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Equestriennes


Pomeria
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I never gave this much thought.  Interesting topic though.

 

I guess I could say, without knowing the names, that most Hollywood westerns from the "golden era" used many skillfull stunt men to ride horses and looked impressive.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I guess I could say, without knowing the names, that most Hollywood westerns from the "golden era" used many skillfull stunt men to ride horses and looked impressive.

 

Gary Cooper was the best rider among stars. In fact IIRC he actually broke into the business as a stunt rider.

 

Legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt began as a rodeo champ, then made some westerns. He never became a big star, but was the top stuntman for years. In the Stuntmen episode of Brownlow's great Hollywood series he talks about how he tamed a tempremental co-star -- one of those "Wonder Horse" animals.

 

A number of western star never cared for horses: Kirk Douglas, James Garner... Henry Fonda claimed that he disliked riding horses and never felt comfortable around them.

 

John Wayne may not have been a great rider, but he had experience in his youth, at one point riding his horse to school.

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By using the female version of the word "equestrian" in his/her topic heading, I thought the OP was concentrating upon actresses who showed their abilities on camera while astride a horse?

 

And if that's the case, then I remember hearing Audrey Hepburn was pretty fair in this endeavor...

 

lovelyness.tumblr1.jpg

 

And while I don't know for sure if the following featured in 1960's THE UNFORGIVEN was performed by a stunt double or not, if it truly was Audrey, then I'd say what I've heard about her skills might have been true...

 

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I have always been amazed at the famous scene in NATIONAL VELVET '44 when Elizabeth Taylor is galloping on horseback along side the "train" (camera dolly) and she takes her hand off the reins to wave frantically. Not to mention, taking her EYES off the ROAD! (contrary to popular belief, the rider needs to watch where the horse's hooves will step)

 

This is a very dangerous thing to do, even with the horse running on a groomed track, if it were to stumble or trip, Liz would have sustained major injury. An odd thing to risk with a star, especially a child star.

Whenever I see that scene it brings tears to my eyes-her excellent balance & skill are apparent along with her joy.

 

Sorry, John Wayne and especially Gary Cooper were lousy riders. Just look for sloppy "chicken wings" elbows flapping belying any semblance of balance.

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I just remembered this one actress-- who could do everything and anything herself and she did everything by herself.

 

Katharine Hepburn in the John Ford movie, Mary of Scotland, does this fantastic leap with a horse that you have got to see in still photography, as well as in the movie. Of course, it was a night shot, which made it all the more exciting.

 

There's no doubt in your mind that it's Katherine Hepburn on the horse.

 

Katharine Hepburn, who simply wasn't afraid of anything on or off screen.

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