Carlotta Sofia Montanari and Hielo on Rodeo Drive. Photo: Howard Wise
Carlotta is founder of Four Legs on Set, the elite horse rental company in the
heart of Los Angeles.
*When did you start riding and getting interested in horses?
I started riding at 8 years old. The immense love for the horses is something I have
since that I can remember!
*When did you go into business with Four Legs On Set? Why did
you start the business? What was your inspiration?
Four legs on set is a company started for love. When someone hires Four Legs On Set is
not just hiring a horse, but living a true experience, every single person after the job they
tell me how much connection they have discovered and felt for the first time: then want to
come learn to ride or ride or know more about horses! That is the best reward! Spreading
the love for these magnificent creatures which many didn’t have the luck to be expose to,
or not in the right way.
How it started, I adopted a rescue, Mambo, my paint warmblood, he was so in need of
love and care and our relationship was truly special since day 1. This inspired me to write
a concept for a movie called Mambo’s Way because even the most forgotten horse has
hope and with love will become the best horse and the best relationship someone can
have. After few months of rehab Mambo was cast in a short film and I was cast in a
national commercial with a horse…this started the first fire! I created Four Legs On Set
with the idea “from the rescues to the Hollywood cameras” and started working with a
few rescues to give them a chance to thrive, and give them a new purpose.
*Do you train your horses? Tell us something about your training process.
Yes, being the horse trainer to Four Legs On Set is even more gratifying
as an equestrian and creator of my company. When I am with horses I
really let all the rest of the world out and enter a special place of peace
and listening. I always train myself to enter the the arena without
demanding for the horse I am working with, before asking I make sure
we connect and become become one so that we can really dance together.
There are different ways to teach new figures and tricks to the
animals; the way involves technique, a lot of patience and psychology
and even before all I aim to establish a reciprocal respect. I enjoy only
when the horses enjoy it too and I believe it gives the best work. I
always listen to the horses and often a horse offers me the input of what
trick he naturally feels good about and I truly enjoy to get on that
journey with them. Playtime is the key. I also use tricks to work the
mind of a horse, for example I found very effective to put a lay-down to
a resistant dominant horse like a dominant stallion or a reactive horse to
contrast that behavior and increase trust, since that trick is the most
vulnerable one and so on.
I work alone and learn a lot through the horses, however I also would
enjoy to team up and collaborate with other trainers, my biggest
inspirations are in Europe and I am working on producing horse shows
*What other services do you provide?
Four Legs is a full production company, I’ve been in entertainment for
22 years as an actress, producer, editor, and I realized that all I was truly
missing were my beloved horses more than anything; so I decided to
start this production company with my horses and I’ve been very
grateful for how things have developed in such a short time.
*Do you have to be a member of SAG/AFTRA(Screen Actors
Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artist) to bring
horses to a movie set?
No, that is the union of the performing artists, the wrangler union is
called 399. I am also SAG-AFTRA because of my acting career.
*When you have a movie job, how long of a day is it for the horses?
Do they stable on the set or come back to your ranch? Can the
horses only work so many hours a day?
Being in the heart of Los Angeles makes everything easier for us and the
horses because of the location of the studios! I love booking studio jobs
and private projects, horses always get so much love on set!
I don’t really book jobs with horses for long hours, I am selective on the nature
and the duration of the jobs and sometimes I pass on a job if I repute it to
be stressful or too long or uncomfortable for my horses or the horses I
*You worked with one of the most famous reality families in the
world, Kim Kardashian and Kendal Jenner! Tell us about their photoshoot
and what they were like to work with?
Since the first call with the producers from AGPNYC we immediately
clicked and absolutely loved discussing the vision they had for the
campaign. They were in love with my horsemanship work with my
horses and the quality of our editorial work. When we entered the set the
whole crew was mesmerized by the beauty of our 2 Friesians stallions,
and the location was a perfect setting for them in the beautiful nature!
Kim and Kendal are queens of beauty, super pleasant to be around and
We had chance to chat about horses and the training given
Kendal’s horse passion and equestrian experience and made it all very
smooth, and Kim was very courageous and beautiful posing on my
Friesians bareback in leather pants. Both so kind and animal lovers they
really enjoyed the experience. Can’t say enough words about the whole
crew and the talented Greg Swales, I loved working with everyone.
The KKW Fragrance campaign by Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashians
was beautiful work all around, very gratifying and with the best energy
on set I am very familiar with and love to work with!
*What sets you apart from other companies doing the same thing?
I am creative, being in the entertainment industry for over 22 years, it is
natural for me to create and develop concepts in the media. Four Legs
On Set started because of the special equestrian art that shows
the beauty and power of these wonderful animals.
So when I created this company I decided to not just to provide horse
wranglers and stunt, but to be a full production company.
We have been told that Four Legs On Set is a true experience with so
much love and passion for the horses that comes across and leaves real joy.
That is been a big reward for me, spreading the
love for the horses through the work. We are able to work with studios
and privates, and capable to develop any concepts and projects that
involve horses in the entertainment. Four Legs in occasionally also a
horse training service, especially for horses in need for example to
reverse habits caused by abuse or non effective horsemanship. I am also
developing another aspect of my company that I look forward to share
with you all as soon as we are ready!
*Tell us about your acting career.
I held my first video camera at age of 13, I was obsessed with video
making, editing and story telling! After graduating in Visual Arts in
Riccione, northern of Italy, I became a TV host for the major Italian
national TV networks and continued my studies in Rome with in the best
theaters and acting mentors to become a full time performing actress.
Acting and modeling became a full time job very early and my journey
brought me to Hollywood. I am always very devoted to what I put
myself into, and I believe that the best things come with true dedication.
Being a working actress in Hollywood is a privilege and a milestone I
cherish every day with gratitude and now even more, merging my two
loves: the entertainment and the horses is definitely my American
You can contact Carlotta below through her website or join her on Instagram or TikTok!!
Thanks Carlotta for the interview on horses4yc.com