‘Yellowstone’ Star Cole Hauser Opens Up About Physical Preparation for His Rip Wheeler Role

by Jon D. B.

“Being in horse shape is a lot different than being in gym shape,” says Yellowstone‘s own Rip Wheeler, Cole Hauser.

Yellowstone may have brought Cole Hauser household name status, but he’s been in the business for decades. From Pitch Black and Tears of the Sun to Olympus Has Fallen and The Champion, Hauser is no stranger to putting in the hard work it takes to stay in the business, either.

Speaking to Men’s Journal post-Season 4, the Yellowstone star revealed that a whole lot more goes into being in “horse shape” than your typical action or sports film shape, too.

“The best way to get ready for those days is to put the time in, and spend many hours riding. It’s all about getting in those reps,” the Rip Wheeler icon begins. “Following a full day of riding everything is going to hurt, especially your back, hips, and legs. Then your shoulders and neck hurt from roping. Being in horse shape is a lot different than being in gym shape.”

Every role demands something different. But to keep up with creator Taylor Sheridan and his famous “cowboy camp” and the demands of Yellowstone at large, “It’s important to have a strong core and legs,” Hauser continues. “There are a lot of people who think you’re using the reins to steer your horse, but actually a lot of it happens through the legs and putting the right amount of pressure there with the saddle tongue.”

‘Yellowstone’s Cole Hauser: ‘The pain is no joke, but that’s just like training for anything’

(Photo Credit: Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom)

So what did this regiment look like ahead of Season 4? “Every year I go out to the location weeks before the season starts so I can get at least a few weeks of riding in,” Hauser says.

And to tell the truth, “That first week always sucks,” he adds. “And the pain is no joke, but that’s just like training for anything. The time has to be put in.”

As any action star will tell you, however, age makes all the difference. “I’m 46 years old, and I feel it a bit more every year. I’ve been beat up quite a bit over the years,” the Yellowstone icon says. “But at the end of those three weeks, I’m ready to go.”

Hauser keeps it up, too. The way of life he’s presenting on cable’s #1 show never quits. Which is why it’s a good thing Hauser enjoys the riding and roping as much as he does.

“I don’t ride only when the camera’s on either,” he says. “I enjoy getting my hands on the reins in my off time too. There was nothing else to do really, so I would just head to the ranch and get in the saddle.”