blamethewizard: (Default)
[personal profile] blamethewizard
Horses of Merlin Picspam!!!
and some horse-related geekiness from me

Some beautiful jousting greys. The horse on the lower right is an Andalusian type, while the dapple grey to its left appears to be a draft cross of some kind. 

This is "Arthur" jousting (hooray for stunt doubles!). I don't think this is Torrento, either, but with action shots it is hard to tell.

Two pics of this horse because I love it's stirrup-shaped brand.

Horses at night preparing to do battle with the dragon. They don't seem too concerned.

On the way to...somewhere, Morgana & retinue are accosted by bandits. The attack begins in the second frame, as you can see the horses begin to "startle". They appear to be spooking but they're actually responding to their rider's cues! As you can see from the two lead horses their postures have changed and ears have shifted back, usually meaning they're paying close attention to their rider.


I love Morgause's horse, a beautiful probably-Andalusian grey. Someone told me that Arthur's horse in this scene is, in fact, Torrento, so there you go. Someone needs to fix his mane,'s on the "wrong" side (a horse's mane should fall to the right), although maybe that's just an American thing? Maybe someone can fill me in.


Unicorns are horsey creatures so I'm including it. I love the horse who plays one here. Unicorns are often played by Andalusians  (as I think is the case on Merlin) as they have the required "majestic" look. I have to say, I stared at that first shot for a long time, because as a former owner of a grey horse I have to admire just how white the horse is. That's no easy feat!

On the left, Merlin prepares to ride out to the Isle of the Blessed on his trusty bay. On the right, we're on the same quest with a different horse. Hmm, maybe he stopped to change horses? :P

Morgana rides out to meet Alvarr, with Merlin following. I think it's interesting how Morgana and Arthur both (I think) ride with two hands (English style) on the reins, while Merlin uses one (Western style). I wonder if it is because Merlin is from the "country"? Don't know.

I love Merlin's horse in the left's hard to see but he (she?) has a very nice profile. Merlin's horse seems to change quite a bit! In the second shot he is leading a cob-like dark bay. It seems they try to make sure Arthur is always on his bay (it's not always the same horse, but they all look very similar) while Merlin's changes, possibly to infer that he rides whatever horse is available?

And that's all I've got. I hope you enjoyed the horsey-picspam and tolerated my horse geekiness. Thanks!

Screencaps by Emma-Jane, found here


Date: 2010-03-07 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oooh very interesing! Nice picspam! :D

Date: 2010-03-07 11:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I'd never done one before so I thought I'd give it a shot...I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2010-03-07 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So pretty!! I love the horses on Merlin. ♥

Date: 2010-03-07 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love the horses too! They are very pretty indeed.

Date: 2010-03-07 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was lovely. Knowing nothing about horses, this was a fascinating read! :D

Date: 2010-03-07 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! As a horse-person I always notice the horses when they're onscreen...I'm glad some of my related jabber was useful :)

Date: 2010-03-07 05:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My horse knowledge is very, very limited, make it microscopic, but I adore Morgause's horse, the "unicorn" horse, and I've just learned a fascinating number of things from you right now: the intriguing bit about the horses listening to the riders' cues made my day. And Merlin's horse in the penultimate frame is cute, a bit less stately than Morgause's but I find it cute.

Date: 2010-03-07 11:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Morgause's horse is stunning. Watching that scene for the first time the horse really stood out for me, so I had to include it. Andalusians in general do tend to have that "fantasy" quality (which is why they are often used in films) while cobs are more "cute", like you said.

I'm glad you found this interesting. I'm always very impressed with the level of training television and film horses have so I was glad to find a shot where that was evident :)

Date: 2010-03-07 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Do you think that Torrento is supposed to be Hengroen? What about Llamrei?

Date: 2010-03-07 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmm...I'm not sure of the names of many other horses used on the show; all I know is that the horse in that particular frame is (in reality) named "Torrento". I think it must have been from one of the DVD commentaries that one of the cast members mentioned it. I might have to look into finding out more, though. Thanks for commenting!

