Mounted Shooting – What Do I Need to Start?

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Multiple Breeds Can Succeed – Even Mules!


Photo by Selena McGovern.

Top speed is not essential when you begin mounted shooting. Level One and Senior (50+) Level One divisions for men and women gives everyone a competitive place to start. Kids under 13 can join the Wranglers, where riding and shooting are separate and supervised.

Stock-type horses are most common but ponies, gaited horses, and mules do well too. We even see some draft horses. You can introduce your equine to balloons and earplugs at home. Most horses adapt well to gunfire with the right training approach and local clinicians and trainers are available to help.

The guns are single-action Colt .45 replica revolvers, and you’ll need two, plus double holsters. Come out to a practice or clinic to learn more before you buy. (These are working firearms but modifications are made for mounted shooting.) The ammo is black powder blanks; balloons burst from the burning sparks and there’s no projectile fired.

Basic western tack will get you started, and a western hat, long-sleeved shirt, and chaps or chinks are required for competition unless you choose to go with approved traditional attire, such as prairie dresses or cavalry-style trousers with suspenders.

For videos and information, check out the CMSA at For local practices, clinics, and shoots, join WESTERNWASHINGTONMOUNTEDSHOOTERS (all caps) on Facebook, see club website, or contact Jennifer Burnell at [email protected].


Published August 2016 Issue

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