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!