How to carry a long rifle on a horse.

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Hawken1980

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I have ridden into a rendezvous a few times with a Hawken-style rifle across my lap but it was for show, not a long trek. It was a lot of fun riding through the camp, however. Never tried it with a long gun but would figure it wouldn't be much different. Here is a photo from the "Patriot" showing long guns carried on horsebackView attachment 77845.
Thanks for the pic!
 

Hawken1980

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I’m confused by the response.

I am blessed to live near a large management area that restricts off road vehicles but allows horses.

I love shooting flintlocks
I love to ride
I love the woods.

Seemed like fun to me.

Wanted to add I figure in this community the opportunity to bring multiple facets of this hobby and experience history is one of its goals.

My family goes back to at least 1760 or so in Virginia. It also goes back as ranchers in Florida for multiple generations. Barking squirrels and using a horse to get around seems amazing and a way to touch my family’s past.
 

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Hawken1980

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From the papers of Archibald D. Murphey, a description of an American cavalry unit late in the Revolution, speaking of the way they carried their rifles:
"They carried the muzzle in a small boot, fastened beside the right stirrup leather, and the butt ran through the shot bag belt, so that the lock came directly under the right arm."

Here's a painting by Stubbs of that arrangement used by British cavalry about 1793:
View attachment 77680
Spence

Cool pic and idea thanks!
 

Whitworth

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As a side note, I have been wondering about carrying my long rifle, 42" barrel, on a trip to the range when riding on a motorcycle. I have taken a modern shotgun which can be broken down, making a smaller package.
Strap it across the handlebars with red flag on each end, just remember it's there when splitting lanes 😅
 

troy2000

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I don’t know that that is true. While cavalry did have short arms going back to early seventeenth century much of the long Hunter and the activities of the eastern frontiersman was carried out horse back and with long guns
I wonder how much time long hunters spent on horseback though, as opposed to walking and leading packhorses through the woods? I don't know much about how they operated, but a long gun on horseback in dense woods seems it could be problematic.
 

Booneliane

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I’d carry it across the horn.

Slung or secured it’s tough to get rid of should a wreck rear it’s ugly head.

And for the record, I’ve never carried a “long rifle” horseback. But have packed plenty of modern rifles, bows, and scatter guns while mounted.

Nothing wrong with a GOOD horse. Most aren’t worth coyote bait these days though. They don’t get used enough.
 

tnlonghunter

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Have had horses, but never rode while carrying long gun. I would be way more focused on training myself and the horse than anything else. A well balanced rifle is still awkward in positions you're not used to.

Both you and the horse will need to be super comfortable with each other and having a 5-foot "stick" around its head. Lots of practice in the barnyard with gradual introduction into wooded areas will tell you if it's worth it.
 

SDSmlf

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Have carried a long gun on a horse a few times. Short barreled ‘carbines’ with 1894 and 1895 associated with them (or guns of that length) carried well in scabbards. Can’t imagine a long barreled muzzleloader being easily carried on a horse in any environment not pretty much open country. That long barrel is just too much of a brush catcher in my opinion. That said, I have hunted a large track of private land for a number of years and have used an iron horse (most would call it an ATV) for moving around the heavily wooded mountainous terrain. Have found that a shorter barreled gun, muzzleloader or modern, works best. My 26” to 28” barreled muzzleloaders fit a little inside the width of the front fenders of my ATV in the gun carrier I have mounted towards the rear of the front rack.
I have a great Kibler colonial and new horse. Hope to ride into a hunting great hunting spot this fall

what is the best way to tote a long rifle on horseback.
‘Great Kibler Colonial and a new horse’. In my opinion the perfect combination for a busted stock or worse. But it’s your Kibler and horse. Go for it. Or maybe find a muzzleloader and scabbard combination that works with your new horse. Suggest a backup gun if your ‘new’ horse tends to have a mind of its own no matter what you carry as your primary gun.
 
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BS

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The longest barrel that I can fit into my scabbard is 32"s.

