My wife has been taking the kids for horse riding lessons at the local equestrian centre in Waikanae. After chatting with instructor it turned out some of the horses had been in the movies, and one horse in particular had been in all three Lord of Rings movies. His name was Tuffy.
His most easily recognisable, walk on part quite literally, is when just after the short cut to mushrooms scene in the Fellowship of the Ring, and Frodo tells them to get off the road and hide, which they do, off the roadside behind a large tree. Then with a slow menacing clip clop comes the black rider... the hooves you see emerging into the scene are Tuffy's.
He was in the other movies too including being one of the horses for the Riders of Rohan.
So my wife thought it would be a wonderful treat for me to have the chance to ride him.
Now I am far from being a horse rider, (though have been a around them a little as there were farms near where I grew up, and we used to have to walk past the horses to get to our gardening allotment, and then run the gauntlet of getting your collected veggies back past the horses!), having been on a horse less than a handful of times, and usually they knew where they were going and plod happily along playing follow my leader. This was my first proper 'lesson'.
As it turned out I didnt do too bad, and its encouraged me to go back for more.
Here's a few pics for you to enjoy.
|Me and Tuffy, just chilling, shooting the breeze..|
|Brushing down to start with|
|Ah, I remember this tool on my Swiss army knife...specially designed for getting boyscouts out of horses hooves!|
|Up we go..|
|Steady as she goes...|
|Triumphant - he hasn't fallen off yet!|
|Checking the footwork...|
|Its a doddle!|
|Wup... bit faster...|
|Looks like a pro...|
|Exultation... he still hasn't fallen off yet...|
|Where's the brake again?|
|Grit teeth... get ready..|
|Oh Christ...it's the water jump!|