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  • Writer's pictureKathy Troxler

If There Were Oscars for Horses

If you’re not one of my friends that critiques the equestrian scenes in any movie you watch, then I’m sure you know someone that does.

And while we’re aware that the riding scenes in a movie may be simply serve the telling of the story, we appreciate it when the story teller and the movie makers get it right.

Any one that works with horses already knows that their personalities are as individual and unique as those of humans. You have your laid back types and your showoffs. Horses have good days and off days. And horses are constantly learning and adapting.

I’m happy to say that I found a great behind the scenes video of the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and it really highlights that while horses are VERY trainable that does not make them machines. In fact, they can learn some patterns so well that it can become problematic a scenario that many a horse trainer that competes in any event can attest to.

So while everyone else is celebrating the Oscars and celebrating the talented actors, director and composers, let’s appreciate the work of the man behind the equestrian scenes of one of the most awarded movies of all time, The Lord of the Rings. Its thanks to the talents of trainer Don Reynolds and the hard work of the stunt riders and an army of support staff that there are such glorious equestrian scenes in The Lord of The Rings. And of course, a lot of credit should be given to the actors that put in extra effort to gain the skills necessary to make their equine acting partners jobs easier; Vigo Mortenson, Orland Bloom, Karl Urban, Mirando Otto and Bernard Hill to name just a few.

While I’m sure there are other videos that feature actors on horses, this particular behind the scenes video from the Lord of the Rings shows the actual foundations of the training AND includes insights into the fact that not every horse is suited to every scenario! And then there are times when a scene simply requires a solution that a real horse can’t fill. Hence the name of this blog post Riding the Barrel. Anyone that’s taught riding will be nodding along and laughing. At least we did!

If you enjoy the behind the scenes footage as much as we do, this short clip (below) of the filming of the Ride of Rohirrim will give you goosebumps!


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