James Stewart explains his love of the four-legged co-star he rode for 22 years...
The horse [Pie] was amazing. I rode him for 22 years. I never was able to buy him because he was owned by a little girl by the name of Stevie Myers, who is the daughter of an old wrangler who used to wrangle horses for Tom Mix and W.S. Hart. He retired and he gave this horse to her. He [Pie, the horse] was a sort of a maverick. He hurt a couple of people.I saw [Pie] when I started making Westerns. Audie Murphy rode him a couple of times. He nearly killed Glenn Ford, ran right into a tree… But I liked this darned little horse. He was a little bit small, a little quarter horse and Arabian. I got to know him like a friend. I actually believed that he understood about making pictures. I ran at a full gallop, straight towards the camera, pulled him up and then did a lot of dialogue and he stood absolutely still. He never moved. He knew when the camera would start rolling and when they did the slates. He knew that because his ears came up.
Petrine Day Mitchum … Robert Mitchum’s daughter, horse enthusiast and the author of “Hollywood Hoofbeats” … explains further.
James Stewart rode Pie in 17 westerns. … And they just became so attuned to each other that in one film, "The Far Country," Stewart had developed such a rapport with him that he was able to get the horse to do something at liberty all by himself when the trainer was not around.They were on this location. The trainer wasn't on the set. And the horse needed to walk from one end of a street to another with no ropes on him or anything, and Stewart just went up to him, he said he whispered in his ear and told him what he needed him to do. And the horse did it. And everyone on the set was absolutely amazed, and Stewart just said, that was Pie. That's what he did. So he absolutely had an incredible bond with the horse.
Beyond the work Pie did with Stewart, on film he was also ridden by Kirk Douglas, Audie Murphy, Glenn Ford. And, more than likely, a number of other actors. There is no exact count of the number of films in which the little quarter horse appeared.