'Competent' rider Tom Hiddleston

January 9th, 2012

Tom Hiddleston lied about how competent a horse rider he was when he signed up to 'War Horse'.

The British actor - who plays Captain Nicholls in the eagerly anticipated Steve Spielberg epic - admits he had to go through a lot of training in equine riding because he looked like he was on a motorbike when he first mounted a horse.

He said: "I claimed to ride 'competently' but in reality I looked more like Billy Crystal at the beginning of 'City Slickers' than a cavalry officer: heels out and sitting back like a sack of potatoes, as though I was riding some kind of living motorbike. Hopeless.

"The grooms and stuntsman, the best in the world, quickly disabused me of my bad habits: drill for four hours a day for five weeks, 'Heels down! Elbows! Hands to you! Sit up straight! Shoulders back!' "

However he did enjoy symbiotic relationship he developed with the horses he rode.

He added: "If you are strong for them, they will be strong for you. If you have airs and graces, they will see through it immediately and you'll have a hard time earning their respect. They have a lot to teach us about ourselves: about playfulness, courage, strength, forbearance and loyalty."