Shortlisting the best horse movies for the next movie night with your buds? I’ve got you covered! Rather than watching badly written melodramas or factually incorrect documentaries, I’ve prepared a list of some of the best horse movies ever released!
Whether you’re looking for a fun watch to have a good time or a classic flick to be inspired, you’ll find horse movies in every genre. Some of these movies might be a walk down the memory lane while others you can shortlist for the night. Without further ado, let’s yee-haw into the list!
15 Best Horse Shows and Movies
I’m an avid horse lover and love to watch all things horses. As such, I’ve watched hundreds of movies which were horse-themed and have done the research to put this list together – my personal favorites of horse movies. In no order, here’s a list of some of the best horse shows or movies you can enjoy today:
It’s amazing to see how many horse movies are made on true stories. My next pick, Seabiscuit, is the real story of an underdog horse which broke all odds to win titles like “Horse of the Year”.
Based on the 1999 best-seller of the same name, the film shares the life of a John Pollard who begins training the unmanageable colt, Seabiscuit. Pollard, played by Tobey Maguire, makes use of innovative training techniques to help the horse become one of the most famous racehorses during the era of the Great Depression.
The story along with the film only reaffirms the message – “never judge a book by its cover”. Outperforming expectations at the box office, the film is nothing short of a masterpiece I’d watch again and again.
Rarely does a long-running series get high praise and exceed expectations of viewers. Heartland has been doing that successfully since 2007!
The series is a wonderful depiction of the book series of the same name by Lauren Brooke. It showcases the life of the Flemings’ as they run the ranch, Heartland. Which family doesn’t go through hardships? So does the Flemings’ but we see the family beautifully bond together during the course of the show.
Heartland’s a gem of a drama that you should definitely watch at least once. With over 14,000+ votes on IMDb, the series is currently rated a whopping 8.4. Even the ratings side with this one, when do you plan on watching it?
My first pick goes to the eternally beautiful, The Black Stallion.
Alec, a young kid onboard a ship traveling off the coast of Africa, soon finds himself on a deserted island after an unfortunate wreck. Alongside Alec is a majestic wild Arabian whom he slowly befriends as his fascination with the horse grows.
The Black Stallion is a magnificent watch even after years of its release in 1979. The film was a huge success at the box office and has been part of the National Film Registry since 2002 due to its significance in either “culture, history, or aesthetics”.
4. Black Beauty
Based on Anna Sewell’s 1877 novel of the same name, Black Beauty is the story of an exquisite and adorable black horse. The film majorly fixates on Jo, a lively teenager, who over the period of time grows her relationship with the Black Beauty. Yet, the movie isn’t just about Black Beauty or Jo, but also highlights other cruelties which horses generally go through.
Disney’s 2020 adaptation of the film has garnered positive reviews from horse lovers all over the world. Though this adaptation doesn’t focus on Black Beauty or the horses as much, it’s still a good watch.
The novel has several other cinematic adaptations from reputed directors. Perhaps you can shortlist the other adaptations for a watch as well.
Do you know some people who’re just amazing with horses? Understand them, love them, and can calm them almost instantly. Such is the story of one Dan “Buck” Brannaman, a cowboy, with magic-like abilities to ease horses into calm.
The Horse Whisperer follows the story of Grace as she meets an unfortunate accident which impacts her relationship with her horse. Seeing that, Grace’s mother hires an acclaimed horse whisperer, Tom, who helps the two recover from the aftermath of the accident.
Based on the 1995 novel of the same name, the box-office success starred Robert Redford as Tom and Scarlett Johansson as Grace. Released in 1998, the movie has managed to bag favorable reviews from a large audience of cinema-lovers. Is it going to win your heart next?
Next up, we have a classic from the movie vaults of the cinema-rich 1940’s: National Velvet.
Backed by the heartfelt performance of Elizabeth Taylor, the movie picks up on the life of a young Velvet Brown. Mentored by the revered jockey, Mi Taylor, she takes on the challenge of grooming a horse, National Velvet, for the Grand National Steeplechase.
You’re up for two hours of pure brilliance in terms of storyline, acting, and race sequences. The ageless film is loved by audiences of all ages. Released in 1944, the pleasant film is available on Amazon Prime for horse lovers to enjoy!
Dreamer’s the perfect family film for a movie night at home!
A workaholic racehorse trainer, Ben Crane, decides to take his estranged daughter to the tracks when one of his horses meets an unfortunate accident. Ben decides to take the injured equine back home. Dealing with other troubles in life, Ben decides to breed and sell the horse to support his horse farm. While his daughter hatches a plan to train and race the injured Soñadoronce again. Will they come out closer than ever?
Inspired by the true story of Mariah’s Storm, the film perfectly delivers in every regard. Starring Kurt Russel and Dakota Fanning in lead, the nature-rich film is bound to make you teary while keeping you at the edge of your seat as it climaxes.
The 2005 film is currently available for streaming on Vudu and Amazon Prime. At the time of writing, the ratings stand at 6.8 on IMDb. However, this is one movie where I’d highly suggest you don’t judge it by its ratings and watch it for how memorable it is.
8. Lean On Pete
This is the emotional story of a young Charley and his relationship with an ageing horse, Lean On Pete.
Though we see the horse win races during the start of the movie, the owner soon realizes how its age is going to be impactful soon. Charley, with his sole love for the equine, decides to challenge the owners’ decision to sell the horse for slaughter. The film progresses as Charley suffers from the loss of his father and steals the horse from its owner to travel to Wyoming in search of his distant aunt.
Lean On Pete’s the perfect emotional pull without any unnecessary melodrama. Though the movie failed to perform at the box office, you should still see this flick on Netflix for its heart-warming plot.
9. Free Rein
Here to look for drama shows with horses? Our next pick, Free Rein, is for you!
Based in the English countryside, this show is a tale of a teenager and her newfound love for horses. It perfectly captures her life, relationships, and horsemanship as she tries to balance the three together. This show is hands-down enough to make you fall in love with how adorable horses are.
Though Free Rein does feature a fair share of horse-movie cliches, the show’s still a favorite of many equine lovers. With over 700+ ratings on Google, the show’s currently rated at 4.8 (out of 5). All three seasons of the show are available for streaming on Netflix.
Ever dreamed of owning a ranch full of beautiful equines? Flicka’s going to impress you to bits.
Flicka is the story of Katy McLaughlin, a headstrong teenager, who wishes to own and run her own ranch. To Katy’s disappointment, her parents’ desire something opposite for her. In hopes of convincing her parents to let her follow her dreams, Katy decides to train and race a wild mustang, Flicka, in an upcoming rodeo.
The film has two sequels and both of them are wholesome family movies as well. Since it’s filmed in Wyoming, you’re also up for beautiful scenery from the countryside. Flicka currently rates 6.1 on IMDb and can be streamed on Amazon Prime with a subscription.
11. War Horse
War Horse perfectly puts together the role of horses during the first world war. Following the life of a bay Irish Hunter, Joey, the film showcases the horses’ encounters while traveling Europe. Being bought by the British Army, the horse meets several owners and experiences tragedies which we too experience during this thrilling drama.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, the acclaimed drama features a star-studded cast with several great performances. The box-office hit is based on Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 book of the same name. Regardless, with a rating of 7.2 on IMDb, the movie was also titled one of the best movies of 2011! The film’s available on Netflix and Amazon Prime for streaming.
Hidalgo features the life of a distance rider, Frank Hopkins, and his mustang, Hidalgo. Starring Viggo Mortensen, the film is more so focused on the famous race between the pure-blooded Arabians of Bedouins and Hopkins’ Hidalgo.
The events covered in the movie are also reported to be taken from Hopkins’ own account of his life. However, he has been at the forefront of several controversies. Many researchers fail to find factual evidence of claims of his wins, races, and other accounts of life.
The movie, however, is a fine watch for anyone with a love for Arabians and horses in general. It’s part of one outstanding collection of horse movies on Amazon Prime.
13. A Fine Step
A Fine Step is a real tear-jerker as it takes us through the inspiring journey of an injured rider, Calvin, and his magnificent Paso Fino, Fandango.
Suffering from a traumatic injury, the four-time world champion Cal loses confidence in his ability to ride again. Together with the help of a young girl, Claire, Cal and Fandango look to rehabilitate and ride again in hopes of another win.
Though the film follows a common theme, it is executed to perfection. The beautiful storyline, amazing direction, and heartfelt acting by the cast has won A Fine Step a pick in my list of favorite horse movies on Amazon Prime!
Our next pick is a teen drama series, Wildfire, which takes us through the life of a troubled teenager, Kristine.
Ending her time in a juvenile detention center, Kristine gets a second chance to prove herself by being a stablehand at a ranch. Soon, she kicks off into the world of horse-racing as the ranch faces a financial crisis.
Wildfire has four seasons on Amazon Prime; the last of which was released in 2008. The series has maintained a solid 7.6 rating across 3,000+ reviews. The show’s unmissable for equine lovers of all ages (especially if you aspire to own a ranch someday!).
Secretariat will leave you gleeful yet teary-eyed as the Big Red, an American Thoroughbred, takes on the American Triple Crown. Big Red was titled the ninth winner of the Triple Crown and holds a record for the fastest time to finish all three races!
Though you’re well-aware of the ending of the film, you’ll be cheering for the horse throughout the movie. The film also shares insight into the training for the races. Fun fact, Secretariat still holds the record; four decades after the win.
Released in 2010, the sports-drama film currently stands at a 7.2 on IMDb. The movie is based on a book of the same name released in 1975 by William Nack and is available on Netflix for streaming.
16. Being AP
Being AP is perhaps one of the best horse documentaries recorded to date. With favorable reviews from critics, the general audience, and horse lovers – Being AP doesn’t fall short of being ‘incredibly amazing’.
The film looks at Anthony Peter McCoy’s life, a jump jockey, as he approaches his retirement. Sports, family, health, triumphs, failures and whatnot – the documentary perfectly puts his life together for movie lovers to cherish through McCoy’s own words.
It’s available on Amazon Prime for streaming. Unfortunately, it was taken off of Netflix a while back.
FAQs on Best Horse Shows and Movies
Before we wrap things up around here, let’s take a short detour. In this section, I’ll be answering some of the most commonly asked questions related to the best horse movies and shows. Let’s get started:
Netflix has one of the best horse movie collections. Whether you’re up for a tear-jerker or a comic relief, a family-friendly drama film or an inspirational flick, Netflix really has it all. Here’s my list of the best horse movies on Netflix:
– A Champion Heart
– Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
– Ride Like a Girl
– Rock My Heart
– The World We Make
– War Horse
– The Mustang
– Spirit Riding Free: Spirit of Christmas
– Horse Girl
All you need is a single subscription on Netflix to stream these right away. Already have it? Get to watching! Don’t know which movie to watch? Give my reviews a quick read. Here’s an article on some of the best horse movies on Netflix alone.
Dream Horse is available on Netflix for streaming. The story revolves around a Welsh bartender who begins to explore her passion for breeding and racing horses. Backed by the entire town’s support and well-wishes, she embarks on her journey to win the championship with her horse!
Dream Alliance, the horse featured in Dream Horse, has also been the subject of another hit documentary, Dark Horse. You can also watch Dark Horse on Netflix with any subscription of the streaming platform.
You can stream horse movies on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Vudu, or other streaming platforms easily. Whether it’s a film from the classical era of cinema or a modern TV series, there’s content of all sorts. If you don’t like subscription-based services, you can always rent out horse films.
For starters, simply go through my list of the best horse flicks and pick your choice. That’s it! I’ve mentioned all streaming platforms against every movie where the film is available for your streaming.
That’s it folks! Howdy away as it’s time for you to pick your next watch. I’ve just covered some of the best horse shows and movies there are today. Luckily, some of these flicks are available on digital streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix for you to get to watching right away!
What’d you think about my list of the best horse flicks? Do share your comments down below!