Movie Horses

Ok. This is a spinoff from a challenge that I’ve been participating in called Color Your World from Jennifer Nichole Wells. It’s a ton of fun!

Anyway, one of the colors was called Tumbleweed and that name always reminds me of the 1953 movie by the same name. I wrote about it in my submission for the color  Tumbleweed. This got me to thinking about various horses in movies that weren’t necessarily about the horse. In my admittedly biased opinion, they either stole the show or  at the very least grabbed my attention.  I have to confess here that I’m one of those people that always looks at and analyzes the horses in movies. If you’re a horse person, it’s what you do. It’s interesting to see how many different horses they use for supposedly one horse. Or how many times they use the same horse in different scenes as a different horse. (Wait! Didn’t that horse die in battle a few scenes back??) But I digress.

The horse in the movie Tumbleweed  was named Tumbleweed, but the movie was suppose to be more about the humans. There’s no image of the horse on the movie poster. He was a scrawny little Mustang that everyone misjudged because of his appearance. For me, it was all about him, although I love Audie Murphy. How could you not?

There’s an old movie called Lonely Are The Brave released in 1962 with Kirk Douglas as the star. It’s a fantastic movie but tear-jerker and I’ve only watched it once. It’s on my DVR as I write this and I haven’t gotten the courage up to watch it again, yet. It’s said that it is Kirk Douglas’ favorite movie. The horse is a supporting character named Whiskey. He’s a gorgeous liver flaxen color.

Another favorite is the horse Clint Eastwood uses in The Outlaw Josey Wales. That horse is the bomb! I couldn’t really find any information on him. Clint has had a few stunners in his movies. The Paso Finos in his spaghetti westerns. The dappled greys in both High Plains Drifter


and Pale Rider.

The dapples on this horse are called star dapples. He was born black and is turning grey in a spectacular way.

I had wondered for a while if maybe they were the same horse, since I hadn’t gotten to compare them. They are not. But both are incredible.

Then there’s the horse that Kurt Russel rides in Tombstone. At least with that one,  I found out that he’s a Hancock-bred (a foundation bloodline) horse named Sunday Homespun. That’s about all the information I could find on him. Apparently he was quite a sweetheart from the looks of this photo. Still a stallion, but being ridden by two little girls in a bosal. Good looks AND brains! Sweet!

One of my favorites is The Man From Snowy River. Not exactly about the horse, Denny, that Jim Craig rides, but he steals the show with that one famous scene. The sequel is good too, but lacks that certain something that the first one has.

The 13th Warrior has a short little part with a little Arabian horse that’s pretty cool.

The movie Ladyhawke has a luscious Friesian ridden by Rutger Hauer. If I’m not mistaken, the Friesian is named Goliath in real life. There’s also an incredible grey Andalusian used in the fight scene.

The Mask of Zorro also has a beautiful Friesian.

John Wayne has had some nice horses in his movies too. The sorrel that he rides in True Grit that he calls Bo is pretty nice. He also rides a very loudly colored Appaloosa in El Dorado.

Of course there are the movies that ARE about the horse. The first one that comes to mind is The Black Stallion (and subsequent sequels). They used a lot of different horses for the one main horse. The main horse was Cass Ole`, an Arabian stallion. He had some white markings that they had to dye for the movie.

Also SecretariatSeabiscuit and Phar Lap. More recently is the movie Snowman, which I haven’t seen yet, although I’ve read the book.

Winter’s Tale has a really nice horse as a supporting character.There are many more, but these are a few that come to mind.

Are you an equineophile (yes, I just made that up) too? Can you think of other movies where the horse steals the attention from the humans?

Oh, and as a side note, barely related…. I really hate it when I’m watching an equestrian competition like show jumping or horse racing and all they talk about is how great the rider is. No disrespect to the riders,(I know it’s hard work) but the horse is the one doing most of the work and being the athlete while carrying a rider. All I’m saying is give the horse the credit he’s due.

My girl, who left me way before I was ready.



