20 Best Horse Movies For Kids To Watch In 2020

If your child is an animal lover, they must love movies about animals, too. Besides the popular dog and cat movies, there are plenty of horse movies that are must-sees.

It’s time to grab some popcorn and watch these horse movies for kids. From classics, such as Black Beauty, to the latest movies, such as Walk. Ride. Rodeo., we offer you and your children various options to indulge in. When you watch these movies, your child will go on an adventure, relate to heart-warming moments, learn a few valuable lessons, share a few laughs, and appreciate these furry beings.

20 Horse Movies For Kids

1. Black Beauty (1994)

 Recommended age: 7+ 

Inspired by Anna Sewell’s novel of the same name, Black Beauty is one of the classics narrated from the perspective of a stallion named Black Beauty. As a colt, Beauty lived with his kind owner, Grey, in the English countryside and led a relaxed life. Later on, Black Beauty is taken to London by his new and cruel owner, who forces Beauty to work as a taxi horse. The movie ends on a happy note and is perfect for teaching your children how to treat animals with kindness and respect.

2. The Black Stallion (1979)

Recommended age: 8+ 

The movie is an adaptation of the children’s novel of the same name by Walter Farley. The story revolves around an unbreakable friendship between a child and a horse. Alec Ramsey, the child protagonist, is shipwrecked on a deserted island with a wild, black stallion. They’re the only survivors. Soon, the connection the stallion and Alec builds makes them inseparable. When they are rescued, Alec takes the stallion with him to America. With absolutely no knowledge about horses or any riding skills, a local trainer, Henry, helps him become a jockey. In no time, their strong bond and hard work lead them on the road to success.

The movie was nominated for a British Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and two Academy Awards and won the National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Cinematography.

3. Flicka (2006) 

Recommended age: 8+ 

Based on Mary O’Hara’s 1941 children’s novel My Friend Flicka, the story is about a girl Katy who plans to manage her father’s ranch one day. Her father (Tim McGraw), on the other hand, has different plans for her. Katy adopts and tames a wild mustang and names her Flicka. In no time, they develop a strong bond and become inseparable. Her father decides to sell Flicka, but Katy schemes to win Flicka back by entering a dangerous race. Throughout the movie, the girl and Flicka experience several adventures together. It’s an excellent family-friendly western.

Flicka 2, a sequel of the movie, was released in 2010, and another sequel, Flicka: Country Pride, was released in 2012.

4. Secretariat (2010) 

Recommended age: 8+

This biographical sports movie by Disney portrays the life of the thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat. Diane Pane plays her owner Penny in the film.

When Penny’s father becomes ill, she takes over her father’s stables despite her lack of experience and knowledge. Against all odds, she manages to navigate the male-dominated horse business. Finally, with a trainer’s help, she fosters Secretariat, the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.

This classic feel-good family movie is a tale of the spirit and tenacity of Secretariat, also known as Big Red and the Triple Crown-winning racehorse.

Secretariat is recognized as one of the most successful thoroughbred racehorses in history. He won five major awards and has been named as the second-best horse in the list of the greatest racehorses of the 20th Century, after the horse Man o’ War, by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

5. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) 

Recommended age: 7+ 

The story follows the adventures of a spirited and wild mustang stallion and his journey through America. Wranglers capture Spirit, the main horse, and the colonel tries to tame him in cruel ways. Soon, he meets a Native American child who helps him escape. They develop a close friendship, which saves their lives.

Unlike other animation movies, where animals are given human traits, the horses communicate through body language and sound like actual horses in this film. Matt Damon narrates Spirit’s thoughts in the movie. The movie is endearing and will resonate well with children. It received rave reviews when it was released.

This DreamWorks Animation is a modern horse classic your children shouldn’t miss!

6. National Velvet (1944) 

Recommended age: 7+ 

Based on Clarence Brown’s fictional novel of the same name, National Velvet is a story about a young girl Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor), who wins a horse, Pie, in a town raffle. Velvet isn’t one who gives up easily. And when it comes to horse riding, she won’t take no for an answer. Along with her unconditional love for Pie, she is also determined for people to recognize Pie’s greatness. With the help of the trainer, Mi, Velvet trains and rides Pie in the Grand National Steeplechase, a horse jumping competition. There’s an interesting twist in the end, and it’s worth every minute!

This movie won two Oscars in 1946. In 2003, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

7. Dreamer (2005) 

Recommended age: 7+

Inspired partly by the true story of the mare Mariah Storm, the film is about the thoroughbred breeder and horse trainer, Ben Crane (Kurt Russell), who struggles to connect with his daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning). Their relationship changes as they work with horses, particularly Soñador, who suffers a broken leg after her owner races her despite Ben’s advice.

