This is an episode that we could have made an hour long. Getting your horse used to gunfire can be a long process. In this video we give you a very brief overview of one way to do this. Please keep in mind that most horses won't get through all the steps in this video in one session. Reward your horse when they try and be sure to quit on a high note. If your horse only gets comfortable with dry firing on the ground in the first training session that's just fine. Accept and reward your horse's effort. It is worth the time to do it right, trust me!
One thing that I have always struggled with is having to reload all the time. One solution to that problem is to go to a sporting goods store or even Wal-Mart and pick up an air soft or pellet gun that uses little CO2 tanks. Don't put any ammo or pellets in it and use that pistol to get your horse used to the gun fire. It's a nice option because you don't have to reload very often, it's light, it's cheap, and it makes a noise but it's not quite as loud as black powder.
If you want to see another way do expose your horses to gunfire with the help of other horses, check out this video by Stacy Westfall. As always if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.