On Dec. 22 Paramount Pictures released the remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic, "True Grit." Among the film's cast are Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and a slew of equine actors that bring the Western movie to life.

The "director" of the equine stars for "True Grit" was Rusty Hendrickson, who has worked with horses on movie sets for more than three decades and has been the head horse wrangler for numerous blockbusters including "Seabiscuit," "Dreamer," "Flicka," and this autumn's release, "Secretariat."

True Grit

Cimarron, Cowboy, and Apollo are the lead equine actors in Paramount Pictures' True Grit.

Casting the right horse for a part is just as vital as casting the right leading man (or lady, as the case may be). Like their human co-stars, equines must train and practice to stay at the top of their game. As movie viewers know, the right chemistry between man and beast can make or break a movie.

"Patience is the greatest virtue of a movie horse," Henrickson's learned. "If they don't have some 'stand still' in them, it just won't work."

Directors Joel and Ethan Coen worked closely with Hendrickson to select the horses to best fit the script and showcase the actors. Jeff Bridges, who plays Rooster Cogburn, needed a substantial mount to complement his size. Hendrickson narrowed the choices down to two ho