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8 Best Horse Movies of All Time

Vibhav Gaonkar
Horses can be seen in a lot of movies, but only some of them depict the horse as the main character, and actually show the encounters in its and its owner's life. This story shares some popular titles for you to watch and enjoy.


The Triple Crown is considered the greatest accomplishment for a Thoroughbred racehorse. Secretariat was an American thoroughbred racehorse who won the Triple Crown in 1973, i.e., a feat that took place after 25 long years.
Horses have been used as a means of transport for thousands of years. They were used for warfare and were also considered signs of luxury. Now, in modern times, they are used in sports like polo, hurdle racing, horse racing, and are also ridden for fun. Horses and humans have been friends since centuries.
There have been a lot of films which portray this friendly bond and companionship of a horse associated to the human race. Some of these films are great motivators, as they show how these horses do wonders for their masters and even prove to be lifesavers.
There are films which are also based on real-life incidents and stories, that make them so popular. For instance, the movie 'Secretariat' is the story of the 1973 Triple Crown winner; truly motivating movie which would surely raise your spirits. Also, there are touching ones like the 'War Horse', 'Black Beauty', 'Dreamer', and the like.
If you are a horse-lover, or like stories related to horses, go ahead and don't miss any of these popular horse movies. The movies have been listed in no particular order.

National Velvet (1944)

Starring: Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor
This film is based on a novel written by Enid Bagnold, but is a lot different from the book. It's about a young girl Velvet Brown and her horse Pie which she wins at a raffle. On the other hand, Michael Taylor a.k.a Mi discovers Mrs. Brown's name and address among his late father's personal belongings.
Mi, hoping to make some money on his father's name, visits Mrs. Brown, but her husband hires him as a helping hand instead, as they both believe in hard work. Mi was actually a former jockey at Manchester, but had to quit due to a deadly accident.
Velvet wants to train her horse as, she has recognized its talent and capability to win. She aims for the Grand National, and insists Mi to train Pie. After rigorous training and a fired jockey, Velvet rides Pie in the Grand National and wins, but is disqualified as the judges discover that she isn't a young man but a young woman.

Hidalgo (2004)

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif
The story features Frank T. Hopkins his mustang Hidalgo, and a 3,000-mile survival race held every year across the Najd desert in Saudi Arabia. The race is known for the finest Arabian horses which participate in it. Hopkins has served in the U.S. Cavalry, and is famous as a distance rider and a cowboy.
He has participated in the 'Wild West Show', where he and his mustang are popularly promoted as 'the world's greatest distance horse and rider'. A wealthy Sheik challenges Hopkins to participate in the 3,000-mile 'Ocean of Fire' race to prove himself and his horse.
Hopkins reaches Saudi Arabia, and is confronted with a lot of agitated riders, who don't want a foreigner to win this ancient race. The race suddenly becomes very important to Hopkins, as he fights for his and Hidalgo's survival, pride, honor, and identity as well.

Seabiscuit (2003)

Starring: Toby Maguire, Jeff Bridges
Charles Howard, after the Great Depression and the sad death of his only child, wants to get into horse racing. As he proceeds with this dream, he meets Seabiscuit, a racehorse whose losing genes doesn't allow him to win races.
With a team of 3, which includes Charles, Tom Smith (Trainer), and Johny 'Red' Pollard (Jockey), Charles is on the mission to train Seabiscuit to race War Admiral, the fastest horse in the country.
As the trio are on their journey to fix up a broken horse, they do realize that the horse fixed them up instead. Seabiscuit is a very motivating movie, and is a must-watch.

Black Beauty (1994)

Starring: Sean Bean, David Thewlis
This is a very popular story written by Anna Sewell about a charismatic black stallion and its experiences, both good and bad, with different owners. The story was first made into a film in 1994. The movie begins when 'Black Beauty' is born on an English farm, and is later sent to serve Squire Gordon's family.
Here, he finds Joe Green, a worker in the stable, who nurtures and takes care of Beauty. As Beauty is further passed on to new owners―some cruel, some kind―his life finally ends happily with his old companion Joe, who finds him in a fair―old and tired.

War Horse (2011)

Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson
Another of those great, inspiring stories, which portrays the strong bond between a man and a horse. Albert Narracott, as a child, spends his time looking at the Bay Thoroughbred which used to gallop in the fields. Later, his father Ted buys the horse, even though he can't afford it.
Albert names the horse Joey, who becomes his best friend. Albert begins training him. As the days pass, their bond becomes stronger.
Then, one day, when his father suffers a heavy loss and is unable to repay the loan he had taken for the horse, he sells it off to cavalry officer Captain James Nicholls without Albert knowing about it. Joey trains as a military horse now, and is deployed to France.
After fighting wars and leaping through several hurdles of danger, Joey finally returns to Albert, who long awaits his return.

Secretariat (2010)

Starring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich
This is a Disney movie based on a true story of the 1973 'Triple Crown' winner. Penny Chenery takes over her ailing father's Meadow Stables in Doswell, Virginia. Chenery, as per a deal made by her father, flips a coin with a businessman Phipps, who has allowed two of Chenery's mares to mate with his best stallion 'Bold Ruler' as a part of the deal.
The outcome of the toss would tell the owner of each foal. Chenery loses the toss, but ends up winning the foal which she desires to have. She sees something unique in Secretariat, her newly owned foal, and decides to train it with the help of an old French-Canadian trainer Lucien Laurin.
She is very confident about Secretariat, and is in constant efforts to make him the best racehorse. The story ends when Secretariat wins the legendary Triple Crown, and makes Chenery and Lucien proud. This is one of the best horse movies for kids.

The Black Stallion (1979)

Starring: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney
Alec Ramsay, along with his father, sets off on a journey on a ship to the northern coast of Africa. He discovers that there is an Arabian stallion that is traveling with him on the same ship, and is very enchanted by its magnificent looks. The ship sinks the same night, but Alec and the horse survive, and are washed away to a deserted island.
He makes friends with the stallion, and sometime later, they both are rescued and return to the U.S. When home, the boy begins training the black stallion with the help of Henry Dailey, to race some of the fastest horses in the world.

Dreamer (2005)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning
This story centers around Ben and his daughter Cale. Ben works as a horse trainer, and is completely devoted to his job, while neglecting his adorable daughter. Once during a race, Ben takes Cale along. In the race, a horse named Soñador gets severely injured. Ben asks his boss for the horse in return for his 3-month salary.
The boss agrees, and they both get Soñador home. As the horse recovers, the bond between the daughter and father strengthens. But at the same time, Ben borrows money to save his family from starving. The movie ends when Soñador races one last time in the hopes to save the family's property from foreclosure.
After reading these summaries, I am sure you would be in a mood to at least watch one or two of the wonderful films. But don't forget to sit with you favorite snacks and drink when you watch; these movies are very addictive right from the beginning till the end, and you won't feel like getting up in between.