Is Jefferson White (Jimmy) a Real Cowboy? Did He Learn Horse Riding for Yellowstone?

Paramount Network’s Western seriesYellowstone’ is a treat for admirers of horses, horse riding, and cowboying. Through the saga of the Montana-based Dutton family, the show explores the cowboy way of life in detail, offering a captivating window to the nuances of the lifestyle. Co-created by the real-life cowboy Taylor Sheridan, the show features several real-life cowboys as actors, including Forrie J. Smith (Lloyd), Jake Ream (Jake), Ethan Lee (Ethan), etc. The eighth episode of the fifth season follows Jimmy’s life at the 6666 Ranch as a cowboy, tending the cattle of the place. Intrigued by the character, we have found out whether Jefferson White is a real cowboy or he learned horse riding for the show. Let us share our findings!

Jefferson White Learns Horse Riding for Yellowstone

No, Jefferson White is not a real cowboy. The actor, who plays Jimmy, had never ridden a horse before joining the cast of ‘Yellowstone.’ The actor had to learn horse riding for portraying Jimmy, who joins the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch without knowing to ride horses. As far as horse riding and cattle tending are concerned, Jimmy and White were the same at the start of the production of the show. “I had never ridden a horse before I accepted this job. I certainly had never gotten on a bucking horse. All of his [Jimmy’s] stuff was very, very new to me,” the actor told Decider.

White had to participate in the famed “cowboy camp” arranged by Sheridan to learn the basics of cowboying and horse riding. “We were really given every opportunity to learn as much as we could and still fail constantly,” the actor told ET about the cowboy camp. Although White wasn’t familiar with horses at all, he was extremely determined to learn horse riding, testified Sheridan. “To his [White’s] credit, the second day I had him out there, just riding, never complaining. And when he got off, he said, I’ll fix this, I promise,” the co-creator of the show told Deadline.

Although White was determined and resilient, it was not at all easy for the actor to learn horse riding. The actor had to even bleed for perfecting the tricks of horse riding. “He [White] had these saddle sores he never told anyone about, and he’d bled through his jeans and all over the saddle. I was like, buddy, don’t worry about the saddle, but get a little moleskin and cover that thing up so you don’t rub your whole ass off,” Sheridan added to Deadline.

Along with horse riding, White also learned about the cowboy and rodeo culture, which was integral for him to transform himself into an on-screen cowboy. “I have an incredible alter-ego though—a stunt performer, whose name is Bobby Roberts, who’s a real-life bronc rider. […] I make it a point to stick close to Bobby and learn everything I can from him. He’s taught me so much about rodeo, but most importantly, he’s taught me about the lifestyle and community,” White said in the same Decider interview.

In addition, White’s co-stars offered him a helping hand as well, most significantly Forrie J. Smith (Lloyd), a real-life cowboy. “I’m also grateful to Forrie J. Smith, who plays Lloyd. Forrie also was a bronc rider as a younger man. Every time Lloyd is giving Jimmy advice, that’s also Forrie giving Jeff advice. I just try to listen to the experts and keep my mouth shut,” White added.

After being a part of the cast of ‘Yellowstone’ for over four and a half years, it is safe to say that White had learned one or two things about horse riding by now. His experience of working with real-life cowboys and horse riding experts has helped White to acknowledge and appreciate their talent and commitment to their lifestyle as well.

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