‘Maverick’ Actor James Garner Revealed Why He Didn’t Want to Ride Horses

by Quentin Blount

Growing up in Norman, Oklahoma, it may surprise some fans that the iconic Maverick actor, James Garner, wasn’t a huge fan of riding horses.

Garner’s impressive career in television spanned over more than 50 years. However, he is perhaps best known for his role as professional gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s Western series, Maverick. He is also recognized for playing Jim Rockford in the 1970s private detective show, The Rockford Files.

It goes without saying that having grown up in Oklahoma in the ’30s and ’40s, Garner was no stranger to being around horses. However, despite growing up around them, Garner wasn’t a huge fan. And in a 1981 interview with Panorama Magazine, he explained why.

“I’ve ridden horses all my life,” Garner stated. “We lived out in the country. My dad ran a country store. I rode a horse to school in the first grade.”

You might think that having so much experience riding horses, Garner would have enjoyed his time doing it. And while he probably does have some good memories being horseback, he has had more than a few bad ones as well.

“I’ve had ’em bite me, kick me, stomp on me, throw me, run me into trees, walls, corrals, barns, whatever.”

All in all, Garner said that horses are a “bad form of transportation.” If you were to ask the legendary actor how he would prefer to get around, he’d probably tell you that he’d rather take a car.

“Baaaaaad form of transportation,” Garner laughed. “Naw, I’d rather have a car or something.”

James Garner Has His Own Statue

In case you were wondering what the status of Maverick star James Garner is in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. We have an answer for you. It’s legendary status.

In fact, Garner even has a 10-foot-tall statue to his name. His hometown official cemented him into Oklahoma history when they unveiled it back in 2006. Garner, 77-years-old at the time, actually attended the statue presentation with his wife and two daughters. Furthermore, the City of Norman also voted to rename a street to James Garner Avenue.

One fan of James Garner took a trip to his hometown back in 2013. There, she came across the Western star’s statue and captured the special moment with a picture. She then shared it on Twitter for her followers to see.

“James Garner statue in his birth town of Norman, OK,” Jessica Pickens wrote on Twitter. “Off to James Garner Ave. #oklahomatrip #janicesgowest”

For more on Maverick star James Garner and other Western TV stars, make sure to follow along here on Outsider.