Horses featured in play about the 1880s at RCMP Heritage Centre Regina

Ken Mitchell's Spirits of the Trail will be presented every weekend in Regina until the end of July.

Story recounts Sitting Bull's encounter with Major James Walsh

Spirits of the Trail will be in Regina until the end of July. Other performances will also be held in Saskatchewan towns such as Lebret, Eastend and at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. (RCMP Heritage Centre)

A theatre production on horseback is underway in Regina.

Ken Mitchell's Spirits of the Trail opened last week and it will run until the end of July. The people — and the horses— were directed by Kent Allen.

"Sometimes they seem to respond faster than the actors," Allen said about the horses, laughing.

The story takes place in the 1880s and is based on War Chief of the Lakota Sioux Sitting Bull's encounter with Major James Walsh of the North-West Mounted Police.

"It's a story that hasn't been fully explored," Allen said. "And the relationship between the First Nations people and the European population has not been one of absolute clarity."

The play runs around 45 minutes and, while rooted in history, tries to impart a sense of the people of the age.

"It's about a relationship and human beings," Allen said, adding the show attempts to bring the characters to life rather than focusing on dates and events.

"The clean and cold facts don't tell the whole story," he said.

He also said he discovered the characters have many sides.

Allen said he views Sitting Bull as a heroic character, but not for his role in conflict. 

"Heroic in the sense that he thought around things. [He] observed closely and carefully and then made the best possible decision for his people in the worst possible environments," Allen said.

The play runs until the end of July and will be held Saturdays and Sundays at the RCMP Heritage Centre.

with files from CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend