Packing iron and ready for my first run...
I look a "little" tense.
After my article in the March issue of The Horse Gazette expressing
an interest in, and curiosity about, mounted shooting, I received an offer from
Tammy and Matt Sronce to visit them in Westhoff and try my hand at mounted shooting.
I should tell you that both Tammy and Matt hold numerous national titles in
CMSA mounted shooting. They give lessons and train horses on their ranch in
Westhoff and are some of the nicest people that I’ve had the pleasure
We finally got our schedules coordinated and I drove the 120 miles from Bandera to Westhoff on a Saturday morning. I was excited about my first opportunity to actually do some mounted shooting. When I arrived I met Matt and Tammy and a gentleman from Germany named Kurt. Kurt is an enthusiastic shooter and has been competing for a while. He was getting some further training from Matt and Tammy and looked pretty good going through the course.
Matt & Tammy Sronce sittign in the shade waiting for Jim to blow up more balloons.
I was supplied with guns and a horse and, after some basic safety instructions, Tammy took me out in the arena and walked me through the course. She demonstrated the correct approach, gun handling, distances, and switching guns. She made it look very easy. Then it was my turn. I used Tammy’s horse and took the first run very slow. I was a bit nervous but got 9 out of 10 balloons. My second try I was a little more confident, went a little faster and got all 10 balloons. I had a great time. Tammy and Matt are excellent instructors and I intend to take some lessons from them. We also discussed guns and horses. Matt prefers the Cimaron revolvers. He says that he has had fewer problems with them than the other types of revolvers. There are a number of good guns out there such as Colt, Ruger, and Uberti. It’s a matter of finding what works best for you.
I’ve decided that my 4-year-old gelding, Storm, will make a much better dressage horse for my wife, than a shooting horse for me. He’s a good looking, smart horse and he and my wife seem to compliment each other. I’m looking for a good that I can use. Preferably, fully trained and ready for shooting. Matt and Tammy train horses for mounted shooting and maybe I’ll get lucky and get one of theirs.
I got my saddle back from Bunkhouse Leather and was really pleased with how it turned out. Lew Pewterbaugh, the
Jim's "new" old saddle, refurbished by Bunkhouse Leather - no tice the "monkey-face" tapaderos.
owner of Bunkhouse Leather, did a terrific job refurbishing my
60-year-old ranch saddle. All new fleece and stitching, new stirrup leathers
and the whole works cleaned and oiled. He also found some tapaderos that matched
the saddle and they really look good. As I recall, I bought that saddle from
Bo’s Saddle Shop in Bandera for about $200…that was 20 years ago.
I’m looking forward to using it again.
My next step will be to go up to Texas Jack’s in Fredericksburg to look at clothing, guns and leather. If I can get a horse fairly soon, and get enough practice, I hope to enter my first competition in October at Alamo Village in Bracketville. Now that I’m retired, I’m able to spend a little more time getting ready for more adventures.
Until then…ride hard and shoot straight. – Jim Eigner.
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