Anyone have experience with mounted shooting competitions?
I met someone this weekend that regularly competes and it sounds like it would be a lot of fun and something Jack could really enjoy. Anyone have experience with it? The girl I spoke with got to level 4 of 6 on a 14.2hh Walker which makes me think Jack would do pretty well with his Morgan booty,lol. If I could get his lazy booty moving that is:lol:.
I wish I did. There is a mounted team of women that do it on clydesdales. That's what I want to do!
You gotta have a horse that is level headed and responds well to leg cues and dosen't get hot like some gaming horses. You use a .45 caliber revolver (you need two guns) and you are shooting black powder so it sprays simular like a shot gun. It takes a lot of practice and lots of going to competitions and sitting between two expierenced horses who have been doing it for quiet some time.
To get started I would work on your horse getting used to balloons popping. (I would work on the ground running along a line of balloons and popping them with your horse in hand.) The gun fire isn't the only thing that might spook your trusty mount ;-).
Thanks for the advice! For a 5 year old Jack is pretty unflappable, but I would definitely spend a lot of time desensitizing him to every loud noise I can think of,lol. I am going to see when the next local competition is and go check it out!
I have attended and run many mounted shooting clinics. There are many ways to train a horse to the game. When done properly, they all usually work well. The trick is to learn with people that have experience in this and not tying it on your own (unless you are an experienced trainer).
Most horses and riders can be playing this game with just one clinic. It will take at least a full season and lots of work to get any good at it, but you can be up and running fairly quickly.
As someone already mentioned, the guns are only one aspect of it. I find most horses get used to the noise fairly quickly. The balloons end up being a bigger concern for most. I always thought the "here one second, gone the next" has something to do with that. When this happens you will find is that after the horse is OK with the gunfire, they will see the balloons and shy away.
The best training you can do at home is to set up patterns and practice them. Get you and your horse used to going through the courses and working on cues. This should be done WITHOUT guns. You can practice with balloons in place. When you and the horse are comfortable doing patterns, the gun part will become much easier.
Don't forget to do plenty of other things with your horse also. Trail rides (in varied conditions) are great. Various activities inside and outside the ring are great. I find that the more different activities, sounds and environments that rider and horse are exposed to, the easier the horse takes to mounted shooting. It becomes just "one more thing" as opposed to something completely different.
I am getting into this! I am going to my first clinic this Sunday. It is awesome stuff. Gizmo needs a lot of training at this point, so we might not be able to do a show until the end of the year or next year, as there isn't that many. But I mean you have to dress as cowboy cowgirl or original 1800 garb. You get to go fast on a horse around a course, and then you get to shoot guns! What better sport is there?! I defiantly didn't think that's what mounted shooting was. I thought you had to sit on your horse and shoot, but defiantly not the case. It is awesome I keep watching videos on youtube about it.
This one is a dismounted no horse clinic. He is getting really used to it. We have a shooting range right next to his barn, so he is very used to it now.
I am going to have to do a spring tune up with Jack first thing, the weather has been so ugly for so long it's been about 2 months since I've been able to ride and he is pretty out of shape(by that I mean his shape is ROUND). My friend that is a level 4 is going to help me get him going once he's back in shape and see if he takes to it. He's extremely smart and I think he will love it once he realizes what I'm asking for.
Also, she has offered to let me try riding her horse in a competition when I am ready so that I have a better idea as well. She has a QH/TB named Mongo that can take care of her non-horsey dad as well as blaze through a course so I feel pretty good about trying it. I am told that you can pay to actually run the course but you're not really competing, which is what I would prefer at first. I know it'll be at least a year before Jack and I can really "compete" but I am really looking forward to giving it a shot;p
It is hard to explain, but there is a difference between competing and being competitive. Sure, it will take some time before most people are ready to "blaze" through a course. Likewise, it takes most horses and riders about a year before they really start to gain proficiency.
While it may take some time to become "competitive" at a higher level, that does not mean you cannot compete!
Mounted shooting groups riders into level. When you start, you are a level 1. While you can still compete for "overall match winner" you are also competing against other level 1 riders. Most times, they are just as new to the game as you.
After you win your class (at least 3 level one riders in a competition) a certain number times, you will be a level 2.
This allows riders to ride at their own level of experience/ability and still be able to "win." Some events have buckles and prizes for each class.
Some riders also compete for "the good time" instead of the "time." They don't care about the clock and play for fun and their own personal goals. Someone may be riding simply to beat their own previous time. Someone may simply want to walk the course or trot the course.
In every event I have been to, no one has ever thought twice about this. Everyone is encouraged to ride in whatever way makes it fun for them (as long as it is safe). This game is unique in that way, and part of what makes it so much fun for so many people.
If you want to ride as an "exhibition" rider, that it fine too. Just don't think there is anything wrong with being part of the actual competition simply because you are a beginner to CMS.
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