Features & Essays

The Top 13 horse movies of all time

Horses have been a popular subject in movies for many years, and it’s easy to see why. With their grace, power, and beauty, horses can captivate audiences of all ages.

From thrilling adventures to heart-warming tales of friendship, the world of horse movies is vast and varied.

I’ve also put together a list of horse documentaries to watch.

Whether you’re a horse lover or just looking for a great film to watch, these movies are sure to entertain and inspire you.

So sit back, grab some popcorn, and get ready to be transported into the magical world of horses on the big screen.

National Velvet (1944)

Based on the novel by Enid Bagnold, this heartwarming classic tells the story of Velvet Brown, a young girl who dreams of owning a horse and entering him in the Grand National steeplechase. With the help of her jockey friend, Mi Taylor, she trains her horse, The Pie, and enters the race disguised as a male jockey.

The Black Stallion (1979)

Adapted from Walter Farley’s novel, this visually stunning movie follows the journey of a young boy named Alec and a wild Arabian stallion whom he befriends after they are stranded on a deserted island following a shipwreck. Together, they form an unbreakable bond and return to civilization where they embark on a remarkable racing career.

Black Beauty (1994)

Based on the classic novel by Anna Sewell, this movie follows the life of a horse named Black Beauty, from his early years as a foal to his adulthood. The story explores the many hardships and mistreatments that Black Beauty experiences as he changes hands multiple times and is subjected to various forms of abuse. Despite these struggles, Black Beauty’s gentle nature and spirit never falter.

Black Beauty (2020)

The film follows the story of a wild mustang named Black Beauty who is taken from her family and brought to a ranch where she forms a deep bond with a young girl named Jo. The film explores themes of love, loss, and resilience as Black Beauty and Jo navigate the challenges of their changing lives together. With stunning cinematography and powerful performances, “Black Beauty” is a heartfelt and visually stunning modern adaptation of a beloved classic.

The Horse Whisperer (1998)

Directed by and starring Robert Redford, this movie follows the story of a young girl named Grace and her horse Pilgrim, who are both traumatized after a tragic accident. Grace’s mother hires Tom Booker, a horse trainer with a unique gift for understanding horses, to help them heal and overcome their fears. As Tom works with Grace and Pilgrim, he also develops a deep connection with Grace’s mother, creating a touching story of love, healing, and redemption.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

An animated adventure movie about a wild stallion named Spirit who fights to keep his freedom in the American West. Spirit is captured by the US Army and must learn to navigate life in captivity while also fighting for his freedom and the freedom of his herd. The movie features stunning visuals and an unforgettable soundtrack by Bryan Adams.

Seabiscuit (2003)

Based on a true story, this movie tells the tale of an undersized racehorse named Seabiscuit, who becomes a symbol of hope for Americans during the Great Depression. The movie follows the journey of Seabiscuit, his jockey Red Pollard, and his owner Charles Howard, as they overcome personal struggles and triumph over their competitors in a series of races that captured the nation’s attention.

Hidalgo (2004)

Inspired by a true story, this movie follows the journey of Frank T. Hopkins and his mustang horse, Hidalgo, as they compete in a grueling race across the Arabian desert. Along the way, Frank and Hidalgo face many challenges, including treacherous terrain, fierce competitors, and even an attempt on their lives. This movie celebrates the bond between man and horse and the resilience of the human spirit.

Dreamer (2005)

Inspired by a true story, this movie follows the journey of a racehorse owner and her daughter, who nurse an injured horse back to health and train him to compete in a big race. The movie explores themes of hope, perseverance, and the power of believing in oneself, as the unlikely underdog horse, Sonador, overcomes the odds and becomes a symbol of inspiration for all who believe in him.

Secretariat (2002)

Based on a true story, this movie tells the story of the legendary racehorse Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973. The movie follows Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, as she fights to keep her father’s stable afloat and ultimately decides to breed her mare, Somethingroyal, with the promising stallion, Bold Ruler. The resulting foal, Secretariat, goes on to break records and capture the hearts of millions.

War Horse (2011)

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, this epic movie follows the journey of a young farm horse named Joey, who is sold to the British Army during World War I and serves on both sides of the conflict. Joey’s incredible journey takes him from the idyllic English countryside to the trenches of France, where he experiences the horrors of war and forms unexpected bonds with soldiers on both sides. This movie is a testament to the bravery of both horses and soldiers in times of war.

The Mustang (2019)

This powerful documentary takes place in a prison where inmates are given the opportunity to train wild mustangs as a form of rehabilitation. The movie shows how the inmates and horses form a deep bond, and how the experience of working with the horses can help the inmates confront their own demons and find a new sense of purpose and meaning in life.

A Sunday Horse (2015)

A Sunday Horse tells the story of a young girl named Debi who dreams of becoming a competitive show jumper. Despite a series of setbacks and obstacles, Debi never gives up on her dream and ultimately triumphs against all odds. This inspiring documentary is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of following your heart.

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