Ben adopts her, and along with Cale, cares for her and brings her back to her pinnacle. Soon, the thoroughbred makes the ultimate comeback with the Breeders’ Cup Classic!

This movie was nominated for six different awards and won two awards. It’s an uplifting movie for children and reminds us that love heals everything.

8. Casey’s Shadow (1978) 

Recommended age: 9+ 

In Casey’s Shadow, Lloyd Bourdelle (Walter Matthau) and his three sons buy an old and relatively cheap mare. The mare gives birth to a colt and dies. While Lloyd gives up on the colt, Casey, his son, insists on training it. The horse is named Casey’s Shadow and soon becomes a winner. With his winning streak, Lloyd decides to enter a major race. While training, Shadow gets injured. The doctor advises them to rest the horse, but Lloyd decides to risk it and run him. While Casey’s Shadow wins the race, it cripples him in the process.

What happens next? We’ll leave it to you to find out.

9. Seabiscuit (2003) 

Recommended age: 13+ 

Based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling non-fiction book Seabiscuit: An American Legend, the movie loosely chronicles the career of the champion thoroughbred, who was the winning racehorse until the 1940s. But there’s more to Seabiscuit. He was a thoroughbred that was short-legged and knock-kneed and not credited to be a successful racehorse. He was temperamental, too. A jockey, the owner, and a trainer team up to help Seabiscuit. Soon, their lives get intertwined, and they perfectly complement each other.

Winning was a struggle initially, but ultimately, they win races time after time, break records, and win the hearts of supporters across the United States. Seabiscuit was one of the most successful thoroughbreds of all time and was a symbol of hope to the country during the Great Depression.

10. A Sunday Horse (2016)

Recommended age: 13+ 

Inspired by the true story of the famous equestrian prodigy Debi Connor Walden, the movie is about Debi, who aspires to get into show jumping. Her father doesn’t have the money to buy her any gear or a horse. Soon, she starts working in a stable where she meets a jockey, Jonathan, who agrees to coach her if she’ can find a horse. Debi finds an overlooked horse, and both of them begin training with Jonathan.

They start catching the attention of other jumpers. When they’re ready, they enter competitions and start winning. She then finds another overlooked ‘last chance’ horse and trains it. Debi racks up her victories with both horses. After a terrible accident, Debi can barely walk. While everyone asks her to give up jumping, she tries to find her inner strength to overcome the injury and get back on the saddle.

Young equestrians will be drawn to this new horse movie. Debi’s never-give-up attitude, hard work, and endurance are lessons worth learning for children.

11. Rock My Heart (2017) 

Recommended age: 13+ 

Jana Hilbig (Lena Klenke), a 17-year-old, struggles to adjust to a lifelong heart defect. She’s angry, rebellious, and risks her life on purpose. After an accident, when she’s barely conscious, she sees a vision of a horse by her side.

After her recovery, she finds this horse on a nearby farm. The owner/ trainer of the horse, Rock My Heart, is nearly bankrupt. His only hope is Rock My Heart. While the horse is wild and untrained, he has lightning speed.

Soon, Jana, jeopardizing her fragile health, finds the answer to both their problems. She trains the horse and herself to compete in horse racing. It’s one of the most beautiful, heart-warming, and feel-good horse movies for kids.

12. Moondance Alexander (2007) 

Recommended age: 7+ 

Moondance Alexander, a 15-year-old girl, grows up fast after her father’s demise. She finds it hard to make friends because of her independent nature. In her free time, she runs deliveries for Mr. McClancy at the local general store. One day, when riding her bike, she comes across Checkers, an escaped black-and-white pinto.

Moondance and her mother track down Checker’s owner, Dante, and return the horse. Moondance strikes a deal with the veteran rider Dante for horseback riding lessons in exchange for working at the stables. Soon, the two form a deep bond. Checkers changes her life forever. She trains for the county horse show competition where her snobby, rich classmates Megan and Fiona are present, too.

Inspired by a true story, Moondance Alexander is an excellent coming-of-age movie that deals with young teens’ problems.

13. Walk. Ride. Rodeo. (2019) 

Recommended age: 12+ 

Based on the true story about Amberley Snyder, this movie is perfect for teaching children the importance of perseverance. Amberley Snyder (Spencer Locke) has a loving family and goes to college, where she earns good grades. But what matters most to her is riding. Since a very young age, she’s been horseback riding on her parents’ ranch. With Power, her special horse, she wins rodeo competitions.

