Wellness Wednesday - How Do Horses, Riders and Stuntmen Stay Healthy? - Hollywood’s Handsome Stuntman Shawn Patrick Nash

Shawn and horses, it’s in his blood. A passion handed down by his great, great Grandfather back in the 1800’s, in Missouri, where he was well known for his work with the light draft horses. Both Shawn’s parents were horse lovers. His mother rode Saddlebreds and his father rode Western horses and drove a team of mules called Tom and Jerry! So, Shawn has been around horses since ‘dot’, learning the ropes under the tutelage of his parents. Although there were a few years spent driving fast cars and motorbikes he finally came full circle to work with horses for a living. Working with and training horses was further enhanced by watching the Old Timers ‘lay-down’ their horses. He says that it’s important to recognize that your horse has the mental capacity and wants to do what you are asking. “You can’t force a horse to do something - it is a detriment to the horse, the trainer, the rider and the industry. Not all horses are trainable and it’s important to recognize when it’s time to let go of wanting to make a difference. You gotta know your horse’s willing to do it.” Lessons well learned from his Dad.

Shawn enjoys training young colts, to get them started on the right track and to teach them the basics of being a good horse such as, how to load into a trailer, accept blankets and not be spooked. “I like them to know the saddle, move off my leg, flexion (bend and flex), pick up the bit, stop, leg yields, ground manners and to teach them to be respectful! Young horses are great to start because they’re ‘all-lit-up’. They know nothing and then they figure it out and start to develop. It’s frustrating and then rewarding.”

Shawn works closely with his wife, Champion Equestrian Robyn Fisher-Nash, who holds an impressive resume of accolades which includes being long-listed for the U.S. Olympic Team. Shawn starts all Robyn’s horses before passing them on to her to refine their skills and manners. Shawn and Robyn work well as a team and attend in excess of ten different Eventing competitions a year. Shawn says, “You can tell a horse with a good start - it’s all about how you present (to a horse) and how not to be afraid of the rope.” Will Simpson, who is a big-time show jumper, commented on how well Robyn’s horse, Cadillac, was started. “I take that as a compliment,” states Shawn.

Shawn’s resume of achievements is long and varied. He loved acting but after a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance the horse world pulled him into the stunt business. He has been involved in almost all major westerns and T.V. Shows since 1991, with a resume and display of proud accolades.

His most recent, involved his favorite ‘falling horse’ Flip, who is featured in a new movie, released to the public on Christmas Day, 2011, by Quentin Tarantino called Django Unchained. It has the biggest ‘falling horses scene’ in film industry - a feature that has never been done before. The scene: a big explosion features a thirty foot wall of flame and debris blowing-up out of a wagon. Fifteen horses fall at once and play dead. Flip is one of them! Shawn had the horse with the mentality to do it. Each time was better than the last. Flip got bigger and rolled faster - right into the camera. The gargantuan cast is made up of a “Who’s Who” list from Hollywood: Our horse Flip, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonard DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, James Remar and Don Johnson. Need I say more, we have a very famous Horse Trainer in our midst-Shawn Patrick Nash-the boy next door!

Shawn amusingly says about being in the entertainment industry “corn one day, cob the next with the option of chicken one day and feathers, the next!”

How does Shawn take care of his body after so many dare-devil acts and stunts? He turns to his friend Keith Manfred of YS Nutrition, who provides relief for him through the Magic of Mushrooms. Shawn takes YS Nutrition D-traum religiously every day. “Being in this business my neck and knees are always sore. The YS Nutrition D-traum helps with the inflammation and pain; it keeps me focused and energetic. I also share the products with my mare, Miss Raven Rivers, lovingly known as Mama. Mama is old and sore so I give her the YS Nutrition Equine-D.” Shawn feels it helps Mama with the after effects of roping too many cows!