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2010-03-07 06:36 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2010-03-07 10:56 am (UTC)
kathyh: (Kathyh Merlin M&A2)
From: [personal profile] kathyh
They appear to be spooking but they're actually responding to their rider's cues!

That's fascinating. The only thing I know about horses is how to fall off them so this has been really interesting. Thanks :)

Date: 2010-03-07 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hehe thanks. Falling of is a necessity of the happens to the very best.

I'm glad you enjoyed this and thanks for your comment!

Date: 2010-03-07 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey thanks for this -- always great to read new information about a niche in Merlin. The horses are taken for granted when we watch but certainly in the jousting they were trained to do some amazing things.

Also I noticed the stirrup and of course it's a brand -- I never thought of that.

I like that you point out the continuity moments with Merlin's horse lol but if you look again at the scene with the stirrup brand you see the horse that Merlin is grooming suddenly faces the other way in the close-up? hehe.

Date: 2010-03-07 11:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I always notice the horses in film and television so it was fun to do the little asides with the pictures. They do indeed have a very high level of training; a horse does not naturally tolerate things like cameras, jousting sticks and other film-related items like microphones so I have to give the horse their due when I can.

As for continuity, I don't normally nitpick like that but the screencaps were so close together that I couldn't help it. I think it might have to do with the fact that one scene was filmed in France and the other Wales, so I can't be too hard on them. Thanks for your comment!

Date: 2010-03-07 12:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay you posted your horsey picspam! Comolete with your awesome horsy knowledge.

I did a quick Google about horses manes and apparently English style for shows is right but Western cowboy style is left according to some. Some say it doesn't matter unless it's an event or show and other's don't know. So yeah...Personally I have no clue. I can confirm it is Tarrento in the shots with Morgause as Bradley said so in the episode commentary.

The grey horses are so pretty.

I am also fairly sure that isn't Tarrento in the jousting scenes. It's a lighter bay and the mane looks different to start with.

That stirrup shaped brand is so odd. And idd you notoice in that scene in the closeups it's either a different horse and/or the horse is facing the other way?

Those horses are such great professionals aren't they?

Tge unicorn is gorgeous. I remember pondering with someone whether the unicorn was also Morgana's horse.

I love Merlin's randonly changing horses. In the season 2 commentaries they do mention Colin often rides a horse called 'Cora' in France (like Bradley rides Tarrento) but I honestly can't tell. I do think it makes sense for Merlin not to have a regular horse.

I too have wondered why Merlin's riding style is so different. I like your idea it's because he is a country boy.

I loved your picspam and comments!

Date: 2010-03-07 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
:)I am glad you enjoyed my horse geekiness. Also, thanks for confirming the tidbit about Torrento. I always like to learn about the horses they use so that was nice to know.

The right-side mane thing can be quite annoying; not all horses manes naturally fall to that side and we would have to "train" them to do so. For those events that required a braided mane it had to be on the right side, but it doesn't surprise me that it's particular to English shows; there are a lot of those little conventions!

I did notice that the horse was facing the other way in the closeups of that scene! The brand is a little odd; it's not a breed-brand (which would have been anachronistic anyway) so it must be particular to the farm where the horse was bred. Cute, though.

I am rambling again...I always start talking horses and can't stop..thanks for commenting!

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Date: 2010-03-07 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was a great picspam. I love the topic. Great job.

Date: 2010-03-07 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it :)

Date: 2010-03-07 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nice picspam. I like the idea that Merlin would ride whatever horse was available but that Arthur would always have a specific horse.

Date: 2010-03-07 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know if that is what the show intended, but the idea of Merlin not having a particular horse seemed to make sense so I just rolled with it. Thanks for your comment!

Date: 2010-03-07 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Love this!

Date: 2010-03-07 05:36 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-03-07 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, I know nothing about horses, but I enjoyed this very much. :D

At first I thought it would just be lack of continuity on why Merlin's horse changes so much, but now I really like your idea that he might just pick up whichever horse he can. Then again, he probably took one out of the royal stables to start with, and I doubt they'd be happy with him just changing it on the way. :P

Date: 2010-03-07 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks..whether or not it was intentional by the show, it did seem to make sense that Merlin, as a servant, wouldn't have a horse of his own. Who knows...there were a lot more horses in general in S2, more than likely due to a bigger budget for each episode. If they got another increase for S3 maybe we'll see Merlin get a particular horse.

