Saturday, November 6, 2010

Exposing Your Horse to Gunfire

I have long been asked about how to train your horse for gunfire. I always answer something to the effect "Don't know,..haven't done it yet,..but imagine it's like sacking your horse out to any obstacle,..start small, aim build up at the horse's pace and reward even his smallest try and build on that.

I have had people shoot around my horses, but one shot thirty feet away is much different than several shots close up. Add the smell of gun smoke and you have a different situation.

So I started exposing one of my horses to gunfire with the aim to shoot off him like the Cowboy Mounted Shooters do when riding a course and shooting balloons with blanks.

I secured a box of .45 Long Colt blank from Buffalo Blanks and started shooting 6 to 12 rounds at a distance of about 25 feet while my horses were eating. At first they startled and move away. I let them get back to their feed, then shot again, By the 4th or 5th round, they continued eating, just looking in my direction.

The next drill is to shoot several rounds near the horse. You can hold onto the
reins and shoot away from him, then as he becomes more comfortable, shoot from near his side or he'll be more used to you shooting from the saddle. This is what you'll see on the video below, then I'll try from horseback, while in the arena or round pen...just in case he gets me off so I don;t have to chase him, ha ha.

You see me giving my horse some cookies. Horses, when eating, releases endorphins and can helps calm them down and is a reward for a smaller and smaller startle reflex.

One more thing, safe...then be extra safe. Ensure you are using blanks and always fire them into a safe direction. Be sure and clean your gun regularly if using blanks as the unburned powder and residue sure gums it up a considerable amount.


  1. Man ask a horse trader, can you shoot off the back of that horse? Trader says, sure you can. Once.

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