Cowboy Mounted Shooting
 By ImaCoolCowgirl   •   24th Jan 2011   •   9,900 views   •   8 comments
Last summer I was Googleing random horse pictures and came across some neat pictures of riders shooting on horse back. Naturally I try to learn everything that I can about horses and I came across the really amazing sport called Cowboy Mounted Shooting (CMS). I found that it seams to be a rather unpopular, but a quickly growing sport. So I thought you all might like to learn a little bit more about it.

The Objective

In CMS an arena is set up with any one of the 50+ patterns approved by the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association. The patterns each consist of 10 balloons. The balloons are on upright poles, similar to pole bending poles just not as tall. Each contestant is given 10 movie blanks, which shoot burning embers that look like a gunshot, but with no bullet. These blanks are placed in their own two traditional single action revolvers or if you prefer a double barrel shotgun or rifle.

An important rule is that you can only use one hand to shoot. The challenge with movie blanks is that you must get very close to hit the balloon with the burning embers, but far enough away that it won’t compromise your speed. All blanks are certified to not break balloons from more than 20ft away. The goal simply is to pop all balloons in the fastest time possible.

The Penalties

There is a five second penalty for any balloon missed and also five seconds for a dropped gun. A ten second penalty is added for running the course incorrectly and you get penalized sixty seconds if you fall off your horse.

The Horse

For CMS you need a calm, smart, obedient horse. You also want a quick, agile horse that responds quickly to rein queues. The horse needs to be calm around gunfire, balloons and popping balloons. A good way to accustom a horse to gunfire is to start with a child’s cap gun.

The Gun

The guns used must be .45 single action revolvers. Single action means that there is a hammer to pull back before you can pull the trigger to fire. You’ll need two of these six shot pistols. There are three popular barrel lengths, 3 ½ inch, 4 ¾ inch and 5 ½ inch. Occasionally people use 7 ½ inch barrels, but most find them heavy and clumsy.

The Holsters

There are many options when looking to carry your pistols. You can holster your pistols around your waist or on your saddle. Some shooters carry one on their saddle and one on their waist. You have to be able to take your pistols out quick as well as return them to the holsters, unless you want to leave them in the sand of the arena (not suggested). You can use strong side belt holster or cross draw holsters. Some shooters wear two side belt holsters in the front for easier access.

The Tack

Traditional western tack is required. Absolutely no synthetic tack is allowed.

The Clothing

Traditional western or time period clothing is required. Traditional western clothing is simply a long sleeved shirt, 5 pocket jeans, chaps, and a cowboy hat. Time period (usually 1800s to early 1900s is acceptable) clothing can be high rise pants (buttons, no zippers) or long skirt, leather vest, chaps, a cowboy hat and any other doohickeys to make your outfit look authentic.

The Persona

Most riders come up with an alias to ride under. Two Gun Dana and Morning Dove are two names that I came accross in my research. Some people model themselves after people such as Annie Okley or Roy Rogers, they then try to finding clothes and accossories pertaining to their character weather made up or modeled after a famous shooter.

Cowboy Mounted Shooting

If you’re interested in this fast growing equestrian sport look for local CMS clubs in your area.

Official website for the CMSA:
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  ImaCoolCowgirl
that seems heaps fan!
  11 days ago  •  6,835 views
Nice article! I think that would be a lot of fun.
  11 days ago  •  6,670 views
We have one of those here in Las Vegas. A friend of mine does it with her Mustang stallion and apparently, they're really good. I really didn't know much about it, but it does look really cool!
  11 days ago  •  6,673 views
T E M P E S T  
Wow, can you do that with a bow/arrow cus that would be SO cool!
  6 days ago  •  6,708 views
Moody Farms  MOD 
Cool. When younger I would go hunting on horse back with my brother, though he was the one hunting.
  6 days ago  •  6,689 views
Painted Destiny  
That sounds fun!
  6 days ago  •  6,674 views
Wanderin Boy Memorial  MOD 
That looks like fun
  2 days ago  •  6,679 views
Little Bitty Farm  
Great article!
  May 9, 2011  •  6,845 views
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