Ride is a new horse themed TV show, which premiered on YTV September 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT, with new episodes airing Monday to Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT. The show follows Katherine “Kit” Bridges, who begins attending an elite equestrian boarding school in England with her father, who has been hired on at the Covington Academy as a riding instructor. We catch up with Kendra Leigh Timmins, who plays Kit.
1. What horse experience did you have before you started on Ride?
I had a little bit of horse experience because when I was younger I used to go to horseback riding camp in the summertime, so I had been for a couple of weeks every summer and I learned to ride Western, so I had a little bit of experience, but it was still new in Northern Ireland where we filmed because it was all English style. I had to kind of adjust certain things. I am comfortable with horses, I love horses, but I don’t look particularly great riding horses.
2. What was it like working on location in Ireland?
It was incredible; it was so beautiful. We shot in Northern Ireland and I had never been before so kind of a great experience altogether. It was a little chilly, but that was the only setback; everything else was fantastic. The crew there were wonderful, and had all worked on Game of Thrones, so as a nerd I really got to pick people’s brains and asked questions that they refused to answer. Our horse team was in Northern Ireland as well so the Devils’ Horsemen were the horse stunt group that came over and is where all of our beautiful horses came from.
3. Do you have any funny behind the scenes stories from working on Ride?
We had a lot of fun working on Ride. There were lots of things that happened; we’d prank each other. My favourite thing was I would walk up to somebody and point out a spot on their shirt where maybe they had spilled something – they hadn’t – and as soon as they’d look down I’d flick their nose. So I think there’s some kind of camera evidence of that. Everybody was kind of goofing around Manuel (Pacific) who plays Nav on the show is an incredibly talented dancer so there was a lot of dancing that went on. Embarrassing things on set – our horse knowledge was always something that we could laugh at – “How do we do this? How do we do that?” One of the horsemen would come over and taught us that we were unbuckling belt buckles wrong our entire lives, so it was a lot of fun.
4. Have you worked with horses for film before?
No, I have never worked with horses on film before. But I have had experience working with animals. I had shot a pilot a long time ago about a family who lived in a zoo, so I had worked with orangutans and baby tigers and big tigers and elephants, but this was the first time that I really got to work with horses. It was awesome, made me so happy.
5. Tell us about TK, your horse on the show.
TK is a beautiful horse. his real name or his actor name is Tornado. He is beautiful, and so incredibly well trained. They brought in a horse whisperer and his name was Bill and he came in and taught all the horses their tricks. So I got to spend a lot of time with Tornado and Bill. He was just so beautiful and so sweet. Horses really have these incredible personalities and all of them were different. I definitely think that mine was my favourite. Tornado was the best.
6. What’s your favourite thing about working with horses?
They add a beautiful aspect of reality. When you’re working with actors in scenes you learn your lines and everything comes together and you know exactly what you’re doing. As soon as you throw a horse into the environment, they do what they’re going to do naturally, so every so often in a take you get a sneeze or they would really behave and look right where you wanted them to, or they would get spooked some time so it really brought this great new element of surprise in acting, which was so much fun. It was a good challenge for me working with horses just because my character Kit hangs out with TK all the time so there was a lot of scenes I had that were essentially monologues. As much as we’d want them to horses can’t talk back to you, so that was great for me in terms of just getting an experience to have to work with somebody else but also having all the lines so it was really cool.
7. Do you ride outside of filming?
I haven’t in a long time. Like I said, I used to go to horseback riding summer camp when I was little and then it was kind of something I had to give up when I decided that I wanted to take acting more seriously. But it was something that I’d love to do. Now that I’ve done the show it sparked this great new interest so I’ll have to find somewhere in Toronto that I can get myself on a horse.
8. Do you and Kit share any qualities? If so, what are they?
We share a lot of qualities. Kit is really determined and really stubborn, which I have been told I am also like that. We are also both really passionate about friends and family and care very much about them and always try to do the right thing. As everyone knows, that doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. One of the ways Kit and I are different is that she’s fearless about everything. She jumps right in and she never hesitates where I’m a little more reserved. I have a couple more fears. It’s funny that the only thing that Kit is afraid of which is horses is probably one of the only things that I’m not afraid of so it worked out really well.
9. Do you have any current projects you’d like to share?
I don’t have any I can share at the moment, but I’m working in Toronto and Ride is the main focus right now. I’m so excited for people to see it and I kind of want it to give it all of my focus and then in the future who knows?
10. Any final thoughts?
I’m really excited for people to see this show. It’s really unique, really special; all of the elements, the horses, the school and all of the actors – we’re really proud of the work we did so I can’t wait to share it with everybody.