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The 28 Best Movies About Horses: Equine Stars in Film

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Horses have long galloped through the heart of cinema, leaving lasting imprints on our souls. For many of us, these films evoke memories of childhood, moments of adventure, or even dreams of galloping free.

I’ve crafted a list that dives into these mesmerizing movies about horses. From childhood classics to epic dramas, let’s see if your favorite horse movie has made the cut. Ready for a trip down memory lane?

Best Kids Movies About Horses

Every child dreams of adventure, freedom, and the simple joy of bonding with a loyal animal companion. Films that center on horses tap into these universal yearnings, allowing youngsters to ride alongside brave equines on journeys of discovery and resilience.

Here are some standout horse movies that have etched their way into the hearts of countless children, offering tales of courage, friendship, and the unbeatable spirit of both horse and rider.


Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

In this enchanting animated film, we’re introduced to Spirit, a wild stallion roaming the vast American frontier. But it’s more than just a tale of a horse; it’s a story of resistance, friendship, and the quest for freedom.

As Spirit navigates the challenges of captivity and yearns to be free, audiences, young and old, are reminded of the indomitable will that exists in every living being. With soaring music and evocative animation, “Spirit” encapsulates the essence of wildness and the spirit of adventure.

black beauty

Black Beauty

A timeless narrative that has been adapted multiple times over the decades, “Black Beauty” offers a unique perspective: that of the horse itself. We journey with Black Beauty through his life, from his early days in the English countryside to the bustling streets of London, experiencing the highs of tender care and the lows of cruel treatment.

This poignant tale emphasizes empathy, kindness, and the enduring bond between humans and animals. It’s a heartwarming story that reinforces the idea that every creature deserves love and respect.



“Dreamer” is a testament to unwavering hope and the boundless dreams of youth. Centered on a young girl named Cale and a racehorse named Sonador, the movie beautifully unravels their intertwined destinies.

After a tragic injury threatens Sonador’s racing career, Cale’s indefatigable spirit and belief breathe new life into the horse’s journey, both on and off the track. Set against the backdrop of horse racing, this adventure family film is a heartening portrayal of determination, family bonds, and the transformative power of belief.

Clip from National Velvet, one of many movies about horses.
National Velvet

Best Family Movies About Horses

Horses have a unique way of bringing families together, teaching lessons of unity, trust, and understanding. Family-oriented horse films often resonate across generations, combining elements of drama, adventure, and heartwarming bonds.

The following are three films that have captured the essence of family and the enduring spirit of horses, making them must-watches for every family movie night.

national velvet

National Velvet

An enduring classic, “National Velvet” stars a young Elizabeth Taylor as Velvet Brown, a passionate girl with big dreams. When Velvet wins a spirited horse in a village lottery, she decides to train him for the most prestigious horse racing event in England, the Grand National Steeplechase.

With the help of a former jockey, their journey together is filled with determination, challenges, and unwavering ambition. This movie emphasizes the importance of believing in oneself and showcases the boundless potential that lies within every dreamer.

horse whisperer

The Horse Whisperer

Robert Redford takes center stage in “The Horse Whisperer” as Tom Booker, a man with an extraordinary gift to understand and heal troubled horses. When a tragic accident befalls a young girl named Grace and her horse Pilgrim, Grace’s desperate mother seeks out Tom’s unique skills.

The film elegantly delves into the intricate tapestry of human relationships, the healing power of nature, and the silent language of trust that exists between man and beast. It’s a touching story that speaks to the heart, emphasizing recovery, understanding, and new beginnings.

flicka horse


A modern adaptation of the beloved novel “My Friend Flicka,” this film tells the story of Katy McLaughlin, a teenager with a fierce love for a wild Mustang named Flicka. The movie delves deep into the challenges of growing up, the strains and strengths of family bonds, and the profound connection between a girl and her horse.

Set against the backdrop of a ranch, “Flicka” is a testament to perseverance, understanding one’s identity, and the transformative power of friendship. It’s a beautiful reminder that wild spirits cannot be tamed and that love knows no bounds.

Best Epic Horse Movies

Epic horse movies have the power to transport audiences to vast landscapes, immerse them in grand tales of adventure, and introduce them to heroes and horses that defy the odds. These adventure drama films, with their sweeping cinematography and larger-than-life narratives, are not just stories about horses, but they’re also about the indomitable human spirit and the challenges and triumphs of life.

Here are three cinematic masterpieces that have set the bar high in this genre.

war horse

War Horse

Directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg, “War Horse” is a cinematic marvel that narrates the powerful bond between a young man named Albert and his horse, Joey. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of World War I, Joey is sold to the cavalry and thrust into the midst of battle, crossing paths with different owners and experiencing the horrors of war.

Throughout the movie, Albert’s relentless quest to reunite with his beloved horse takes center stage. This gripping tale showcases the brutality of war, the depths of human kindness, and the enduring bond that love creates.

hidalgo horse


Based on the incredible true story of Frank Hopkins and his Mustang Hidalgo, this movie takes viewers on an exhilarating ride through the world’s most grueling endurance race – a 3,000-mile journey across the Arabian desert.

