The 20 Best Horse Movies of All Time
Who doesn’t love a good horse film? They make us laugh, cry and feel inspired, all while teaching us about horses: these loving, graceful, and amazing creatures. But with so many great horse films out there, it can be hard to know where to start.
Horses have been a part of human history for centuries, and their depiction in animal movies has been around just as long. From war films to westerns to family dramas, beautiful horses have played a variety of roles on the big screen. There’s just something about horse films that capture our hearts. The avid riders appreciate the quality riding gear and the strong bonds that the horse and rider make. The hobbyists love the beautiful scenery. Whatever it is, we love them! And there are so many great ones to choose from.
To help you save time searching for your best horse movies for families, friends, and horse fanatics, we’ve put together a list of the 20 best horse films of all time. So saddle up and get ready for some great entertainment!
20/20 National Velvet (1944)
Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor), a 12-year-old loving equestrian who lives in rural Sussex, obtains a boisterous horse, that she intends to prepare and qualify for the Grand National horse race in England. Velvet is keen to make her equine, fondly known as "The Pie," to be ready for the competition. Her family has been very encouraging, and a former jockey, Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney), has assisted her in her preparation. Unfortunately, a last-minute difficulty with the rider emerges, necessitating the substitution of an unexpected jockey.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-rS6TZquas
19/20 Dream Horse(2020)
This horse film is based on true events of Dream Alliance, an unusual racehorse starred by Jan Vokes (Toni Collette), a modest rural bartender. She persuades his villagers to share some of their little earnings to help and support Dream and compete with the racing elite despite having very little funds and no experience. Dream rises up through the ranks becoming a light of hope and helping to heal their community.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh3c0mGsKkI
18/20 Black Beauty (2020)
A good horse film about Black Beauty, who is a free-born wild horse that was abducted and dragged away from her family. She's been transported to Birtwick Stables, wherein she encounters Jo Green, a bright teenage girl. Beauty and Jo develop an unbreakable bond that will guide her through all of life's phases, struggles, and adventures.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpZqSJSR5PY
17/20 Horse Girl (2020)
This horse movie follows a woman who believes she has a special connection with horses due to her autism and becomes convinced that they are trying to communicate with her. Unsettling hallucinations have had an impact on this woman's perspective of reality, and this is where it gets interesting..
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieqemSsMxek
16/20 Secretariat (2010)
This good horse film emphasizes the life of the Thoroughbred Secretariat, the titleholder of the Triple Crown in 1973. Penny Chenery (Diane Lane), a wife and mother, has decided to keep running the family horses farm after her father (Scott Glenn) falls ill, despite her lack of qualifications and racing knowledge.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKmuvjL2cVw
15/20 Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
This horse film story involves the exploits of a wild mustang stallion as he travels through the wild frontier. Spirit forms an amazing bond with a young man from the Lakota village, a brave man who wants his freedom as much as Spirit does. On his journey to become one of the Old West's greatest unsung heroes, the brave young horse falls in love with a lovely paint mare named Rain. Arguably one of the most iconic films of the century, Spirit is a must-watch for both children and adults.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vGpe_8XiNk
14/20 The Horse Whisperer (1998)
In this horse movie, Grace (Scarlett Johansson) was been injured in a riding accident, which made her mother Annie (Kristin Scott Thomas), realize that her daughter will only be able to recover if the horse has been treated. She brings them both to a secluded Montana farm, where Tom Booker (Bob Redford), a respected "horse whisperer," cures the horse while also reawakening long-buried feelings in Annie, making her reconsider her marriage and employment decision.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nCowPQ2aa4
13/20 Flicka (2006)
In this iconic horse film, Katy McLaughlin (Alison Lohman) gradually takes over her father's farm in modern-day Wyoming. She soothes a beautiful mare and names her Flicka, only to discover that she and her new friend have more in common than she anticipated. Katy schemes to reclaim Flicka after her father (Tim McGraw) trades it by participating in a dangerous marathon.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwybqZxdsts
12/20 Hidalgo (2004)
This horse film tells how Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) is a fierce cowboy who performs as a skilled horseman. He is forced to agree when wealthy Sheik Riyadh (Omar Sharif), outraged by rumours of his brilliance, and he was challenged to compete in the Ocean of Fire, a dangerous long-distance race. He must fight against thoroughbred horses driven by the best riders in the world with his American mustang in the Middle East, putting his reputation — and his safety — on the line.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2sRtzNRDCA
11/20 Dark Horse (2015)
A genuine horse movie that is based on a real-life story about a barmaid in a mining community who nurtured a racehorse on her lawn that went on to become a champion. Jan had skillfully bred dogs and birds, and she claimed she can do the same with a different animal, despite having no experience in riding and racing horses.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkaU4tFh1bw
10/20 The Black Stallion (1979)
