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Ponies in The Hobbit

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  • Ponies in The Hobbit

    So for those of you who carefully watch the horses...

    Who knows anything about the ponies the dwarves and Bilbo rode?

    I saw the movie last night, and was impressed at how pony-like they were - complete with Cushingoid coats. At least one grey had a fake forelock, and I would guess mane extensions (is there such a thing) were in common use.

    Anyone know how tall the horses were? How did they get so shaggy? I envision fake fur-covered sleazies (or whatever you call those Lycra-like things used under blankets). What breeds were used?

  • #2
    I thought they were wearing "fake fur", as they just moved funny (their coats did, in relation to their movement). As the actors are normal size men, those were horses, not ponies, so I assumed they were either CGI enhanced or costumed in some way.

    I was so focused on the horses, I sometimes lost track of what was going on! Silly me!
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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    • #3
      Well, I did a little googling, and discovered that the "size stand-ins" (real dwarves/little people) were riding Icelandic Ponies and that the horses ridden by the real actors were then made up to look like the ponies! Cool!
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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      • #4
        I was wondering about the fake fur, too. They built costumes to cover the entire horse? I knew they were Icelandics as soon as I saw them, but I wondered, if they wanted a furry horse, why they just didn't wait until the horses had their winter coats.


        Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
        I thought they were wearing "fake fur", as they just moved funny (their coats did, in relation to their movement). As the actors are normal size men, those were horses, not ponies, so I assumed they were either CGI enhanced or costumed in some way.

        I was so focused on the horses, I sometimes lost track of what was going on! Silly me!
        In memory of Apache, who loved to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZAqeg7HyE

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Malda View Post
          I was wondering about the fake fur, too. They built costumes to cover the entire horse? I knew they were Icelandics as soon as I saw them, but I wondered, if they wanted a furry horse, why they just didn't wait until the horses had their winter coats.
          I would think that changing the entire production schedule would end up costing a wee bit more $$$ than some easy CG work. The average movie goer is never going to notice anything odd about the "ponies".

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          • #6
            lol Good point. I actually thought that they put fake fur on to make them look a little different, more fantasy like.

            Horse people always check out the horses in movies, I like finding the gaited horses, you'd be surprised how often they show up. My husband's a history teacher and he's always finding fault with some general's uniform, or some piece of equipment that wouldn't have been invented in that time period. It's fun, for some reason.

            Originally posted by gaitedincali View Post
            I would think that changing the entire production schedule would end up costing a wee bit more $$$ than some easy CG work. The average movie goer is never going to notice anything odd about the "ponies".
            In memory of Apache, who loved to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZAqeg7HyE

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            • #7
              I'm not sure if they were Icelandic? The production company bought up a tonne of ponies/horses, mostly grey or black, simply via online classifieds here in nz. Friend of mine was a wrangler on the movie, and another fiend sold her horse to them.

              Shortly after filming wrapped, there was a flurry of them advertised for sale on www.trademe.co.nz for prices ranging from $1000-$5000

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              • #8
                Finally went to see the movie and personally I thought there was a combination of furry quarter sheets and CGI. As said, their skins just didn't move right sometimes.

                I've seen horses that had a more "pony" look, thick mane and forelock, tufty tailhead and certain body proportions. Bilbo's pony looked like a pony to me, but the movie did a lot of that editing that makes it hard to get a good look - partly intentional I'm sure.

                The one part that got me was that what I recalled of the book had dwarves not being comfortable as riders nor particularly caring about the equines - yet in the movie they're naming them off as the trolls cart them away - guess I have to re read the book to check now.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible

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                • #9
                  The second time I watched the movie, the fake furry coats were much more noticeable. I had time to devote some attention to looking. They are very apparent around the tail heads and upper legs. Also you can sometimes see the real forelock sticking out from under the fake one. An uneccessary costuming effect IMO.
                  ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

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                  • #10
                    We have one of the ponies his name is Sid and he's an Icelandic pony. He can get very hairy in winter and all his fur and forelock and main tail etc are genuine lol

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                    • #11
                      The other ponies were gyspy cobs

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                      • #12
                        The actors rode horses made to look like the Icelandic ponies and yes they looked terrible ??. The dwarf doubles/stand ins rode the ponies.

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