We came for the cutting drama and Rips boyish charm and stayed for the idyllic setting with magnificent horses. But what horses are used in the Yellowstone TV Show?
The setting is in Montana, where a family of cowboys will do anything in their power to save what is theirs.
Despite their ever-growing number of enemies spanning from greasy land developers to a native tribe wanting to reclaim the land.
Yellowstone proves that an excellent western has always had a space to flourish. At times it gets gruesome, but that doesn’t negate the beautiful horses that they use on the show.
However, before we can get into what type of horses they use, let us look at showrunner Taylor Sheridan’s history with the cowboy lifestyle.
Is Taylor Sheridan A Real Cowboy?
Having grown up on a ranch in Texas, Sheridan understands the natural lifestyle of cowboys, which requires a lot of hard work and perseverance.
From cutting cattle to reining horses and shooting guns to looking after the horses, Sheridan credits his upbringing in the west as the most significant influence in his writing and directing.
Up to the age of six, Sheridan lived in Cranfills Gap, Texas, with his parents on their family ranch. Even after his parents’ divorce.
He still had a sense of the ranch life thanks to his mom, which has influenced his way of living and the way he writes, directs and casts his movies.
In addition, when he was 14 years old, Taylor worked on a cattle farm helping in the day-to-day running. Thanks to his exemplary work with western movies, such as Hell or High Water, The Last Cowboys, 1883, a prequel to Yellowstone and Wind River, showcased the cowboy lifestyle.
In 2019 he was the recipient of the American Quater Horse Association spirit Award awarded to members who have represented the western lifestyle to exemplary lengths.
In 2021 he also got inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Who supplies the horse to the show?
Many casting directors look to wranglers and barn owners for their animal cast in Western movies. However, thanks to Taylor’s love for horses and ranching, he sources his horses there.
Even though Taylor supplies most of the horses in Yellowstone, certain horses are brought in specifically for scenes and enhance the show’s authenticity.
With Taylor owning most of the horses, it also becomes easier to train and get the horses comfortable with shooting equipment, stunt work, cast, and crew.
What are some of the other horses called?
With the introduction of some famous horses in season 4, some showstoppers have appeared since season 1. They include Jimmy’s horse Ray with Colby riding Owen while Tate rides lucky.
Other horses that the other cowboys ride include Red, Blue Jeans, Snoopy, and Prickly Pete, which we hope is not indicative of their temperament.
Can the cast ride?
From the boys in the bunkhouse to John Dutton’s effortless roping cattle, it appears as if every single one of them is a real-life cowboy. However, that is not the case.
Even before filming started, a couple of the actors, Luke Grimes (Kayce), Cole Hauser (Rip), and Wes Bentley (Jamie), went up into the mountains in Utah for extensive training.
They did this not only because of how physically demanding it was but to make sure that their horseback skills were up to par.
As for the “queen” of Beth (Kelly Reilly) of the Dutton, legacy is one of the best riders in real life, despite her characters’ hate for riding. She grew up riding in England and even took care of a couple of ponies.
The Horses in the Show
Having introduced you to the Cowboys in Yellowstone, let’s dig in and see the horses in the TV show.
Who is Metallic Cat
Metallic Cat is an American quarter horse show stopper and an exceptional cutting horse for people who might not know. Born in 2005, Metallic Cat, also known as Denver, is an offspring of High brow cat.
Although we know nothing much about him, we know that Robert Patton Jr bought him for 14 million dollars in 2017, making it one of history’s most expensive cutting horse sales.
In 2019 Metallic Cat owner bid and won the rights to have him written into Yellowstone for $165,000 during the NCHA charity open.
If that’s anything to go on, we will be seeing more of him in upcoming seasons. We get our first real glimpse of him in season 4 when Jimmy travels to the 6666 Ranch in Texas in hopes of becoming a real cowboy.
It’s here that we meet the red roan stallion in a cutting horse event.
