Friday, April 13, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence & Horses: Fake Cowgirl or Untaught Unfortunate?

Jennifer Lawrence, newly-beloved media darling and the actress who plays Katniss in "The Hunger Games" movie just made the cover of "Seventeen" magazine. For some reason, perhaps because she's not very interesting in any other way, they chose to play up her interest in horses. This picture was on page 2:

She's barefoot, in a pasture, around a horse. Okay, yeah, it's a semi-glamorous photo shoot-- which is why I can forgive her for the dress that's more appropriate for a summer afternoon shopping session at a posh mall. But barefoot? Why? Does she want to "get into" the character of Katniss better by experiencing the pain of broken toes? Also, it's kind of nit-picky, but I was taught never to hold a lead rope like that. You never want the rope wrapped around your hand even loosely, because if the horse moves suddenly, you could be jerked off your feet or even dragged. You want to squeeze the extra rope, so your hand cannot be trapped. And then, what's with the un-groomed horse? They couldn't have gotten rid of the grass stains and put it in a decent halter? Finally, there's this picture:

Are you seeing that? I mean besides the totally impractical (but gorgeous) midriff shirt. Yeah, besides the pure white pants that you would never ever ever really wear to a farm. Look closer:

 That's a tomb thumb bit. Now, I know not everyone agrees that these are bad, confusing, nasty bits...but hey, it's my blog, and I'm sayin' they are. I actually used to use one until I really researched what they do. The video here is a pretty good explanation; I don't agree with everything he says, but it's useful nonetheless. Here's an even better written explanation.

What are we to make of all this? Is Jennifer Lawrence, as a rider, just a bit young and reckless/inexperienced, like most of us have been at some point in our youths? Or is she a total fake, not a "real" horse person at all, unless you count a brief tween obsession with them? Is the truth somewhere in between?

On David Letterman, she claimed that her parents bought wild, untamed stallions for her to ride (because they were cheaper), and that she broke her horse herself, "deforming" her tailbone and injuring herself multiple times in the process. She also states that her parents discouraged her from using the saddles at their barn, as those were for boarders, so she rode bareback. Um, what?! Is this girl lying, or were her parents total asshats? I really want to know what you think. I want to like Jennifer Lawrence; she's strong, not hyper-sexualized, a decent actress...and she basically told PETA to go fuck themselves. That's always a plus in my book. I'm just not sure I can forgive her for looking like an idiot on this, and kind of setting a bad example for other young riders. No, wait, maybe I can't forgive her parents.

The David Letterman video is below. More pictures and videos here, here and here.


  1. To be fair to her she didn't say stallions, He did. This is classicly how bad information enters the news system. News maker says X, reporter repeats back Y (where Y is close to but not quite X) and because it is a conversation and in human conversation correcting people for small errors is rude the person lets it slide and the story is now published with Y. Next interviewer repeats back Y and now if you fix it the story isn't X, it is celebrity says they lied (and the P.R. people go nuts)

    As for the pictures that isn't how you are supposed to hold a lead rope but I'd be lying if I said I didn't do it all the time. And her outfits and the tack ... well she had absolutely no control. If you want to blame someone blame the art director and the photographer. She wasn't involved (and throwing a fit over details like that is how actresses get a reputation for being difficult to work with, not exactly what you want as you start out)

  2. DEAR JESUS JUST LEAVE HER ALONE!!!!!!!!! i have horses and have been around them since i was born and i have been barefoot around my horse! i have used the SAME BIT! AND WHO IN THE WORLD CARES what she wears around her horses!!????!! she probally knows more than u do!!!!!!!!!!

  3. ^^^^^^^^ so agree with you epg70. so true, i have been barefoot around my horses, held the lead rope like that and worn mini shorts and singlets riding, so who cares. Just because its not something you would do doesnt make it wrong okay, geeez. anyways, the person taking and directing the photo shoot gives her instructions of everything to do so shut up. RANT OVER

  4. First of all. ITS A FREAKING PHOTOSHOOT. it's common to wear dresses and all in photoshoots with horses. nothing WORNG with that. Second of all, YES we USE white pants on farms all the times, have you never watched a SHOW JUMPING or DRESSAGE show? If you didn't, I present it to you: Just because Western people and YOU don't used it, doesn't mean it's forbbiden, specially on a photoshoot!
    I forgot how many times I've been barefoot around horses, specially riding on the beach and they never stepped on my foot.
    Then, just because she love horses and she has a bunch of them, doesn't mean she know EVERYFUCKINGTHING about them, right? She probably has a trainer that said, USE THIS BIT. And she believes it. Then again, Western style horses are supposed to use the bit with MINIMUM touch on the reins, better if no touch at all. And if she doesn't know, it's not by CRITICIZING her that you would make her change her mind. Right? You don't tell people how STUPID they are, nobody learns like that and nobody is born knowing everything about everything. I love horses for years and years but I grow up with then in a different place, learning different things that I only came to know it was wrong not much time from now. So yeah, everyone has the right to learn new stuff all the time and change.

    LESS DRAMA please.

  5. it's just a photo shoot!!! I grew up on my friends small horse farm & we rode ALL the time barefoot, bareback, shorts and whatever else we wanted in the summer, none of us had any money and we had a blast. She's 22.leave her alone. She grew up in kentucky.......HORSE country!!!!

  6. Besides that it's a photo shoot and didn't have control of what she or the horse wore... I don't know if you noticed but in the horse world, people will not always have their horses in the bit you think is the best for horses. I ride English and Western and couldn't imagine bringing someone down for their choice of discipline, dress, or style of riding unless it's seriously hurting the horse. Sure, it's not safe to be around horses in barefoot but she grew up around horses and I'm sure can tell the emotions of the horse and know when to get away when a dangerous situation is approaching if she is barefoot.She is not even dangerously close to the horses hoof. Do not criticize someone if you don't know their entire situation. I surely hope you don't consider yourself a great equestrian when you are bringing down someone who has little control over the situation and are making a big deal out of something small.

  7. Please blame the magazine, not Jennifer. I've met Jennifer in person at a private event and she's the real deal on so many levels. Keep in mind that when they do these photo shoots, they do what they're told by the magazine's art director of the photo shoot, yes even down to how to hold a lead rope and being barefoot. I'm a horse owner and an entertainment publicist combined. I would have insisted the client wear shoes, hold the lead correctly, etc etc...BUT we don't always get our way - the magazine does. The magazines designs their photos THEIR WAY, and it's only if we're lucky do we get to have input. So everyone, please blame the magazine, not Jennifer. Thanks :-)