Are you a Mounted Pedestrian or a Rider?

Anyone can learn to become a competent rider if you understand the basics of horsemanship and how horses think.  Horses are herd animals so it is crucial that you understand that you are the leader of the herd.  We train horses to listen to our command on the ground when working with actors who have little experience riding.  The audience rarely realizes that the horses on screen are being directed by a trainer off camera.

We are rehearsing a scene for a film where the main actors are riding double and the horse rears.  It takes hours of training and conditioning to prepare the horse for the days of shooting.  And then it takes a great deal of patience to work with the actors so they do not panic.  If the rider panics the horse will not perform and a day of filming could be lost.  As with everything, preparation is the key to success.  Remember the old boyscout saying, “be prepared.”