Great Horse Movies

 I think I was born to love horses! When I was a kid, that's all I thought about. Every Christmas and birthday, I asked for horse stuff. Mainly, I asked for my own horse, but this wish was difficult for my parents to fulfill because we lived in town. I did finally get my own horse, to be followed by numerous others, but I'll never forget the powerful yearning I had as a young girl to have my very own equine.

As a horse lover, I've always loved movies about horses, too. I'm sure I've seen just about every horse flick ever made - at least the ones in English! Below are ten of my all-time favorite horse movies:

The Silver Stallion

 This movie is about wild horses in Australia, called “brumbies.” The story is told of Thowra, a beautiful colt that grows up to be the lead stallion of a brumby herd. One man, played by Russell Crowe, becomes obsessed with catching Thowra and breaking him. Viewers will love the panoramic views of the highlands of Australia and the spirited herds of brumbies and will certainly gain empathy for the plight of the wild horses.

The Man from Snowy River

 This is another film set in the rugged Australian high country. It’s full of action, romance, and glorious scenery. The story is about a ranch owner, tough cowboys, the rancher’s beautiful daughter, and a young frontiersman set out to prove himself and save his land. The movie stars Tom Burlinson, Kirk Douglas, Sigrid Thornton, and Jack Thompson.

 

Flicka

 This stars Tim McGraw and Maria Bello and is based on the bestselling novel by Mary O’Hara. Young Katy, played by Alison Lohman, is filled with teen angst. After she befriends and tames a wild horse, against the wishes of her parents, she “finds herself” and bridges the chasm with her dad. This is a wonderful family movie.

The Horse Whisperer

 

Starring Robert Redford, Scarlett Johansson, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Sam Neil, this is the story of of horse that is severely injured and loses its trust in humans. When the owners take him to trainer who has a special gift with horses, a miraculous recovery ensues. Based on the equine training methods of natural horsemanship, the film includes sweeping scenery of Montana.

 

Seabiscuit

 This is based on the true story of Seabiscuit, an underdog colt who goes on to become the most famous horse in the world during his lifetime, with the help of other “misfits” – his trainer, owner, and jockey. The movie stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, and Cameron Bowen. This is definitely a must-see for any horse lover or history aficionado.

National Velvet

Velvet Brown, played by a young Elizabeth Taylor, is in love with horses. When she acquires The Pie, she begins to dream of riding in the Grand National Steeplechase. An unlikely trainer, played by Mickey Rooney, helps her achieve her dreams. In order to ride Pie in the race, however, Velvet must assume the disguise of a male jockey. The 1945 film won two Oscars and is a definite classic!

 

International Velvet

 This wonderful movie stars Tatum O’Neal as a young girl who feels totally out of place after the death of her parents. She moves to England to live with her aunt and her boyfriend. After training her horse, she becomes part of the Olympic Equestrian Team and competes. The movie includes beautiful scenery of the English countryside and rugged coast. The all star cast includes Christopher Plummer, Anthony Hopkins, and Nanette Newman.

Misty

This is an old 1961 classic, based on the beloved books by Marguerite Henry. It tells the story of the Bebee children who go to live with their grandparents on Chincoteague Island. Scenery of the islands and information about the feral island horses and Pony Penning Day are included. The film stars David Ladd, Arthur O’Connell, and Pam Smith.

Black Beauty

 

Based on the favorite Anna Sewell novel, this is the best of all the Black Beauty movies, in my opinion, because it sticks the closest to the novel. Beauty tells the story of its life, straight “from the horse’s mouth,” so to speak. Parts of this movie are very sad, but there’s a happy ending – at least for Beauty. The stars are Sean Bean, David Thewlis, and Jim Carter.

 

The Black Stallion

 This stars Kelly Reno and Mickey Rooney and is based on the novel by Walter Farley.  The horse is played by a black Arabian stallion named Cass Ole. When a boy is shipwrecked on a deserted island, he befriends a black stallion. Once the boy and horse are rescued, they become successful in horse racing. Beautiful scenery in this film!

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Comments 45 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

uh oh - I LIVE in horse country and I have a very small yard albeit I have a LOT of room for my malamutes to run - on decks and up and down and all that - BUT - I SO WANT A HORSE....I love horses and used to go out riding in my high school days much to my friends' dismay in southern California - NOT horse country. I keep trying to talk Baaaaubbbb into buying me a horse! We have adoption here for wild mustangs...I can so see it - so what if I'm old - so what if I'm not a skinny minnie anymore....and so what if I have a herniated disc in my back. If I can ride scooters with malamutes or attempt to roller blade with them, I can certainly ride a dang horse, right? Great hub - it makes me drool for having a horse though. I need to have a bigger spread (not on my body but in the wide open spaces) and I need to have a horse, hook up my malamutes and I'd be in heaven....I'd even pull Bob (baaauuuuub) in the wagon behind me! Good grief - does the man not see I am a multi-tasker to the max? Merry Christmas - something else we have in common - sigh...horses...


