Yeehaw! It’s movie night. Are you a horse lover, or someone who just enjoys watching a good story unfold on screen?
I love how horse movies can capture the majesty and grace of these amazing creatures on screen. There are numerous horse movies out there, and it can be hard to pick out the right one! Whether you’re looking or a movie for the kids, watching the movie as a family cuddled under a blanket, or if you’re alone after a long busy day, I’ve got some really great recommendations for you.
So, get your popcorn, M&Ms, and drinks because here are the best horse movies to watch this year!
P.S. If you’re more in the mood for a documentary, check out this article!
My Little Pony: The Movie (Best for Young Kids)
Prepare for a magical, fun, and music-filled journey far from Equestria after Ponyland suffers a devastating blow. Your kids will love you for putting on this fun animated movie!
The Storm King, an evil leader has captured Ponyland and needs to imprison the four equestrian princesses to steal their power and rule the land. He captures three of them and turns them to stone before the major friendship festival. Luckily, Princess Twilight Sparkle and some friends manage to escape.
Their mission: look for Queen Novo for help, free everyone else and defeat the Storm King. Along the way, Princess Twilight befriends various characters who help her get to Queen Novo’s home. Sadly, the place is abandoned. Queen Novo and everyone else was forced underwater after the Storm King invaded them.
Princess Twilight manages to find Queen Novo who refuses to help despite having a pearl that can save every pony. Princess Twilight is banished from the underwater kingdom after an unsuccessful attempt to steal the pearl. It’s now up to her and her buddies to rally all the magic they can get to save their kingdom and defeat the Storm King. Will they do it? There’s only one way to find out.
The Horse Whisperer (Best for Adults & Teens)
Give it up for this five-star movie adaption of a novel with the same name… It’s among the best classic horse movies!
This classic movie starring Robert Redford is about a fun horse ride that turns tragic when Grace and her horse, Pilgrim, are gruesomely injured in a road accident. Sadly, the accident claims the lives of Grace’s friend and her horse. The accidents also result in Grace’s leg amputation and Pilgrim’s severe injuries and were almost put down by animal control. Weeks later, Grace has physically recovered, but her emotional scars from the accident run deep. Her state is aggravated when she sees Pilgrim’s dire state. To save her daughter and marriage, Annie, Grace’s mom, heads to Tom Booker’s farm in Montana.
Tom, a.k.a “the horse whisperer,” is renowned for rehabilitating injured horses and is enlisted to help. In the process, Grace also comes to terms with her accident and begins to heal. But then conflicts arise when Annie develops a romantic attraction towards Tom.
If you are in the mood for a film about loss, restoration, healing, love, and grace, then The Horse Whisperer is the way to go.
Spirit Untamed (Best for the Whole Family)
After an unlucky encounter at an event in front of guests, Lucky is sent away with her aunt Cora to live with her dad in the countryside. While aware of their arrival, Lucky’s dad has no idea how to take care of his daughter.
On the way there, Lucky sees and is intrigued by a herd of wild horses that happen to live near her new town. The herd’s mustang has been captured in an enclosure close to her home. The desire to tame the wild mustang overpowers her, despite the challenges and dangers involved. Luckily (pun intended!), Lucky becomes friends with two girls who have horses and advise her what to do.
Of course, trouble isn’t far when a gang of thieves steal the horses and transport them across the country via train. Lucky and her crew tracks the train while overcoming numerous obstacles. Will they reach the train in time to rescue the horses?
Get ready for a fun adventure portraying patience, strong love for animals, responsibility, friendship, putting others first, friendship, and bravery in the face of adversity.
Secretariat (Great for Older Kids & the Whole Family)
For a movie based on a true story filled with excitement, encouragement, and awe, go for Secretariat! This is one of THE great horse racing movies that all horse lovers need to watch at some point in their lives.
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame gave the real Secretariat the title of the greatest racehorse of the 20th century after winning five Eclipse Awards.
In this movie, Penny tweedy, a housewife and mother of four takes over her father’s ailing farm. She goes against her Harvard professor brother’s intentions of selling the farm to achieve her father’s dream. (Her father had bought mares at lower prices to breed with the best stallions in town to produce winners.)
