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HORSES

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mrsl
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HORSES

Postby mrsl » April 28th, 2012, 11:17 pm

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Of course, I believe we all agree that Randolph Scott's dark palomino (if that is the proper term), is by far the most beautiful horse in any western, whether movie or TV show, but today I saw the episode where Matt gets his buckskin from the bad guy in the show and it reminded me to ask you this. Have any of you noticed how his horse kind of 'dances' as he walks? He sort of kicks his front hoof out as he takes a step and if the camera stays on him long enough, you can almost hum a tune to the rhythm he seems to be following as he walks. I've noticed this 'dance' before and meant to ask. I wonder if it's James Arness' weight, his height, or what that might cause it, or could the horse be a retired carnival/circus horse?

Check it out and let me know if any of you have any comments.
.
Anne


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JackFavell
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Re: HORSES

Postby JackFavell » April 29th, 2012, 9:27 am

Great idea for a thread, Anne!

Not to digress from the Gunsmoke question, but Kirk Douglas' horse in Lonely Are the Brave is one of the most beautiful ever in film.

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Re: HORSES

Postby Western Guy » May 4th, 2012, 1:52 pm

Absolutely JF, and also the most tragic.

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Re: HORSES

Postby movieman1957 » May 4th, 2012, 2:24 pm

While it doesn't directly answer your question here is a link to a biography on "Buck." (Arness and Lorne Greene rode him.)

http://ponderosascenery.homestead.com/buck.html
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Re: HORSES

Postby MissGoddess » May 4th, 2012, 2:29 pm

No, I never noticed Buck's prance but now I will pay attention. Was it the same animal throughout Gunsmoke? I assumed maybe there were a couple of them, but since it's a long-lived breed (Buck himself lived to be 45 according that article) maybe it was. Thanks for that link, Chris.

Buck might be one of the most enduring TV stars! :D
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Re: HORSES

Postby movieman1957 » May 4th, 2012, 2:57 pm

You are very welcome.
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Re: HORSES

Postby Maricatrin » May 10th, 2012, 4:42 pm

mrsl wrote:Of course, I believe we all agree that Randolph Scott's dark palomino (if that is the proper term), is by far the most beautiful horse in any western, whether movie or TV show.


Palominos are beautiful. Besides Scott's Stardust, there also is Trigger though.

Another standout (B-Western horse) for me is Rex Allen's Koko. A dark, dark chocolate brown with a creamy white mane and tail. Not too common.

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Re: HORSES

Postby mrsl » May 10th, 2012, 7:46 pm

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I agree Trigger was a beauty, but he is the light colored body where Stardust was kind of reddish. I don't recall seeing Koko in color except in your photo but in his case, his coloring is too dark for my taste.

How great that we can all disagree yet all be correct!!!!!!!

Back to Buck however, I'm not sure prancing is what you would call his stride. In addition to the 'outer kick', his chest muscles are amazing to watch, which is why I wondered if it could be Arness' weight and height. I'm going to have to catch an episode of Bonanza because I don't recall the same action with Lorne's horse. The Buck I mean is on the half hour episodes, and many of the black and white ones, but I also recall a story where a so-called horse trader wanted to show a 'buckskin' to Matt throughout the show and in the end turned out to be part of the group causing trouble, but I don't recall what era that episode is from; Chester, Quint, or Festus. It's too late today, but I'm going to set my timer to catch a Bonanza tomorrow.
.
Anne


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Re: HORSES

Postby MissGoddess » May 11th, 2012, 7:42 am

Prancing, dancing, whatever you want to call it, I did notice a slight, but very slight, difference in his stride.
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Re: HORSES

Postby movieman1957 » May 11th, 2012, 7:58 am

The episode about Matt being shown "Buck" is from the first season as I recall. I have seen it. According to that bio "Buck" was the same horse for both shows. He lived long enough to work the series run but I don't think htey gave any info about other horses through the run.
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Re: HORSES

Postby moira finnie » May 11th, 2012, 8:44 am

I found this list of many of the horses ridden by many tv cowboys in the fifties and thought it might jog our memories of some of the steeds whose mute presence added so much to the stories told on the tube. 2 exceptionally tall horses I always noticed because their riders were well over 6' tall and hefty were John Wayne's "Alamo" (which reportedly was ridden by John Smith in the series Laramie) and Chuck Connors' "Razor" on The Rifleman, both of whom really earned their oats. I wonder if these horses were exceptionally long-legged, since they looked in proportion to their rider on camera. Does anyone know much about Ward Bond's horse on Wagon Train?

Perhaps others remember "Blueboy," whose real name was reportedly "Bosco," the horse associated with Mark McCain on The Rifleman. The child actor is reported to also have ridden other horses, "Peanuts" and "Two Bits" on the show (all of whom were also ridden by other characters on the program). Each of these animals were ridden quite well by Mark McCain (Johnny Crawford) on The Rifleman, and I especially enjoyed the episode called "The Fourflusher" from 1960, when Mark competes against Whit Bissell, (!) among others, in a horse race--against his father's wishes. the young actor was said to have become such an adept rider he competed in rodeos off-screen, much to the chagrin of his worried producers on the show. Here's a link to a few comments by Crawford about his mounts on the show.

