Tim McGraw and the stars of '1883' went to 'Cowboy Camp' to get it right

'Every minute was reserved for something cowboy'
Tim McGraw
Photo credit Greg Doherty/Stringer/Getty Images

One of the most captivating elements of 1883, the Yellowstone prequel, is the realistic portrayal of the cowboy lifestyle.

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From roping and riding to shootouts and fist fights, the cast of 1883 is expected to do it all and they were sent to cowboy camp to make sure they learned to do it right.

“All throughout the day… we're doing horseback riding in the morning, we're doing wagon training in the afternoon, we're doing precision shooting with guns in the evening, we're herding cattle,” said the show’s LaMonica Garrett during an interview with several media outlets.

“Every minute was reserved for something cowboy behind the scenes, and that brought us all closer together by default."

The training was easier for some than others, but regardless of their prior experience there was always something new to learn.

"I could probably ride [a horse] before I could walk,” Tim McGraw said of his comfort level on horseback. “However, over the last 20 years, I haven't spent that much time on a horse. So the first couple of weeks of cowboy camp was just getting my seat back in the saddle, but it all came back pretty quickly."

For Tim’s co-star and wife, Faith Hill, it was about far more than getting back in the saddle, it was about overcoming a fear. Hill opened up about a frightening incident she had on horseback years ago that has kept her feet on the ground.

"Most people who ride know this, but never run your horse when they see the barn," she said. "Well, I didn't know that, and I just let my horse Bandit just like — for almost half a mile — fly to the barn. It was terrifying ... after that moment I said, 'You know what? I'm gonna stay off horses for awhile.'"

Hill stayed true to that statement until cowboy camp, where she corrected the way she rode and found pleasure in riding again.

"I rode improperly," she said of her horseback riding experience. "I found out quickly on the first day of cowboy camp."

She continued, "I spend a lot of time on the wagon, which I love. I love leading... that's really hard, and for some reason, I'm kinda good at it. I can't believe it."

1883, the Yellowstone prequel, created by Taylor Sheridan, follows the Dutton family on their journey west as they seek a better life in the "promised land," across America's Great Plains toward Montana. Tune in via Paramount+.

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