Tuesday Video From Dubarry: ‘War Horse’ Behind the Scenes

The equine puppets of War Horse are impressive … but how do they work? Check out this behind the scenes look!

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The feat of engineering required to design and create these life-size equine puppets is amazing, to say the least — but truly bringing them to life takes teamwork and an innate understand of how horses move and behave. Though the metal framework is clearly just a beautifully-executed and elaborate prop, it’s also inexplicably alive, thanks to the talents of the three actors required to play Joey, the title character.

Of course, having believable “equine” actors is critical to a play centered around horses, so it makes sense that these actors have the movements and sounds of a horse down pat. But as any horse lover knows, it’s the little movements that show a horse’s personality — and the actors have figured that out as well. So well, in fact, that several real horses have been duped, at least temporarily, by Joey.

The full story on how the puppets were developed can be found in the documentary Making War Horse, which HN reviewed in 2012.

Ever seen War Horse live on stage? What did you think of the experience?

Go riding!

Tuesday Video From Dubarry: Tug of War

One draft horse vs. ten buff dudes. No spoiler needed to guess the winner.

We all know that the horse is going to win in a pulling contest against a human. But what happens when you pit ten strong men (and a couple of women) against a horse?

Sara the Belgian mare makes this tug of war look easy on not one but two trials. I don’t think the human team stood much of a chance!

Go Dubarry, and go riding!

Tuesday Video from Dubarry: Monkey See, Monkey Do

We’ve all been there before — a horse who is reluctant to cross water or take on some other new task. Watch how this horse handles it!

When this rider tried to coax her horse into walking through the creek, he clearly had other ideas about what should be happening here. So she did what any patient rider would do and tried to change her approach.

In a new game of ‘money see, monkey do,’ the rider shows the horse that the water is not, in fact, filled with things that eat horses. Soon enough, her horse discovered a new favorite activity. Check it out (Note: you must be logged into Facebook to view the video.):

Funny, right? It’s as if the horse was wondering where this creek had been his whole life! We bet the rider didn’t sign up to be front row in the splash zone, but she’s likely quite please to have a horse who is willing to get in the water now.

What funny ways has your horse taken to a new environment? We want to hear your stories in the comments!

Go Dubarry, and Go Riding.