Kristina Kaylen of A Horse Called Bear and the soon-to-be-released Rather to be Chosen, has fulfilled a dream many a girl has – to have a horse – and be on film. She discusses her experience with Bear, in addition to her dream horse, Jet, who appears in Rather to be Chosen.
When/how did you first learn to ride?
Almost every girl’s childhood dream is to have a horse…and I was no different. Growing up I read horse books and looked through horse magazines hoping that one day I too would have a horse I could call my own. Around the age of 16, I first began riding and taking lessons. Soon my dreams came true and my parents bought horses. The rest is history!
Do you have a favourite horse to ride? If so, please tell us about him/her.
My favourite horse was Samantha Lil’ Bars, but we just called her Sam or Sammy. She was a bay Quarter Horse mare. Her mane was a gorgeous deep black and she was beautiful on camera.
Do you ever ride outside of filming?
Yes, I do ride every now and then; not as much as I used to though. Work keeps me fairly busy, so it is hard to find the time to stay in the saddle.
Tell us about the horses that are on your ranch.
After taking riding lessons for a while my family bought a Quarter Horse. We have now owned a Quarter Horse, an Appaloosa and Tennessee Walkers. The latest addition is my mother’s new Kentucky Mountain horse.
Do you have any current projects you’d like to share?
Yes, after A Horse Called Bear I played a lead role in a romantic drama by Crystal Creek Media called Rather to be Chosen. It is currently in distribution negotiations and should be released Summer 2017. In Rather to be Chosen we were able to film one of our own horses, which made being back on set with another horse especially fun and exciting.
Any behind the scenes horse-related stories to share?
There is always a fun behind the scene story especially with horses. Fortunately on set, Bear was very well trained. He was truly a gentleman to work with, although there was a few times where he tried to eat the sound equipment. I guess the furry microphone cover looked deliciously tempting.
Do you prefer English or western riding?
I have ridden both English and western. When I first started taking lessons I learned to ride English. However, later I transitioned to western. Personally I prefer riding western. Besides, I like western saddles—especially show saddles with all the sparkle and bling!
What was your favourite horse-related scene to film?
One of my favourite scenes was “teaching” the lead character, Ethan Riley, how to ride a horse. He had not ridden much until the movie so it was fun to actually teach him how to ride. Bear, the lead horse, was very well trained. On set you always have a lot of people, both cast and crew, lights, sound equipment, and it feels like a million other things. Bear would not spook even with the lights and bright reflectors shining into his eyes.
What do you enjoy most about working with horses?
Horses teach you so many life lessons. Part of horsemanship is not just about working with them but also learning from them. I am grateful for the horses that have taught me about leadership, confidence, friendship, and loyalty.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Working with horses and combining that on screen has been really neat. The horse community is close here and I am thankful for everyone who has supported us including The Michigan Trail Riders Association, Hardy Farms, Wind Walker Farms, and the everyday riders. The latest trailer for my most recent horse related movie can be viewed at www.crystalcreekmedia.com. The first scene is with our horse, Jet. My dream horse is now a movie star!