Top 12 Unforgettable Movies About Horses – Inspirationfeed

Horses hold a special place in our world. They have appeared in our storytelling since the beginning of… well, storytelling! But moving on from ancient cave art and fireplace legends, we bring you the best romance movies, action, drama and real-life stories where the star of the show is nothing but a magnificent horse (or three)!

1. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Born during the 19th century, Spirit is a stallion and the leader of a herd of wild horses. When horse traders capture Spirit and take him to a military fort where he endures attempts to break him in. Despite his cruel training, he refuses to become tame. He is saved by Little Creek, a captive at the fort, who takes the stallion back to his Lakota village.

Although he meets a lovely mare, Rain, at the village he continues to resist Little Creek’s gentle efforts to tame him. But the three of them have to come together as a team to earn their freedom when the village is attacked by the fort’s soldiers.

2. Phar Lap (1983)

Based on a true story, Phar Lap was bought in 1927 but his owner was not impressed by his ugly appearance and thin body. However, the horse was given a chance based on his excellent pedigree and after losing his first few races, the colt started to win every race that he entered.

Phar Lap, remembered as one of the best horses to come out of New Zealand, was dogged by shady deals from his team, attempts on his life, severe injuries and ultimately, his mysterious death. If some suspicions are correct, Phar Lap’s demise was an intentional act by those who lost money due to his stellar speed.

3. War Horse (2011)

This movie is a great pick if you love war movies and horses. The story follows the life story of a thoroughbred colt named Joey. Born in 1912, the foal becomes close with the family’s son, a boy called Albert Narracott. But their bond is brutally severed when the rent is due and the horse is sold to prevent the family from being evicted.

Joey is sold to the army and is packed off to serve as a war horse during the first World War. The horse suffers the horrors of combat as he changes hands several times, getting captured by the enemy and enduring near-fatal battle injuries. But when Albert is old enough, he enlists and sets off to find his horse.

3. The Black Stallion (1979)

Based on the book by the same name, the story revolves around the friendship that develops between a young boy called Alec and a wild black stallion. They meet on a ship that wrecks off an island and they are the only survivors. Alec fights to win the horse’s trust but the animal has a deep mistrust of humans.

As their friendship grows, they are finally rescued. “Black” ends up in the stables of a racehorse trainer who realizes that the stallion has exceptional talent. He trains Alec as a jockey and the pair are entered into the biggest race of the year.

4. The Horse Whisperer (1998)

Teenagers Grace and Judith go horseriding one morning when tragedy strikes. Grace survives but as an amputee and her horse, Pilgrim, is so traumatized that it becomes impossible to ride again. Grace becomes bittered and withdrawn and desperate to help her daughter, her mother Annie contacts a man said to be exceptionally good with horses.

Tom Booker agrees to help Pilgrim but only if Grace helps. After she reluctantly agrees, the road to recovery begins for both her and her beloved horse.

5. Buck (2011)

If you are interested in the real Horse Whisperer, then this fantastic documentary film is for you. It follows the exploits of Buck, the man who acted as the lead consultant for the movie “The Horse Whisperer.” His methods of leadership, compassion and no punishment has made Buck a hugely successful real-life whisperer.

The film follows him as he travels around the country and helps owners and horses alike. Considered to be one of the best animal documentaries ever made, it was well-received at the Sundance Film Festival.

6. Secretariat (2010)

This biographical sports drama tells the life story of one of the best racehorses that ever lived. After Penny Chenery wins a foal at the flip of a coin, she hires a trainer but Secretariat loses his first race due to his inexperienced jockey.

Penny hires a better rider and Secretariat’s legend begins. As he continues to win, his owner faces a massive debt but she refuses to sell him – even though buyers are offering her millions. But Penny refuses to sell because she firmly believes the horse has the ability to win the Triple Crown, something no horse has achieved in 25 years.

7. Shergar (1999)

Based on a real-life mystery – and undoubtedly a tragedy – the movie tells the story of Shergar, an Irish racehorse that became one of the most valuable runners of his time. In 1981, Shergar was retired and became a sought-after stud-horse and was set to begin another breeding season in 1983 when he was kidnapped by the IRA.

The kidnapping occurred at gunpoint and one of his groomers was also abducted but later released. A ransom of £2 million was demanded and after his owners could not get the thieves to provide any evidence that the horse was still alive, they refused to pay.

Shergar was never found but it is widely believed that he was shot and buried by the gang soon after he was stolen from his stud farm.

8. Black Beauty (1994)

In this beloved classic, Black Beauty narrates his own story beginning when he was a foal in the English countryside. Set in the beautiful and sometimes harsh realities of the 19th century, Black Beauty changes owners several times. Some treat him well while others bring him close to the brink of death.

Always remaining gentle and hopeful, Black Beauty’s destiny is a good one, making this a great film for kids who also love horses.

9. Ladyhawke (1985)

While this movie does not revolve around any particular horse, per se, we decided to include it because the film remains popular with fans of medieval fantasy movies where horses have the limelight, along with knights, magic and romance.

At the heart of the story is a knight called Navarre (and his beautiful black horse) and his lady Isabeau. Both are under a terrible curse that keeps them together and separate at the same time. They can only finally be together if they receive the help of a young pickpocket and a drunkard ex-monk.

10. Let It Ride (1989)

After Jay Trotter, a cab driver, secretly records a conversation between two of his passengers, he learns that a particular horse at the races is fixed to win. Taking $50 and breaking his promise to his wife to stop betting, he wagers on the horse – and wins a big sum.

As the day progresses, Trotter stays at the tracks and continues his winning streak. This comedic take of the world of punters, the betting elite and the havoc it plays on their nearest and dearest makes for a great family film.

11. Ruffian (2007)

Said by some to be the greatest rising star of the racing world, Ruffian was an unbeaten filly who kicked dust in the eyes of her opponents. The crowds wanted to see if she could take on the best and a special race was organized in which Ruffian would race Foolish Pleasure, the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

On July 6, 1975, the crowds gathered at Belmont Park to watch the epic race between the two titans. True to Ruffian’s remarkable life story, the race became something the world would never forget – but for tragic reasons.

12. Racing Stripes (2005)

While the main star is a zebra dreaming of becoming a racing star, there are still plenty of racehorses for you to see! But this fun comedy is truly a film for the whole family and follows the story of Stripes, an orphaned zebra foal that is raised on a farm by a retired racehorse trainer and his daughter, Channing.

Channing is the only one who realizes that Stripes has what it takes to become a champion and their quest to get everyone on board is a hilarious journey sprinkled with enough heartwarming moments to leave you with fuzzy feelings for the rest of the day.

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