The audience doesn't expect to see a horse because it's not an equestrian show. There's no 'show' aspect, it's an animal presence. Most moments of Nilo on stage are liberty ones, without saddle or bridle, in a poetic way. There's just the first scene that's more demonstrative; when I arrive with him, I get in a complete muddle. There's no artifice, no effect, so there's a sort of ease, of obvious presence.
In the backstages, he has his double-stable, because he is with his challenger, Botero, with whom he alternates from time to time. He's almost his twin, we are training Botero so that he can replace him more.
These horses are used to show and audience, they are born at Mario Lurashi's stables, and were trained by Yann Vaille, a rider working for Mario. He wanted them to be trained under the saddle, for liberty work, vaulting,... They have an amazing talent, they can do a lot of things, are not bored, and are always motivated to discover.
They are trained in this spirit, where each horse has his specificity, and where Mario focus on what the horse is the better at.
Nilo and Botero are really good with the crowd, they are hardly impressed. In liberty work, they know a lot of things, which requires work, all the time. I am not a particularly great rider, so I often work with Yann while hiking with my other horses.
I have to ride them, to have good ground work, you have to ride, and to ride well, you need ground work. We go towards this more and more, ground work allows things to go so much faster once on the saddle, by making the comprehension easier in a zen spirit. I love both.
I have to ride to refine the dressage; they are athletes, and you have to diversify activities between pure dressage session, work on flexibility or show figure,... I try to don't bore them.
During shows, it's all about improving what we have, so that they know it by heart and are relaxed. It requires a lot of work, Mario's stables' skills, and Yann's know-how.
Their stalls and paddocks are at Mario Luraschi's stables, their life goes between cares, stall, work, paddock,... in some pleasant surroundings.
At his stables, there're only horses who work, they all are real 'entertainment workers' with projects. For example, last year Botero were on more filming than me!
They have an amazing follow-up, with the knowledge of Mario and his teams. He made his equitation by getting inspired by every equitations, there is no single equitation he doesn't know.
He has his own way to train a horse, but knows every others equitations. We talk a lot about ethology lately, Mario has been using it from a long time, because he couldn't have had everything he had, if he didn't have a relation with the animal above all.
At some point, I thought about including more horse's figures by associating it with human's figures. But in the end I went with a more humorous and poetic project where the horse's presence is symbolic. There is only one part about young riders in the riding school.
The show is still small, it's only a few months old and it's still growing. I have always made my shows evolve so I think it will move ahead, with newness. I, therefore, don't exclude it but it's like making jokes about sound engineers to horse riders, only the sound engineers will get it. The equestrian world is very codified, and to make a joke about a pole down is complicated. On the other hand, what will interest me will be the characters, who will have to be very universal, so it can reach more people even if they are very specific.
The abusive parents with their children who are riding, it can be funny but it has to be very comprehensive for the audience.
For example, in my previous show, what made people laugh about my casting director was that he had the power over life and death on someone's career, not the fact that he was a casting director. It could have worked with someone from the job centre, people would have laughed the same way.
Horse riding being very technical, it is not as simple as it seems. I really hope it could be less technical and more popular, because there is no reason why it is less popular than any other sports.
In my next movie, there are Botero and Escobar, horses are very present. Mostly when it comes to the relation of my character with horses, it's an old man who's living in the South of France, and who hikes with his horse.
Botero plays in it, and Escobar, who is a 4 year-old foal I bought to Mario. It's a gorgeous little spanish horse, he's so little, we could bring him in a backpack! I love him, he is 15hh, beautiful and very cute, he goes everywhere, and is curious. He lives in my forest in Orléans, with my leasure horses. We ride him just for pleasure or for movies, he is exceptionnal during filming.
I have always loved watching showjumping, and I have always admired it, but I am not a lover of the athletic and competition part of horseriding. I love seing great champions, and great classes, but I wouldn't be happy if I were doing it. I would miss something, the thing I am looking for since I was a kid: galloping in the forest. I need a pure emotion, very natural. In my show, when there's is the Symphony N.23 of Mozart, with a special light, and when I am on my knees in front of Nilo while he's sniffing my head, it creates an emotion in me.
In dressage, I think it's about magnifying things that horses know from the beginning.
Also, I am 40, I probably wouldn't have answered the same thing at 25 years old! If I had started to ride again sooner in my artist career, maybe I would have done it.
Anyway, as a spectator, I love it and I am proud of our athletes.