The 23 Best Horse Movies of All Time – For Children and Adults

Horses are majestic creatures that have been with us humans for thousands of years. Given the significant role that four-legged friends have played in the history of mankind, it is hardly surprising that they have become an important part of the culture. Accordingly, there is also an abundance of films that revolve around horses. So here are 25 of the best horse movies:

1. War Horse (2011)

The farmer’s son Albert Narracott and his horse Joey are inseparable friends. However, when World War I begins, his father is forced to sell the horse to the cavalry. Albert embarks on a hardscrabble journey to find his best friend in the turmoil of war.

What makes this movie so good:

The film speaks movingly of the unbreakable bond between a horse and its owner that brings them together even in the chaos of war.

2. Seabiscuit (2003)

This movie is based on the life of a racehorse from the 1930s and 1940s who actually lived. Actually, it is much too small and aggressive to compete seriously and is therefore used as a constant loser. But with the help of an equally unusual rodeo rider, the tide turns for Seabiscuit.

What makes this movie so good:

In both its real-life and cinematic versions, Seabiscuit is considered an inspiration for classic underdogs. So Gary Ross’ film adaptation is an ode to the noble four-legged horse and the friendly relationship between the racehorse and its jockey.

3. Hidalgo (2004)

The famous American rider Frank T. Hopkins was invited to a 3000-mile race across the Arabian desert in 1890. He trusts in his legendary mustang Hidalgo but soon finds out that he is not only competing against Arabian horses and Bedouin riders but also against death.

This is what makes this movie so good:

Starring Frank T. Hopkins is joined by Viggo Mortensen, who is known as a true horse lover. He had unceremoniously bought his stallion from the Lord of the Rings saga after the end of filming. Mortensen also acquired the mustang from Hidalgo. This great chemistry also transfers to the screen and makes Hidalgo – 3000 Miles to Glory a sensational experience for all horse fans.

4. The Horse Whisperer (1998)

After a serious horseback riding accident, 14-year-old Grace loses part of her leg and is traumatized as a result. Her favorite horse Pilgrim also suffers serious injuries and becomes stubborn as a result. Grace’s mother, Annie, leaves New York for the distant state of Montana, where horse whisperer Tom Booker works. She hopes he can bring healing to both man and beast.

What makes this movie so good:

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When you think of horse movies, the first thing that comes to mind is probably The Horse Whisperer. The hit movie is not only a milestone in film history but also an important contribution to showing outsiders the special power of horses.

5. Secretariat (2010)

The film tells the story of horse breeder Penny Chenery, who has to assert herself in an absolute male domain. With her racehorse Secretariat, she strives to win the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, the three most important horse races in the United States.

What makes this film so good:

The excellently cast film is partly based on true events (the racehorse Secretariat really existed). Disney ventured into the horse genre for the first time with this film, which was immediately a success. After all, the film version about a strong woman is absolutely worth seeing.

6. Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005)

Horse trainer Ben Crane toils for stable owner Palmer to feed his family. When hopeful race mare Sonya breaks her leg, Palmer tells the trainer to kill the horse. However, complying with a request from his daughter, Ben refuses to kill Sonya and is fired but receives the mare as severance pay.

What makes the movie so good:

Dreamer is a classic horse movie and offers everything a fan’s heart desires. In addition, there are convincing acting performances by big names such as Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, and Elisabeth Shue.

7. Flicka (2006)

Stubborn 16-year-old Katy returns from private school to her family’s ranch in Wyoming. There she makes it her goal to tame the stubborn horse Flicka. The latter, however, is very similar to her in his stubbornness, and besides, her father would like to send her to college. When he sells Flicka, Katy does everything she can to get her back.

What makes the film so good:

Flicka is one of the most famous horse stories ever and was remade in 2006. This version gives the classic a fresh look and skilfully avoids any kitsch without sacrificing emotionality.

8. The Black Stallion (1979)

Twelve-year-old Alec Ramsay and a wild black Arabian stallion are stranded off Portugal as the sole survivors of a shipwreck. The two fight for survival and forge a close friendship. Even after their rescue, they remain inseparable, and Alec plans to have the stallion compete in horse races.

What makes the film so good:

The story of the magical bond between man and beast cuts to the heart, especially as acting legends like Mickey Rooney shine in The Black Stallion. The film’s numerous awards probably speak for themselves, including two Oscar nominations and a National Society of Film Critics Award.

9. The Horse Boy (2009)

This documentary traces the story of U.S. author Rupert Isaacson and his autistic son Rowan. The two travel to Mongolian shamans to alleviate Rowan’s autism.

What makes the film so good:

Without giving too much away: It’s just touching to see young Rowan blossom on horseback and even make friends. Furthermore, the documentary offers fascinating insights into Mongolian horse culture and shamanism.

10. The Rider (2017)

The Sioux descendant and young cowboy Brady Blackburn almost loses his life in a rodeo accident. He faces the fact of never being able to ride again and falls into a deep existential crisis; after all, he lives to sit on the back of a horse. So Brady doesn’t give up.

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What makes the movie so good:

The touching neo-western shines with beautiful landscape shots, making the horse’s passion in every viewer flare up. Beyond the horse theme, The Rider is a coherent study of life’s dreams, strokes of fate, and how to overcome them. The main actor succeeds in the portrayal of Brady Blackburn incredibly convincingly. No wonder, after all, the film is about his true life story.

