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Cowboy mounted shooting?

This is a discussion on Cowboy mounted shooting? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to not shoot your horses head in cowboy mounted shooting
  • Mounted cowboy shooting

 
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    08-14-2010, 08:28 AM
  #31
Weanling
100% in agreement with nrhareiner... try it at home first. Preferably in a closed ring. Out in the woods is not the place to see how your horse reacts. :)

On earplugs - some use them (horse and/or rider) for mounted shooting, some don't. If your horse doesn't mind the plugs, they can be a help. If you are shooting indoors, earplugs for both horse and rider become more important.

Cost - a pair of Ruger Vaqueros will cost you about $500 each. I usually see them used for about $400 each. You can find other brands for a little less - down to about $350 each (new).

On the other side, there are plenty of very friendly people in this game that will be happy to loan you pistols until you get your own (see local laws to make sure this is legal in your area). I know plenty of people that borrow pistols while they save up for their own. Most don't expect you to invest >$1,000 in a game just to see if you/your horse like it and want to continue. Find and talk to your local club who will usually be quick to get you up and running.
     
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    09-29-2010, 09:09 AM
  #32
Foal
This is definitely something I would be interested in - maybe not in competition but just for fun at home. I actually was thinking of this not too long ago, didn't realize it was a sport.
     
    10-17-2010, 02:39 PM
  #33
Foal
I tried it a week ago and it was a blast!
     
    10-19-2010, 01:37 AM
  #34
Foal
I compete in mounted shooting at the ladies level 1 rank. It's a blast!!! It is a bit expensive to start up but it's worth it. I bought two Ruger New Vaqueros and they were about $600 a piece. I use earplugs on my horse and I DO suggest them just cause some shots you take might be right next to their head so it just helps to protect the horse. It was really easy to start my horse with the shooting. Our club has practices where they help beginners get their horses used to the sounds...it's a big family! The only problem I have is getting to the competitions. Here in California, our club competitions are all weekend so for a full time college student it can be a bit expensive and hard to find the time...when I can go thouh, it's awesome.
As for the guns though...you can use any make/model single action period authentic revovler as long as it is .45 cal.
     
    10-28-2010, 09:10 PM
  #35
Foal
I tried it over the summer and it was fun but like a lot of people it is very expensive to start and I do not have job so... That kinda stopped all my horse showing.

Here is a few pictures from when I tried it. This was my first time so I had just decided to trot the patterns. This is not my horse, I borrowed a horse for the day.




     
    10-28-2010, 09:31 PM
  #36
Green Broke
My stepdad doesn't do mounted but he does do cowboy shoots. He has the whole get up and it was really expensive.

This is him on Annalie in his get up. (I can't help but giggle at the pink halter)
     
    10-28-2010, 10:25 PM
  #37
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseshochamp    
I use earplugs on my horse and I DO suggest them just cause some shots you take might be right next to their head so it just helps to protect the horse.
Let me give you all a tip for getting started. Reading the above comment and the pictures from another poster (even though she is riding an apparently experienced horse) made me think of it.

When starting out with new horses, it is very important to NOT shoot near the horse's face. You should always be shooting at the "3 o'clock" position or further back. This not only keeps the sound/flash away from the horse's face while they are getting used to it, but is also encourages forward motion (which is very good). Shooting in front of the 3 o'clock position can startle the horse and is more likely to cause them to stop, sidestep or backup - all of which are not desired actions in mounted shooting.

When the horse is better trained and more accepting of the gunfire, and you are riding at more competitive speeds, then you will see riders shooting ahead of 3 o'clock.

BTW - there is nothing wrong with earplugs for equine and/or rider. Whether or not you use them you should keep the shot away from the horse's face while training.
     
    10-28-2010, 10:25 PM
  #38
Weanling
I don't personally do mounted shooting. I have a hard time with guns. :/
But I know a lot of people who do mounted shooting and it looks fun! You can even get horsie earplugs!
     
    10-29-2010, 06:31 PM
  #39
Foal
How do you desensitize your horse to the shots. My gelding is quiet as heck but EVERY time my husband or I are shooting (sighting in a gun, messing around, not working with him but he's usually not too far away) he jumps. At every single shot. He should be used to it by now, I would think, or at least after a few shots in a row he should quit jumping at every one. I'd really like to try it but don't know how to get him to just relax and deal with the noise... I'm not real keen on just climbing on and going for a ride and shooting a gun out of the blue... could end badly LOL.
     
    11-01-2010, 09:19 AM
  #40
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunhorse    
how do you desensitize your horse to the shots. My gelding is quiet as heck but EVERY time my husband or I are shooting (sighting in a gun, messing around, not working with him but he's usually not too far away) he jumps. At every single shot. He should be used to it by now, I would think, or at least after a few shots in a row he should quit jumping at every one. I'd really like to try it but don't know how to get him to just relax and deal with the noise... I'm not real keen on just climbing on and going for a ride and shooting a gun out of the blue... could end badly LOL.
Definitely don't just get on and try shooting. :)

There are many "methods" for training horses to guns. Some people are better at some methods. Some horses take better to some methods. It is not always a one size fits all situation.

I am not a trainer, but I am active in mounted shooting and run my own club. I have organized many clinics to get riders and horses started in this game. The method that works great for me is the "group" method. It would be too long to explain it here, but it basically involved getting several horses in a ring - some experienced and some new to gunfire. We ride in a circle on the rail and shoot one at a time. We start with "primers" (about as loud as a cap gun) and slowly move up to full volume loads. The concept is to use the herd mentality of the horses so that the "new" horses look to the "experienced" horses for guidance.

There is a little more to it that this. We carefully monitor the horses' reactions and make adjustments along the way. It's not hard to do, but it is something you really need to see a few times to fully understand.

I have seen and worked with some pretty "jumpy" horses over the past few years. It is the rare horse (or rider) that cannot get started in mounted shooting fairly quickly. As a basic rule, the horses/riders that take longer to come around are the less experienced, nervous or jumpy ones. I have found that people who are interested in mounted shooting are usually more adventurous and have tried different things with their horses, which probably has something to do with the success rate.
     

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