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Anyone ride and carry a firearm??

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  • Anyone ride and carry a firearm??

    Kind of a spin-off from the Clifton/barbed wire thread, and because I'm wondering, anyone pack any heat with them on trail rides? I know here in Virginia you can open-carry a firearm (must be completely in view, not even partially covered by clothing) in public. This does not include government facitilities, schools or the National Battlefield, but for riding around, you betcha!!

    Personally I don't, but I do carry a couple of knives, one on me and one on my saddle. I ride out alone and worry about people, and dogs, heck, mostly just people.

    Your thoughts??
    If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....

  • #2
    I've known a few people who do carry anywhere and everywhere they can. I generally don't carry my gun anymore since cops here will go out of their way to harass you around here if you do and few if any of them know any of the firearms rules/regulations as they apply to citizens. The local government in my county is of the opinion that only police and other law enforcement agents should be carrying around firearms outside of designated shooting areas so you have to be VERY careful about where you carry your gun.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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    • #3
      I do when I'm riding in the mountains and without my friend who has her CCW (I don't have mine yet so I open carry). When I'm riding with her I let her carry hers so I don't have to worry about keeping it out in the open in sudden rains and whatnot. Our concern is more bear and moose than people. Riding alone or with others who do not carry I do carry mine. Generally when riding near my home on the plains where the scariest predators we have are coyotes, I do not carry a firearm. I generally carry a knife around horses, though, regardless of what I'm doing.
      exploring the relationship between horse and human

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      • #4
        A good knife is definitely a must if you're trail riding. You never know when you might need to use it for non-defensive purposes or when you get the urge to carve your name in a stump.
        Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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        • #5
          Carry a firearm while riding? Nope. I'm afraid I'd end up using it on my horse.

          Last year during an endurance ride, my OTTB was acting up badly and not getting off the trail to let some 50-milers pass. They were very nice about it, but I was frustrated with my horse, who had been cantering sideways down a hill and blocking the trail. As the last rider passed, she shouted over her shoulder, "This is why we don't carry firearms!" I laughed even while recognizing the merits of her statement.

          I think it is John Lyons who says that when your horse misbehaves badly, you have three seconds to try to kill him. I don't think he meant that literally.
          "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

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          • #6
            My wife and I both have handgun carry permits. One of the few times I do carry is when riding in the woods around here. We have a lot of land that is owned by the big timber companies (Bowater, GA Pacific, etc.) but is open to riding. It's also a popular place to dump unwanted dogs; feral dog packs are not uncommon. We've been doing some mounted shooting and both our regular mares are gun broke.

            That, by the way, is a BIG consideration if you're going to carry while astride. Bust a cap while on an un-gun broke horse and you might have some bad moments.

            If you're going to carry a weapon you have a duty to be basically proficient in its use. I see a lot of folks carrying openly (technically legal around here but a sure "cop attractor") who are also clearly ignorant of the fundamental rules of firearm safety.

            One way to REALLY reduce the "cop hassle factor" is to dress VERY old fashioned Western (like at SASS or NCOWS or CMSA events). Victorian era clothes and big hat just makes an armed man or woman look less threatening for some reason. On the other hand looking like Rambo or Col. Matrix will generally get you lots of unwanted attention.

            About the only time I don't carry a Swiss Army Knife is on an aircraft or in a Federal building. When I go to the barn I add a Gerber Tool (like a Leatherman). Going out in the woods a usually also carry a sheath knife with a substantial blade.

            G.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
              ...We've been doing some mounted shooting and both our regular mares are gun broke.

              That, by the way, is a BIG consideration if you're going to carry while astride. Bust a cap while on an un-gun broke horse and you might have some bad moments.
              Scot Hansen says the first shot is easy. It's the second one that can be tough! I'd think getting a horse used to mounted gunfire would be a serious prerequisite to riding with a gun.
              "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

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              • #8
                I always carry my ultimate Leatherman (it's awesome, even has a barbed wire cutter on it) but it's not for self defense. I'm not that good with a knife that I would try to use it for self defense.
                I do, however, always carry a firearm when I am out on the trails, esp alone. I'm a cop, so I know how to use it, and my horses are all gun broke. I also always have one in my truck and on my person when I'm off the farm.
                Just make sure if you are going to carry one, you know how to use it and are confident. Most people (as far as the general public, horse and farm people are a different animal for the most part) can barely shoot from a standstill, much less on the back of a horse. If they do try to use it takes them so long to make up their minds it's too late by the time they decide to pull the trigger.
                I would much rather run away from someone if I can, I figure the gun is for if we do run up on someone not nice and I end up on the ground, then it's time for the gun. But they will have a hard time getting too close to me while I am mounted.
                "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by matryoshka View Post
                  Scot Hansen says the first shot is easy. It's the second one that can be tough! I'd think getting a horse used to mounted gunfire would be a serious prerequisite to riding with a gun.
                  YOu don't want to shoot live ammo off them more than once or twice. They get to where they hear the click before it goes off and get jumpy about it.
                  You start training them with a cap gun, just carry it all the time around them and when you ride and pop it off a lot at random. Eventually it becomes no big deal.
                  Then once or twice use a live round in a real gun just so you know what it's like.
                  Always shoot either over your horses rump or out over a 90 angle from the saddle. Never try to shoot right over his head. I know a mounted cop that tried that and shot his horse in the head.
                  "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                    If you're going to carry a weapon you have a duty to be basically proficient in its use. I see a lot of folks carrying openly (technically legal around here but a sure "cop attractor") who are also clearly ignorant of the fundamental rules of firearm safety.
                    Amen to that. I've been trained at NRA and by an ex-navy seal (BTW, ex-navy seal was waaaaay tougher). My son has his personal concealed handgun permit and is very sensible about when and where to carry. My brother is a handgun collector (60 plus and growing) And my TWH is a former field trials mount and you could shoot a cannon off his back. Fly spray him? No way, shoot off his back, no problem. Go figure.
                    If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....

