'Competent' rider Tom Hiddleston

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Steven Spielberg directs this 2011 adventure film about a young man named Albert and his horse, Joey, as their bond is forcibly broken when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of World War One. Despite being too young to enlist, Albert heads to France to save his friend. Based on the children's novel of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse stars David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston, & Peter Mullan.
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."