Both she and her family are devastated when she meets an accident that paralyzes her from the waist down. But with the care of medical professionals and the support of her family, Amberley rejects defeat and is determined to ride again and compete in the rodeo. Amberley faces many ups and downs, and with courage and heart, fights her way back.

14. A Champion Heart (2018) 

Recommended age: 8+ 

Mandy (Mandy Grace) and her dad, Jack (David de Vos), cope with the loss of her mother and his wife. Mandy struggles to deal with everything that’s happened to her while trying to settle into a California trailer park. While Mandy hasn’t gotten into any trouble before, she crashes a vehicle and damages a local horse rescue farm.

Diane (Donna Rusch), the farm owner, offers Mandy a job to repay the damages. At first, she’s hesitant, but when she learns the cutest boy from school, Bradley (Devan Key), works there too, she agrees. Soon, Mandy learns how to care for something other than herself, horses. She comes across a wounded horse, Tux, abandoned by one of the rich girls in her class. Mandy and Tux form a strong bond and help each other heal.

15. Riding Faith (2020) 

Recommended age: 12+ 

Riding Faith is about a family that buys a ranch in the countryside and moves there to spend more time as a family. The father, Mike, goes back on a military tour where he passes away, leaving the ranch to the mother, Rebecca, and daughter, Grace. The mother-daughter duo starts to face trouble with mortgage payments. With a little help from their neighbors, friends, and majestic white horse, they come up with a plan to raise enough money to save the family farm.

Riding Faith is an inspirational and uplifting movie about faith, family, and never losing hope.

16. Racing Stripes (2005) 

Recommended age: 7+ 

While it’s not a horse movie through and through, it’s about a zebra who thinks he’s a racehorse. When a little girl finds an abandoned zebra, she brings it to her farm as a pet. Stripes doesn’t seem to know he isn’t a racehorse. So, the little girl trains the zebra to run in the local derby and convinces her zebra that he can beat the finest thoroughbreds at the local racetrack.

17. Hidalgo (2004) 

Recommended age: 14+ 

The rugged cowboy and expert horseman, Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen), performs in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Intrigued by Hopkins’ talent, an affluent Arabian Sheik, Sheik Riyadh (Omar Sharif) challenges him to prove himself in the “Ocean of Fire” race, a 3,000-mile race across the Arabian desert. Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo are up against some of the best riders in the world with top-notch thoroughbred horses. What will he do when both his reputation and life are at stake?

Watch the movie for the beautiful horses, the splendid costumes, the variety of horse tacks, and the inspiring tale.

18. Ready to Run (2000) 

Recommended age: 8+

Corrie Ortiz (Krystle Po), a 14-year-old girl, works at a stable Hector Machado (Nestor Serrano) owns. Her dream is to follow in her late father’s footsteps and become a jockey. However, both Hector and her mother dissuade her as it’s very dangerous. The determined Corrie doesn’t want to give up and knows she’s got what it takes.

One day, she overhears a horse owner who wants to sell his horse named Thunder Jam (aka TJ), who’s failing. She buys TJ and takes him to the stable. She works with circus rider Moody and Hector to help her nervous TJ conquer his fear of the starting gates at racing games. How do they help him? What happens next? Will he become a champ? Watch the movie to learn more.

19. Misty (1961) 

Recommended age: 6+

An adaptation of Marguerite Henry’s classic children’s novel Misty of Chincoteague, the movie revolves around a brother and sister, Paul and Maureen Beebe, who’ve set their eyes on a wild horse, The Phantom. The horse has escaped from a sinking ship and swam to Assateague, an island off the coast of Virginia. The only way they can own Phantom is to earn money and outbid everyone else in an auction. Can they? Watch it to learn more. Spoiler alert! Phantom has a foal named Misty.

20. Pegasus: Pony with a Broken Wing (2019) 

Recommended age: 7+

The Killian ranch has been a part of the family for generations, but the present owners face financial issues and may have to sell the ranch to the selfish developer, Daniel Warren (Tom Arnold). Daniel is looking to convert the ranch into a tourist attraction.

Just when everything seemed lost, a young teen Sydney Killian (Eliza Jarrett), who loves horses more than anything, comes across a white horse with two wings, one of them broken. She quickly recalls the myth of Pegasus, and afraid no one will believe her, hides the horse, who she names Harmony. While her parents fend off Daniel, Sydney helps Harmony heal. Will she be able to help her parents in the process? It’s worth watching to find out!

Movies about horses and other animals can help your children learn about the world around them. Watching horse movies can also pique their interest and increase their desire to protect animals. So, grab some popcorn and a warm blanket and binge-watch these family-friendly movies. And before you start watching these movies, make sure you tell your children interesting facts about horses.

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