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                    • #11
                      not on the horse

                      I don't carry on my horse since I ride mostly on private land and we don't have anything worse than wild dogs, gators, and coyotes. If I were in bear or lion country I would carry. Mine were stabled for 4 1/2 year by a gun club and they got used to firearms, but never have been shot off of. I do carry 24/7 except for riding as am retired prosecutor (atlanta) and I know that noon at the mall is the most dangerous time for women! If you guys knew how many people are watching you, 24/7, to rob/rape/kill you, you would be very very careful.
                      but usually, not always, you are safe from humans as long as you have a dog or horse, thank God. my dogs did more to protect me in atlanta than my guns.
                      you can never be too paranoid! And you are more in danger from humans than from animals, ask any cop.
                      oh and do not show any one your gun unless you are pulling the trigger. worse thing is to get killed by your own gun, advice from my father, plus further advice from him, the crack shot hunter, was never let someone tie you up. He said it was harder to hit you with shot, unlike on tv, so running away if you don't have a gun is best. And best to shoot thru your jacket, purse, etc., and never show your gun till after you've pulled the trigger. Atlanta cops agreed with that advice.
                      Last edited by cloudyandcallie; Jul. 17, 2008, 10:55 PM. Reason: add

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                      • #12
                        I was taught long ago by a Marine DI that the First Rule of Firearm Safety is that all weapons are to be considered as loaded unless I have PERSONALLY verified otherwise.

                        Another rule is don't point a weapon at anything you don't want to kill. If a body is going to carry they have to make the decision from the get go that if they are ever put in fear of death or serious bodily harm (for either themself or another) then they will draw and and pull the trigger. This does not mean be "quick on the trigger;" rather it means that they are mentally prepared to take a life. I wrestled this demon as an 18 year old midshipman. Everyone must do it BEFORE they get in a position where they must make that fateful decision.

                        Feral dogs are probably a bigger danger than gators or coyotes or bears or big cats. All of those "wild things" have an instinctive fear of humans and avoid them. Feral dogs do not. That's why they are dangerous and I'll not give them any quarter.

                        The best way I know of to gun break a horse is to find your local CMSA club and join. All of them have "new shooter/new shooter's horse" clinics that will get you started the right way on preparing a horse. By the "right" I mean the way that will accomplish the job most quickly and completely with a minimum of muss and trauma to either horse or rider.

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                        • #13
                          I have a concealed carry permit and have packed a gun no more than a couple times while riding. The last time, I managed to fall off the horse at a canter (saddle rolled) and fell slap on my back and ONTO the revolver in my fanny pack. Ouch.

                          We have plenty of venomous snakes so DH keeps a revolver handy loaded with alternating shot shells (for snakes) and hardball (for determined snakes and/or hogs. (I have never seen a wild hog and pray I never do. A wild hog around here can weigh hundreds of pounds, have big ol tusks, and can be mean as hell. You get gashed and you will have an extremely septic wound to contend with.)

                          I might start packing again but will take one of the Glocks with nine millimeter shotshells. I'm thinking the flatter polymer frame of the thing will make it somewhat more comfortable to fall on, also a bit lighter.

                          The thing is, though, I have never ever seen anything while riding that I felt the remotest urge to shoot, unless you count deer in hunting season. I could shoot them from the comfort of my own front porch. I wear hunter orange during gun season, ride in the middle of the day when the hunters arent active. If one shoots me or my horse I might want to shoot back, assuming I'd be able to....

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                          • #14
                            I'll second (third?) that CMSA is great for learning how to gun break a horse. I never actually joined my local club but I learned from some of the people involved with it, and would like to join at some point as it's pretty cool (it's just finding all that time...). A great resource, and IME very friendly people.

                            Out here you sometimes do have to worry about bears and cats that have lost their fear of people. It depends a bit on where you're riding, but if you're in a more popular area or near the big tourist towns, you do have to worry a bit. Some of the tourists like to feed the wild things, not realizing how dangerous that makes them. It's a shame, because then the animals wind up getting put down. And moose can be downright aggressive. I like to see them, but I like it best if they're over on the other ridge. There was a puma out near Estes Park that you could bang and shout and even throw rocks at, and the cat would just back up out of your range and sit there staring, then as soon as you stopped come on up and start looking for food again. It was killed by the authorities, but boy did it (and other similar stories) make me reevaluate my lack of concern about wild animals.

                            One thing I forgot to mention is actually probably the main reason I carry out in the back country, although it's the one I least like to think about, and that is that if my horse were to get seriously injured, like say break a leg, on a lot of those trails there's no way to get a horse out except to walk it back out. It could take a vet a couple of hours to reach me. If, God forbid, I'm ever in that situation, I want to be prepared to end my horse's suffering.

                            I think it's downright scary that some people carry weapons and don't know how to use them.
                            exploring the relationship between horse and human

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