Re: Using a scabbard (horse mounted)
I like your name. Nothin' like calling big bulls in the rut. I'll tell ya how I do it, and why.
I carry on the near side, butt forward. My reasons are:
1. I carried just as you do for years. I lost a rifle out the back once. My scabbard was the traditional open topped style. The sling caught a branch. Hunting my rifle for the rest of the day was damn unpleasant.
2. Speed. I don't want a zipper over my stock. With the butt forward, I don't have to worry about an uncovered rifle falling out. I can draw the rifle before I dismount, or after, quick. No zippers or flaps. I will shoot close to my horse. And I have shot off him. Never walked home for that reason. Granted there are horses who won't stand for it.
3. Convenience. It's handier not to have to walk around or reach over. If my gun was hangin on the left, I'd get off that side.
4. Weight. The saddle must be balanced. I find it easier to carry a revolver, canteen, axe, or whatever on the right side. Out of the way.
That's about it. I tried it a couple ways before settling on this one. Just aint too many choices. Your points are good ones, and there are more. I also hunt with a bow. I have a scabbard for it. I carry this on the same side, as close to vertical as it will hang without flopping around. The bow makes 'im blow more than the rifle. When I shoot close.
Best thing about hunting with horses is you always at least get a ride. Well, come time to pack two dead elk and camp eighteen miles off the mountain, they shine!
Nice to meet you!