The 24-year-old actor had to work with a menagerie of animals while shooting his latest movie 'Water for Elephants' but says coming face-to-face with one of the equestrian beasts left him particularly shaken.

He said: "I had to get knocked down by a horse. That was terrifying.

"It was just one split second but (it was) a fully grown stallion - I'm kind of relatively scared of horses as well."

The 'Twilight' hunk – who stars opposite Reese Witherspoon in the film - was relieved he wasn't asked to mount the horse during filming.

He added in an interview with the USA Today newspaper: "I'm just glad I didn't have to ride any of them. I'm not particularly good at horse riding."

Robert’s horse trouble wasn’t the only animal-related incident on set.

The Hollywood hunk – who plays a vet, Jacob Jankowski, who falls in love with Reese’s character, circus performer Marlena Rosenbluth, in the movie – was picked up by the mouth of one of his elephant co-stars.

He revealed: "The first time I met Thai the elephant, I just got in her mouth. It just seemed like a good place to be!

"She had these huge lips and her teeth were all the way at the back so she just carried me around!"