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The Best Horseback Rider On Yellowstone Isn't Who You Think

When you star on a hit TV show that is set on a ranch in Montana, you're probably going to be asked to ride a horse on-screen at some point. It's simply part of the job, just like showing up, hitting your mark, and saying your lines at the right time. To make sure his cast was proficient enough to be believable on horseback, Yellowstone creator and executive producer Taylor Sheridan put everyone through rigorous training prior to beginning production on the show, which follows the power-hungry Dutton family, the owners of the largest ranch in the country. 

In an interview with Deadline about the hit show, which has since spawned not one but two spin-offs that will air on the streaming service Paramount+, Sheridan revealed who among the series' cast ended up being the best and worst horseback riders. And they probably aren't who you'd expect them to be.

Yellowstone's creator reveals the show's best and worst horseback riders

"Ironically, the person who gets to ride the least, Kelly Reilly, is the best rider," revealed Sheridan, noting that the English actress actually grew up riding horses. Reilly portrays Beth Dutton, one of the few main characters who does not work on the ranch. At the beginning of the series, Beth worked for a bank.

Meanwhile, the person who struggled the most to learn how to ride was Jefferson White, who plays ranch hand Jimmy, a role that naturally involves a lot of riding. "[He] grew up in New York and pretty much had never seen a horse," recalled Sheridan of White's training. "I put him on one in an arena and I remember, we had him out there two or three days in a row ... horseback riding is all about trust between horse and rider. If at any point that animal doesn't want you on its back or doesn't want to go there, you're not on its back and it's not going there. It really is an ask, and okay proposition. And it takes a lot of trust for someone who has never been on a horse to get on one. And the horse can feel that fear so it was pretty dicey for a bit."

"To his credit, the second day I had him out there, just riding, never complaining," continued Sheridan. "When he got off, he said, I'll fix this, I promise. He had these saddle sores he never told anyone about, and he'd bled through his jeans and all over the saddle. I was like buddy, don't worry about the saddle, but get a little moleskin and cover that thing up so you don't rub your whole ass off."

The first three seasons of Yellowstone are streaming on Peacock.