Despite her brother’s protests, Penny continues reaching for her goal and her efforts eventually pay off when Secretariat was born. With the help of a new horse trainer, her father’s secretary, stable hand, and a little bit of luck, Secretariat grows to become one of the most iconic thoroughbred horses in the history of horse racing.
Dream Horse (for the Whole Family)
Jan Vokes works in a small-town Welsh bar. With absolutely no experience whatsoever, she convinces her community to help her raise Dream Alliance, a very unlikely racehorse. But can Dream measure up to the racing elites? I’ll let you find out.
This feel-good movie is filled with hope and inspiration. It’s based on a true story, too!
War Horse (Great for Adults & Teens)
Witnessing the birth of a colt is breathtaking. Bonding with the colt all through to adulthood is a lifetime experience. Parting with such a horse is devastating and heartbreaking. This is the essence of the War Horse story.
War Horse is set in World War I. Albert is devastated when his dad, forced by circumstances, sells his most precious horse, Joey, to the Calvary for battle.
Throughout battle, Joey and Albert go through a lot of trials, from getting captured and escaping, and more. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that Albert and Joey eventually get separated… You’ll have to watch the movie to find out if they eventually find each other again.
Love and connection between man and beast can be tested, but never broken.
- IMDb rating: 7.2/10
- Rated: PG-13
- Watch on: Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Cinemax
- Watch the trailer: YouTube
Rock My Heart (Good for Teens & Tweens)
Who says you can’t follow your dreams and achieve the impossible, despite the odds being stacked against you?
In this movie, we meet Jana, a 17-year-old teen with heart problems, who lives an adventurous life. Countless times, her parents constantly advise against her ways, but Jana doesn’t hear or heed to any of that. She wants to be carefree.
Paul Brenner, a horse trainer, recruits Jana to be his next potential jockey. She goes through rigorous training and competes as an amateur jockey in a dangerous race. Jana doesn’t let her condition weigh her down. Together with a rowdy black stallion, the two forge a connection that wins competitions.
The movie won the Youth 4 German Cinema Runner-up award and got nominated for five others.
Dreamer (Great for the Whole Family)
This is yet another awesome movie for horse lovers that’s based on a true story. Second chances, morals, faith, and rising above all setbacks come to light in this fantastic film. It’s amazing how a horse can catalyze and cement relationships, as witnessed in this movie.
Sonador (Dreamer), a horse owned by an Arabian prince, falls in the middle of a race due to a bad leg. The prince instructs Ben, the horse’s trainer, to put her down. The prince fires Ben after he refuses to put Dreamer down, as Cale (Ben’s daughter) loves the horse.
In lieu of severance pay, Ben takes Dreamer home to rehabilitate her for breeding. Unfortunately, she’s infertile which infuriates the farmhand as they were promised a share of the breeder profits. However, Cale opens Ben’s mind and decides to give Dreamer a second chance at racing. In the process, Ben gets a second chance at a better relationship with his wife, daughter, and dad, his dreams of racing thoroughbreds again, and standing by his principles.
Orphan Horse (Good for the Whole Family)
This movie is about three souls that come from different worlds… But they all come with tragic stories. Ben Crowley has a dark past, Shelly is a young girl who has run away from abusive foster parents, and Orphan is a horse orphaned by a tragedy.
After running away, Shelly ends up taking refuge in Ben’s stable. Sadly, wolves invade the stable, killing one horse and leaving the other, Filly, who is now orphaned. When Ben discovers Shelly in his stable, he sends her away at first. However, the instant connection created between Shelly and Filly (later renamed Orphan) changes Ben’s mind and allows Shelly to stay indefinitely.
Shelly manages to break Orphan and the two form an unbreakable bond. This love rubs on Ben, evaporating his grumpiness and starting his healing journey. The movie is filled with emotions, morals, accountability, and forgiveness. Orphan Horse will leave you in tears, so have some tissues ready!
This isn’t by far an exhaustive list… I could recommend so many other good ones, to be honest. (And maybe I’ll build this list out more in the future!) These are just a few of the best ones I recommend to enjoy as a family. I guarantee you there’s a lot more to enjoy, learn, and experience after watching them.
Don’t forget: the next time you’re in the mood for a horse documentary, be sure to check out this article for my favorites!
If you wish to experience and learn about horses from the rider’s view, download my FREE Beginner Rider’s EBook. It contains all the info you need to learn what it takes to be a rider, especially if you’re just starting out!