Post by Brent Harty on Feb 22, 2008 17:47:08 GMT -5
Thanks for all the great info everyone. As per the number views and comments, this is obviously an issue that is common. It is too bad there is no 'silver bullet' out there to solve these issues. Of course, really, time spent on correcting these issues is really likely what brought them to an ugly light to begin with. Again, thanks for the instruction! Brent
Brent Harty email@example.com Proud 3rd Great Grandson of Lt. Joseph G. Lewis, 8th MO Cav., Co. B
With my two horses, I have had the most success with simply taking them to places where there will be gunfire and letting them hang out. They are around other horses that are used to gunfire, and when they see that their friends aren't bothered, they soon calm down and get used to the sound. The unit I'm with is big into the cowboy mounted shooting competitions, so we get together once a month during the winter to shoot and practice. I've found this great experience for my horses, even if I'm not shooting (although I normally do) I still try and go just to let my horse be around it.
Or... you could really be like me and take a new horse straight to an event with no prior conditioning to gunfire. I did that last weekend, had sold my old cavalry mount last summer, and then last minute decided to take my other horse to this mainstream deal my unit attends. I fully intended on just letting him hang out and watch everything, get used to the sights and sounds and gain a little experience doing something different. I was a little apprehensive about it as I hadn't done any prep work with him before hand. Turned out he didn't give a rats tail about any of it. Not even the gunfire! I was flabbergasted to be honest, he outright surprised the socks off me. Here is a horse who had never been around any sort of gunfire before in his life, and he's dozing in the middle of a battle, barely flicking an ear when the cannon goes off just in front of us.
I agree, this is a very good thread, there is lots of useful information. I believe each horse out there will require slightly different alterations of your basic gunfire training. Some (like mine!) just don't care, it doesn't phase them all it. Now I wouldn't recomend doing what I did, I will admit it wasn't the smartest route to go. Even if your horse is calm and quiet and just plumb don't care--still do desensitization work with them. Get them used to a slew of different sights and sounds. I hadn't anticipated beforehand using that particular horse for reenacting, so I hadn't done that sort of work with him. Now that he has changed my mind on the matter, I will be doing more work with him aimed at what he will see and experience as a cavalry mount, gunfire included.
Once again, good thread.
Last Edit: Mar 7, 2008 14:21:35 GMT -5 by idlewild
Yours truly ~ Emily Berg Company K, 4th U.S. Cavalry Fort Garland Memorial Regiment
Post by garydeanchambers on Oct 26, 2008 10:48:55 GMT -5
I agree with Jerry Todd. I have eight horses and have ridden all in battle except the newest one whos is in training. Some horses pick it up very quickly. Others take a while. Recommend finding as many things as possible to get the horse used to. This may include things not found on the battle field but on trails too. Four wheelers, chainsaws, tractors, etc. The horse must feel he can trust you. Also just spending quality time with him/her can help. I know of some riders that train and ride only and I have found that feeding, petting and handling as well as training go a long way to get the horse to trust you. Patience of the trainer goes a long way to instill confidence in the horse.
Post by winchester1886 on Jan 14, 2009 3:51:51 GMT -5
My Grandfather was an old time Northern Arizona Cowboy back in the 1920's and 30's. When he was first considering a horse he would snub it to a tree and proceed to empty his old .300 Savage into the ground. He would expect some shying but if there was excessive fear on behalf of the horse he would not consider putting effort into training. He told me that most horses will get used to gunfire; but not all. The main thing is to get them around horses that respond well and the herd instinct will help alot and shoot around them.
"Many of us volunteered to fight for the Union. Some came mainly because we were bored at home and this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many came because it was the right thing to do." Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 20th Maine Infantry at Gettysburg.