Hallmark’s ‘Taking the Reins’ is a drama by director Clare Niederpruem that centers around a writer reconnecting with her past. When Samantha revisits her family ranch, she is forced to face her unresolved issues with her father and ex-husband. In re-examining her roots, she also realizes how she has left her passion for horseriding behind and begins to find joy in it again.
The film is set amidst picturesque landscapes that transport the central character (and the audience) away from the bustle of big-city life to simpler and calmer environments. The backdrop adds substantially to the film’s theme of reflection and reconnecting with the past, and there are some gorgeous landscapes that adorn the cinematography. Curious about where ‘Taking the Reins’ was filmed? We’ve got the story!
Taking the Reins Filming Locations
‘Taking the Reins’ was filmed in Connecticut, across multiple locations, including some which are mentioned in the film itself! Filming took place on an actual horse farm in the hot summer months, which the film crew braved. Principal photography seemingly began in early July and had wrapped up by the following month. Let’s take a look at the specific locations used to bring the film to life.
Filming took place mainly in the town of Marlborough, in Hartford County, Connecticut, at the Meadowbrook Horse Farm. The approximately 50-acre boarding & training facility contains two barns and indoor and outdoor arenas for performing dressage and training riders. There are also a host of other facilities offered at the newly renovated farm.
A significant portion of the filming, about 75% in fact, took place at the farm. Its name “Meadowbrook” has been retained in the film, and the farm’s original name signboard also makes an appearance. The farm is located at 153 South Road, Marlborough.
Filming was limited to the outdoor areas of the facility, and show-horses were brought in for the production of the movie. Some of the owner’s (Renee Depuis and her husband Ed Bennet III) horses were also used, but only in the backdrop of a few scenes. A few young riders from the Oakendale Farm in the nearby town of Harwinton reportedly came in for some of the film’s training and competition scenes.
East Hampton, Connecticut
Possibly the only other location where filming took place was the town of East Hampton, in Middlesex County, Connecticut. The film’s lead, Nikki Deloach, was reportedly charmed by the town’s quaint surroundings and actually mentioned trying to get her husband to move there!
Connecticut is known for its picturesque locations and has attracted multiple productions over the years. The state also offers competitive tax breaks for filming, which has made it an attractive choice for movies that are actually set in other places where production is more challenging, drawing them to filming in Connecticut. Other films that have recently used locations in Connecticut for filming include ‘Call Jane,’ ‘The Noel Diary,’ and ‘Sand Dollar Cave,’ amongst many others.
Taking the Reins Cast
Nikki DeLoach essays Sam, who finds herself reconnecting with her past after moving back to her family ranch. The actress is known for her roles in ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ and MTV’s ‘Awkward,’ and has also appeared on shows like ‘NCIS,’ ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘CSI,’ ‘CSI: NY,’ ‘Cold Case,’ ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Without a Trace.’ Fans of Hallmark films will remember DeLoach from the network’s original movies like ‘The Perfect Catch,’ ‘Christmas Land,’ ‘A Dream of Christmas,’ ‘Truly, Madly, Sweetly,’ and ‘Love Takes Flight.’
Scott Porter portrays Sam’s ex-husband Luke. The actor is best known for his appearance on ‘Friday Night Lights.’ Fans will also remember the actor from shows like ‘Hart of Dixie,’ ‘Ginny & Georgia,’ ‘Scorpion,’ and ‘The Good Wife.’
Corbin Bernsen steps into the role of Sam’s father Preston and is known for his appearances in ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Psych,’ and as host of ‘Saturday Night Live.’
Other actors in supporting roles are Eliza Hayes Maher (Alexandra), Fredric Odgaard (Mathew), Jeorge Bennett Watson (Chauncey), Damien Jimenez (Scott), Megan McNulty (Amanda), Erik Stinehart (Jared), and Janine Turner (Bonnie).
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