Below is a link to a 1958 article from by Matt Dillon himself regarding his horse:

http://www.gunsmokenet.com/GunsmokeTGAW ... ness58.pdf
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intothenitrate
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Re: HORSES

Postby intothenitrate » May 11th, 2012, 9:18 am

mrsl wrote:.
...Have any of you noticed how his horse kind of 'dances' as he walks? He sort of kicks his front hoof out as he takes a step and if the camera stays on him long enough, you can almost hum a tune to the rhythm he seems to be following as he walks. I've noticed this 'dance' before and meant to ask. I wonder if it's James Arness' weight, his height, or what that might cause it, or could the horse be a retired carnival/circus horse?


I don't know much about horses, but I learned something recently that kind of surprised me. The subject was that form of racing where the jockey rides behind the horse on a two-wheeled cart, and the horses are called "trotters." When they race, the hooves need to come down in a specific order, which is different than (the order they are put down in) full-out running. If the horse breaks this special stride, the horse-and-rider are disqualified.

Apparently there's a very rigorous training period undertaken when the horse is young, so that it will perform this gait consistently in competition. I suppose the same is true for other areas of "specialization." Anyway, I just thought I'd add that to endorse your theory that the horse was retired from a specialty, and that the mannerisms are very deeply ingrained.
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Re: HORSES

Postby Maricatrin » May 11th, 2012, 5:33 pm

mrsl wrote:I agree Trigger was a beauty, but he is the light colored body where Stardust was kind of reddish.

Agreed, he's almost a red chestnut or sorrel in body color.

mrsl wrote:I don't recall seeing Koko in color except in your photo but in his case, his coloring is too dark for my taste.

Hmm, I kind of like 'em dark. But, as the old saying goes, a good horse is never a bad color. :)

intothenitrate wrote:I don't know much about horses, but I learned something recently that kind of surprised me. The subject was that form of racing where the jockey rides behind the horse on a two-wheeled cart, and the horses are called "trotters." When they race, the hooves need to come down in a specific order, which is different than (the order they are put down in) full-out running. If the horse breaks this special stride, the horse-and-rider are disqualified.


Marguerite Henry's Born to Trot is about the early days of Harness racing (I read it at a very young age, I've been a horse geek for years!) In my area of PA, it's the only kind of horse racing. Standardbred is the breed used. When their racing days are done, many wind up pulling Amish buggies (lots of those around here too.) The two-wheeled cart is called a sulky... odd name, isn't it? (I had a relative who used to make them.)

Trotting is a natural gait, as is pacing, though it's much rarer. Both compete in Harness racing. Pacers move both legs on one side together: right fore and hind legs forward, left hind and fore legs back, and so on. The immortal Dan Patch was a pacer... "Like to see some stuck up jockey boy sitting on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil, I should say!" :lol:
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Re: HORSES

Postby mrsl » May 11th, 2012, 6:06 pm

.
Hi Miss Goddess:

I agree prancing, dancing, schmancing - it really makes no difference what it's called, but it's not his stride that I'm talking about. You can only notice the step I mention when you see a full frontal shot of him when he's walking (Buck - not Jim) :P . Since I've noticed it on Buck, now I look at all the horses to see if any others do the same thing but I haven't found one yet.

As for the various horses and their 'larger' human riders, I wonder if Clint Walker had a special horse. In all the reading I've done, I haven't seen any remarks about him and I should think he is one of the 'larger than life' guys in the westerns.

BTW, I saw an episode of Gunsmoke today that was named The First People, and although the story was about a lousy government man in charge of a reservation, in addition to watching the plot, I also had fun playing a game I called Find the Scar. If you have this one on DVR, or if you have the series on DVD from 1968, check out the scar on the young Indian's cheek. You will see that first it's on the left cheek, then it's on the right cheek, then it returns to the left and bla, bla, bla. Seriously, I backed up a couple of times to see if I was right or my nail polish was getting to me. I hope someone else looks in on this one and lets me know.
.
Anne


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Re: HORSES

Postby rerun » December 23rd, 2013, 5:48 pm

intothenitrate wrote:
mrsl wrote:.
...Have any of you noticed how his horse kind of 'dances' as he walks? He sort of kicks his front hoof out as he takes a step and if the camera stays on him long enough, you can almost hum a tune to the rhythm he seems to be following as he walks. I've noticed this 'dance' before and meant to ask. I wonder if it's James Arness' weight, his height, or what that might cause it, or could the horse be a retired carnival/circus horse?


I don't know much about horses, but I learned something recently that kind of surprised me. The subject was that form of racing where the jockey rides behind the horse on a two-wheeled cart, and the horses are called "trotters." When they race, the hooves need to come down in a specific order, which is different than (the order they are put down in) full-out running. If the horse breaks this special stride, the horse-and-rider are disqualified.

Apparently there's a very rigorous training period undertaken when the horse is young, so that it will perform this gait consistently in competition. I suppose the same is true for other areas of "specialization." Anyway, I just thought I'd add that to endorse your theory that the horse was retired from a specialty, and that the mannerisms are very deeply ingrained.


I think the 'gait' you are referring to is called a jog. When a horse jogs he is somewhere between a walk and a very slow trot. If he is slightly 'fresh' the feet will come higher and yes it can be done to music! If a horse is really feeling good he will often do a hesitated trot that is fantastic to music. It is difficult training to get a horse to do under command what he will do when free. But you have to love it.
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