7 misconceptions about horses in movies

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7 misconceptions about horses in movies

Galloping on the beach, riding bareback, covering kilometers in a few seconds…

So many typical movie scenes that hide a very different reality: a ride on the beach can quickly turn into a nightmare if your horse is in bad mood. Here is an overview of the worst ideas seen in movies.

1. Horses are always harnessed and ready to gallop

You know this scene by heart: the hero is being chased by a bad guy and: Wow! He comes across a fully tacked up and ready to go horse. You might as well say that this has never happened to you while hacking in the forest, and neither less to say it takes you 20 minutes just to get Little Thunder out of his meadow on a day to day basis.

2. The gallops on the beach are moments of pure happiness

Not always, personally my last fairytale ride on the beach ended with a rider down, a horse to catch, and blisters on each hand from trying to hold back my own horse who also wanted a ride without a rider.

READ MORE: Hot topic: sunburns and horses

3. Riding bareback, what a pleasure!

If you hear someone say that they probably don’t ride bareback a high wither thoroughbred or bouncy as hell warmblood or they are most likely lying. The reality is quite different, it is enough for Little Thunder to have a slightly protruding spine and the pleasure quickly turns into torture. Come on, good luck!

The horse wisperer
The horse wisperer
4. Purebred Spanish & Friesian, everywhere, all the time

Yes, even in historical movies. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it’s sometimes quite unlikely. And if the beauty and handling of horses from these two breeds make them ideal candidates for the cinema, you, as a history buff rider, get a retinal ache when watching some movies. And honestly, so do we!


5. Your horse is your best friend
Another American movie cliché: the shy girl who hates her stepmother and runs to her trusty Pilgrim to tell her all her woes and secrets. No matter how much you love your horse, you still manage to get your nose broken (or almost) while hugging his head on your chest in a tender loving moment as soon as your black beauty hears the sound of a plastic bag the sounds like potential food coming his way. 
Because yes, to listen, Little Thunder is going to be the best. But while you feel like hugging him for a while to heel your broken heart, he might have other priorities like grazing or checking out what his horsies are doing. 
6. The tireless mount that gallops for hours and hours

Directors tend to (really) speed up travel scenes in movies and extremely long distances will seem much shorter. And thankfully for the poor horses. In the wild, horses are trotting to travel and galop to escape predators. They don’t galop for 4h non stop.

7. When you whistle, Little Thunder comes

An option that Little Thunder unfortunately did not come with! To get him out of his pasture you need a bucket of pellets, patience, a hidden halter, and fingers crossed that he will be in a good mood.

Disclaimer: this article is for entertainment purposes only with a touch of humour and sarcasm.

What is your #1 misconception about horses in movies?
Leave it in comments, we want to hear from you!

In the middle ages, war was waged with ponies !


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Comments (12)

  • Linda Reply

    Horses don’t usually whicker all the time!
    They rarely neigh…it’s very annoying

    August 7, 2022 at 4:11 pm
  • andy Reply

    I hate the sound engineers that add to much “talking horses” to films.
    We know the different between a stallion snort voice and foal voice. Oh! Spielberg really screwed up with the horse running through “miles “of barb wire ! Are you kidding! The horse would be suffering blood loss and muscle slices after the first two wires.
    I try not to watch Hollywood horsey shows.

    August 16, 2022 at 2:17 pm
  • Jane E Fuller Reply

    Horses DO NOT whinny when in pain. They whinny to announce their presence to another horse or person they know, or if they are all alone, and trying to locate other horses, and they give a low chuckle/whinny when they see their regular person coming to feed them. They do NOT do it to express pain, fear, sadness etc. A stallion bugles when it’s horny (which is most of the time) and it sees a female. A mare and foal call out to each other if separated (if you’re involved in weaning said foal, you’ll be sick of hearing this by the time the foal finally gets used to being away from mom!) They snort when they are startled, or curious about a new thing. And THAT’S about IT!

    EVERY horse movie I’ve ever watched GETS THIS WRONG!!

    August 19, 2022 at 9:00 pm
    • Susie Reply

      Amen, sister. Drives me CRAZY.

      September 7, 2022 at 8:11 pm
  • JP Reply

    The awful bits , the high hands, the horses gaping mouths as the are yanked on! Hate it!
    Also the jumping, you see the person who obvs cannot ride, then a double goes over a larger jump…awful..and horses do not neigh snd whicker all the time!

    August 20, 2022 at 10:50 am
  • Beth Reply

    Modern tack in period films.

    August 20, 2022 at 11:36 pm
  • Beth Reply

    Modern horses (i.e Thoroughbreds) in films set before the breed existed.

    August 20, 2022 at 11:38 pm
  • Isabella Reply

    My grandpa(real cowboy born in 1890)used to get so mad about the old western movies. He would say “You never run your horses like that in the heat!”

    September 6, 2022 at 7:52 am
  • Sue Reply

    unexperience pre adolescent teen befriend wild crazy stallion that no grown experienced cowboy can approach just because she understands him

    September 23, 2022 at 9:43 am
  • www.Travellingtheworldblackandbrown.Com Reply

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    September 25, 2022 at 1:10 am
  • mona Reply

    When wild horses are photographed with steel shoes on!

    October 3, 2022 at 12:09 pm
  • sue Reply

    That you cannot ride at a gallop for miles and miles and have the horse be cool and not breathing hard at all.

    October 3, 2022 at 12:10 pm

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