Quick Post

Hello, greenhorn here

New Topic
Hello, greenhorn here
  • horse gun.jpg

    I'm interested in taking up horseback riding expressly for big-game (deer, moose, elk) hunting in Lower-48 America be it by a guide/outfitter or by a DIY hunt. I'm age 57. I see a good horse or even a mule as a great 4-leg-drive vehicle for the sport. Many hunting lands prohibit motorized vehicles while pack/saddle animals are permitted in the field. A horse or mule can get into boonies places no truck or ATV dares tread.

    Who here has hunted in North America via horseback or mule back before?

    My experience riding animals is limited: pony rides at zoo, a couple rides as a passenger on the horse owned by a next-door neighbor at age 5 and 6, camel and elephant rides at an amusement park. No formal riding or horsemanship training of any kind.

    I want to master enough horseback riding skills and have just enough riding experience to go hunting without getting saddle sore and such. Some booked clients show up to hunting guides as in the elk mountains of the west, get on a horse for few hours and the hunt is ruined because they are feeling totally miserable. Their bodies weren't broken into the horse-riding experience.

    I don't want to own a horse or horse tack and saddle. I would only ride borrowed, hunting-guide-provided or rented horses, trailer and tack. I feel I would need a rifle scabbard that does NOT go under one's leg as the shown in the picture here hanging off the saddle horn. Having a long gun between the leg and the saddle fender can be uncomfortable. I would probably hunt with a Savage Model 99 lever-action rifle on horse or mule back. A lever job is just a natural for American horsemanship. All the old-fashioned cowboys had lever guns for the saddle. I figure that western riding is best for American big-game hunting.

    I live in SW Oklahoma. Where is the best place to start in my neck of the prairie to get entry-level equestrian training and riding experience as a non-horse-owner? I feel riding a horse or mule on a hunt would be a romantic and charming old-fashioned adventure as well as a practical form of transportation in the field. Kinda like the warmth of having a nice trained dog in a dove or pheasant field.

  • Hello Hemlock and welcome.

    I am not sure how to tell you to proceed except to start with riding lessons.

    And if you don't plan to own a horse and ride regularly, I would suggest doing riding lessons frequently before one of your hunts.

    I own 5 horses. One is is retired, another I let friends ride.

    The other three I ride regularly.

    I don't hunt but have had to track deer that were bad shots by hunters or poachers.

    Also check fence and look for missing cows or horses.

    I get sore from riding if I lay off even for just a week.

    You are right about a horse being able to go most anywhere.

    But you can get in trouble if you don't have the skills to handle the horse.

    Please keep us updated on your adventures.

  • Some more thoughts ...... American men and boys largely have little interest in horses these days. Before the advent of motor transportation, the male sex literally lived and died in the saddle. For males in the US, horses are largely limited to farmers, cowboys, law enforcement, the US Forest Service, Hollywood, sheep ranchers, outfitters and guide services and the Amish. Less than 6% of the American population sport hunts. Deer hunting is mostly likely in a blind or stand close to where the pickup truck was parked. ATV's can be used to haul shot big game out of the woods on private property. BLM/public lands largely prohibit motorized vehicles in the hunting fields. May motorized vehicles ever be used in British deer hunting to recover dead animals from the field?

    In America, hunting and horsemanship traditions both are on the verge of extinction. Hunting and horses both have become prohibitively expensive for many people.

  • Most of the  reason  Men don't learn to ride is pride.  They won't admit to ignorance without it injuring their pride.  Such is part of the reason Men have a rep for not asking directions.  The expense of keeping a horse in the city is another part.   Equestrian sports in general are shrinking.  I won't say dying out, just shrinking.

    DH made a good point about the lessons though.  If you won't keep your own saddle, make sure the ones you borrow and rent are in good condition.  You will learn the meaning of pain otherwise.  Expensive as lessons are, they will be money well spent.  Don't go to the local rental string, take lessons from a proper trainer.  Be careful though.  Horses can become an addiction.

  • I can't see how male pride and horsemanship can't be gotten together from watching cowboy pictures with all those manly heroes like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. 

    No, men will not tolerate disobedience from animals including dogs. Men are impatient about unruly or stubborn animals. 

  • Well I would have to say patience is very necessary with horses and dogs.

    Extremely necessary especially with training.

  • I've been watching some horsemanship videos for fun lately. Handy Horseman Ted has a good series. The horse is regarded to him as a practical working tool. There are some tricky knots in rope tying. Tacking the horse seems procedural like a military drill movement. I'm now finding out horsemanship takes lots of practice. How does a musician get to Carnegie Hall (on his horse or otherwise)? Practice, practice and more practice. It takes some money, time and energy to boot.

    How to Tie the Bank Robbers Knot - YouTube