Heartland horse blog part II

For this particular Heartland episode, a colt was caught in a rope snare trap. The animal was trapped for so long and was under so much stress, it had rubbed its neck raw trying to escape. Amy and Ty rescue the colt and bring it back to a camp where they treat its wounds with a “homemade” poultice made from honey, charcoal and a few other natural ingredients. For us to prepare for the scene, there were two untamed colts with their untamed mares. The colts needed identical make-up done on their necks. We ran some test make-ups on other horses to see how well our prosthetics would stay on. Here were some of the challenges we came up against:

Challenge #1: Two identical wounds on two colts that had never been used on film before nor been around a lot of people and equipment;
Challenge #2: Two untamed mares that wanted nothing to do with us, trying everything under the sun to keep us away from their babies including nipping, whinnying in my ear, kicking and shoving, all while we were in the confines of a trailer and trying to work under the clock;
Challenge #3: Gluing down pre-made silicone prosthetics to an animal with course, dirty, oily hair, and trying to keep it on for the scene; and
Challenge #4: Changing the wounds throughout the day to match the timing of scenes showing the horses healed, partially healed, and cleaned up and fresh.

So how did we manage?

Reward #1: The colts were very well behaved and took to the make-up well without any problems. It didn’t seem to bother them that we were there; the same can’t be said of their wild mares.
Reward #2: The wounds look realistic on camera, weren’t too repulsive and were relatively easy to manage when we were adjusting the healing process.
Reward #3: Just check out the pictures below…itty bitty baby horse heaven! The colts were tired, took a deep breath and relaxed. I told them stories as I cleaned them up. The wrangler that day was flabbergasted that I was able to make them so calm while I cleaned them up that he took a picture to send to John Scott (the owner of the horses) because he didn’t think he would believe it!

Amanda calming and cleaning one of the colts.
Amanda calming and cleaning one of the colts.

Mare and colt with make-up applied.
Mare and colt with make-up applied.

2 thoughts on “Heartland horse blog part II

  1. The makeup and other special effects Bleeding Art performs on Heartland is so excellent it stands the scrutiny of an extreme close up camera shot.

    Heartland’s episodes are watched by a million viewers each week and whenever we have an episode with a visible injury (such as this one) I have to brace myself for an onslaught of fan questions on our social media sites, asking if production created real wounds for filming. Thanks to the brilliant work of Bleeding Art I have to calm a lot of them down, which I am more than happy to do. In a series that has never had an injury to an animal, yet must show visible wounds it is essential to have talented artists like those at Bleeding Art around. 🙂

  2. Hello Heartland Blog Whisperer! Thanks for the kind comments. We pride ourselves on doing high quality work that does stand the test of close-ups (especially now given HD!). We’ll be posting more in the coming months so all your blog followers can see the behind the scenes work that happens to bring Heartland to life.

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