Gun desensitization? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
Posts: 5,540
• Horses: 3
Gun desensitization?

I would like to desensitize Soda to gunfire. At some point I would like to try cowboy mounted shooting (along with a couple other things!) Has anyone done this before? Any tips or hints? I'm going to get some earplugs (I know guns bother my ears so I can't imagine they'd feel great to him.)

This is one of the many things on my list to learn/teach this winter as due to the area/facilities/weather we won't be able to ride tons (and 95% of that will be walk/trot). So I'm thinking of things we can do this winter that will keep him interested and keep us having fun. I'm also going to teach him some tricks, work on getting him very responsive to leg/seat aids at a walk/trot, and a couple other things. Oooo, I'm so excited for the semester to be done!!!

MN Tigerstripes is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 5,455
• Horses: 1
First you need to determine how sensitive he really is. Some of the best broke horses I have been around were pretty sensitive to gunfire and some could care less regardless of how well broke they are. Start on the ground with a cap gun then work up in caliber.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
kevinshorses is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: I live in rainy England
Posts: 879
• Horses: 0
I haven't done this but I woul have thought a good point to start would maybe do what you can do with fireworks and play a cd of gunshots in the stable starting quietly then building it up gradually so he gets used to it.

Eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
Lis is offline  
post #4 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 777
• Horses: 1
I live right over a "hill" from a shooting range so all my horses hear gunfire all the time. Plus my brothers and dad like to shoot guns in an empty field we have and they hear them. Most of my horses get used to hearing it. I've had my 4 year old mare since last Friday and just from her hearing the gunfire for a week my brother can now shoot over her back. But he thinks all our horses should be broke to everything :) And gun fire is one of the main things because of where we ride. It sucks to have a horse bolt and run you in a tree because they hear a gun shot from a mile away :( Since then he makes sure everything is used to it

Blue Eyed BLY~ 2/3/03
Calico Sonny Stockman x She's On Cloud Nine
CowGirlUp9448 is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 5,464
• Horses: 3
Did you attend expo last year? We had mounted shooters.

Minnesota Mounted Shooters Association
mls is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
Posts: 5,540
• Horses: 3
Mls- I did, but I had my niece and boyfriend with so didn't really get to see any of the demos. I'll check out their website, they probably have some good info.

I suppose I shouldv'e given some background. I live out in the country and we shoot on my property on a fairly regular basis. When he hears the initial shot he jumps/runs a little bit, but relaxes very quickly. If the shooting continues he does jump less and less everytime, so I think that he is sensitive, but not really more so than an average horse. He is a pretty spooky/sensitive horse in general, but I've taken the attitude of basically ignoring it when he gets "scared" and it has gotten less and less. Also, he is exceptionally curious, one of those "Omigod, it's scary... but now I'm gonna go check it out" horses.

I didn't think of the cap gun, I'll look into getting one of those. I think I will talk to some friends and get them to come shoot trap while I'm doing some work with him.
MN Tigerstripes is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 11:28 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester, New York
Posts: 2,763
• Horses: 1
Gunshots scare the CRAP out of my pony. Shes HATES the loud noises..

When God Made Horses, He Painted The Good Ones.
"All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day."
Jillyann is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
Posts: 5,540
• Horses: 3
LOL, yeah that's my dog. Terrified, he has a place in the garage that he goes too. Otherwise he goes nuts and tries to crawl all over you.
MN Tigerstripes is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N.W. Ohio
Posts: 5,344
• Horses: 0
I shoot all the time. If you want to get the horses use to it start out with a .22 and move up. I shoot everything from a .22 .38 357 9mm to my shotguns as I like to skeet shoot. At first the ones who had never been around gun fire where not too sure about it but it did not take them long to get over it. Especially when they could see Te and he loves it when I shoot. He will come to the fence line and watch. Since he was not running around they all settled down quite fast and are fine. Just have to work with them. I do it a lot the same way with my hunting dogs. Start out small and at a distance and work my way closer and up in caliber.

-I'm so busy... I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse.
-An Armed Man is a Citizen an unarmed man is a subject.
-Where ever free speech is stifled Tyranny will reign.
nrhareiner is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 10-30-2009, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Magdalen Islands, Quebec,
Posts: 40
• Horses: 5
None of my horses react to gunfire at all. I've had them for years, the oldest is 9 years old and the youngest is 4. They all love to watch the Canada Day fireworks display, which was close to their field this year. I was scared that they would panic but no..., they ran up the hill to get closer to the sky and they watched it. They looked fascinated.
Some of us had them down into the reserve and the hunters were shooting at ducks. None of them even jumped. I think the hunters missed too, lol.

I'd say start slow and gradually introduce gunfire to your horses.

All Things Horse - For My Horses Gimme A Dream - Personal Interests Magdalen Islands - Home
Gimme A Dream is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Desensitization? MN Tigerstripes Horse Training 7 04-03-2009 10:55 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome