Do you love horses? Do horse racing competitions make your heart race like crazy? Or maybe, you are just a bored movie lover who wants to explore new genres and plots?
Here, you will know the 20 best horse movies you can watch. We are sure this one will be worth your time! Note that the movies included in this list are suitable for all age timelines. From oldest to newest, only classics comprise this list.
1. The Black Stallion (1979)
English 1h 58m IMDb
Director: Carroll Ballard
Stars: Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr
The Black Stallion is an all-time movie favorite based on one of the books in the series novel written by the American author Walter Farley. This movie follows the life adventure of a young boy named Alec Ramsey and his newfound Arabian Stallion friend after a disastrous event.
The top critics in the review aggregator site called rotten tomatoes said that The Black Stallion film is magical, breathtakingly beautiful, and suspenseful. The imagery and cinematography of this masterpiece are stunning.
2. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
Director: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook
Stars: Matt Damon(voice), James Cromwell(voice), Daniel Studi(voice)
This animated film is about how humans can sometimes be so cruel. Nevertheless, it also emphasizes the beauty of hope and freedom. You will learn so much from this even though it seems like a film only suitable for children.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron revolves around the story of an untamed Stallion captured by humans. The pitiful animal tried its best to view life from a positive perspective despite the hurdles it faced throughout its captivity.
This classic film received twenty-two nominations from different award-giving bodies. Fortunately, it won ten of these.
3. Running free (1999)
English 1h 21m IMDb
Director: Sergei Bodrov
Stars: Chase Moore, Maria Geelbooi, Arie Verveen
It’s heart-wrenching how people forget that animals also have the right to life. This disturbing truth is once again observed in the next movie.
Running free also narrates the story of a horse in captivity. This film was from the perspective of the horse itself. This film tells how it achieved freedom for the first time since birth and learned to survive independently.
Running free is said to be entertaining to watch. It also has an incredible storyline. It is highly recommended for horse lovers!
4. Secretariat (2010)
English 2h 3m IMDb
Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Margo Martindale
Who said that only men could be involved in horses? If you believe that women can also do that, this film will make that belief firm. Secretariat is a biographical movie about a woman who exceeds the expectations of everyone. Of course, it was because of the horse that she trained and nurtured.
This masterpiece is a story of loses and wins. When we say victories, it is the remarkable ones. Secretariat tells the story of a talented colt, named as the title itself, that triumphed as the Triple Crown winner of the year 1973.
5. War horse (2011)
English 2h 26m IMDb
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
A novel of the same name inspired the movie. The production was astounding. The crew used fourteen horses as a double for the lead horse character. Only one scene is digitalized to ensure its safety.
The War Horse movie has a fascinating story. Moreover, this classic is about the love of a man towards his horse during war.
The film bagged seventy-seven nominations and fifteen wins. That is a lot, right? We can say that the whole cast and crew, especially the director, Steven Spielberg, did an excellent job!
6. Hidalgo (2004)
English 2h 16m IMDb
Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Zuleikha Robinson
Hidalgo is the name of the mustang in this film. It is an adaptation of the life of Frank Hopkins– a distance rider and his horse. The main characters traveled a 3,000 miles desert because of a competition where they both encountered hindrances and struggled throughout the game.
It is an unrecognized movie that deserves more appreciation. Some say that this is an old-fashioned piece. Nevertheless, we are sure that you will enjoy Hidalgo’s adventurous vibe.
7. National Velvet (1944)
English 2h 3m IMDb
Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp
Like the others, National Velvet is a film adapted from a book of the same name. It is about a young girl, Velvet Brown, portrayed by the late Elizabeth Taylor.
To give you a brief background story, Velvet Brown is a girl fascinated with horses. Then she met a former jockey whom she asked for help to train her to become a good and equipped jockey too. She entered the Grand National competition.
You can cherish this film with your loved ones. National Velvet deserves worldwide recognition.
8. Lean on Pete (2017)
English (United Kingdom) 2h 1m IMDb
Director: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Charlie Plummer, Amy Seimetz, Travis Fimmel
Let us start by knowing how great this movie is. Lean on Pete received eighteen nominations and eleven awards from respected organizations. The Truly Moving Picture Award, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score are among these wins.
Lean on Pete revolves around the bond between a horse and a young boy who longs for stability in his life. This film will surely shred your heart with its sincerity and heavy scenes. However, do not let it scare you, go and appreciate the movie.
9. Black Beauty (2020)
English 1h 50m IMDb
Director: Ashley Avis
Stars: Kate Winslet(voice), Mackenzie FoyIain Glen
Black beauty is a modern-day adaptation of a best-selling novel of the same name written by the late author Anna Sewell. Do not be confused if you read or watched any film with the same title and plot because that is just another version. This one is the latest release.
Black beauty tells the story of a girl whose parents died in an accident. She felt lost and hurting until the beautiful black horse came into her life. This film will teach you how essential a companion is, whether in human or animal form.
10. Black Beauty (1994)
English 1h 28m IMDb
Director: Caroline Thompson
Stars: Sean Bean, David Thewlis, Docs Keepin Time
As mentioned in the previous movie, black beauty has many adaptations. This one is the fifth among those.
It tackles the fate and life of black beauty from the first-person point of view. Black beauty narrates his connection to his owners too. To know more about this film, you should watch it!
This film garnered positive reviews from its audiences. It is an all-time favorite film about horses. The cinematography, music, and acting of the cast are impeccable.
11. Seabiscuit (2003)
English 2h 20m IMDb
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks
Seabiscuit is an award-winning film that explores the story of a tiny racehorse named as the title. His potential to win competitions was unleashed when three men shaped and equipped him.
Seabiscuit was set in the depression era, whereas the victories of Seabiscuit became a symbol of hope and redemption to the nation.
This film received forty-four nominations and six wins in total. Some of these are the Best Foreign Language Film at the Hochi Film Awards and in the National Board of Review as included in the Top Ten Films.
12. Dreamer (2005)
English 1h 46m IMDb
Director: John Gatins
Stars: Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Oded Fehr
The movie Dreamer is inspired by the story of the horse race Mariah’s Storm, which got injured during a competition. The incident impacted Soñador, the horse in the film, in many ways that the owner decided to sell him.
Meanwhile, Cale, the daughter of Soñador’s owner, believed that the horse would heal. So, she tried her best to save the distressed horse.
Keith Howland– a movie critic, said this film is innocently refreshing. It has meaningful themes such as family kinship and pursuing dreams. Dreamer is a movie best for people who consider second chances.
13. Virginia’s run (2002)
English 1h 43m IMDb
Director: Peter Markle
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Lindze Letherman, Rachel Skarsten
A 2002 coming-of-age movie, Virginia’s run, revolves around the story of the thirteen-year-old Virginia Lofton. Her mother died because of a riding accident which led her father to prohibit them from riding horses. Virginia disobeys his father’s wish as she becomes fond of the horse called Stormy.
Virginia’s run has a heartfelt storyline. A family film that is beautifully and remarkably crafted. No surprise, it won two awards from the Heartland International Film Festival. One is for the Best Dramatic Feature Film, and the other is for the Feature Film.
14. Phar lap (1983)
English 1h 47m IMDb
Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Tom Burlinson, Judy Morris, Martin Vaughan
Phar lap is a biographical film about the horse Phar lap who mysteriously died. The movie was played in a flashback sequence that enables the viewers to watch the historical life of this horse after its death.
People believed that Phar lap was murdered. Watch the film and investigate for yourself!
Phar lap won four wins and five nominations. This film won numerous awards at the 1983 Australian Film Institute. It also received a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing- Foreign Feature.
15. Wild horse, wild ride (2011)
English 1h 46m IMDb
Director: Alex Dawson, Greg Gricus
Stars: Carlos Chee
The next one on our list is the only documentary film included that bagged the Audience Favorite Documentary award at Aspen Filmfest. This one is indeed interesting.
This film was focused on recording the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge held in Texas. At the said competition, 100 trainers are given 100 days to tame 100 wild mustangs.
This film spread awareness about the current situation of horses in America, providing a home for each mustang. Bill Graham, a movie critic, said this film is a rare gem. It is a thrilling documentary but somehow heartbreaking.
16. Shergar (1999)
English 1h 35m IMDb
Director: Dennis C. Lewiston
Stars: Alan Barker, Billy Boyle, Stephen Brennan
Shergar is an award-winning racehorse that terrorists stole in 1983. During the captivity, Shergar was taken care of by Kevin Doherty, the heroic character in the film. Kevin took the poor horse away and vanished as he learned that Shergar would be shot since the government didn’t want to pay the ransom fee.
The movie’s ending is not specific, and no one knows what happened after the two escaped. Shergar is a mysterious classic. Nevertheless, this film is only advisable for adults because it contains harsh language and violence.
17. Flicka (2006)
English 1h 35m IMDb
Director: Michael Mayer
Stars: Alison Lohman, Tim McGraw, Maria Bello
Flicka is a film adapted from one of Mary O’Hara’s books in the novel trilogy. It follows the story of Katy and how she managed to break the expectations of people around her– especially her father.
Later in the film, she proves to her father that she can officiate their family’s ranch. Flicka is a great family film. The setting of the movie is also beautiful. It is best to read the book My Friend Flicka, too.
18. The mustang (2019)
English 1h 36m IMDb
Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Stars: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jason Mitchell, Bruce Dern
Have you ever heard of the term equine therapy? It is a medical term that uses horse riding, feeding, grooming, and leading as a treatment for some illnesses.
That is the same therapy that helped the main character in this film. The mustang tells the story of a prisoner that joined a rehabilitation program inside the jail. As he goes through it, he is able to confront his past.
The mustang won seven awards, including the Best First Feature in the 2019 Satellite Awards and the Outstanding Film Written by a Woman in the 2020 Women’s Image Network Awards.
19. 50 to 1 (2014)
English 1h 50m IMDb
Director: Jim Wilson
Stars: Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane, William Devane
50 to 1 is based on the actual narrative of a crooked-footed horse named Mine That Bird that qualified and won in the Kentucky Derby year 2009. This horse is trained by cowboys who promised to make the unqualified horse race compete at all costs.
50 to 1 movie is not only a sports drama but also a classic with an entertaining story. It also teaches its viewers the importance of persistence and friendship. However, the language used in this film is heavy. So, it is better not to let kids or teens watch it.
20. Dream horse (2020)
English 1h 53m IMDb
Director: Euros Lyn
Stars: Toni Collette, Owen Teale, Alan David
Dream horse is the newest film included in this list. It follows the story of Dream Alliance– the horse character and Jan Vokes. Dream alliance is the name Jan gave because raising the horse seemed to build a union in their neighborhood. Everyone chips in money to provide the needed support and care.
Dream horse is a feel-good movie that everyone would enjoy. It is inspirational since it reflects the saying “dreams do come true.” A brilliant film with excellent actors. Dream horse is a film you shouldn’t miss!
Some on this list are oldies but goodies, and there are also fresh releases. We ensured that this list of 20 best horse movies would cater to all audiences and readers. On your end, we hope that you will not waste your time anymore. Start watching these classic films about love for animals, friendship, perseverance, and hope.