How Many Buckskin Horses Did Matt Dillon Have? Fascinating insights into the equine companions of Matt Dillon!


In the vast realms of TV westerns, few characters are as iconic as Matt Dillon from “Gunsmoke.” As the legendary lawman of Dodge City, he captivated audiences with his grit and determination.

But beyond his skill with a six-shooter, there’s a certain mystery surrounding an aspect of Matt Dillon’s life that has eluded many.

Just how many buckskin horses did this Western hero own?

Join us on a journey to uncover the truth, as we delve into the untold stories of Matt Dillon and his trusty steeds.

How Many Buckskin Horses Did Matt Dillon Have?

It is unclear how many buckskin horses Matt Dillon had, as no information regarding this specific detail is provided in the given text.

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  • Unclear how many buckskin horses Matt Dillon had
  • No information provided about the number of buckskin horses
  • Lack of specific detail on the quantity of buckskin horses owned by Matt Dillon
  • Unable to determine the number of buckskin horses from the given text
  • Insufficient information to ascertain the quantity of buckskin horses
  • No mention made about the specific number of buckskin horses in the text


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💡 Did You Know?

1. Contrary to popular belief, Matt Dillon did not actually own any buckskin horses in the TV show “Gunsmoke.” The horses used for his character were trained to mimic the appearance of buckskin by adding color to their coats during filming.

2. However, in real life, the actor who portrayed Matt Dillon, James Arness, was an avid fan of horses and owned several in his personal collection. One of his favorite horses, named Smoky, was a buckskin breed and became beloved among his fans.

3. The term “buckskin” refers to a specific coat color rather than a breed. Buckskins have a yellowish or tan body with a distinctive black mane, tail, and lower legs. This coloration is caused by a unique gene combination that can occur in various horse breeds, including Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Tennessee Walking Horses.

4. Buckskin horses were highly valued by Native American tribes, as their light-colored hides proved effective in camouflage during hunting or warfare. These horses were often seen as symbols of strength, agility, and adaptability within Native American culture.

5. The Buckskin Gulch in southern Utah, USA, is known as one of the longest and deepest slot canyons in the world. Its name originates from the golden-hued sandstone walls resembling the color of buckskin. The stunning beauty of this natural wonder attracts adventurers and photographers from around the globe.

1. Introduction

Matt Dillon is a legendary character from the popular television show Gunsmoke, which aired from 1955 to 1975. Played by James Arness, Matt Dillon was the tough but fair marshal of Dodge City. Throughout the series, Matt Dillon was known for his trusty steed and loyal companion, a beautiful buckskin horse. The bond between horse and rider is often an essential aspect of western shows, and Gunsmoke was no exception. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of Matt Dillon’s horses and delve into the question of how many buckskin horses he had during the show’s run.

2. Matt Dillon’s Horses – Buckskin Or Not?

While Matt Dillon‘s iconic horse was indeed a buckskin, it is important to note that he had several horses throughout the run of Gunsmoke. The show’s production used multiple horses to portray Matt Dillon’s trusty steed. These horses were chosen based on their temperament, appearance, and ability to perform the various tasks required on set.

Some of the other breeds and colors of horses used for Matt Dillon’s character included chestnuts, bays, and greys. These horses were often painted or dyed to match the distinctive buckskin color associated with Matt Dillon’s horse. This practice was common in the entertainment industry during that time and allowed for continuity in the show’s visuals.

  • Matt Dillon had several horses throughout the run of Gunsmoke.
  • Horses were chosen based on temperament, appearance, and ability to perform tasks.
  • Breeds and colors of horses used for Matt Dillon’s character included chestnuts, bays, and greys.
  • Horses were often painted or dyed to match the distinctive buckskin color.
  • This practice allowed for continuity in the show’s visuals.

“These horses were often painted or dyed to match the distinctive buckskin color associated with Matt Dillon’s horse.”

3. Examining Matt Dillon’s Horse Collection

To fully understand the scope of Matt Dillon’s horse collection on Gunsmoke, it is crucial to examine some notable horses. One of the most famous was “Buck”, the buckskin horse in the opening credits. Buck, with his striking golden coat and black mane, became an iconic image associated with Matt Dillon.

Alongside Buck, other horses featured throughout the series included “Leroy”, a chestnut horse, “Chiquita”, a bay mare, and “Dusty”, a grey gelding. These horses played integral roles in bringing the world of Gunsmoke to life.

4. The Truth About Matt Dillon’s Buckskin Horses

Despite the numerous horses used to portray Matt Dillon’s character, the buckskin horse remained the most prominent and recognizable. However, identifying exactly how many buckskin horses Matt Dillon had throughout the show is a bit of a mystery. The use of multiple horses and the practice of dyeing or painting them makes it difficult to determine the exact count.