Thanks for your comment!

Date: 2010-03-07 03:42 pm (UTC)
ext_24538: (merlin} cm; picturesque)
From: [identity profile]
Lovely picspam!

*gigglesnort* everytime I think of the horses now I think of Bradley and Colin's weirdass interviews with them.. "Stop horsing around!" "Straight from the horse's mouth." oh the bad puns <3

Date: 2010-03-07 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That interview was very funny. Bad horse jokes are easy to make; Bradley and Colin were really only scratching the tip of the iceberg there. My favorite terrible joke is to say "Hay is for horses!" every time someone says "Hey" to get your attention.


Date: 2010-03-07 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tee hee! What an adorable idea for a picspam. I know pretty much NOTHING about horses. To the point where I don't even notice when the horse changes from shot to shot, LMAO! Still...I find them both adorable and beautiful creatures, so I thank you for putting this together and sharing with us :D

Date: 2010-03-07 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks..I'm glad you liked it. You don't have to know much about horses to appreciate how pretty they are :)

Date: 2010-03-07 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interesting picspam ♥♥
would you like to post it over [ profile] merlin_picspam as well??

Date: 2010-03-07 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I'll do that:)

Date: 2010-03-07 06:45 pm (UTC)
ext_42234: (once and future || in profile)
From: [identity profile]
This is great. I don't know much about horses but it seems that you know a good bit about what sort of horses they are and what the certain styles for riding are!

Date: 2010-03-07 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I spent many years in the horse world (and am determined to get back someday), so I can't help but notice the horses! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Date: 2010-03-07 08:05 pm (UTC)
scribblemoose: (merlin: sparkdragon)
From: [personal profile] scribblemoose
I've been hoping the horses would get some attention, and this is great! I work sometimes with horses for historical re-enactment and I'm sure I notice the same long-suffering look on some of the actor!horses on Merlin. ;) But they're so beautiful. And it's good to see some of the cast getting a few more riding skills so they can do more of the riding themselves - pretty boys/girls and pretty horses, pefect. :)

Date: 2010-03-08 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They are v. pretty, and the more riding skills the actors get the more we will get to see them riding (instead of their stunt doubles)! I agree it is a perfect combination.

I agree the horses have to put up with a lot, but good thing for us horses are very trainable beings but at the same time aren't afraid to give you their opinion. I'm pretty sure all those horses like their won't get very far working with a horse that isn't liking what's going on, as you may know :)

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Date: 2010-03-07 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Woooh I love this! The horses in Merlin are sooo beautiful! Morgana's white horse is the meaning of beauty!
I love these animals!!!

Date: 2010-03-08 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They are beautiful and I love them too, I had to give them some attention. Thanks for your comment!

Date: 2010-03-07 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
HORSES. *grabby hands*

On the subject of manes, I was under the impression that like a human's parting, they'll naturally fall where they like - I've seen horses where the mane was wilful and stubborn and had bits falling on both sides.

Augh, the last horse I rode was a dapple-grey, and gorgeous, and badly-behaved (training had been neglected for several years). BUT OH HE WAS SO PRETTY.

One of these days I really have to get round to finishing my morphological study that proves unicorns are goats, not horses. But until that day I too can appreciate just how damn gorgeous the horses they always pick to play unicorns are (and wonder how on earth they stick the horns on ...)

Thank you for the picspam of pretty things!

Date: 2010-03-08 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They do often naturally fall to both sides, but I was always taught that for neatness' and appearance's sake it was best to train them to one side. It does look better, and for some competitions we had to braid their manes always on the right side. So it is just general convention, I suppose.

As far as unicorn horns go, I always assumed they just used superlight materials plus some kind of strong glue (soluble, hopefully). It would have to be something they get used to as most horses would probably try to shake it off the first few times. (I'm also interested in your morphological study, btw, let me know how that goes).

My grey was usually well-behaved, but he was seldom 100% grey either, unless he had just been bathed. He knew how to get dirty, that horse.


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