Before the 1883 cast rode into our hearts on TV, they saddled up at Cowboy Camp.
To make the hit series 1883 as realistic as possible, producer Taylor Sheridan had the cast attend Cowboy Camp in Weatherford, Texas. For a couple of weeks pre-production, actors including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, LaMonica Garrett, and Isabel May practiced horseback riding, roping, herding cattle, and driving wagons.
“The better I can make them as a rider, the more they understand the thing they’re acting out, the better the performance is, the more authentic the scenes look, then it looks real,” Taylor Sheridan says in a video shared on the Yellowstone YouTube page.
In our April 2022 issue, LaMonica Garrett shared more about the show’s cowboy preparation:
“At first,” Garrett said, “it was extremely fun. It was life-changing. It does something to you being on a horse that much. But after about three, four days, it turned from being fun — ‘Hey! Cowboy Camp! Let’s all go to Cowboy Camp!’ — to it being work. It was 100 degrees. We’re in Weatherford, Texas, and we’re up at the crack of dawn. We’re tending to our horses. Yeah, it turned into work. That’s when I got a real appreciation for cowboys — just the profession, the culture. It’s some tough work. You watch all these shows growing up, you see cowboys, they’re riding on the horses. It looks cool. I don’t know, just a bunch of hero moments. But the real work of cowboying is no joke. I got a whole new respect for it now.”
And even more respect, Garrett added, for the pioneers depicted in 1883.
“Everything out there, everything in nature, especially in the 1800s, it seems like it’s trying to kill you. You’re just trying to get from point A to point B and everything from weather, to creatures, snakes, animals, wolves, bandits — everything is trying to kill you. A lot of people were grossly underprepared for everything that was coming at them. So, I wouldn’t have made it back then. I know now, there was a different breed of human being back then. There’s a couple of guys on the show that I think would’ve made it. I’m not one of them.”
It was 100 degrees. We’re in Weatherford, Texas, and we’re up at the crack of dawn. We’re tending to our horses. Yeah, it turned into work. That’s when I got a real appreciation for cowboys — just the profession, the culture.
Behind-the-Scenes of Cowboy Camp
Photography: (All images) courtesy Paramount+