Since the golden days of American westerns, horses have played a significant role in the film world, their athletic capabilities and stunning physiques making them naturals for the big screen.
With so many movies to choose from, it’s hard for horse lovers to know where to start, so here are some top flicks that’ll warm the hearts of all equine lovers.
This movie simply has to go at the top of the pile because it has the two vital elements that make any motion picture great: horses and Jeff Bridges.
The man affectionately known by many as The Dude played the owner of one of the most famous racehorses to have ever set hoof on a racetrack.
The real-life events the movie is based on are etched in horseracing folklore, as the runt of a stable yard becomes one of the most iconic steeds. Few racing aficionados believe that the likes of Seabiscuit will be seen again, but there are plenty of racing tipsters keeping an eye out all the same.
Caption: Horses have been the centerpieces of so many iconic movie scenes
The Lone Ranger
A bond between The Lone Ranger and his white steed, Silver, was ensured when the wandering do-gooder saved the horse from an angry buffalo. From then on, they became an unbeatable team, both on television screens and at the box office.
The original movie was something of a utopian view of what America was and would come to be, with the ranger and Silver managing to make peace between native Indians, white settlers, and a greedy businessman.
If only there had been more lone rangers around back in the day!
Another movie about colonization is Indian Horse, a movie which despite its name has nothing to do with horses and everything to do with ice hockey. It tells a story of a native Indian called Saul Indian Horse who battles the system to make a life for himself in a new world that his ancestors saw no future in.
Although the movie features no horses, its protagonist defines the qualities of a downtrodden and yet resilient stallion, willing to do whatever it takes to gallop to freedom. That is still a darn good movie in our book.
Take your pick among any of the Indiana Jones movies and as soon as Harrison Ford, or his stunt double, come into contact with a horse, magic ensues.
One of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history is when Indy tries to outflank a tank on horseback while his father, played by Sean Connery, is inside the steel beast trying to escape the clutches of the Nazis.
Nothing quite beats Indiana Jones tailing it out of Petra at full gallop, as his corrupted enemies perish in the collapsed temple behind him. If you have read this far, you are probably humming the theme tune by now.
All the Pretty Horses
Poor casting and execution ultimately let this movie down, which is a shame because Cormac McCarthy is one of the best writers of horse stories there has ever been. Just take a look at some pages of the second book in his Border Trilogy series entitled The Crossing, which also incidentally pits horses against buffalo.
All that said, “All the Pretty Horses” and “No Country for Old Men” are both worth a watch for anyone who loves the feel of the wild west but with a dash of modernity thrown in.
America had Seabiscuit, the UK had Red Rum and Australia had Phar Lap, a racehorse who won an incredible 37 career races despite having been initially written off by his trainer.
The movie was a big hit in Australia but before its breakout release in the US, an American studio made wholesale cuts and edits, eventually ruining any chance the movie had of charming the American viewers, which gives you all the more reason to watch the original, to find out what you have been missing.