who want to keep their bow looking shiny and new ;) there are many types of leather care products you can find in any leather shop, and beeswax works great for the string. It is recommended to replace the string if it begins to show wear. You may not be able to find strings for horsebows in any shop so I make sure to keep a few extra on hand and tell my customers to contact me when and if they need a new one. Extra strings $15
4. The most common occurrence of damage is due to ramming the wood tips into the ground. This is very rare, and usually happens when someone doesn’t know what they are doing. If strung properly, this should not happen. The stringing method, although discouraged by some archers is shown in the small brochures that accompany each bow (Around the ankle, across the back thigh). This is the stringing method suggested by all the horsebow makers that I know. You will find there are many “schools” of stringing bows, shooting bows, etc, etc. I suggest following the bowyers instructions since he is familiar with the bow materials and how they behave.
What are the bows made of?
Most of Istvan Toth adult bows are three-piece bows. The grip and limbs are of fiberglass wrapped in leather. The stiff tips are of ash wood with a lamination of either wood or horn at the tips.
What is the strike plate used for?
The strike plate is the term we use for the wood piece placed on both sides of the grip instead of an "arrow rest". The strike plate is used not only as a decorative detail, but also shows which way is up and is guide for where the arrow should be placed along the grip. When the hand grips the bow at the center or just below center, you will find that the arrow naturally falls along the upper half of the plate.
How do you shoot without an arrow rest?
It may be a challenge for most beginners to shoot a horsebow for several reasons:
-there is no nock point, no arrow rest. You must shoot off your hand. However, these bows are symmetrical and can be shot right or left handed, Mediterranean style, with the thumb release, etc. They are very versatile. Because there is no arrow rest many find it difficult to keep the arrow up against the grip while drawing and the arrow falls to the side. Here are a couple of tips to avoid this:
1. Cant the bow to one side. It's not necessary to hold the bow completely vertical. Let gravity help keep the arrow in place.
2. When drawing, place the arrow string near the second joint of the fingers and roll in to the tips as you draw. This torques the arrow against the grip so that it won't fall to the side. I know these explanations may be difficult to understand without a demonstration. Feel free to ask if it is not clear to you.
-Some people have a very long draw. The optimum draw length is 28". They can be overdrawn a bit but it is not recommended to pull after 30 or 31# except for the Hun Bow which is designed for a longer draw. These bows were designed for a shorter draw and quick release.
-Beginners may find that the feathers of the arrow cuts into there hand when shooting. We now have shooting gloves available for those who wish for better protection for the grip hand. Most people get used to it and/or find it happens less as they improve.
-Arm guards are also essential for most as they find that the string often hits their inner arm. Arm guards are also handy to have as well as finger guards for the shooting hand and shooting gloves for the hand which rests the arrow.
Do you ship outside of the United States?
For those of you interested in bows and quivers in Europe, Asia and Australia, we encourage you to contact the bowyer directly for stock and shipping, for it will be more direct and much less costly. We are happy to provide contact information upon request. Arrows from this website are made in the Seattle area as well as from Hungary. We are willing to ship abroad if you aren't able to find something similar in your area. Feel free to contact us for more information (253)651-5807 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Typically, we ship to Canada by USPS Priority w/insurance and delivery confirmation. UPS is also an option for those who are willing to spend more.
Do your bows have a warranty?
We offer a 2-year warranty for Istvan Toth horsebows purchased from Seven Meadows Archery. All handcrafted items are unique and should a product fail to perform, there is the option for replacement. Product damage due to flaws in manufacturing will be replace upon return of the damaged item within two years of purchase. A sales receipt number, name or address will be asked for reference. "Damage" includes broken, warped or loss of integrity in bow limbs or tips (this does not include scratches or chips in the tips that do not affect performance). In the event a product must be returned or replaced CONTACT US FOR INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE RETURNING!!
What is the importance of brace height and string length?
The brace height (defined as the distance between the bowstring and the deepest point of the grip) will vary among the different bow styles and should be specified on each Bow Page. Keep in mind, those distances may vary slightly for each individual handmade bow. If it is more than a couple centimeters off, be sure to contact us. It is important to also use the proper string for each style and those specific lengths are also listed as part of each bow style's description. Be sure to replace the string with a certified Toth bow merchant or have someone who can replicate the size of the proper string, for they may not be exactly the same as other "Hungarian" bows by other bowyers. The bow strings are a standard length and do not require twisting. Contact us if you have further questions or wish to purchase spare strings.
What colors do your bows come in?
There is no standard set of leather choices for the bows. Leather is purchased in bulk periodically and will vary; however, I encourage you to make requests and we will do our best to accommodate. Natural colors, black and greys are most common, but we often come across bright colors and unusual textures.
Can I use a bow stringer on my bow?
If you have a bow stringer that fits on the tips of a horsebow I don't see why it should do any harm, however we recommend the step-through method for stringing as demonstrated in this video