Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Top 5 Horse Movies

Ask the right people – Rob & Carrie’s kids, that is – and they’ll tell you that there’s not going to be any bigger film this autumn than My Little Pony: The Movie. We’re certainly not going to call that kind of insight into question, which is why we celebrated that film’s release by taking a look at our favorite movies about horses, and the strong bonds they form with humans. Be they stone-cold classics like National Velvet, modern crowdpleasers like Seabiscuit, or whatever the hell Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is meant to be, horses have been part of cinema since its very inception, and we’re happy to celebrate that long history.

And I do mean since its very inception:

In Worth Mentioning, Tim and Rob go share their My Little Pony: The Movie date, Carrie talks about the new Netflix release of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game and Tim shares some child’s play with Cult of Chucky.


The Black Stallion (1979)
Seabiscuit (2003)
Black Beauty (1994)
War Horse (2011)
Hidalgo (2004)


Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991)
War Horse (2011)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Horse Whisperer (1998)
The Man from Snowy River (1982)


The Black Stallion (1979)
Of Horses and Men (2013)
White Mane (1953)
National Velvet (1944)
The Man from Snowy River (1982)

27 Responses so far.

  1. The Black Stallion is the only horse movie that comes to mind. The first 40 minutes are pure bliss, and the rest is still pretty great. It’s as good as family entertainment can be.

  2. victor says:

    This is a toughie.

    5. “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000) has a llama in it — many llamae in fact — and a llama is kind of like a horse.
    4. Oh, fine. “Babe” (1995) has a horse in it! Named horse! ProTip: don’t google “horse in babe” on your work PC.
    3. “The NeverEnding Story” (1984) ended a little too quickly for Atreyu’s beloved horse Artax. But hey, he gets a luckdragon out of the deal (Atreyu does, not Artax). That’s a net positive in my book.
    2. “Tangled” (2010): Maximus the horse steals the show in this charming Disney-animated romp, proving true the old adage that, next to a frying pan, a HORSE is man’s best friend!
    1. “Horse Feathers” (1932) is the classic Marx Brothers body horror comedy about a failing university president’s attempts to artificially blend a horse with his star football player in order to win the big game. It all goes horribly awry when a chicken enters the amniotic vat by mistake. A true gem.

  3. 1. National Velvet
    2. War Horse
    3. Erm…
    4. That’s it.

  4. Not Fenimore says:

    Bombed out at three, but:

    Alexander Nevsky
    A Knight’s Tale
    Kingdom of Heaven

    …I think this is the most obviously male-gendered list I’ve ever done 😛

  5. Young Guns II (“Even their horses are crazy.”)

  6. WBTN says:

    Tim’s gonna go with Andrei Rublev, isn’t he…

    1. Barry Lyndon – tragic horse incident
    2. Gone with the Wind – another tragic horse incident!
    3. The Simpsons, “Lisa’s Pony” – merely a sad horse incident
    4. Seven Samurai – sad for some horses, hilarious for the one that bucks Toshiro Mifune. Oh, Toshiro!
    5. The Wizard of Oz – a Horse of a Different Color! Wow!

  7. Yourself says:

    Now taking bets Tim bends the rules to put Au Hasard Balthazar on top.

    I’ve got nothing. There’s an episode Space Ghost Coast to Coast where he has a pet horse named Jumbles. I guess that’s my #1 horse movie.

    • victor says:

      With special guests Michael Stipe and Lassie! Both of whom have been in numerous horse movies. Well, I mean, Lassie has been in numerous horse movies and Michael Stipe claims to have been influenced very heavily by Patti Smith’s “Horses”. It’s all connected, people!

  8. Grant Hagey says:

    1. Silence of the Lambs – “Goodbye Horses”
    2. Batman Begins – Scarecrow rides a fire-breathing horse.
    3. Shadow of the Thin Man
    4. The Godfather
    5. Neverending Story

    • Grant Hagey says:

      Also, top 5 Pony episodes

      1. Too Many Pinkie Pies
      2. A Friend in Deed
      3. Make New Friends but Keep Discord
      4. Cutie Mark Chronicles
      5. Mentally Advanced episode 6

  9. John Taylor says:

    5. National Velvet
    4. War Horse
    3. The Black Stallion
    2. Seabiscuit
    1. Hidalgo

  10. vilsal says:

    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog – It’s not a movie, and the ending is bullshit, but I can’t leave out head supervillain Bad Horse.
    Ivan’s Childhood – The dream scene of horses eating apples.
    The Far Country – In honor of James Stewart’s favorite co-actor Pie, with whom he made 17 films.
    Tangled – Can’t leave out Maximus.
    The Misfits – Such a wonderful depiction of horses as the epitome of freedom and grace, which makes the reveal that much more ugly.

    The first one is a cheat, but at least I didn’t go with Trainspotting.

  11. Robert L. says:

    Duck Soup (Harpo’s great romance in one of the Marx’s best films)
    Cat Ballou (Not the focus of the film, but a great character. The horse seems as drunk as Kid Shelleen)
    The Electric Horseman (Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. I saw this as a child when it was shown on tv. First time I heard Willie Nelson’s music which made the whole movie worthwhile.)
    The Black Stallion

  12. Alex Frith says:

    I mean, it’s hard to beat that Muybridge gif at the top of the post. And frankly after scoruing some online lists it seems I’ve watched very few true horse movies. But I can’t back down from trying to come up with a full 5, so…

    5. Seabiscuit. I don’t think it’s a great movie, but it IS about a horse, and I have seen it.
    4. The Horse Whisperer. It’s better than Seabiscuit. Arguably more about humans than horses, though.

    -and now I’m into ‘films with prominent horses in them’ territory
    3. Alexander. In many ways a poor film, but Bucepahlaus is history’s greatest horse. (It’s a TV series rather than a movie, but Reign: the Conqueror, the anime-esque series about Alexander, does Bucephalus really well)
    2. Animal Farm. Boxer produces a ton of tears.
    1. They Shoot Horses, don’t they? The only legit great movie on this list. No actual horses, but metaphorically all the characters are horses, right? Aren’t they? Did I maybe not get what this film was about?

  13. craig tower says:

    Checking IMDB: Simon Wincer directed PHAR LAP, THE LIGHTHORSEMEN, THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION, and a surprising number of westerns for someone who started directing after 1970. (also FREE WILLY, and what is a whale but a big wet horse?)
    We should just call him up and ask him what the best horse movie is, because he seems to really like them.

  14. Paul says:

    I didn’t dislike War Horse, which is doing pretty good for me and a horse movie.

  15. CRD says:

    1. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
    2. The Black Stallion
    3. War Horse
    4. Secretariat – if only for John Malkovich.
    5. …Seabiscuit?

  16. Daniel says:

    These are all pretty much by default, as I haven’t seen that many horse movies (and by not that many, I mean 4).

    1. The Killing
    2. A Knight’s Tale
    3. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    4. Hidalgo, I guess?

    Does The Two Towers count? If you add up all the horse scenes, it’s probably close to feature length.

  17. Arlo says:

    Tim, Two Towers is absolutely more of a horse movie than Fellowship!

    It’s mostly focused on Rohan, we get that absurd shot of Shadowfax, a whole scene of Aragorn bonding with his horse, and later getting RESCUED by his horse. There’s like five hours of horse stuff in that movie.

  18. Pachylad says:

    Okay, fess up guys, who else clicked because of Rainbow Dash?

  19. vilsal says:

    Carrie, there’s also this website, which tells if the animal dies within the story, along with other useful information like if there’s clowns:

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