36 thoughts on “Movie Horses

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  1. Jimmy Stewart rode the same horse in most of his Westerns. It was a nifty chestnut. Stewart claimed the horse knew booth where the marks were to stop and when the cameras were on. In The Far Country Stewart;s character has a small silver bell attached to his saddle horn, In the climatic scene, in which Stewart’s character is anticipating an ambush, he sends the horse up the street on its own, anticipating .the tinkling bell will mislead the bad guys allowing Stewart to mount a flank attack.

    Yul Brynner also road this chestnut in The Magnificent Seven,,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you I have loved horses dearly all my life and introduced my children as soon as I could. I lost the where abouts of our horses in chief land florida when I had to leave thought I would get a chance to get them back or at least see them and hug them good bye. Left them with a kind man name Ruben Mills my daughter tried to get back with him and he had already given them away a beautiful Black and White paint with an old injury to the eye we saved and my Beautiful BLACK mustang has a scared back leg got caught in barb wire 8 ne time they are very well loved and remembered and thought of daily. The person who got them really doesn’t know how lucky they are I hope maybe one day to here about them maybe they will read this and know this was in 2012 maybe someone will be kind enough to let us know how they are and a picture we miss them so much


  3. “Snowfire” was on YouTube. Saw it about a year ago. Now it’s not there.
    You know the drill … wild white stallion friends a little girl. Wonder if it was the same white stallion as the one in the “Thunderhead, Son of Flicka” movie?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hum, now I’m thinking Fury was also Wildfire?

    Looks like Fury. I know for sure Fury was in Gypsy Colt. Fairly sure he was Black Beauty, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link! Of course I got hooked & had to watch it. As I watched, it looks like Wildfire is a sorrel horse. The color is sketchy, but he’s definitely a sorrel in a lot of the scenes. That liver/flaxen that Happy rode was a beauty! Such nostalgia in those movies!


      1. The horse Clint Eastwood rode in the movie “The Outlaw Josey Wales” was a registered quarter horse named Parsons 2 Bars, this was the same horse riden by Steve McQueen in the movie “mTom Horn”.


      2. Thanks for that information! If you don’t mind me asking, how did you find the information? I’ve looked all over. I’ll have to watch “Tom Horn” again. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that movie.


  5. The horses Clint Eastwood rode in Sergio Leones Western like For a fistful dolars, the good, the bad and the ugly, One upon a time in the West…are Andalusians not paso fino.

    Leones western were all made in Almeria´s Desert, in Andalusia, Spain. Europe.


    1. Thanks for that information. It’s interesting. I haven’t seen the spaghetti westerns in a long while, but I thought one of the horses Eastwood rode had a distinct Paso gait. I guess I’ll have to go watch it again to either prove or disprove that I’m crazy. 🙂


  6. Its odd you mentioned Lonely Are the Brave, I saw that movie in 1962 or something, and it was the first time that a film really moved me. I saw it with parents and I remember being really upset that they did not “get” it. I couldn’t share my emotion. I wonder how I would feel if I saw it again? Maybe I should try. I do not even recall what it was about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very emotional movie in a lot of ways. You may have different emotions with it now that you’re an adult. It’s about Kirk Douglas as an old-time cowboy running from the law in a modern world. It’s rated 7.6 out of 10 on IMDB and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, which means a whole lot of people like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The horse Clint Eastwood rode in Josey Wales was a quarter horse show stallion by the name of. “Parsons 3 Bars” back in mid 1990’s I had spoken with the man who trained and supplied many horse for Hollywood, he told me they chose the horse because he was a little more upright than most quarter horses, has a great disposition and has the most amazing Slow Canter/lope that they wanted for the show.. I can’t recall the wranglers name but I do remember the conversation..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As far as stealing the scene, Lee Marvin’s horse in Cat Ballou was awesome. When Lee accepted the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, he said half of the Oscar belonged to the horse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was pretty special. I assumed it took weeks but according to trivia information: “The film’s horse trainer told Elliot Silverstein that the scene where a horse leans against a wall with its front legs crossed could not be shot because horses don’t cross their legs, but that it might be possible if he had a couple of days. Silverstein invoked his rank as director and gave him an hour. The trainer plied the horse with sugar cubes while repeatedly pushing its leg into position, and they were able to get the shot.”


