"Ride in the Death Wagon" — episode of "The Roy Rogers Show," aired April 6, 1952
Sometimes what you see isn't what you get. This shot of Roy Rogers riding Trigger on the Upper Iverson, taken from a 1952 episode of "The Roy Rogers Show," is in fact printed backward. That is, left is right and right is left, like a mirror image. That's the way they ran this scene in the episode, because they wanted to have Roy riding from left to right, or west to east. It would have cost money to have a crew go out and shoot him riding, and they already had some perfectly good footage of him riding in the other direction, so they just flipped it and used the same footage twice.
Same episode, same cowboy ... opposite direction
Here's another shot from the same episode of the show, in which Roy is shown properly oriented, in virtually the same spot. You can see from the road going up the hill in the background that they didn't bother to shoot Roy riding in both directions, they just flipped the whole shot and ran the same footage twice. Flipping the shot was just one of the tricks used to stretch the budget, and in the days before DVD, Blu-ray, mp4 — heck, even before VHS — before we had freeze-frame and slow-motion, before viewers were able to take a close look at those backgrounds — and before people like me became obsessed with every little detail of the Iverson Movie Ranch — they could get away with it.
Click here to see another example of flipping the shot, from the TV show "Adventures of Kit Carson."