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Cowboy Mounted Shooting Photos

Below are photos taken during a Cowboy Mounted Shooting event.

Cowboy Mounted Shooting is fast-paced, exciting competition where riders on horses shoot specially prepared blanks from .45 caliber pistols at balloons. Both men and women can compete, and scores are kept on accuracy and time.

Traditional Western dress by the participants is required, with apparel that reflects the look of the American West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries encouraged. You can find more information on Cowboy Mounted Shooting a little lower on this page, beneath the pictures.

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Outdoor Cowboy Mounted Shooting Photos

Our first set of photos is from an outdoor mounted shooting. The smoke from the guns (which are shooting blanks) is clearly visible in several of them.

Cowboy mounted shooting


A cowboy mounted shooter shoots the balloon target


A cowboy mounted shooter rounds the far end of the course


Both men and women compete in Cowboy Mounted Shooting


A young cowboy in Cowboy Mounted Shooting

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Indoor Cowboy Mounted Shooting Photos

The next set of photos is from an indoor cowboy mounted shooting held during the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. The darker indoor lighting often allows spectators to see sparks from the fired guns.

Visible sparks from the mounted shooter's gun


A cowboy shooter mounted on a black horse


A woman mounted shooter


A mounted shooter fires at a ballon target

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About Cowboy Mounted Shooting

Cowboy Mounted Shooting is an exciting display of horsemanship and marksmanship skills. In a Cowboy Mounted Shooting event men and women compete, one at a time, by riding their horse or mule through a pattern of balloons (called a "stage") and shooting the balloons with blanks from .45 caliber pistols.

Each rider carries two pistols, and must switch pistols during the run. The riders are required to wear traditional Western dress, and are encouraged to wear clothing that reflects the look of the American West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pistols used are .45 caliber single action revolvers similar to those commonly used in America in the late 1800's.

There are no breed or type requirements for the horses or mules used in Cowboy Mounted Shooting, so a rider is free to use any horse or mule they choose. To perform well in Cowboy Mounted shooting, the mount must be well broke, with what is commonly call a "good handle." A good handle means the horse or mule responds quickly, easily, and willingly to cues from its rider. The horse or mule must also be quiet and accepting of gunfire.

The gun leathers used by cowboy mounted shooters can be replicas of period gun belts and holsters. Some shooters buy their replicas off the shelf, while others prefer to have their gun leathers custom made.

For more information on Cowboy Mounted Shooting, we suggest you visit the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association website (<<< this link will open in a new window).


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