My Grandpa taught us kids to shoot off our horses. He was big into it. He said it was something his grandpa had taught him and he wanted to pass it down.
You don't take green horses and green riders out onto the prarie and start blastin' away. That's a receipe for a train wreck. Crawl-Walk-Run. I started my current pair of Shootin' Horses out by whackin' two blocks of wood together when they were on line or in the stalls. I progressed to bustin' #11 caps and then more and more black powder. I can shoot .45LC Black Powder Blanks and Bullets off of 'em now.
Horses are herd animals with a pecking order instinct. They'll follow the leader into the Jaws of Hell. The Partisan Rangers spent a lot of time riding in formation and chasin' each other down trails and across fields. Their horses became accustomed to the routine pretty quickly and they knew their place in line. When they'd round the corner and see that Big Black Bucephalus lookin' beast prancin', the rest of 'em would come on abreast. Then they'd run down there and bust into and through whatever formation they'd come upon. Can you say Shock-n-Awe!???
Can you imagine thirtyfive or forty of them bearin' down on Ya? Your plow horses or team wouldn't stand and fight, they'd flee and you right along with 'em. And them Partisan Ranger boys would be all over you.
Blam! Blam! Blam!