…..”and ACTION”: Enter Mr. Darcy on big white charger – stage left


Could we have a career in film?
Listening to the latest episode of Horse Radio‘s WEG podcast this evening talking about carriage driving got me thinking about the future equestrian exploits for my horse and I, as we are now both ‘getting along in life’. 
At 16 it won’t be too long before my great white charger needs to take things a little easier, something I had half a mind for him to be doing right now, but the time off I gave him earlier in the year didn’t really suit him. He doesn’t enjoy being turned out with other horses, he likes people more than horses and much prefers being in work than resting. 
Plenty of event horses go on to do pure dressage, but he’s not exactly competitive above novice, flying changes tend to happen only when forced, and I couldn’t face a life of pure dressage (or showing for that matter), and just being a happy hacker wouldn’t suit either of us. So I thought I might see if I can get him some work as a film extra!
They’re always looking for something a bit special and I can just see my grey trotting in stage left in some period drama carrying aloft a dashing Mr. Darcy, or playing shadowfax perhaps! I’m sure he would love the buzz and excitement of “the set”, and he’s completely unphazed by anything (even my non-horsey mother managed to ride him without falling off), so he’s perfect for work as an extra.
Carriage Driving
As for me, I always said when I reached a certain age, which I just have, I’d start carriage driving, and two years ago, during the winter months, I started lessons. 
Carriage Driving really is a whole new ball game! For the first three or four lessons I couldn’t get used to being so far away from the horse and relying so heavily on voice command. Even holding the reins is different, except when scurrying. I have to say I was very nervous when I first pitched up and was told we were going out on to the road for my very first lesson! Were they mad?

My nerves soon faded though when I realised I was driving one of the laziest ponies on the yard that didn’t blink an eye at anything. Still it is very exhilarating, especially when you have a nice forward going pony with a good spring in his step.

To date I’ve only mastered the basics with a 2 wheel gig and tried out a 4 wheeled marathon cart (which is so much more comfortable), and I’m probably a bit rusty now, but this coming winter I think I’ll continue my driving lessons. So in a few years time, in between giving Boyd Exell a run for his money, I will hopefully be acting as agent to the equine star of film!

I wonder if he’ll need an equity card?

Dominic
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Amateur event rider, aspiring photographer. Technologist by day.

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