To celebrate watching “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” for the second time, I thought I’d do a small post on some of the featured horses in The Hobbit. They’re some interesting characters…
First up is Gandalf’s horse in The Hobbit:
Draysill, also known as “Big Nick”, is an 18hh Clydesdale gelding whose claims to fame include being excessively hairy and carting around a series of stuntriders (and also doing a few stationary green-screen close-ups with Sir Ian McKellan sitting on his back). At only 10 years old, he shows the placid and patient nature that the breed is famed for, as well as great willingness to charge over large grassy plains.
Sadly he is no longer available for sale, otherwise I’d be seriously considering my options. His advert got over 21,000 hits when it was put up. Somewhere out there is the world’s most accurate Gandalf cosplayer right now.
Secondly, Bilbo’s “pony” in The Hobbit, also demonstrating the “I’m not sure I want to do this as a hobby” face:
Bilbo’s pony, along with the dwarves’ ponies in this scene, is not actually a pony. All of the ponies here are in fact horses wearing fluffy jackets. I kid you not. If you look closely, you can see where Bilbo’s pony’s suit stops at the neck/jowl area. The dwarven pony behind Bilbo’s mount also has more of a Quarter Horse look to his face as well. There was no way to make full-sized actors look like they were dwarves without giving the horses a bit of a makeover, so director Peter Jackson had fluffy body suits made for each horse so that from a distance (and more or less in close-up shots as well) the horses would look more pony-like.