man riding a horse

Can Matthew McConaughey Ride a Horse?

Matthew McConaughey’s slow Southern drawl has led many to imagine the actor lives the type of life seen only in Western films. The Wedding Planner star is known throughout Hollywood as a true Southern gentleman. He lives in Texas and often expresses his love of the Lone Star State and traditional Texan indulgences like whiskey.

But does McConaughey really live the life of a cowboy, as many of his fans imagine? When people picture Texas and the South, they often imagine large stretches of land and folks riding horses. So does the True Detective star fit the bill? Can Matthew McConaughey ride a horse?

McConaughey’s association with horses

Aside from his Southern charm and Texas lifestyle, McConaughey has been seen in multiple films with horses. In the 2005 film Sahara, he is seen riding a horse through the desert, even jumping from a horse onto a moving train.

In The Newton Boys, a 1998 movie based on the true story of the Newton Gang, McConaughey is seen riding a horse throughout much of the film. The film even takes place in the actor’s hometown of Uvalde, Texas. And while it takes place in the early 1920s, it led many people to believe he must be a natural at horseback riding.

You may have also heard one of McConaughey’s many iconic quotes:

Be a lean horse for the long ride.

It’s clear why many people associate the actor with horses. But how accurate is this depiction?

Does Matthew McConaughey ride horses?

Matthew McConaughey can indeed ride horses. However, it’s not because he grew up riding horses in his hometown of Uvalde, TX. McConaughey says that most of his horseback riding experience comes from filming.

McConaughey says of his experience learning to ride horses for films that it’s like riding a bike. “That’s fun because you get to go train for months, and you get to be a pretty good horse rider,” he says.

Camila Alves, Brazilian-American model and McConaughey’s wife, grew up riding horses and had one of her own, so he occasionally finds the opportunity to practice with her. But for the most part, the Texan actor’s horse-riding experience stems from movies and the professionals who have trained him for months on end.

Is Matthew McConaughey good at horseback riding?

McConaughey is certainly not a professional rider, and he’s not necessarily the cowboy many people picture him to be. He doesn’t own a horse of his own or regularly practice for fun. And he doesn’t spend his free time hanging out on a wide-open ranch.

However, with practice, the Southern star feels that he’s become a pretty decent horseback rider. Of his own skills, McConaughey has said,

I wouldn’t call myself a cowboy riding a horse, but I’m pretty okay on horses.


Fans can see the star’s “decent” horseback riding skills in movies like Sahara, but they’re unlikely to see him spending his free time on horseback at a Texas ranch. Although he may have shattered some fans’ idea of his Southern lifestyle, McConaughey still possesses more horseback riding skills and experience than the average person.

Zoom Mixer

Would you like to meet some new people to talk to on a topic you find interesting?
Check out these Zoom mixer meetings to chat about your hobby or obsession.


  • Carolyn Anders has been a professional content writer and marketer for 7+ years. As a freelance writer, she has written for Fortune 500 companies. She has a master’s degree in English Rhetoric & Composition from California State University, Long Beach and loves knitting, reading new releases in fiction and poetry, and long, quiet hikes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top