Cowboy Mounted Shooting

After taking lessons with Cathie for a while, I wanted to try and pick a sport within riding to focus on, and I didn't really know what to pick since nothing really stood out to me. One day, Cathie asked if I wanted to be a balloon runner at a local shoot she would be competing in, and I agreed. After watching her and numerous other competitors run and shoot, I was amazed and in awe! Mounted Shooting was so different and new from any other riding sport that I had ever seen, and I knew I had to try it! After being a balloon runner for a while, Cathie began teaching me at her farm how to ride the patterns, how the guns work, and the techniques that would work best while riding. Once she saw improvement she began asking if I would want to try going to weekly practices with her and the rest of the Bay State Bandits, where I began to learn from other people, what they did good and bad, and a few of them even gave me some extra tips. Eventually, I was able to compete in my first shoot with Cathie, where I was able to win a ribbon in my class. At the most recent shoot Cathie and I attended, I really saw the progress I had made from my lessons and practices with Cathie, and Cathie really saw it too. I can't thank Cathie enough for introducing me to this amazing sport and for sticking with me through the tougher learning stages.  6/27/2023 Gabriella Ferraz

Cathie’s caring and professional manner is unmatched when it comes to helping horses and people.

 I purchased a well-seasoned horse back in January with the help of a trainer and boarded the horse with the trainer for three months.  When it was time to pick up the horse and start working with the horse for Mounted Shooting, he felt that the horse wasn’t a good match for me.  I previously had a few bad experiences so I had some fear issues.

With the help of my friends it was recommended I Call Cathie, and get a second opinion before selling the horse, I’m so glad I did.

Cathie took the time to speak with me about my fears and concerns.  She then carefully evaluated the horse tested its temperament and knowledge.  Instead of talking me into or out of the horse she did one better she SHOWED me hands on with ground work first and then in saddle. She showed me that this horse was kind, willing and was looking for direction, no buck, no attitude just a nice pleasant horse.  Cathie was able to in one night erase so many of my fears it was amazing.

No one can match Cathie’s trailer loading skills. When I was having trouble getting the horse in the trailer Cathie had her and I trained in minutes- where it took me hours to coax her in.  She now thanks to the help of Cathie, self-loads and we travel everywhere.

Mounted Shooting is again a specialty of Cathie’s, she carefully broke my horse to gun fire and as it turned out the horse was a natural. Cathie is always there to offer pointers and encouragement when we see each other at Mounted Shooting meets.

I will be forever grateful for her kindness, patience and understanding of my fears. I almost let fear and one person’s opinion keep me from a great equine partner. Jean Cassella 7/13/2019 


I have been working with Cathie for a little over two years. In that time I have learned so many invaluable horsemanship and riding techniques. From basic horsemanship to new skills that I have never even heard or thought I was capable of doing.  When I came to her I was starting on my second year of cowboy mounted shooting and she really helped me improve on my strengths and made me feel really confident in myself and my abilities. I also started to branch out and try new things like team penning and sorting both of which are out of my comfort zone but Cathie made it easier for me to do. Being an agricultural high school student Cathie has provided me with not only the use of her horses but has given me educational knowledge for projects in school. Cathie and her husband Bob are always so welcoming and kind-hearted when I'm around. I would recommend Cathie to anyone from the bottom of my heart. Thank you Cathie~Ashley 2019



Steven and I went up to Cathie's to try cowboy mounted shooting with my 16 year old Appy ( Caly) and his 6 year old mustang (Sage). We were pleased how Cathie took her time to protect the horse’s ears with ear plugs and prepare them for their adventure! While Sage was almost immediately comfortable in the surroundings, Caly was not. While Cathie worked with Steven and Sage with dry fire and weaving thru the balloon pattern, Caly and I worked on getting comfortable in the new surroundings. Cathie was sensitive to Caly's issues, and when the actual firing began, accommodated him in a nearby paddock where he could hear and see the action, but remain safe and at a controlled distance to get comfortable with the sudden sound of gunfire. I think that the 'every other round' of live fire did my App a world of good, and was a great decision on her part. While there was just a click at one target and a bang at the next, there was no apprehension on the horse's part and our turn shooting was fairly uneventful, once we got started! He may have even enjoyed himself! I like Cathie's sensible, calm approach to training of any sort. Her no nonsense approach coupled with understanding and the willingness to work through issues with not only the horse, but the rider are wonderfully effective. I fully believe that all the training in the world can't 'fix' a horse unless the handler is fixed and educated as well. Cathie is one of those trainers that will work with the horse and then the rider with the horse together for the best possible outcome. I wanna shoot again, but first I need to git me some guns! Cindy Mickle and Steven Drysdale Cape Cod Fall of 2010


Thanks so much for the wonderful Cowboy Mounted Shooting session with your horse Ruger. I practiced at home with my horse but had never shot live rounds until the session at your farm. Ruger was so great and did everything perfectly which allowed me to focus on my targets and your expert coaching. I had many great runs with Ruger and managed to hit most of my targets. Thanks so much for allowing me to learn this exciting sport on your fabulous horse Ruger. Diane C.

Cathie I can not express more appreciation of your talents with helping me train my newly acquired 5yr. old quarter horse/draft cross Violet. I have not owned a horse for many years and I became her owner somewhat unexpectedly. I ride with Dr. Cooks bitless bridle. My concerns were to have a well mannered animal. After meeting with you at our first lesson, I became convinced you were the person by which I could achieve my goals. In addition to this I was delightfully introduced to Cowboy Mounted Shooting and discovered that Violet and I could explore this hobby. This is so exciting for me. I am a Civil War reenactor (field musician), so Cowboy Mounted Shooting allows me to continue with my 19th century passion for history as well. Cathie, your are remarkable to watch interact with a horse. Your sense of reading the animal is truly a sight to experience. After observing the first few minutes of how you interacted with Violet, I trusted you immediately. You have a spirit as well as a keen sense of horsemanship. You work around a horse, rewarding appropriately, gaining respect in return. Thank you for all your time you have given Violet and I. Training with you makes owning a horse fun. Helen Cheney Grafton MA.

Thank you Helen, Your horse is one of about six that I have started with the sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting. I think It was very helpful for you to come to my farm and take a lesson on Ruger. (Ruger and Helen are in the very short video link above) I'm so proud of Ruger being so quiet he is able to help new shooters when he had only been shot off of a hand full of times himself. Helen Violet was amazing, You are well on your way to becoming a team. :) Cathie

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