As the underdogs face purebred Arabian horses, the duo confronts not only the harsh desert elements but also prejudice and cultural clashes. “Hidalgo” is a thrilling celebration of perseverance, the spirit of competition, and the unique bond between a man and his loyal horse.

snowy river

The Man from Snowy River

An Australian classic, “The Man from Snowy River” is a tale of love, loss, and daring horsemanship set against the stunning backdrop of the Australian high country. When young rancher Jim Craig’s father dies, he strives to prove himself worthy of his inheritance and the love of a wealthy rancher’s daughter.

The film’s iconic downhill ride remains one of cinema’s most breathtaking horse stunts. Beyond its thrilling equestrian scenes, this movie beautifully captures themes of honor, legacy, and the age-old tussle between tradition and modernity.

Picture of Trigger, one of the most famous horses in movies.
born1945, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Best Western Horse Movies

Western movies have long held a fascination for audiences worldwide, capturing the spirit of the frontier, the challenges of the wild, and the legends that were born from it. Horses play a central role in these tales, often becoming as iconic as their human counterparts.

Here are three standout films where horses are at the forefront of the narrative, taking us on unforgettable journeys through the rugged landscapes of the West.

electric horseman

The Electric Horseman

Robert Redford delivers a captivating performance as a former rodeo champion who, feeling trapped by the commercialism of his profession, embarks on a brave journey to free his prized horse.

Against the vast, picturesque landscapes of America, the movie masterfully blends themes of freedom, ethics, and the inevitable clash between old values and modern demands.

butch cassidy

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

This ageless Western classic trails the exciting lives of two outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, masterfully portrayed by Paul Newman and Robert Redford. As they evade relentless law enforcers, their dexterity on horseback and the bonds with their steeds play a pivotal role. The movie serves as much as a testament to their camaraderie as to their thrilling escapades on horseback.

all pretty horses

All The Pretty Horses

Adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel, “All The Pretty Horses” is a coming-of-age tale set in the post-World War II era. It follows the journey of young John Grady Cole, who, after being displaced from his Texas home, ventures into Mexico with his friend.

Amidst love, loss, and adventure, the bond between man and horse remains a steadfast theme. The sweeping landscapes, combined with the raw, emotive storytelling, make this film a Western classic.

From epic chases to soul-searching journeys, these Westerns beautifully encapsulate the enduring relationship between man, horse, and the untamed West.

Best Competition Horse Movies

Equestrian disciplines, from the elegance of dressage to the thrilling leaps in showjumping, have inspired a myriad of films that dive deep into the world of competitive horse riding. These films capture not only the intricate techniques and skills required in each discipline but also the raw emotions, dedication, and deep bonds formed between rider and horse.

Here’s a curated list of movies that beautifully showcase various facets of equestrian competition:

international velvet

International Velvet

Picking up where “National Velvet” left off, this sequel traces the journey of Velvet’s niece, Sarah, who inherits her aunt’s love for horses. With her heart set on eventing, one of the most challenging equestrian disciplines, the movie beautifully captures the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of competing at an international level.



In a tale of grit, ambition, and sheer will, a young woman dreams of making it big in the world of three-day eventing. When she pairs up with Sylvester, a horse dismissed by many as just a stray, their combined determination and spirit make for an inspiring movie. Their journey is a testament to the idea that, with passion and dedication, any obstacle can be overcome.

wild horse wild

Wild Horse, Wild Ride

This gripping documentary takes audiences on a journey where riders have just 100 days to tame wild mustangs. As the days count down to the annual competition, viewers get an intimate look at the bonds that form between humans and horses and the incredible transformation that these mustangs undergo. It’s a raw, unfiltered portrayal of both the challenges and magic of horse training.

Best Horse Racing Movies

The world of horse racing is filled with exhilarating speed, intense competition, and heartwarming underdog stories. It’s a setting where legends are born; dreams are achieved, and occasionally, where comedies play out amidst the high stakes.

These films transport us to the racetrack, offering a glimpse into the lives of jockeys, trainers, and the magnificent steeds they ride. Dive into these tales of determination, spirit, and the pursuit of glory.



Against all odds, a small, overlooked horse named Seabiscuit rose to become a symbol of hope during the Great Depression. This film captures the magic of the underdog, focusing on the trio that believed in him: a jockey, a trainer, and an entrepreneur. Their collective journey is a testament to resilience, belief, and the transformative power of sport.



Disney Studios chronicles the awe-inspiring life of the racehorse that clinched the Triple Crown in 1973, “Secretariat” is a tribute to one of the most remarkable feats in horse racing. More than just a sports film, it delves into the challenges faced by Penny Chenery, the determined woman who stood behind Secretariat’s illustrious career.

The Cup

Based on true events, “The Cup” is a touching tale of a jockey’s unyielding ambition to win the prestigious Melbourne Cup. It masterfully blends the thrill of horse racing with the emotional journey of a man grappling with personal tragedy, proving that sometimes, the hardest battles are fought off the racetrack.