In this good horse film, Alec (Kelly Reno) and his father (Hoyt Axton) are on a cruise around the coast of Africa. He comes upon a stunning and elegant black Arabian horse while sailing. When the cruise ship is sunk by a tragedy, Alec leads to a nearby island to free it, where they form an unbreakable bond. When Alec is saved, he demands that it must be rescued as well, and the two of them return together. Alec and Henry (Mickey Rooney), a veteran equestrian, work together to prepare the horse, which Alec calls "The Black," for race competition.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMGaIr7kCqc
9/20 Racing Stripes (2005)
A horse film about a baby zebra that was been separated from a touring circus around the town of Kentucky. Nolan Walsh (Bruce Greenwood) and his daughter Channing (Hayden Panettiere) inevitably saw it which immediately piques their interest since they are completely in love with it. Channing gave him the name Stripes and kept him as a pet. Channing's ambition remains strong despite Nolan's restriction on her racing after her mother was tragically killed. She's confident that she'll be able to fulfil her goal with the support of her new pet.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL64Q_JM5qw
8/20 Ride Like a Girl (2019)
This horse movie was inspired by the life story of Michelle Payne, the very first female horse rider to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015. Documentary footage and various equestrian fits are featured throughout the film showing Payne as a young girl expressing her determination to win the Melbourne Cup and as a young woman achieving the 'race that stops a nation.' She encouraged all the doubters who claimed she couldn't do it to "get stuffed" in her unforgettable victory speech, which has been broadcast nationally across Australia. Rachel Griffiths, an actress and director, was motivated to make the film upon seeing the speech at a Cup day BBQ.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7h-TnHidRc
7/20 A Horse Story (2015)
In this good horse film, Monica realizes that horses are not really that different from human beings after all when her favourite horse, Champion, contradicts tradition and discloses to her that horses can communicate. Monica encourages Champion in determining what type of horse he wants to be when he gets older, while also determining her own future.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ40fQnbCoI
6/20 Running Free (2000)
A horse film about Lucky, a young equine, that was born in 1914 while onboard a German freight vessel carrying his mother and other workhorses to Africa. After being separated from his mother and being left defenceless, Lucky was been adopted by an orphaned stable boy in a mining town. Eventually, due to impending war, Lucky is left behind and has been set off into the desert after the townspeople evacuate. By following the orders of a young Bushman girl and then an Oryx antelope, Lucky manages to survive the tough environment.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-aNcY5EWsw
5/20 War Horse (2011)
A horse movie about Albert (Jeremy Irvine) who lives on a farm in the British countryside with his favourite lovely horse, Joey. Unfortunately, they are unwillingly separated and bound to cut ties during the war since Albert's father sells the horse to the British cavalry. Joey travels on an odyssey filled with risk, excitement, and grief against the backdrop of the Great War, and he influences anyone he encounters along the way. Meanwhile, Albert didn't give up and searches the battlefields for him to bring Joey home, as he was unable to abandon his companion.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPNyNr2Kp4w
4/20 Calm With Horses (2019)
In this good horse film, Douglas 'Arm' Armstrong has developed a reputation as a brutal commander for the drug-dealing Devers family, all while striving to be a good and loving father. Arm's emotions and loyalty are challenged as he is instructed to murder for the first time.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lGwxDWe8SA
3/20 The Man From Snowy River (1982)
A horse film about Jim Craig (Tom Burlinson), a determined young man, who is mistreated by a much more competent cowboy after obtaining employment with Harrison (Kirk Douglas), a horse rancher. Jim Craig surprisingly captures the rancher's daughter's heart, Jessica (Sigrid Thornton) as he accompanies her in fighting a tough colt and eventually rescues her life. Craig strives to reclaim his dignity and prove that he is deserving of Jessica's love after being wrongly convicted of the death of an exquisite colt.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08rdCBgP-GY
2/20 Seabiscuit (2003)
A type of horse movie showing the depths of darkest times. An entrepreneur (Jeff Bridges) grieving the devastating death of his son, a jockey with a background of horrific injuries (Tobey Maguire), and a cantankerous trainer (Chris Cooper) unite together to save Seabiscuit, a moody, undersized racehorse. Seabiscuit fails to win at first, but he eventually turns into one of the most outstanding racehorses of all time, inspiring the country at a moment when it is most needed.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6Zjij_glsI
1/20 International Velvet (1978)
Sarah Brown (Tatum O'Neal), is a young girl who was taken to England after her parents pass away in a car accident. She resides with Velvet (Nanette Newman), who is her aunt and the one who initiates Sarah to join an equine contest and grants her a prize horse, The Pie. Sarah grows into a superb equestrian under the supportive supervision of her aunt and Capt. Johnson (Anthony Hopkins), her horse trainer, may have a hope at the Olympics.
Check out the official trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=International+Velvet+(1978)+
There's no doubt that horses are some of the most majestic creatures on the planet, and horse films are certainly worth watching. Good horse films have been around for a long time and continue to be popular today. Whether you’re looking for a heart-warming story about overcoming all odds or a thrilling race movie, there’s something for everyone on this list that will surely entertain and educate you. So grab some popcorn, put your feet up, and enjoy this list of best horse movies of all time! Saddle up and get ready for some good times!