There’s a good reason there are so many movies about horses — horse lovers love them! Whether you’re an accomplished equestrian or still dreaming of your first horse, watching a film with horses can be exciting and inspiring. That’s why we consulted IMDb rankings to come up with the 30 best movies about horses. Did your favorites make the list?
IMDb users give A Day at the Races a whopping 7.6 out of 1o! The 1937 comedy stars Groucho, Chico, and Harpo Marx. It tells the crazy and laugh-out-loud story of a veterinarian posing as a racehorse owner, and his group of friends who use a misfit racehorse to help keep open the local sanitarium.
Released in 2011, Buck is a documentary that examines the life of Buck Brannaman. The film recounts Brannaman’s life, from his childhood of abuse to his rise to fame as an acclaimed ‘horse whisperer.’
3. National Velvet
National Velvet is a 1944 classic starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney. The film is about a young girl who poses as a male jockey to ride in England’s prestigious Grand National steeplechase.
Author Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book, Seabiscuit, was made into a 2003 Oscar-nominated film. The movie stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, and Elizabeth Banks. It tells the true story of the Depression-era racehorse whose unlikely victories raised the spirits of a nation.
5. The Black Stallion
The Black Stallion is another classic horse film. It was released in 1979, starring Kelly Reno and Mickey Rooney. This beloved horse movie is about a boy and a mysterious black Arabian stallion who are the only two survivors of a tragic ship sinking.
6. The Man From Snowy River
Kirk Douglas stars in the popular The Man From Snowy River. This top-rated horse movie is set in 1880s Australia, and follows a young man who takes a job on a cattle ranch.
7. Phar Lap
Phar Lap has long been considered one of the greatest racehorses to ever live. This film recounts the true story of the Australian racehorse, from his early days to his rise as a bonafide champion.
Yet another true story about a champion racehorse, Ruffian tells the tale of the filly who took the horse-racing world by storm in the early 1970s. The film stars Sam Shepard as Ruffian’s devoted trainer, Frank Whitely.
9. Dark Horse
The documentary Dark Horse took the film world by storm when it was released in 2015. The film won “Best Documentary” awards at both the Sundance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. It follows a group of friends from a working men’s club in Britain who decide to join the “sport of kings” and breed themselves a racehorse.
10. The Horse Boy
The Horse Boy is an incredible documentary about the Isaacson family, who travel all the way to Mongolia to consult with nomadic shamans about the healing of their autistic, horse-loving son. The boy’s father, Rupert Isaacson, also wrote their story in the form of a bestselling book.
11. Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken
Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken is a Disney film originally released in 1991. The movie stars Gabrielle Anwar as Sonora, a poor runaway who tries to land the job of a daredevil who jumps horses off of high dives. Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken is based on a true story.
Disney’s Secretariat is based on the incredible true story of the racehorse which won the 1973 Triple Crown, and his unlikely female owner, Penny Chenery Tweedy. The movie, which won a slew of people’s and critics’ choice awards, stars Diane Lane and John Malkovich.
13. War Horse
Steven Spielberg directed War Horse. It’s a heart-wrenching action adventure film about a horse named Joey, who is sold into the British cavalry during World War I, and Joey’s devoted owner, Albert, who enlists in an attempt to find him.
14. In Pursuit of Honor
Speaking of war horses, next on our list of the best horse movies is In Pursuit of Honor. Starring Don Johnson and Craig Sheffer, this film is based on a true story. In 1932, a modernizing U.S. Army ordered its cavalry to destroy its horses. Defying orders, some sympathetic cavalrymen stole the horses to save them from destruction.
15. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
The only animated film to make our list of the best horse movies is Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The movie revolves around Spirit, a wild stallion voiced by Matt Damon. Spirit is captured by humans and forced into training. Though Spirit slowly loses the will to resist his new role, he still dreams about returning home to his herd.
16. Into the West
Into the West is a family adventure film about two young boys who receive a horse as a gift from their grandfather. The boys hide the horse in their tower-block flat in Dublin, Ireland. When the horse is stolen from them, they set out to find it.
