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South Texas Living

Lights, camera ... horses

Lights, camera ... horses
Horse trainer Cynthia Morgan joins director/actor Dustin Meeks on the set of “Red on Yella” in Whitsett, Texas.

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January 16, 2013
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Professional horse trainer Cynthia Morgan, recently named one of 10 trainers of the year in Texas in 2012, was called in to be the horse wrangler on the set of a local 1800s Western being filmed in Central and South Texas.

Perhaps you have seen the numerous movie equipment trucks moving through the San Antonio and the South Texas area. Several local ranches serve as scenic backdrops for this wild Western.

It is very challenging using and working horses on a movie set. There are a lot of cameras and equipment involved. The horses must be trained to be quiet and patient. Morgan prefers to practice the upcoming scenes, so the horses and actors will have an easier time when the camera rolls. None of the scenes is ever just one take; it is usually numerous times. Sometimes, this makes the horses very anxious, so with Morgan’s more than 30 years of professional horse training experience, she always has a solution for keeping the horses focused.

In this movie, titled “Red on Yella,” most of the actors had no horse experience, so part of Morgan’s job was to train each rider with the horse they would be using in the scene.

Filming usually started at 6 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m., seven days a week, not quite as glamorous as it looks on the silver screen.

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