  9. Thanks for getting me thinking about this again!

    Old-Time horse movies that I loved as a kid: Smokey with Fred MacMurray; and Galant Bess with Marshall Thompson, National Velvet, The Great Dan Patch, Tonka.

    And there’s a movie that’s kind of goofy and slapstick – Dry Rot , its a 1956 British comedy film about stealing a race horse to win a bet.

    But I put Hidalgo, The Red Pony, and Lonely Are The Brave as movies I don’t ever want to see again – too sad, upsetting, and emo. I don’t like movies where the horses are treated badly.

    I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what was going on in The Horse Whisperer. Every other shot was a different horse – tall thin looked-almost-bay with the truck accident, pony jumping in the ring, sturdy big sorrel quarterhorse in the field with Redford, etc. After a while I figured out that they were supposed to all be the same horse… but come on, not even close.

    And there’s Trigger & Buttermilk, Champion, Silver & Scout, Fury (of course, but you were talking about him above here), Tony, Comanche, Stormy, Ringo, Diablo & Loco.


    1. Gosh! You named a lot of horses and their movies! You mentioned Smoky, and I didn’t realize until recently that there are two Smoky movies (same story), even though I’ve seen both. I put it down to too much time in between viewings. 🙂 One that you mentioned, with Fred MacMurray (1946) and the other with Fess Parker (1966). I don’t know if I like one better than the other. I like both main actors; guess I’d need to watch them back-to-back to compare and see how much they differ.
      I know what you mean about using different and not even similar horses. It bugs me too. I didn’t care for The Horse Whisperer either. Thanks for such an enjoyable comment and for the follow!


  10. Thanks for posting such a wonderful topic!

    For a pretty big chunk of my life there was food, water, air, and horses.

    And I forgot to say: Jimmy Stewart’s horse was named Pie, and Henry Fonda painted a gorgeous picture of him for Jimmy Stewart . If you poke arouind online I bet there’s a picture of it somewhere. ( I just ran off to see if I could find a link, but found this one instead: )

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The grey Clint is riding in several l movies ( pale rider, unforgiving, others) is Tucson Bar, registered quarter horse, bred for the track. I bought him in Chatsworth Ca, as a two year old, washed out of racing. I later sold him to Clyde Kennedy who had a long career as an outstanding horseman and trainer. He worked in many areas, motion pictures, stunt work, as well as Horse show, He called him Amigo. He was an incredible horse. At a young age he won Madison Square Gardens Five Way Versatility, was a great show jumper and of course was in many movies. He was also well known as the drunk horse in Catbaloo. Last time I saw him he was close to thirty years old, still sound. My daughter rode him. 🙂


  12. I do not have a copy of his registration. I was about 19 – 20 and I am 66 now, if that helps. I have a photo of him from around the time I brought him home, but do not see a way to attach it, if you want it, give me a way yo get it to you. I also have a beautiful pencil drawing of him, but it is in storage, I could get a photo of it a later date if you want it. I think he was also on the cover of Life ?? magazine with Brook shields, I think she also rode him in a movie but never saw it. You should be able to find information about Clyde Kennedy.


    1. Thanks for all of this interesting information Deb. Clyde Kennedy seems to have had a fascinating life! I don’t need the photos, but thanks. I was just wondering if I could find out any more information on him. I hate to disagree with you, but he couldn’t have been the horse in Cat Ballou because that movie came out in 1965, which is 5 years before Tucson Bar was foaled. I did find some info on -“Bred in CA; SI-62, 2 starts, raced 1972-1973; Won jumping class and did a jumping exhibition at the first AQHA World Show in 1977 with AQHA Hall of Fame rider Clyde Kennedy up.”
      He must’ve been a really versatile horse! Thanks again. It was fun to learn about Tucson Bar.


  13. Tucson Bar 1970 AQHAx106697. Sire Hoist Bar 1962 thoroughbred X Dam Blue Lynn 1959 Quarter horse ( Tucson A AQHA0008812 x Nellie AGHA R X30690 she was also half TB).


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