Champion mounted shooter Kenda Lenseigne protects her horses’ hearing with equine earplugs.

Mounted shooting is a physically and mentally demanding sport for both horse and rider, and safety is key. A common question champion mounted shooter Kenda Lenseigne receives is whether she equine earplugs on her mounted shooting horses. “The answer is, yes!” she says.

Here theArizona horsewoman explains the benefits of using two styles of equine earplugs — plush-puff and foam-plug . She also demonstrates how to properly insert them into a horse’s ears canals so they stay secure during a high-speed run and protect a horse’s hearing from the explosive sound of blank ammunition gunfire.

Lenseigne first introduces a plush-puff style that’s easy to insert, and for high-level competitive horses she uses a foam-plug style. Both styles have a cord connecting the two earplugs.

Mounted shooting requires riders to negotiate a pattern at high speed, shooting balloons as they go. Lenseigne was introduced to mounted shooting in the 1990s, while working for cutting horse trainers in Texas and California. In 2004, she established her full-time horse training business in her native Washington and later in Arizona. She specializes in training mounted shooting horses and coaching riders of all levels through educational clinics all across the United States. The horsewoman won the prestigious Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association Overall World Champion award in 2009, becoming the first women to win the title in the association’s history. She followed up on that success winning the CMSA Overall Cowgirl in 2014, the Ladies Reserve World Champion title in 2015, and the CMSA World Championship Overall Cowgirl title in 2017.

Kenda Lenseigne, a mounted shooting clinician in Arizona, used equine earplugs.
Kenda Lenseign, a champion mounted shooter, takes every precaution she can to ensure the safety of her and her horse.
Photo by Jennifer Denison

For a simple “Caliber Corkscrew” exercise Lenseigne uses to improve the balance and position of horse and rider, see the article “Smart Shooter” in the January 2021 issue of Western Horseman.