Phar Lap

An iconic name in the world of horse racing, Phar Lap is synonymous with excellence in Australian sport. The film captures the incredible journey of this champion racehorse and the challenges and mysteries surrounding his career, making it a must-watch for both history buffs and horse racing enthusiasts.

Let It Ride

Taking a lighter approach to the world of horse racing, “Let It Ride” is a comedic romp that delves into the adventures of a habitual gambler having the luckiest day of his life. With sharp wit, amusing scenarios, and a look into the quirky subculture of horse betting, it’s a delightful departure from the more intense narratives of the sport.

Best Dramatic Takes on Horses

Horses, with their majestic beauty and spirited nature, have often been the focal point in storytelling, effortlessly bridging the gap between man and nature. These cinematic horse movies are not just about the animals but about the profound impact they have on the humans they connect with.

Their stories intertwine with ours, revealing our vulnerabilities, ambitions, and deepest emotions. Dive into these dramatic tales that showcase the profound relationships between humans and their equine companions.

lean pete

Lean on Pete

Set against the backdrop of the American West, “Lean on Pete” is a poignant exploration of loneliness, friendship, and survival. As we follow a young boy and a waning racehorse, their shared journey becomes a heart-wrenching testament to the lengths one will go to find a place they can call home. The film beautifully captures the essence of fleeting youth and the solace found in unexpected friendships.

The Mustang

Deeply moving and powerfully acted, “The Mustang” narrates a tale of second chances. When a violent convict is introduced to a wild Mustang as part of a rehabilitation program, what ensues is an extraordinary story of redemption and transformation. As man and horse begin to train together, the barriers built by pain and regret start to crumble, revealing the healing power of connection.

Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken

Based on a true story from the Great Depression era, “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” tells the riveting tale of Sonora Webster, a young girl with dreams bigger than the world’s constraints. Joining a show that features diving horses, her bond with her horse and their breathtaking performances become legendary. But it’s her indomitable spirit, even in the face of tragedy, that truly captivates and inspires.

Dramatic films about horses often delve deep into the human psyche, unraveling complex emotions and narratives. These selections highlight the unparalleled bond between humans and horses and how these majestic creatures can change, heal, and inspire us in ways beyond imagination.

Best Historical and Biographical Films about Horses

Horses have always played an integral role in shaping history, sports, and culture. Their stories, along with those of their riders, trainers, and caregivers, are often larger than life, filled with triumphs, tribulations, and unexpected turns.

The world of cinema has captured many of these true tales, giving audiences a chance to relive the remarkable journeys of both horses and humans. Here are some of the most riveting biographical and historical horse movies that shed light on these fascinating narratives.

50 1

50 to 1

In a world dominated by thoroughbreds with royal pedigrees and million-dollar price tags comes “50 to 1”, the story of an unassuming horse named Mine That Bird. This movie beautifully chronicles the unlikely and inspiring journey of this underdog, whose 50-1 odds only heightened the shock of his unexpected victory.

Beyond just the racetrack, the movie also delves into the lives of the eclectic team behind this champion, proving that sometimes, heart and determination can outweigh any odds.

Ride Like a Girl

Breaking barriers and shattering ceilings, “Ride Like a Girl” is the compelling tale of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to clinch victory at the Melbourne Cup. The movie doesn’t merely focus on the race but delves deep into Michelle’s life, struggles, and the relentless spirit that drove her to defy conventions. It’s an empowering testament to perseverance, family, and challenging societal norms.

Walk, Ride, Rodeo

This inspiring film is based on the true story of Amberley Snyder, a nationally ranked rodeo barrel racer who faced a life-altering car accident at just 19. The tragic event left her paralyzed from the waist down. However, Amberley’s passion for life and rodeo was undeterred.

The biography drama beautifully encapsulates her incredible journey back into the competitive rodeo scene, despite the daunting challenges of her physical condition. Beyond the physical challenges, Amberley’s story dives into the emotional and psychological journey of confronting such a dramatic change in life circumstances.

Through sheer determination, the unwavering support of her family, and her deep connection with her horse, Amberley showcases that it’s not just about getting back on the horse but also about how you ride the journey that life presents.

Picture of racehorses in a barn.


The relationship between humans and horses is an age-old tapestry woven with threads of mutual respect, trust, and shared emotions. Throughout history, these magnificent animals have stood beside us as companions, workers, and even warriors.

Their graceful gallops, undying loyalty, and expressive eyes have not only captivated our hearts but have also found a profound place in the world of cinema. Horses in movies include equine stories that are timeless, spanning various genres, cultures, and eras.

Their appeal isn’t merely in their portrayal of horses, but in the myriad human experiences and emotions they bring to the forefront. Whether it’s the resilience shown in overcoming challenges, the joy of unexpected victories, or the heartbreak of loss, these narratives resonate deeply, reflecting our own life experiences.

As we conclude this cinematic journey, we encourage every reader to delve into these films. Whether you’re a horse enthusiast or someone looking for a compelling story, the world of horses in film promises magic, inspiration, and a reminder of the profound connections we, as humans, can share with the natural world.