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Monday, March 22, 2010

New thing #1

A weekend of new things.  Since I'm feeling especially uninspired this week.....I'm going to be lazy and only post one at a time.
New thing #1 - firing a pistol on horseback:
There's a saying that you can fire a pistol off of any horse's back....once.  I'm happy to report I managed to get 3 caps and 9 rounds off and Farley did not turn into an uncontrollable moster. 
Earlier in the day I accidentally popped a balloon with my sword and she didn't even flinch.  I thought "whoppee! this ought to be easy!".  (BTW - I apologize now - my mind is mush and my sentence construction is...shaky after a very long weekend).  I ought to mention that in Farley's world popping balloon = OK, making the balloon do it's particular *squeeky squeeky" rubbery sound thing = not OK .  Weird pony.  Any whoo.  I started on the ground and had a family member shoot a balloon in front of us.  Not bad.  He did it again.  I got the gun and fired 2 or 3 shots.  Good girl! 
I asked for the pistol to be reloaded with caps and rounds and mounted up.  I started firing the caps by leveling the pistol off of the right side at an angle. 
Caps went "OK".  Not wonderfully but decent nevertheless.  She was jumping and getting a bit tense, but wasn't giving me much of a problem.
Side note:  I should mention at this point that she had *apparently* stopped worrying about her ear plugs and *finally* was focusing on the task at hand.  I also found out she didn't mind me putting them in and taking them out as much if I did it from her back, instead of on the ground. 
After a *very* short amount of time, I had run out of caps it was time to fire a *real* round (I was using blanks).  Ugggg.  I rode around for a while.  I looked at my father and said "I don't want to do this", then took a deep breath, pulled on my big girl panties and took the shot.  Farley LEAPED to the right, but over all not bad (keep in mind I'm riding her in an english saddle with ONE hand and in fillis irons).  Wasn't that fun.  I decide to dismount and I took the 2 remaining shots on the ground. 
She didn't get worse - still jumped away from the shot and was a bit tense afterwards, but definately under control and not "losing it".
I asked for 6 more rounds and mounted back up.  I fired 3 more shots from the side and her reaction was the same each time.  A leap, some tenseness.  She wasn't getting worse, but she wasn't improving either.
An onlooker suggested that I fire in the air for my next round.  I did.  Straight up into the air. 
Amazing improvement.  She startled a bit, but it was a much more muted reaction.   Apparently this is where I should I started.....The concussion from the shot, coming from the side was probably a bit much for her to take in at first.
I decided to take the next shots standing still, firing straight up into the air. 
I had been firing from a walk, figuring that with some forward motion any tenseness would work it's way out instead of turning into a stone stature only to EXPLODE moments later.  :) 
The first shot she tossed her head but didn't move.
The second shot she bobbled her head but remained relaxed.
Whoo hoo!  I have a cavalry horse! 
I should mention this is the first time I've ever fired off of ANY horse's back.  I've always been too much of a wimp.  So this was a first for me AND Farley.


  1. Oh man, that's totally fantastic! It's on the Big List of Things to Teach My Horse, but I'm entirely too chicken to try it right now.

  2. Good description, but it was much more entertaining for us spectators.

    Now lets see.....did I load those rounds heavy or light?



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