Some sources suggest that there were at least three different buckskin horses used during the show’s run. However, due to the lack of comprehensive records and conflicting information, it is challenging to ascertain a precise number. Regardless of the specific count, it is clear that the buckskin horse played a vital role in establishing the identity of Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke.

5. Exploring Matt Dillon’s Equestrian Preferences

While Matt Dillon’s choice of a buckskin horse undoubtedly captured the attention of fans, it is intriguing to delve into the equestrian preferences of the character himself. Matt Dillon was consistently depicted as a skilled and experienced horseman, capable of handling any situation that arose on the frontier.

Throughout the series, Matt Dillon demonstrated a preference for agile and versatile horses. These horses had to navigate challenging terrains and execute daring stunts during action-packed scenes. This preference favored horses with a strong build, intelligence, and a natural inclination towards Western-style riding.

6. Famous Horses Associated With Matt Dillon

Apart from Matt Dillon’s personal horse, Gunsmoke also featured other famous horses associated with various characters in the show. For instance, Festus Haggen, one of Matt Dillon’s close friends and deputy marshals, often rode a mule named “Ruth”. Ruth’s stubborn yet endearing personality added a touch of humor to the series.

Additionally, Doc Adams and Miss Kitty, two beloved characters on Gunsmoke, occasionally appeared on horseback. While these characters did not have horses as central to their identities as Matt Dillon, their occasional rides added depth to the overall equestrian atmosphere of the show.

  • Gunsmoke featured famous horses associated with characters such as Matt Dillon, Festus Haggen, Doc Adams, and Miss Kitty.
  • Festus Haggen’s mule, named Ruth, added humor to the show with its stubborn yet endearing personality.
  • Doc Adams and Miss Kitty occasionally rode horses, contributing to the equestrian atmosphere.

7. Conclusion: The Mystery Of Matt Dillon’s Buckskin Horses

The exact number of buckskin horses that Matt Dillon had during the run of Gunsmoke remains a mystery.
However, the buckskin horse became synonymous with Matt Dillon’s character, representing his steadfastness, reliability, and unwavering dedication to justice.

Despite the various breeds and colors of horses used on the show, it is the buckskin horse that stands out as the most iconic and memorable.

Gunsmoke’s portrayal of the relationship between Matt Dillon and his horse showcased the bond between a cowboy and his trusted companion, capturing the hearts of viewers around the world.

  • Matt Dillon’s buckskin horse remains a mystery
  • Buckskin horse represented his steadfastness, reliability, and unwavering dedication to justice
  • The buckskin horse was the most iconic and memorable on the show
  • Portrayal of the relationship between Matt Dillon and his horse showcased the bond between a cowboy and his trusted companion


Was Matt Dillon’s horse a buckskin?

Yes, Matt Dillon’s horse in Gunsmoke was indeed a buckskin. Named “Buck”, this majestic and eye-catching equine companion became widely recognized as the iconic steed ridden by James Arness’ character in the later years of the show. Buck’s striking appearance and strong presence alongside Marshal Dillon left a lasting impression on viewers, adding an extra layer of authenticity and charm to the series.

Did James Arness own any horses?

Yes, James Arness owned several horses throughout his career, including a beloved horse named Old Faithful Buck, affectionately called “Buck”. Buck was a striking buckskin that Arness had a deep fondness for, and he enjoyed riding him during the 20 years of Gunsmoke.

How many different horses did Matt Dillon use in Gunsmoke?

The renowned television series Gunsmoke featured a total of three distinct horses that Matt Dillon rode. One of them was Buck, a loyal companion who had an undeniable presence on the show. Additionally, Matt Dillon also utilized Ruth, Festus’s mule, for a short period, adding a touch of novelty to his character. Lastly, Shotgun, another magnificent horse, brought a sense of power and elegance to Matt Dillon’s persona. These three equine partners played an essential role in shaping the iconic character of Matt Dillon, leaving a lasting impression in the annals of television.

How rare is a buckskin horse?

Buckskin horses are actually quite common and can be found within a variety of horse breeds. Their distinctive golden coat, with black points on the mane, tail, and legs, contributes to their widespread presence. This popular coloration is often sought after by horse enthusiasts and can be commonly seen in various equestrian disciplines.

While the rarity of a buckskin horse may vary within specific breeds or bloodlines, overall, their prevalence across different horse breeds implies that they are not considered rare. Their frequent appearance at equine events and in various riding disciplines further reinforces their commonality and popularity.