Jenny Pearce

Best horse scenes from movies

The kind of “want to be gentle” horse person that is attracted to my blog, would be forgiven for looking at Mario Luraschi’s horse stunts, (specially the ones of his horses rearing and falling on the ground and the one above of the horse leaping into the boat and slide stopping between two rows of seated soldiers) you would be forgiven for thinking “What kind of a wanker makes a horse do horrible things like that?”

And yet rushing to judgement in this case would not be a good idea.

I’ve got the jaw dropping live footage of the horse in this photo galloping down that dock, leaping into the boat and slide stopping down the centre planks of the boat with a row of people on either side – along with some other also stunning horse stunts, including horses rearing and falling to the ground, on an old VHF video format.  This is the french stuntman, Mario Luraschi.

What makes me call him a master horseman instead of a wanker?

I’m a lot more discerning than I was back when I first saw this footage, but what makes me still call him a master horseman with a gift, is that his horses were still doing those stunt falls waayy into their 20’s.  The fact that they were still in excellent health (better than the vast number of normal riding horses actually), still beautifully muscled across their backs especially and still doing those stunt falls says to me that they were not hurting their bodies, minds or spirits doing the stunts.

If they were experiencing stress doing those stunts, then they would be carrying tension in their bodies and if they were carrying tension in their bodies for too long, they would start to get injuries and break down – because that’s the way it works.  It’s rarely a mystery to how or why horses get injuries and break down when you look at it like that.

Emotional stress causes physical tension causes injuries and illness

Yeah I know, even this topic gave me an excuse to jump on my hobby horse – emotional stress causes physical tension causes illness and injury!

The VHF video footage I’ve got, has Luraschi talking about how he selects the horses, what makes these horses great at what they do so well and we got to see flashes of some of the training – all interspersed with scenes from the movies that just make any horse person’s jaw drop – and no cut and paste special effects that would be used these days either!

Appollo – As an attacking horse, he was able to do everything and play everything while movie making. He was in ‘The Black Stallion’ and also ‘The riders of the storm’.

What’s your favorite horse scenes from movies, where you can make a case for good horsemanship?  i.e. that you can make a case for a stress free horse acting in the movies and still living a long and actively happy life?

Let’s make this a celebration of good horsemanship – no slandering poor horsemanship please – they’re doing their best at that moment and just about everyone is on a journey to get better. it’s OK to call attention to what you think makes a happy horse and an unhappy horse – that’s an important part of discernment – but no judgement or canning of the trainer please.

Appollo in this photo, is also in the old VHF video footage I have.  Most horses if looking like this would be looking for a serious life and horsemanship method change, but on my video, Appollo goes from happy soft eyes to this demon at a signal and drops back to happy soft eyes again.  A star actor indeed!

So… Favourite horse movies and scenes with happy horses in the comments please. Add photos and video linkages where possible and if you can’t figure out how to do it, send them to me by email and I’ll add them for you.



  1. June McIntosh 10/01/2018, 8:37 am Reply

    My kids used to love the movie Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. My oldest daughter did a research project on diving horses for 4H. This was in the days before Internet, so we did research the old fashioned way and ended up talking on the phone to someone in Atlantic City who had been involved in the act. She also said that the horses worked well into their 20s, or even older, and that there were some horses who just went ahead and jumped with no coaxing and not much training – those were the horses who were suited to the work and were selected. The movie fakes the actual leap (or at least part of it), but it’s breathtaking to watch the horses run up the ramp.

    • jennyp 10/01/2018, 8:58 am Reply

      Wowww… I didn’t expect THAT to be the case! It looked so scarey for the horse

  2. Kim Walnes 10/01/2018, 8:31 am Reply

    I, too, have that old VHS tape, Jenny. AMAZING! And his horses do love him. Thanks for making this point. There are all kinds of horses, with all kinds of talents and skills.

    • jennyp 10/01/2018, 8:56 am Reply

      I’m soooo glad you got that Kim. I had some concerns that people might not get that what we see with our eyes is not always what is really going on. 🙂 Thanks!

  3. Felicity Wischer 09/30/2018, 10:14 am Reply

    What immediately jumped into my mind was the horse in the scene in War Horse when he went to find his blind master when they were all injured. And also The Horse Whisperer – various scenes in that from tearing up at the truck, lunging at the girl in the stable when she first saw him and the roping scene when Robert Redford/Buck Brannaman roped him and put him on the ground.

  4. Mary House 09/29/2018, 6:17 pm Reply

    has to be The Black Stallion in the surf! would love to get a copy and watch again!

    • jennyp 09/29/2018, 7:50 pm Reply

      Appollo the attacking horse in the bottom photo, was in the black stallion. I’m not sure which scenes but no doubt attacking someone! 🙂

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