Calling Crow 6 years ago

Yay! I have loved and been around horses almost all my life. We used to bare-back along the Rio Grande when I was a kid. Thanks for the reminder! ;)

Oh, and love the pics!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Oh, you gotta get a horse, chica! Tennessee Walkers, Paso Finos, and other breeds with smooth gaits are great for bad backs. I haven't ridden in four years, but I have handled equines since. Horses are awesome!! So glad you stopped by!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Why'd you quit riding, Crow? thanks for reading!


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

i too, have always wanted my own horse...I used to go patchwork farms, muck out the the rich cheerleader type girls stalls just for the gift of half an hour at the end of the day on back of a horse!! one one day one day one day oh please god one day


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I'm sorry. You need a horse, too, RN! They're super cheap right now, so it would be a good time to buy one. Thanks for reading!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Hello, habee, and thank you for your lovely hub. As you know, I love horses and join RN prayers - one day one day ..


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

I have a friend with a couple of ponies who is horse barmy. Good films in this hub


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good morning, HH and Ethel! So nice to have coffee with you!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

my fave Seabiscuit. Thanks for Sharing.


David Russell 6 years ago

Growinng up in Brooklyn, you'd think that eschewed any chane of riding a horse. But, no, in our huge Prospect Park there were trails and just outside the park a stable where horses could be rented by the hour. So, there we were, 13 and 14 year old high schoolers "bouncing" our way around the park, being COOL. Our egos were high, but when we dismounted out rumps hung low. Our reward was meeting a riding class of clasy ladies. David Russell


chafiq555 profile image

chafiq555 6 years ago from Gatlinburg

I have always loved horses and I think a horse is the most beautiful animal in the world.My parents used to own a farm house and It was the highlight of my vacation when I get to ride the horse. I would love to own a farm house with lots of horses.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Tams! I love it, too! Thanks for reading.

David, that's wonderful - I'm glad you had the opportunity to ride. Glad you stopped by!

Chaf, that was always my dream, too, and luckily, it came true for me. Well, we didn't have a bunch of horses, but at any one time we would always have 4-6 or so. That was enough to keep us all in the saddle! Thanks for reading.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

What an awesome hub, habee. I really enjoyed reading this, as I've seen half of the movies you've listed. I'm going to have to watch the other half now! Thank you.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hey there, Dohn! They're all winners for us "horsey" folks! Good to see ya!


BEAUTYBABE profile image

BEAUTYBABE 6 years ago from QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

Habee Hi,

I have to say that "The Man from Snowy River" has always been close to my heart because I am from Aussie Land. However, these are all lovely movies, "Black Beauty" was my favourite as a little girl, love "Seabiscuit" as well. great hub love BB


Vanne Way 6 years ago

There is nothing any more freeing or invigorating than to ride a horse. It is probably the only time in my life when I have felt the least little bit graceful. If I might add a classic that is not in film but on pages-King of the Wind. An absolute must read! I am 51 years old and still cry when I read the end of it. Please check it out!


johnnyco12 profile image

johnnyco12 6 years ago from Pascagoula, Ms

Part of my theraphy when I came home from shriners hospital at 11 yrs old was to spend 3 hrs a day on horseback. Because of this I developed a deep love for these very intellegent creatures. Especially for "Peaches" my fat lil welch pony who aided so much in my recovery. Great hub, love ya Johnny


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, BB. Snowy River was a beautiful flick! Glad you stopped by.

Hi, Vanne. I've never read that novel, but I'll try to find it. Thanks for reading!

Hey there, Johnny! I had a Welsh pony named Red. He was a lot of fun! Glad you had a good experience with horses!


bat115 profile image

bat115 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

The Man from Snowy River is the perfect "horse movie" for those macho men ashamed to say they like "Horse movies". heh. The newer Seabiscuit is as well, I assume.

Never heard of Silver Stallion with Russell Crowe. I am going to track that one down. Thanks for writing this!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Yep, even my tough hubby liked Snowy River! lol. Thanks for reading, Bat.


Calling Crow 6 years ago

Sorry so long, lol!

