We wish we could devote every moment of life to our horses, but it is simply not possible. Even the most committed equestrians require a break from time to time.
So, documentaries and videos on horses may be a fun way to pass the time (while discovering more about how truly awesome horses are). Nothing beats cuddling up on the couch with your favorite snack and enjoying a great horse documentary after a hard day of work (or horse-riding at the barn).
We’ve rounded up some of the best equestrian documentaries that explore everything from Americas’s wild horses, to Triple Crown winners, to the horse racing industry, and more. Whether you’re interested in thoroughbred racing, cowboy life, or something else, these films tell the stories of some very remarkable animals and humans.
Without further ado, here are our favorite documentaries that showcase the equine world!
Oh and if you’re more in the mood for a movie instead of a documentary, check out this article for my favorites!
My Heroes Were Cowboys (Short)
This short (23 minute) Netflix original documentary chronicles Robin Wiltshire’s painful immigrant childhood, and how he was rescued by Westerns. Redeemed by the art of horse training, he now lives on the frontier of his dreams, training the horses he loves for the big screen.
Equus: Story of the Horse
Equus: Narrative of the Horse recounts the remarkable history of horses and our relationship with them from the initial connections between horse and man and present-day horse lovers. The beginnings of this cherished animal, as well as the incredible affinity humans have formed with horses, are told in this gorgeous miniseries.
This two-part video examines several horse breeds from around the globe and how they have acclimated to their various situations. We adore every part of this documentary, which covers the tale of horses and how they got to where they’re at.
Harry & Snowman
Harry & Snowman is a real Cinderella story about an immigrant, Harry DeLeyer, and Snowman, a rescued Amish plow horse on his way to a glue factory. The powerful team proceeded to win the Grand Slam of exhibition jumping after only two years, defeating the best jumpers in the country. The couple rapidly attracted media attention and became beloved by America.
Harry & Snowman is a truly heartwarming story of friendship and bravery in which a rescued horse becomes a national sensation.
Buck is based on the true story of Buck Brannanam, who progressed from being abused as a youngster to being a real-life horse whisperer. Brannanam’s unique approach to horse training is based on his life experiences, and he has had a lot of success with it.
Throughout this documentary, Brannanam goes across the nation to various ranches providing workshops on organic horsemanship. He educates people on interacting with horses via authority and compassion rather than punishment. This one is an excellent choice because of its sincerity, tenderness, and the incredible bond between Brannanam as well as the horses he interacts with.
Dark Horse (1992)
Dark Horse is a unique narrative that demonstrates how valuable horses are to mental health. In the film, Allison Mills is a teenager who is having a difficult time following the loss of her mother. After acting out, she’s taken to a nearby stable to undertake volunteer work.
There, she meets Jet, a stallion who would change her life for good. I bet a lot of people will be able to relate to the healing relationship between Allison and her horse.
Unbranded chronicles four men and 16 mustangs who travel over 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada. All of the Mustangs they’re bringing with them were fostered from the Bureau of Land Management’s adoption program. Beautiful images of the American west are shown throughout the documentary as four college graduates embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Wild Horse, Wild Ride
Wild Horse, Wild Ride is about the Ultimate Mustang Competition, which is an annual event where 100 participants have 100 days to tame an untamed mustang. This event, which demonstrates the miraculous metamorphosis of anxious wild Mustangs into loyal friends, attracts experts and novices.
Chasing the Win
Chasing the Win is a documentary that follows the emergence of a horse owner, a new horse trainer, and their prized thoroughbred on an incredible trip to the limelight.
This film is an inspiring one since it depicts the trials and benefits of the horse racing profession. As this enthralling documentary demonstrates, dreams come true, and underdogs may make it to the top.
The Horse Boy
The Horse Boy is about a family on a spiritual quest to find horses as a kind of rehabilitation for their autistic son. The family rides across Outer Mongolia with Rowan, who finds therapy through horses.
Rowan develops a particular bond with horses and flourishes due to his interactions with them. This documentary will bring a smile to your face as it depicts horses’ fantastic abilities.
This documentary is uplifting and encouraging, which all horse lovers will appreciate.
All the Wild Horses
All the Wild Horses chronicles the arduous yet spectacular voyage of the Mongol Derby, the globe’s toughest and longest horse race. The event traverses 650 km across Mongolia’s harsh terrain, encompassing everything from the mountains to the desert. This thrilling movie depicts several of the event’s fiercest horses and handlers as they put their fortitude to the test.
This is a must-see for horse enthusiasts since it has adventure, drama, excellent horsemanship, and a stunning landscape.
Down the Fence
Down the Fence is one of the horse documentaries that features an ensemble cast of horse coaches as they prepare for the most challenging equestrian competitions in the country. This intriguing documentary examines the unusual reined cow horse event and its significance in maintaining authentic cowboy culture.
This documentary is interesting and intriguing, and any horse enthusiast will love it. It delves into the bond built between horses and their handlers and the devotion required to reach the top. With this thrilling glimpse into this unique sport, you’ll gain a new understanding of cowboys’ heritage, which dates back to the Spanish missions.
The Horse With the Flying Tail
An oldie by a goodie, The Horse with the Flying Tail is a 1960 horse documentary about Nautical, a palomino racehorse who clinched gold against all odds. This horse was portrayed as a plain stock horse, although he was sired by a Quarter Horse with largely thoroughbred bloodlines.
He progressed to open jumper status and competed in the US national horse show circuit. Before his Olympic success, Nautical was an erratic jumper who was prone to stopping at ditch and water jumps. However, when Nautical was willing, he was a brilliant jumper, and when he jumped a barrier, Nautical would lift his tail in the peculiar manner depicted in the film’s picture.
Nautical lifted his tail for each flawless jump even higher, and audiences at state fairs depended on these signals from Nautical to record his points instead of relying on the examiners’ results. When Hugh Wiley acquired him, he recruited the services of Bertalan de Nemethy, the trainer of the US Equestrian Squad, and they worked together to groom Nautica to the Olympic caliber open jumper he eventually became.
The Horse Whisperer (Short)
Jean Francois Pignon is the subject of this short 5-minute horse documentary. The French equestrian describes his connection with Gazelle, a white horse, and how the horse enabled him to form deep bonds with several other horses. Pignon now reveals his horse-whispering abilities with tens of thousands of people in every show.
Available on: YouTube
Listening to the Horse
Listening to the horse has nearly 70 of the world’s greatest horse aficionados telling stories about individuals and their horses. Dialogue, young horses, groundwork, collection, mobility, and mental health are all covered in this seven-part course. This miniseries is informative and uplifting, and the stories are based on real-life occurrences and professional advice from horse enthusiasts from all around the world.
This documentary is also available in book and audiobook format if you’d prefer to just listen instead of watch!
Whether you are a long-time horse lover or a novice horse fan, the documentaries on this list will teach and entertain you. Of course, these are just a handful of the numerous excellent documentaries about our beloved animal, the horse. So if your favorite documentary is missing from this list, let us know in the comments and we’ll consider adding it!