11. WINDSTORM (2013)

Young Mika has to spend the summer vacations at her strict grandmother’s stud farm against her will. But when she meets the impetuous stallion Ostwind at the stables, her opinion changes: the horse is considered untamable, so Mika makes it her goal to be let near the stallion. And indeed, an intense friendship soon develops between the two.

What makes the film so good:

Katja von Garnier’s film completely avoids kitsch and clichés and instead focuses on an unagitated narrative. Hanna Binke and Cornelia Froeboess shine in the leading roles, both of whom make the magical effect of horseback riding palpable for the viewer. Even more so, there are simply some great shots in the film.

12. Bibi& Tina (2014)

The witch Bibi Blocksberg takes advantage of the summer vacations to visit her friend Tina Martin at the horse farm of her friend Alexander von Falkenstein. Turbulence arises when his cousin Sophia von Gelenberg shows up and tries to steal Tina’s boyfriend away from her.

What makes the film so good:

The teen comedy is fresh and cheeky and gives a central role to horses. The classic stories of Bibi& Tina, which most of us probably still know, are given a new look by director Detlev Buck and prove to be a good hand with the cast.

13. Jappeloup (2013)

At the beginning of the 1980s, Pierre Durand, a promising lawyer, renounces his law career to devote himself to his true passion: show jumping. He puts all his eggs in one basket and a young horse named Jappeloup, in whom no one but him has confidence. Pierre takes on big challenges thanks to his intimate connection with the horse.

What makes the film so good:

Christoph Duguay’s film is incredibly touching but never cheesy. The relationship between man and animal is pleasantly complex and realistically portrayed so that all the ups and downs of the two seem believable and make the viewer root for them. The successful work was also a huge success at the box office: with almost 2 million visitors, Jappeloup – A Legend is considered one of the biggest successes of modern French cinema.

14. Midnight Stallion (2013)

Married couple Jack and Rita are about to go bankrupt with their farm. Salvation seems to have been found when her daughter Megan tracks down Midnight’s horse. Although the wild stallion proves to be stubborn, the three do everything they can to tame him and train him for horse racing. Finally, promising prize money beckons there. But when Jack gets injured, Megan suddenly has to save the farm single-handedly.

What makes the film so good:

Midnight Stallion – The King of Horses is not only a horse movie but also a flick for the whole family. This is ultimately about the value of family and what you are willing to invest in them.

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15. Unbranded (2015)

Due to the overpopulation of horses are about 50.000 animals in state institutions. Here’s why four friends decided to adopt 16 mustangs. They embark on a journey through Mexico, the USA, and Canada, in which they take on a wide variety of imponderables to draw attention to grievances.

What makes the film so good:

This documentary strikes a slightly different tone compared to the other films on this list. The problem of overpopulation in the United States must be clarified to a wider audience. Nonetheless, the impressive feats the four-legged creatures are capable of are never overlooked.

16. Mustang Horse Documentary – Cloud (2003)

In this documentary, award-winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens captures stunning images of America’s last wild horses. It follows the stallion Cloud from his first steps in the U.S. state of Montana to his status as the lead stallion of his own herd for seven years.

What makes the film so good:

The footage of the striking white Palamino stallion Cloud makes the hearts of all horse enthusiasts beat faster. Kathrens was always right in the middle of it all and was able to document the life of the herd living in the wild at close range. So this film could hardly be more lively and is an absolute must-see for any self-professed horse fan.

Likewise, the sequel to the documentary released three years later is titled Cloud – The Wild Stallion Returns. The second part focuses on the threats to the herd but simultaneously demonstrates the enormous willpower of the horses around Cloud.

17. The Killing (1956)

After serving five years, Johnny Clay is released from prison but immediately plans his next score. Together with his friend Marvin Unger, he wants to rob the cash register of a horse racing track. The two put together a team, but Clay lets his wife in on the plan. She puts a spoke in their wheel by telling her lover about the planned robbery.

This is what makes the film so good:

Legendary director Stanley Kubrick tells the film’s story using a creative technique that breaks up the temporal continuity of the plot. The flashbacks provide enormous suspense, and horse fans get their money’s worth, as it is about a horse race track robbery.

18. The Marx Brothers: A Day at the Races (1937)

Judy Standish is the owner of a sanatorium near the racetrack but is in debt. When unscrupulous businessman Mr. Withmore wants to take over the facility to turn it into a casino, their friend Gil Stewart steps into the picture. He bought the racehorse Hi-Hat, hoping to make a profit from him. The horse, however, was turned on him by Mr. Withmore; it is a slow racehorse. Now it’s a matter of winning the race’s lavish prize money anyway.

What makes this movie so good:

Aficionados consider the Marx Brothers’ seventh film to be one of the best. No wonder it combines elements of numerous film genres and weaves them into a total work of art that also includes horses.

19. All the Pretty Horses (2000)

20. Spirit (2002)

21. All Roads Lead Home (2008)

22. Black Beauty (1994)

23. The Black Stallion (1979)


horses are magical creatures that deserve to be immortalized in high-quality films accordingly. The movies mentioned in this article pay appropriate tribute to the beautiful friendship between man and beast.

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