We left New Mexico and there weren't many horses around while I was growing up in Las Vegas. Moved just outside of Vegas and found an elderly lady who let a friend and I ride in exchange for cleaning up, but she passed away after only about 6 months and her children sold the property and the horses. Since then I haven't met many people who even like horses, let-alone have any.

But I still look forward to having my own and teaching my girls, someday.


Nemingha profile image

Nemingha 6 years ago

I can't find anything to disagree with in this list!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good for you, CC. there's a special bond between girls and horses.

LOL! Thanks, Nemi!


Tiffany Martin 6 years ago

BTW - Cass ole, aka The Black Stallion, wasn't entirely black. He had white markings that they had to use black shoe polish to cover for the movie. I have pictures of him "unpainted" and he is just as sharp looking as he is all black....just an interesting fact I think :)


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Tiffany. I knew that about Cass, and I actually thought he looked better with the white markings! Beautiful animal, either way. Thanks for reading!


horsecrazyheidi profile image

horsecrazyheidi 6 years ago from good old Arkansas

I live and breath horses. You and me are out of the same mold. Great hub seen and loved everyone of them movies.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

That's great, Heidi! I've written sever hubs about horses.


bhaskar_c profile image

bhaskar_c 6 years ago from Bangalore

Its really good... You have nice collections too.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks a bunch for reading!


LIndbergh 6 years ago

Hi, my favorites too! You might really enjoy "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit"... A classic Disney movie, funny too. Dean Jones, Suzie Clemens, Kurt Russell. 1968, I think.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Lindbergh, I love that old movie! I had forgotten all about it. Thanks!


Anne Coyle profile image

Anne Coyle 6 years ago from Bronxville, NY

What a great list of horse movies -- makes me want to walk away from my desk and put on my riding breeches right now! I especially love that you included modern-day classics as well as the traditional movies we all love. I'll never forget seeing Black Beauty for the first time, but I have to say watching Flicka with my daughter is a wonderful memory too!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for your comment, Anne!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

WOW this is a fantastic review of great horse movies and the photos are stunning.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks a bunch, Katie!


Movie Fan 6 years ago

Hi the Horse Whisperer is the only one I haven't seen - looks good. Watched a great documentary the other day about the kidnapping of the greatest race horse ever - Shergar - someone should make a movie of this. Great choice thanks.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Wow, I wish someone would make a movie about Shergar! Thanks for visiting!


irtkris profile image

irtkris 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

You missed one of my favorites. It is awesome, but often overlooked. Sylvester, starring Melissa Gilbert.

great hub.


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for the horse movie tip! I haven't seen Sylvester. Don't know how I missed it.


irtkris profile image

irtkris 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

It's an older movie (mid 80's?) about 3-day eventing. There are very few movies based on this discipline. As a matter of fact it may be the only one. I might have to look into that now. Very good movie though. But hard to find now.


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Irthkris, I'll have to check it out! Another horse movie about eventing (I think) is International Velvet. Good movie!


colleen 4 years ago

hello, I read with interest all you horse movies. But you have seemed to have missed one that I have seen. Its the movie of PHAR LAP, 1983. If you like Snowy River, you are sure to like this. It has the same guy in it.. hope you get the chance to view it. thanks...Jan, 2012..


funho1 4 years ago

hello,just to let you know Shegar has been released on DVD.I have 64 horse DVD's some of which you have mentioned.I also have most of the Dick Francis books which are a good read.(Some stories are on dvd.)


Kamlesh 3 years ago

Wow Judy, I am so sorry to hear about Baja and his cancer. This makes me so sad. I know for a FACT that you being there for him and still tratnieg him as a horse and friend will make him spend the time he has left on earth the best he could spend anywhere. You are so right, I often take for granted the gifts God has given me to take care of and I do not want to do that. Everyday, every person and animal I hold dear to me, should be such a joy. Thank you for reminding me. I am proud to be a part of the Heart of Tucson because it makes me remember that life is precious and love is forgiving. So many hurt horses that I have seen in my last month or so go through Heart, have brought inspiration and renewed HOPE AND FAITH in life. I call them Miracles because if it wasn't for HEART, these animals would have died. Baja is giving us his best and we are giving all of the rescues our best. THAT is what life is all about. Heart gives comfort, love and healing to EVERYONE involved. Thank you Domino, Tamale, Baja and the rest of ya all for giving us love, comfort and healing too! We love and cherish you all. P.S. Judy, thanks for making me cry so early in the morning, but it is a good cry, a good reminder to remember how much I can love. Keep it up : ) And as for Digalow and my first pony Fantasy, they are both proud that we are out there saving their friends They are probably saying keep it up moms, don't give up One horse at a time makes a GREAT difference!

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