Had my gun slung over my shoulder when the horse thru me. Landed flat on my back and on the gun. It survived just fine.

Crazy crap can happen on a horse.

Always take an extra gun, back in the truck!
 

necchi

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I’m confused by the response.
Sorry about that.

I am blessed to live near a large management area that restricts off road vehicles but allows horses.
I love shooting flintlocks
I love to ride
I love the woods.
Seemed like fun to me.
Yeah, it will be.
But no-one can really help with your blanket questions with-out having some background knowledge.
Are you used too shooting?
From horse-back?
Has your horse been around flintlock shooting? Do you plan to hunt and shoot from the horse, Or just near the horse?
Has your horse been in or around the "management area" prior to your planed hunt?
Honestly,, Have you ever loaded gear on your horse?
 

Spence10

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The Pennsylvania Gazette
March 8, 1748
A Parcel of good Muskets, all well fitted with Bayonets, Belts and Cartouch Boxes, and Buff Slings to cast over the Shoulder, very useful to such as have Occasion to ride with their Arms; To be sold by B. FRANKLIN.

Spence
 

tenngun

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I would point out that most of the westren ‘mountain man’ period was served by Pennsylvanian Long rifles. The shorter half stock guns did not come in to general use west until near the end of MM era and start of “plainsman” era.and this was mostly a horse back activity.
 

troy2000

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Sorry about that.


Yeah, it will be.
But no-one can really help with your blanket questions with-out having some background knowledge.
Are you used too shooting?
From horse-back?
Has your horse been around flintlock shooting? Do you plan to hunt and shoot from the horse, Or just near the horse?
Has your horse been in or around the "management area" prior to your planed hunt?
Honestly,, Have you ever loaded gear on your horse?
"Blanket questions"? He asked only one, about the best way to tote a long rifle on horseback. Which seemed like a totally reasonable question to everyone else on this thread... And you come back with crap like, "honestly, have you ever loaded gear on your horse?" Really?
 
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wobranch

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When living off base in the Air Force, I used to ride my Vespa scooter to a rifle range, holding the cased rifle between my knees. Then to stop for a beer on the way home, leave the rifle propped up inside the door for safety. When I was young, local hunters would prop their guns inside the door of the country store when shopping on the way home to show no threat.
 

Hawken1980

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Sorry about that.


Yeah, it will be.
But no-one can really help with your blanket questions with-out having some background knowledge.
Are you used too shooting?
From horse-back?
Has your horse been around flintlock shooting? Do you plan to hunt and shoot from the horse, Or just near the horse?
Has your horse been in or around the "management area" prior to your planed hunt?
Honestly,, Have you ever loaded gear on your horse?
I have no plans to shoot from horseback at this time. I am super blessed to be able to go hunt a horseback accessible management area and would use my horse to come and go for a very rarely used small game and hog season.

I am months out since this season will not open up till December and she is a new horse (rescue) So we have plenty of time to get to know each other better.

she is used to gunshots and could care less.
I’m not planning on packing in for days I can get to the grounds in 20 minute or less.
The management area is a place I hunted last year and plan on riding there pre season.

I am in know way a new rider.
 

Col. Batguano

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Breaking in a horse to be around gunfire is no different than breaking in a dog to it. Start with the horse some distance away from it, and with low report rounds. like SV .22's. After a while they get more and more comfortable with it, and you can increase report / decibel level to the point you can shoot mounted. Not all will take to it of course, but if you are patient and careful, most will. Just don't let them sleep with you on the bed at night if they get a little bit scared.
 

troy2000

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So what is it, them there "dumb" animals know 'bout you?
One of the best double insults I ever read was in WoodenBoat Magazine. A live-aboard writing a regular column while he rebuilt his sailboat was grousing about some stupid stunt his cat had pulled, and he commented that "cats are almost as dumb as a smart horse." I'm betting that generated wrathful letters to the editor for months, from both ends. 🤣
 
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