It seems like no Western is complete without some epic horses or even some horseback races with guns drawn toward the “bad guys.”
Kevin Costner is an iconic actor who has appeared in many Western films over the years. He has also expressed just how much the genre means to him as well. He is known for Westerns like “Dances with Wolves,” “Open Range,” “Silverado,” “Wyatt Earp,” and “The Postman.”
Costner works to carry the “dying” movie genre on his back. Meanwhile, he once had a pretty serious feud with a Shetland pony when he was just a kid. From ponies to full-fledged ranch owner on “Yellowstone,” it looks likes Kevin Costner has come full circle.
Costner Gets Bit by Pony
At the Western Heritage Awards in 2019, Costner talked about how he grew to love Westerns. It’s all attached to a childhood friend, a pony, and a movie theater birthday party. At the time, Costner was living in San Paulo, California after his father moved them from Compton. He met a friend with a gorgeous Shetland pony and was obsessed with going over to see it. He’d play with the horse like he was the lead in a classic Western film.
“He had a horse. Not a donkey, but a horse. A full-fledged horse … I would ride inside the corral, the edge of it, and it would take me under an old tree where a limb had grown out. And with the right speed, standing up, at the right time, I could catch it. I’d hold onto that limb, and I’d swing myself up, letting bad guys that were chasing me underneath none the wiser. There were too many to plug. I would tangle with them another day of my own choosing. So, all I had to do was let ‘em pass, and then I would whistle, just whistle, knowing that my trained horse would come back and get me and we would make our getaway, just like the movies,” Costner said, according to The Oklahoman.
Kevin Costner Makes Move to Western World
It wasn’t all fun make-believe for the young soon-to-be-Western star, however. The horse didn’t actually want to come back when he whistled and wasn’t exactly the sidekick Costner envisioned. In fact, his bite proved to be quite powerful.
“He was a mean little s–t. He was a Shetland pony who did bite. I was nearly deformed at 6, but my life was about to change forever at 7, when I was invited to a birthday party by the same kid who owned that horse,” Costner said.
This is the same friend that would eventually have a birthday party with all the other neighborhood boys. They went to see an iconic and classic Western film called “How the West Was Won” from 1962. He credits that film partially to developing his everlasting love for Westerns. Costner even joked “if you think my own pictures run long, then you can blame it on that day.”
He believes that Westerns have a certain “emotional connection” when done correctly.
When he got older, he’d have his breakout role in “Silverado” in 1985. He even successfully rode his first Western-film horse.