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30 Best Horse Movies

In honor of Horse Illustrated's 30th anniversary in 2006, we compiled 30 of our favorite horse movies.

By Horse Illustrated Staff | Originally Posted Dec. 2006; Updated Dec. 2014

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Here are 30 great horse movies.

Although some horse people won’t admit it, a perfect night is spent in front of the television watching horse movies. Our favorites vary in terms of technical merit, but they’re all loved for the simple reason that they tell good stories. Did we miss your favorite film? Click "Submit a Comment" at the end of this article and share your picks for best horse flicks.


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For 30 great horse songs, click here.


Horse Movie 30: Sylvester Sylvester
In search of a hefty paycheck, cowgirl Melissa Gilbert enlists a former cavalryman to help her win a prestigious three-day event with her favorite bronco.

Horse Movie 28: Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron
As a wild stallion travels across the frontiers of the Old West, he be friends a young human and finds true love with a mare.

Horse Movie 26: The Silver Stallion: King of the Wild Brumbies The Silver Stallion: King of the Wild Brumbies
Russell Crowe plays a part in this movie about an Australian wild horse and the impact he has on a rural family.

Horse Movie 24: Seabiscuit Seabiscuit
Based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, this true story tells of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of the nation as well.

Horse Movie 22: National Velvet National Velvet
Liz Taylor, as Velvet Brown, lives the dream we all had as children—win a horse in a lottery and turn him into a champion. In this case, young Velvet disguises herself as a boy and wins England’s famous Grand National steeplechase on her beloved Pie.

Horse Movie 20: A Man from Snowy River The Man From Snowy River 
An entertaining and visually stunning Australian western about a born horseman who single-handedly rounds up a herd of wild horses and pursues a rich rancher’s daughter.

Horse Movie 18: Ladyhawke Ladyhawke
While not strictly about horses, this fantasy film stars a fabulous Friesian, who became the heartthrob of many horse people when the movie was released in 1985.

Horse Movie 16: International Velvet International Velvet
This is a sequel of sorts to "National Velvet.” A family tragedy brings Velvet’s niece, Sarah, to England. Sarah joins forces with a descendant of the great Pie and eventually makes the British three-day event team where she finds Olympic glory and true love.

Horse Movie 14: The Horsemasters The Horsemasters
Enthusiastic equestrians work long and hard to earn British Horse Society certification.

Horse Movie 12: Hidalgo Hildalgo
Set in 1890, this is the story of a Pony Express courier (Viggo Mortensen) who travels to Arabia to compete with his horse, Hidalgo, in a dangerous race for a big prize.

Horse Movie 10: The Electric Horseman The Electric Horseman
In his pre-whispering days, Robert Redford starred in this story about a former rodeo cowboy who abandons the Las Vegas stage and takes off into the desert astride a former Derby winner.

Horse Movie 8: A Day at the Races A Day at the Races
The Marx Brothers go to the races. Enough said.

Horse Movie 6: Champions Champions
This testament to the strength of the human spirit is based on the life of English steeplechase jockey Bob Champion who was stricken with cancer at the age of 31 but never wavered in his dream of winning the Grand National.

Horse Movie 4: The Black Stallion Returns The Black Stallion Returns
In this sequel to "The Black Stallion,”Alec Ramsey travels to the Middle East to rescue his kidnapped horse.

Horse Movie 2: Black Beauty Black Beauty
Several versions have been created based on Anna Sewell’s classic book. Beauty tells his own story about leaving his wonderful first home and being passed through indifferent and abusive owners before finally being reunited with the boy he loved.

Horse Movie 29: The Story of Seabiscuit The Story of Seabiscuit
The 1949 film version of the unlikely champion, complete with a perfect Hollywood ending. Seabiscuit, a colt no one believes in, rises from the claiming ranks to become one of most successful racehorses of the 1930s.

Horse Movie 27: Something To Talk About Something to Talk About
Julia Roberts stars as Grace, a Southern woman who discovers that her husband has been unfaithful.  Although moderately funny, the movie makes our list for its horsey scenes. Grace’s father breeds show horses and her daughter rides.

