‘Yellowstone’ TV Creator Taylor Sheridan Explains How He Trained His Horses to Be ‘Comfortable Around Everything’ for Series

by Jon D. B.
(Photo Credit: Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom)

Yellowstone mastermind Taylor Sheridan loves his horses, but he also recognizes the massive commitment that “movie-ready horses” are.

“We could probably do a whole podcast on the expense of training horses,” Sheridan broaches the subject with enthusiasm. He’s talking with Andrea Fappani for his Along for the Ride podcast – a venerable roundtable of horsemasters. And when Yellowstone comes up, the show’s creator, producer, director, writer, and sometimes star is happy to divulge. Specifically on the topic of horses.

Taylor Sheridan owns, trains, rides, houses, and provides all the horses for Yellowstone. And it’s a full-time job in itself.

“I have trainers who work for me, and we train, and… Just for the horses that are on the movies [and shows like Yellowstone] – it’s a full time job for myself and two other riders and a barn staff,” he rattles off.

“And that’s just keeping horses broke and sound and comfortable,” Sheridan reiterates. “That’s not even counting the show horses!” he adds. All of Sheridan’s herds share his Weatherford homestead, but travel the country to different locations depending on the project. Show horses may go one way, while movie horses go another – like Montana to film Yellowstone.

When ‘Yellowstone’ Began, ‘For much of the cast it was the first time they’d ever been on a horse!’

Kelly Reilly astride one of Taylor Sheridan’s horses for Yellowstone. (Photo credit: Paramount Network / Viacom Press)

For the show, a horse has to be comfortable “moving fast and moving slow, and roping, all that kind of stuff,” he details. Not to mention the countless rigs of equipment constantly surrounding the horses, which Taylor gets to in a second.

“When we started, for much of the cast it was the first time they’d ever been on a horse!” the Yellowstone mastermind and horsemaster reveals. “And I wrote a show about people who were supposed to be… That’s how they make their living! On a horse’s back!” he quips.

To make sure the horses are truly comfortable around “everything,” Sheridan says, is to be sure they both A.) Perform their best and B.) Live their best lives. The two go hand-in-hand. Or hoof-in-hand, rather.

In order for a horse to be comfortable with inexperienced riders – alongside mountains of massive, loud equipment and sometimes hectic scenes, Sheridan says it’s a year-round job in itself.

“From 40-foot cranes to 50-feet of dolly track with a monster of a big giant scary camera and three people on it, gators zooming about and booms overhead… That’s not something you can just tune a horse up for for two or three weeks and then go do. It’s year-round. They’ve got to be used year-round,” he cites for Fappani.

For far more from ‘Yellowstone’ TV Creator Taylor Sheridan, including his opening up about the delay of Season 4 – Outsider has you covered.