Looking For a Fun New Western Sport: You’ve found it in Cowboy Mounted Shooting

Western Quarter Horse

Have you ever dreamed of being a cowboy of cowgirl?  Then you have found a way to keep the western tradition alive in the western sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting. 


In the traditional spirit of the Old-West, Cowboy Mounted Shooting was established in the 1990’s so that horse enthusiasts could enjoy the competitive nature of shooting sports while mounted on horseback.  The Cowboy Mounted Shooting has be garnering more and more attention in recent years.  The object of the sport is to shoot at 10 balloon targets while riding a challenging course of patterns.  This is a speed event so the fastest rider/shooter and horse pair to complete the course without missing the targets, wins. 


The targets are arranged in a course in a riding arena.  The event typically requires two single action revolvers.  Bullets are not used in this event for safety reasons, thus the revolvers are loaded with five blank cartridges.  When the competitor is ready to run they cross the time barrier line and engage the ten balloon targets.  Once the course of targets is completed the rider crosses the time barrier line to determine the overall ride time the run ends.  But the fun does not stop there!  Mounted Shooting can also include events such as Cowboy Mounted Rifle, Cowboy Mounted Shotgun, Extreme Cowboy, Team Events, and Cart Shooting.


In the early years of Cowboy Mounted Shooting the competitors were to wear costumes depicting the Old West.   While many groups still partake in dressing the part of the cowboy, the only requirement is modern western gear.  This modern western attire includes chicks or chaps, a long-sleeved shirt, and a cowboy hat. 


To maintain a level of fairness the Cowboy Mounted Shooting competitions are divided into classes and levels.  Classes are Senior Mens, Mens, Senior Ladies, and Ladies.  The classes are then further divided by age, such as 11 and under, 12-16, 16 plus, and 55 plus.  A new rider will start at level 1 and work their way up to Level 6.  Levels 1 and 2 are for beginners and is referred to as limited division.   Levels 3 and 4 are referred to as the Express division.  Levels 5 and 6 are referred to as the Master division.   So whether you are just starting out or have been competing for years there is a competition spot for you.


So if you are looking for a new and exciting western sport to share with your equine companion, consider Cowboy Mounted Shooting!  It’s an extremely fun way to improve your skill in both horsemanship and shooting.