Tips for training horse for mounted shooting - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-22-2011, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Little Mountain, SC
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Tips for training horse for mounted shooting

I have just started ( 4 times) participating in CMS and would like to train my horse(s) since I am using someone elses horse. He is a great teacher but I would really like to get started on training my own horse too. Actually I had planned on using my 14 yr old bulldog type QH as I thought he would be perfect but when I took him to watch a practice his reaction really surprised me. He was nervous and the longer the event went on instead of adjusting and calming down he just got more upset which is not like him at all. I have gotten him some ear plugs that I will try but I am afraid that he might not be a good fit for the sport. I plan on trying my other QH who is 16 hands, 7 yrs old but still a little green as he was pastured many years before I got him. He was trained a little for WP and I have only used him for trail riding. However at the practice he stayed very calm tothe point that I actually let someone ride him at the last shoot even though he had never done it before. I realize now that it was stupid for me to let the guy ride him since Zip had no experience at all but I thought because it didnt seem to bother him at practice that he would be okay. Actually they did not do bad but that was because the guy who rode him was able to shoot well while riding a crowhopping, rearing horse.

I have some ear plugs now and would like opinions as to your thoughts on who I should try -My old faithful Jack or my kinda green Zip
and would appreciate any suggestions on training. I think that it is not only the noise but the smell of the powder and the balloons busting that makes it hard on them.

Do any of you have any experience with this type training? I would appreciate any input.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-06-2011, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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If you use jack, you can get him exposed to shooting at home, in a place he's comfortable
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-06-2011, 10:56 PM
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Interesting this should come up; my mom has been watching some of the mounted shooting shows on HRTV and it's pretty neat. Interested on opinions on this one!
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-06-2011, 11:10 PM
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first step i imagine would be get the horse good at having whips cracked around him
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-06-2011, 11:27 PM
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I would use the younger horse, he's already proven to be calmer around the guns. To get him used to it, leave him in a field close enough to the shooting range so that he can hear and see everything that is going on. Make sure he has a friend horse with him so that he doesnt have any reason to get aggitated. After he is completely used to you shooting from some distance away, cut that distance in half. Eventually get to the point where your standing beside him shooting. DO NOT tie him while getting him used to guns, horses are flight animals, and if he realizes he cannot run from this he will panic and it will only set you back in his training. Once he is perfectly fine with you shooting right beside him, get on him with the gun and swing it around to get him used to having the gun around his face and above him. From there start taking about one shoot off him a day, and praise him like crazy afterwards, then stop. Dont make him do it too many times in a day, or he'll start to resent it. I hope this helps!

For without a horse, i could not fly.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-07-2011, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Little Mountain, SC
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Thank you so much for your replies. I have decided to try and train Zip to be my shooting horse. The girl who is teaching me and letting me use her horse has been kind enough to work with him on the patterns, non shooting. Also we keep Zip around when we do the shooting off other horses. He still has no problem with the shooting even inside the arena and is no longer afraid of the ballons However if you stick your arm out like you are going to shoot that is another story. Thank goodness Rene' can ride as she stuck her arm out on the run down and it was quite the rodeo. He has improved though with just a few practices.

I have never actually participated in Equine Sports but this has got to be the best. You do poles, barrels, must have speed all while shooting the ballons. Seems it incorporates everything except jumping. Also there are 60 different patterns. At a shoot you have no idea which 3 they will draw. No way you or the horse can memorize that...or at least I dont think I will be able to. You can also participate as a non shooter and just do the patterns so its fun for all ages....

give it a try if you get a will be hooked......
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