Horses are one of the most used animals in filming, and, by their very nature, pose unique issues. They have many important roles in society for both domestic and commercial purposes. They have a distinguished history in war, farming, transportation, athletics and as pets. Because of this, there are misconceptions and assumptions about horses and what they are capable of doing. Extra care must be taken to assure everyone's safety on set.
When working around horses, remember that they are prey animals. They are very aware of their surroundings and can become nervous when they see or hear something they perceive as a threat. Movie trained horses have been desensitized and acclimated, therefore, more comfortable with many common situations on a film set. Professional trainers are able to evaluate which breed, condition, level of training, and temperament are right for the desired action. It is recommended that movie trained horses have experience in their intended discipline.
Each horse has an individual personality. It is important that anyone required to ride a horse for filming have time to work with the animals prior to filming. A good animal handler will know how to pair the right horse with the right individual that will assist in ensuring a successful shoot.