How do horses adapt to riders firing guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Rembrandt, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

    Oct 24, 2015
    Kendahl likes this.
  2. birdshot8's

    birdshot8's Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    north platte, ne
    A guy rents a horse to go elk hunting.The wrangler told him what ever you do make sure you shoot off the horse. The hunter rides into a meadow and sees a nice bull. He carefully takes aim, fires and wakes up in the hospital. The wrangler sitting at his bedside asks the hunter what happened. The hunters tells him he had shot an elk off the horse just like he had told him, and the horse had bucked him off then proceed to stomp on him. The wrangler told the hunter, No, I said shoot off the horse.
    GBExpat and Steel Hayes like this.
  3. Steel Hayes

    Steel Hayes Member

    Feb 22, 2018

    Much like dogs or any other animal, it just takes time for them to get used to it.
    During re-enactments, with other horses around, it seems to make them more comfortable.
    I still have to catch myself what distance from his ear I fire from, more than once he’s gotten mad and I’ve ended up on the ground.
    birdshot8's, entropy and Zerodefect like this.
  4. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    I'm guessing dogs are easier because you ain't shooting right by their ear. Most of my gun dogs love the sound of the gun because they relate that to something they love to do....hunt. Had a few gun shy when they were pups, but once they figured out that a gun shot maybe meant a bird down for them to find.......they were all over it.
    entropy, DocRock and Steel Hayes like this.
  5. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    In the past, horses have ran into battle despite the fact that their rider was already long dead. Just because all of the other horses were.

    So yeah, they like to herd up and stick together.
    Steel Hayes likes this.
  6. loneviking

    loneviking Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Carson City, NV.
    I’ve done a bit of Civil War re-enacting and some of the Cavalry horses were impressive. I’ve seen horses that, when they heard gunfire, their ears would go forward and they’d start toward the sounds. The riders would have to hold them back because they wanted to go!
  7. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    At Cherokee Rod and Gun Club we often have to call a cease fire in the black powder cartridge or military matches because the resident deer and/or turkey have decided to walk across the range foraging for food. They have learned gunfire does not equal danger and are used to it.

    Horses are smarter than deer or turkeys and learn faster. But even I get startled at an unexpected gunshot.
  8. Jim Rau

    Jim Rau Member

    Sep 20, 2019
    Roger that. I grew up ranching and hunting, and some horses handle it some don't. The last horse I took hunting could handle gun fire if I was in the saddle, but if I was dismounted she would go nuts. Everyone of them is different, just like us!!!:)
    Steel Hayes likes this.
  9. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    Hey gents, I asked my friend/coworker about this question and specifically if there is a technique, and thoughts about hearing protection for horses. Her response was as follows.

    "While I’m not an expert, I have done a little research since I have an interest in mounted shooting (which is an actual sport… youtube it). I’ve wanted to get into it for a while, maybe someday.

    I haven’t shot from the back of a horse yet. Although, my horses are somewhat desensitized to gun shots since their pasture is next to the gun range. I’ve hunted using my horses for transportation, so they’ve been close by when taking a shot. Most mounted shooters I’ve talked to start with a bull whip and once a horse is used to the popping they transition to small caliber guns and work up from there. That being said, not all horses will make a good “shooting” horse. Some just won’t get used to it.

    Hearing protection is a concern. If a person is planning to do a lot of shooting on or around their critters, it’s a must. Believe it or not, they do actually make ear plugs for horses, but a lot of people use tampons (for real, I’m not even joking) and put them in the horses ears. Professional cowboys at rodeos use this trick too.

    Horses are truly amazing animals in what they will tolerate. I just imagine what they were exposed to in many of the wars throughout history, and essentially, where the term “bomb” proof came from in describing a very gentle horse. Pretty crazy when you stop and think about it."

    Hope her feedback is helpful to the question at hand.
    Steel Hayes likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice