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Free Rein (2017-2019) is a Netflix original drama series that follows the adventures of teenage Zoe who falls in love with horses. Set on an island off the coast of England, the show features beautiful scenery and exciting storylines with plenty of teenage drama.
The show’s stars are, of course, the horses!
Most horses on Free Rein are owned and trained by stunt coordinator Steve Dent and his team. According to lead actress Jaylen Barron, each horse has their own unique personality and attitude towards work.
Meet the show’s main horses that delight us throughout the episodes of Free Rein:
This stunning jet-black stallion is the lead equine in the show. We first see him when Zoe runs into the horse by accident on the beach in Season 1 Episode 1 “Raven”.
It is this first encounter that sparks the magical bond that will form between the girl and the stallion. Agitated and wild, Raven areas up in front of Zoe, who has no experience with horses. However, she keeps a cool head and manages to calm the spirited stallion to the amazement of those watching.
Raven’s character is played by a Friesian cross horse Maca, who portrays the noble Thoroughbred perfectly. He is Jaylen Barron’s favorite horse on set, who describes him as “a wonderful horse with a unique personality”.
Believe it or not, Raven was originally meant to be a chestnut! However, Steve Dent suggested that black or white horses are more suitable for film, and so Raven was born.
Fans of the show will be familiar with this dazzling Thoroughbred who is Mia’s showjumping horse in Free Rein. Firefly is introduced at the start of Season 1 Episode 2 “Close Up”.
His sporty looks are somewhat misleading, as Firefly is in fact a Spanish horse in real life. His true name is Protos, and he was chosen for the series because of his eye-catching looks and pure white coat.
Fletcher is another one of Mia’s horses, who we first see in Season 1 Episode 4 “Pony Camp!” His role in both the show and in real life is to be a safe and bombproof horse for Mia to ride.
Céline Buckens who plays Mia in Free Rein described Fletcher as “a tank of a horse”, referring to the pinto’s coarse build and docile temperament.
Marcus’ horse Monty is played by Jack, who’s a 16.3 hand Welsh Cob x Friesian. He first appears at the start of Season 1 Episode 2 “Close Up”, standing alongside Firefly.
With his tall stature, Jack is a perfect match for actor Bruce Herbelin-Earle who portrays Marcus in Free Rein. Whenever he is on screen, the dark bay delights us with his beautiful self-carriage that makes him look even more majestic.
Bob is Becky’s adorable Gypsy Cob who can never keep himself out of trouble for too long. If he gets bored, he will untie himself and go raid the tack room or cause total chaos on the yard.
Freddy Carter, who portrays Pin on the show, is convinced the pony’s mischievous personality is not just an act. Since he is a lot younger than the other horses on set, he is inherently more playful and curious, the actor says.
However, life wasn’t always fun and games for the cheeky cob, whose real name is Benji. He was found abandoned on a field with no grass and rescued by a lady called Ana.
Once happy and healthy again, Benji was cast in Free Rein where he learned many tricks. He now knows how to Spanish walk, untie himself or shake his head on command.
Bob first appears in Season 1 Episode 2 “Close Up”.
Elvis is Pin’s loyal chestnut mount in Free Rein. He first shows up on the trail ride in Season 1 Episode 4 “Pony Camp!”.
Elvis is played by a local horse called Boysie, who is very calm and docile, according to Freddy Carter. He and the horse have developed a great relationship over the years of working on the show.
Major is the kind and bombproof bay horse Zoe learned to ride on in Free Rein. He first appears in Season 1 Episode 2 “Close Up”, and is featured a lot in the next episode when Zoe starts her riding lessons.
In real life, Major is an ex-police horse of Spanish breeding called Nirvana. Although he is lazy and docile off-screen as well, he can also be forward-going under saddle.
Also see this wonderful behind-the-scenes video below about the horses in Free Rein:
Also, test your knowledge with our Free Rein Quiz!