Why Taylor Sheridan Brought In His Own Horses for Season 1 of ‘Yellowstone’
Taylor Sheridan is willing to go the extra mile to make yellowstone look and feel as authentic as possible. A skilled horseback rider himself, Sheridan has filmed several scenes on his expansive ranch and even supplied his own horses for the first season of the popular neo-western.
As Sheridan prepares to expand the yellowstone universe with multiple new projects this year, here’s a glimpse into why the director went above and beyond to ensure the show’s authenticity.
This is the reason Taylor Sheridan brought his own horses for season 1 of ‘Yellowstone’
With some of Hollywood’s brightest stars at the helm, there’s no debating that the characters in yellowstone are a captivating part of the series. But there is an argument to be made that the ranch itself steals the show.
Sheridan and his team spent months scouting for a location to film the first season of yellowstone before they eventually settled on Chief Joseph Ranch. Tucked away in the Bitterroot Valley, the 150-acre spread is far removed from Yellowstone Park, but it’s still an untamed and rugged environment.
While the ranch has plenty of horses on hand, Sheridan actually brought his own animals to the ranch to film the first season. In an interview with Men’s Journal, Sheridan revealed the reason he brought his own horses to the set instead of relying on the ones already on hand at Chief Joseph Ranch.
“I didn’t want some half-broke horses the actors couldn’t ride,” Sheridan explained.
‘The Yellowstone’ creator knows authenticity is the key to the show’s success
Sheridan transferred the horses all the way from Wyoming to the ranch, a testament to his desire to produce a top-notch show. In addition to the well-trained equines, Sheridan also expressed his concern for making the series as authentic as possible.
The mast prop for the series, Ian Roylance, revealed that Sheridan put a lot of time and attention into the details on the set, including purchasing specific saddles and weapons. They even prepped the items to ensure they looked like they were actually functional.
“I wanted very specific guns, very particular saddles,” Roylance explained. “We had nine custom-made saddles, $6,000 each, then old them up with dirt, so they looked real.”
To ensure that the actors were fully immersed in their roles, Sheridan went to great lengths to train them, including organizing a three-day “cowboy camp” in the mountains for the actors playing ranch hands, complete with pack mules, and arranging fly- fishing lessons for the cast. According to Sheridan, the effort has yielded dividends, with the actors feeling completely absorbed in the world they inhabit onscreen.
Taylor Sheridan competes in the world of cutting and reigning
Being adept at horseback riding isn’t just for the cast of yellowstone. Sheridan is also skilled at riding horses and has even participated in several events in the realm of reining and cutting.
Back in 2020, the yellowstone showrunner was a co-chair for the Careity Celebrity Cutting event in Fort Worth, Texas, which was put on by the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity. Sheridan and his wife, Nicole (Muirbrook) Sheridan, also took part in the competition, with Nicole taking home the highest score.
Talking to Quarter Horse News, Sheridan revealed that horseback riding is one of his favorite hobbies. Despite being one of the busiest people on television, Sheridan said that not a day goes by that he isn’t in the saddle.
“We film ‘Yellowstone’ on my ranch, so I’m able to ride daily, work cattle, etc.,” Sheridan explained. “I’m lucky that I get to ride every day.”
The second half of season 5 of yellowstone is expected to premiere sometime this year on Paramount.