Horse Movie 25: Sherger Shergar
A true tale about the Irish Thoroughbred who was kidnapped by the IRA and never seen again.

Horse Movie 23: Phar Lap Phar Lap
This movie chronicles the life of the much-loved Australian racehorse Phar Lap, who raced to stardom in the 1930s, and the gentle groom who loved him. Despite having to carry increasing amounts of weight, the horse is unbeatable.  Phar Lap’s tale ends tragically when he dies under mysterious circumstances soon after winning his most important race—the Agua Caliente Handicap in Mexico.

Horse Movie 21: Miracle of the White Stallions Miracle of the White Stallions
During World War II, the Lipizzan Stallions of the famous Spanish Riding School were in danger of being destroyed. They are rescued by General George Patton and the U.S. Army. 

Horse Movie 19: Let It Ride Let It Ride
A cab driver learns about a horse race that’s going to be fixed. Succumbing to the temptation, he wins big, then bets it all on a horse named Hot to Trot.

Horse Movie 17: Into the West Into the West
Two gypsy boys growing up in poverty in Dublin, Ireland, are led on an adventure into the Connemara by a mysterious white horse.

Horse Movie 15: The Horsewhisperer The Horse Whisperer
This romance movie centers on the relationship between a workaholic mother, an injured daughter, a frightened horse and the "horse whisperer” who touches their lives.

Horse Movie 13: The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit
A businessman uses a show horse ridden by his daughter as a advertising promotion for a stomach-ailment remedy.

Horse Movie 11: Flicka Flicka
Starring country singing legend Tim McGraw, this is a story of how a young girl claims a wild horse as her own. Such gallantry proves to the girl’s father (McGraw) that she is capable of one day taking over the family ranch.

Horse Movie 9: Dreamer Dreamer
Cale Crane (played by young Dakota Fanning) catalyzes the rescue and rehabilitation of Sonador, a race horse with a broken leg.

Horse Movie 7: Danny Danny
A young girl inherits a cute gray pony named Danny who is discarded by the spoiled daughter of a barn owner. She rehabilitates the pony from an injury and is eventually champion at the big show.

Horse Movie 5: Casey's Shadow Casey's Shadow
A young boy and his Quarter-Horse-training father raise and train a foal that takes them all the way to the All American Quarter Horse Futurity.

Horse Movie 3: The Black Stallion The Black Stallion
Based on the Walter Farley children’s book of the same name, The Black Stallion is a film about a young boy who, after surviving a shipwreck, is stranded on an island with a mysterious black horse. The pair form a powerful bond that helps them, once rescued, to race against and beat the fastest horses in the country.

Horse Movie 1: All the Pretty Horses All the Pretty Horses
A coming-of-age tale based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Young Texas rancher John Grady Cole, played by Matt Damon, gets more adventure than he can handle when he heads to Mexico after the death of his father.

Want to find out more about horse movies? Here are more resources on horses in film:

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As a lifelong horse-crazy person, I feel qualified to be a critic of riders in TV shows, movies and advertisements, and I always wonder about the training that happens behind the scenes.
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30 Best Horse Movies

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Diane    Florence, AL

2/25/2018 1:14:44 AM

Old movies are cool! I enjoyed watching “GLORY” “SNOWFIRE. Glory is about a Thoroughbred racehorse, and a young woman who believes in her potential. Kentucky is about a wealthy British family and their beautiful horses, and Snowfire is about a wild albino stallion that a little girl falls in love with. Isn’t that the way the story always goes?

Charles    Friendswood, TX

8/12/2017 3:51:13 PM

I really enjoyed War Horse also.

Alicia Morgan    Uniontown,, OH

6/15/2017 10:23:06 AM

I would think that the 1940 movie, "Florian" starring Robert Young would be included somewhere on the list.

Tessa    International

5/22/2017 5:25:19 AM

What about the 1985 film called 'Sylvester' ?

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