17. It Ain’t Hay
It Ain’t Hay is a hilarious Abbott and Costello comedy about a taxi driver who accidentally kills a famous local playboy’s carriage horse by feeding it candy. In order to avoid the wrath of both the people and the cops, the taxi driver steals a horse to replace it. Unfortunately, the horse he steals happens to be a famous racehorse named Tea Biscuit.
18. Boots Malone
This 1952 horse movie stars William Holden as Boots Malone. Boots is a wheeling and dealing jockey’s agent who goes from living at the Ritz to sleeping in a horse stall when his star jock is killed in an accident. To get back on his feet, Boots decides to train an eager young man he doesn’t know is a rich kid runaway.
19. Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
Starring Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning, Dreamer is the story of a horse trainer and his young daughter who rescue a racehorse with a broken leg. They rehabilitate her into a champion. And yes, it’s inspired by a true story.
Hidalgo is another inspiring horse movie that is based on a true story. Starring real-life horse lover Viggo Mortensen, Hidalgo takes place in 1890. It follows a down-on-his-luck cowboy and his horse as they travel to Arabia to compete in a deadly cross-desert horse race.
Described by lead actor Guillaume Canet as “Rocky meets jumpers,” Jappeloup is a French film about the real-life Pierre Durand, Jr. In the 1980s, Durand left a successful career as a lawyer, returned to his first love of show jumping, and purchased a horse named Jappeloup de Luze. Though the pair lose at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, they make history at the 1988 games in Seoul.
22. The Colt
Based on the short story by Mikhail Sholokhov, The Colt is a 2005 television movie about Civil War Union cavalry soldier Jim Rabb, his beloved mare, and the little colt that is born in the midst of battle. When Rabb defies orders to shoot the colt, he keeps it as a sort of mascot. The colt grows to lead the desperate men of the First Cavalry on a journey of hope and brotherhood.
23. Black Beauty
This beautiful film based on Anna Sewell’s beloved classic follows a horse, Black Beauty, as he narrates the circle of his life. The movie, which won Best Feature Film at the Genesis Awards, stars Sean Bean, Alan Cumming, and the equine superstar, Docs Keepin Time.
24. Miracle of the White Stallions
Miracle of the White Stallions is a 1963 Disney film that recounts the true story of how American general Patton helped to save Vienna’s famous Lipizzaner stallions from the Nazis. The movie is based on the book by Alois Podhajsky, who was director of Vienna’s Spanish Riding School during World War II.
25. The Horse Whisperer
Starring Robert Redford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Neill, and a young Scarlett Johansson, The Horse Whisperer tells the story of a severely traumatized girl, her equally traumatized horse, and the unique horse trainer who agrees to help them both heal.
26. The Long Shot
The Long Shot, a Hallmark film, comes in at #26 on our list of the best horse movies. Starring Julie Benz, the TV movie is about a newly single mother who takes on a job at a horse farm. While there, she falls in love with a long shot of a horse, and decides to enter him in a high-stakes riding competition.
Based on Marguerite Henry’s beloved children’s book, Misty of Chincoteague, this is another of the best horse movies. Two young siblings, Paul and Maureen, save up their money to purchase an elusive pony named The Phantom. But the two get a surprise when The Phantom shows up with a tiny foal the pair names Misty.
28. 50 to 1
Like many of the films on our list of the best horse movies, 50 to 1 recounts the life of a real horse. This time it’s Mine That Bird, the 50 to 1 long shot who won the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Skeet Ulrich and Christian Kane star as two of the New Mexico cowboys who bought and trained Mine That Bird.
29. The Electric Horseman
Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star in this 1979 romantic comedy about an aging rodeo star who steals his company’s horse and rides into the desert, with a feisty reporter accompanying him.
30. Moondance Alexander
Fifteen year old Moondance is preparing for yet another boring summer when she stumbles across a lost pony named Checkers. As she befriends the pony, Moondance begins to pursue a dream she never knew she had — to enter Checkers into the Bow Valley Classic jumping competition.