Metallic Cat is the national reigning Cow Horse Association champion and the National Cutting Horse Association leading sire.
However, this is not far from the truth, seeing as, throughout his career, he has won many awards together with his rider Beau Galyean.
From being the 2008 NCHA open futurity champion to being named 2009 NCHA horse of the year, Metallic Cat is truly a living legend.
During season 4, episode 6, when John wants to buy a cutting horse, Travis Wheatley tells him about the magnificent horse.
They become part-owners of Metallic Cat with Texas Rocking P Ranch, his real owners.
Though Metallic Cat has since retired from shows to a breeding ranch in Texas, his offspring’s earnings have amounted to $40 million as of 2022.
With metallic Cat stealing the spotlight in season 4 and season 5 in the works, it’s only fair if we look at previous Yellowstone episodes that featured compelling horses, some NRHA winners, and some veteran bridle horses.
Dun It Chexinic
One of the many horses that Taylor Sheridan owns, Dun It Chexnic, is a 2007 Bay Gelding that has reined in over $32 000 earnings.
Walla Walla Starbuck
One of Sheridan’s prized horses, Walla Walla, is worth around $50,000 in NRHA (National reining horse Association) winnings, and all we can say is he is worth it and a hell of a lot more.
You see it in season one, episode 5.
Lil Joe Cash
During season one, episode 5, we are introduced to Lil Joe Cash. Lil Joe Cash, owned by Russell Giles, appears during the national reining horse association futurity with his trainer and rider Andrea Fappani.
Lil Joe is a 2008 sorrel stallion who proved how great a horse he was despite retiring for one and a half years.
Custom Made Gun
Custom Made Gun hailed from colonel smoking Guns and led the US team at the world equestrian games while co-champing the Run for a million.
High-class trash is a reigning champion with lifetime earnings of $10,097.
Her father, Gunnatrashya, is a 2009 NRHA futurity open champion with the mother Tari’s little vintage, an NRHA hall of fame member. Now that is what we call strong genes.
With a mother who was the first horse to win the World’s Greatest Horseman competition, it’s no wonder smartly struck was in the lineup when John Dutton is looking for a cow horse.
A finalist at the NRCHA futurity open, with a fourth-place holding at the world’s most fantastic horseman competition, is a classic.
Hailing from Metallic Cat, Metallic Memory was a finalist at the 2019 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity and the National Stock Horse Association with an estimated $28,264 in lifetime earnings.
Not My Day Job
Starting his career off in 2008, Not My Day Job has a varied career spanning from being an AQHA champion to winning the NRHA with rider Bob Avilla and his wife, Dana Avila.
He also shines when it comes to reining and cutting. In addition, he has an estimated $16,832 in lifetime earnings.
Which real-life cowboys made cameos
Yellowstone doesn’t lack talent from real ranch hands, Forrie J Smith, to legendary cowboys.
True to Taylor Sheridan’s vision of going for the most authentic to the incredible stunts that mirror a cowboy’s life on horseback, it’s no wonder we keep coming back.
We also got some cameos from some of the greatest living legends in the reining, cow cutting arena scene.
He appears as himself. Andrea is an NRHA $5 million horse rider and trainer. A 3-time futurity champion who first appeared in season one, episode 5.
The first-ever 2 million dollar rider in the National Reining Horse Association. An NRHA Hall Of Famer, we first meet him in season 1, episode 3.
From the first time we meet Buster on the 6666 ranches, he encompasses a cowboy in every sense of the world.
He is regarded as a Texan god by one of the ranch hands. Even though that might be an exaggeration, his career is not.
Other famed cowboys with cameos include Barry Corbin, Bob Avila, Todd Bergen, Corey Cushing, Tim Mcquay, and Tim Forren.
The horses on Yellowstone might have smaller parts compared to their human counterparts. However, they make a big difference. We cannot wait to see which horses become regulars and who they will get cast with.