Walker reins in passion for horses

Scarlet Walker sits on her quarter horse at the Parade of Breeds on Nov. 5, 2016 at Pierce College’s Equestrian Center in Woodland Hills California. Photo by Calvin B. Alagot

Swinging one leg over her horse, styling her sandy blonde hair braided to one side, Scarlet Walker, 25, gets ready to saddle up for a day of riding.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Walker has always been around a horse environment. Her parents taught her everything she knows about animals, specifically horses.

“I’ve been a horse fanatic all my life,” Walker said. “I’ve been riding horses since I was six weeks old. I couldn’t walk or talk, but my parents would throw me on a horse and parade me around.”

Walker attended many competitions throughout her career and won many championships, buckles, trophies and prize money.

“My parents rode and even my grandparents rode,” Walker said. “It’s in my blood.”

Walker started studying exotic animal training and management at Moorpark College in 2010 and then moved to continue her studies with economic science in veterinary technology at Pierce College in 2013.

“I think it’s great that Pierce has hands-on programs, especially being in the middle of LA, you don’t realize that we [Pierce] have about 20 horses you can practice on every day,” Walker said. “I’ve been going to school for about three years, but I’m not quite done with my degree.”

Walker has volunteered at the Parade of Breeds for the past six years and the horse she rode for the barrel race is named Jasper. Walker did jumpers, barrel racing and more.

“Parade of Breeds is wonderful,” Walker said. “I think that it’s wonderful that Patti [Warner] puts it on. I don’t think you get to see a lot of those breeds all the time, so I think it’s really cool that you get to see them in person.”

Walker is also a head trainer and wrangler at Horses for Productions in Los Angeles. This company provides experience and quality horses and riders for the movie industry. She has been with the company for the past nine years.

“We train horses for the movie industry, commercials, music videos and photoshoots,” Walker said. “There are horses that I train on a daily basis for those specific projects.”

Walker has been in several productions in her career, but her most recent project was working with singer and songwriter Chris Brown and rapper Tyga for the music video “Ayo.”

“I was in that music video. I was the one on the black horse,” Walker said. “I love the movie industry. It’s always hectic and crazy; we just never know what’s going to happen when we get to set.”

Part of Walker’s profession is to make sure their horses are in a safe and relaxed environment and to make sure everything goes smoothly during production.

“There’s sometimes smoke and tigers during these projects,” Walker said. “We spent many, many years and a lot of devoted time to make sure our horses are safe and we give them a little cookie every now and then and they love that.”

Walker was also a stunt double on record producer, remixer and songwriter, David Guetta’s music video “Bang my head,” featuring Sia and Fetty Wap in 2015.

“You couldn’t see me, but I was one of the stunt doubles for the main girl in the music video riding the horse,” Walker said.

Stephan Bender, 27, has been in a relationship with Walker for about four years. They met through friends, but mostly because of their shared love of horses.

“She’s kind, caring, and very understanding. When it comes to the horses you have to be patient,” Bender said. “A horse is basically a two-year-old child that weighs 1,200 pounds. You have to treat them a certain way and she definitely has a special touch.”

Bender has been working for the Horses for Production company for the past three years and they both ride and do stunt doubling for music and movie projects.

Walker has been a veterinary assistant at Malibu Vet Clinic since 2008 and is learning not just about animals, but how to take care of them.

Arielle Eckerman, has known Walker for about eight years and works in the vet clinic with her. Eckerman loves the positive attitude Walker brings into work.

“Scarlet is absolutely amazing,” Eckerman said. “She’s not only professional, but she goes above and beyond in everything she does.”

“Pierce does do a good job with keeping the facility clean for the horses,” Walker said. “So far, it’s great being able to learn how and why we do these certain things.”

Walker is currently working on a project this week but can’t release any personal information about the artist or production.

“Honestly, we don’t even know especially for music videos, they’re pretty secure,” Walker said. “They don’t tell us who the singer is just so they won’t have to worry about paparazzi, but we are working on a few music videos and movies this month.”