'Supernatural': Jared Padalecki talks horseback riding and his charitable causes

paley-jared-padalecki.jpgThere's a quote attributed to W.C. Fields: "Never work with children or animals." While "Supernatural" has had its fair share of creepy kids on set, it's relatively rare that series star Jared Padalecki works with animals (his own pets notwithstanding).

As we've seen in previews for upcoming episodes, though, Padalecki did ride a horse for the upcoming Old West themed episode. When Zap2it caught up with him at the PaleyFest event on Sunday, we had to ask him if that old Fields quote rang true in his experience.

Luckily, Padalecki has some experience with horseback riding. His wife, Genevieve Cortese Padalecki, is an accomplished equestrian - she starred on ABC Family's "Wildfire," about a horse ranch, for four seasons. "It was so fun," Padalecki says. "I love riding horses. I'm not a great, great rider - my wife is. She did a show about a horse for four years, so she's a tremendous rider. We actually just went out and she went horseback riding, and I went jogging with my dog."

He didn't have to look like an expert for the "Supernatural" episode. "I loved getting on it," he says. "Luckily, it wasn't like 'Sam jumps over a car and stops and fights!' It was like, 'Sam's not supposed to be able to ride a horse.' So Jared's not a great rider, but Jared is a better rider than Sam is, so it was fun to get on the horse and act awkward and fall off and do all the things that you see beginning riders on horses do. It was nice to, once again, just poke fun at yourself."

Padalecki is well-known for being an animal lover - most notably, he's an active and enthusiastic supporter of the Los Angeles dog shelter A Dog's Life Rescue. We mentioned to Padalecki that some of his fans at SupportSupernatural.com are in the process of raising $30,000 for the shelter, and he was visibly humbled.

"I would hate to lessen it by trying to put words to it," he says. "It's an honor. The acknowledgements of the fans and the acclaim that they've given us and the support, and to support other causes that we're involved in, it's really cool. It's a really cool life I have. I'm kind of a little emotional right now."

He looks straight at the camera with a message for the fans who have rallied behind the cause. "I love you guys," he says, blowing a kiss. He makes sure to mention fans Lindsay Warren and Heather Vitas, who have worked tirelessly to fundraise. "Thank you, thank you, thank you. Y'all mean so much to me. I really can't put into words how much I'm just very very appreciative to you guys."

Though there were rumors that Padalecki was up for movie roles during the "Supernatural" hiatus, he tells us that his plans mostly involve hanging out with "Supernatural" fans. "As of right now, we're doing a few conferences around the world," he says. He'll be in Rome, England, Germany, and Nashville. "Right now, no movies, just kind of going around meeting fans worldwide."

"He's got these conventions, so we'll get to do some really incredible trips and treks," Genevieve adds. She tells us that sometimes she's overwhelmed by how "blessed" their life is, thanks to "Supernatural" fans. "I feel embarrassed sometimes," she admits. "I can't believe that this is our life and we have this opportunity. It's crazy, and it's so cool."

Jared is equally humble. "It's like my third family," he says of his fans. "I have my family, my on-set family, and then our 'Supernatural' family, so I love them. My 'Supernatural' family's the biggest and strongest, so I love 'em."

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