What Bugs You About Hollywood Horses
 By Winniefield Park   •   28th Jun 2013   •   4,758 views   •   6 comments
On July 3, the Disney movie “The Lone Ranger” hits the theatres. I’m not a movie goer, but having viewed the trailers and out takes, I think I may make an effort to see this one. It looks campy and fun in the typical over-the-top Disney fashion, and there’s Johnny Depp covered in paint. Yes, please!

If there is anything will bother me about this movie, it will be the horses. Watch any movie and you’ll see when it comes to the horses, there’s a wide gap between reality and Hollywood. Real horses just don’t act like movie horses. I sometimes think that Hollywood doesn't feel horses are interesting on their own. I know I've sat and just watched a group of horses grazing in a pasture, which may be only proves that I’m a low-stimulation type person, who not only thinks watching grass grow is interesting, but watching it being eaten is down-right exciting. Apparently, the average movie goer doesn't.

Here are some things I've noticed about Hollywood horses vs real horses:

Noisy vs Quiet
Hollywood horses are very noisy. In the last five years, I think I've heard my horse whinny about a dozen times. She only snorts when the dust in the arena dust gets thick. And I've never heard her making strange elephant moans that movie horses do. Movie horses, however seem to be constantly snorting, screaming, nickering and making strange utterances that would make me hesitate to enter the barn if I heard them.

Fast vs Not So Fast
Hollywood horses gallop everywhere. They start at a halt or walk and start galloping. They gallop up and down hills, through water and under low branches. Horses I know walk a lot. They walk to the feeder, to the shade, to the water trough and back to the feeder. Occasionally, they might rip around if the wind is up or there is something new to look at. However, once they’re done, everyone settles down to walking again and looking at each other as if to say, “whew, glad that’s over with."

What Bugs You About Hollywood Horses
Disney movie “The Lone Ranger”

Falling vs Staying Upright
Hollywood horses fall a lot. Maybe it’s all that galloping? But, more often it’s because the guy on the horse gets shot. For some reason, this makes the horse fall over. Is the horse sympathetic and trying to let the guy down easily? I’m not sure. But, my horses rarely fall. One time one fell trotting into a gopher hole. Another time, my horse fell at a walk. She tripped on a tuft of grass and went to her knees. Somehow, I ended up on my feet beside her shoulder. She stayed on her knees while I got back on, and we went on our way. In over forty years of riding, these are the only times my horses have come anywhere near falling.

Changeable vs Static Markings
Hollywood horses have markings that change. Blazes and stars change shape, socks and stockings change height. Dapples appear and disappear. Every horse that I've ever known, with the exception of the grays, keep the exact same markings. I’m ancient enough that I've known horses from the day they were born, to the day they died, and I've not seen one whose blaze, star or socks changed.

I know, Hollywood has its reasons, but can’t help feel that the unrealistic picture they create of horses doesn't do real horses any good. Especially all that galloping around. Is there something about horses in the movies that bugs you?

What Bugs You About Hollywood Horses
Disney movie “The Lone Ranger”
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Valkyrie   MOD 
I agree with the noise comment. I hate how the horses are always like "oh hai" "HI" "seriously HI" "OMGOSH WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" "I DON'T KNOW BUT I'M SCREAMING ABOUT IT".

No. Just no.

Other things that bug me -

  • In horse racing movies they usually have a close finish or a battle down the backstretch between two horses. BUT THE JOCKEYS ARE LEANING BACK ON THE HORSES' MOUTHS. Completely unrealistic.

  • War Horse REALLY bugged me because it gives off the impression that horses can understand perfect English. "Stay, Joey", "Sit, Joey", "Roll over like a blinkin' dog, Joey", "Do my homework, Joey". I imagine quite a few little girls went out to play with horses after that movie expecting them to do exactly as they bid them.

  • Overall horse movies just give off that image that horses are easy, dumb, obedient creatures. I bet a lot of people have gone horse riding expecting them to bow down, neigh on command, rear up majestically, and respond to violent kicks on their
  •   10 days ago  •  5,537 views
    If it helps any, when they make the movie for Scorpio Races, I'm totally gonna be Puck. XD

    Yeah. There are so many movies that are really unrealistic.
    Moondance Alexander. The winners were on the wrong leads.
    Saddle Club. DON'T EVEN START.
    WildFire: Arabian Heart. They put down a fifteen year old horse because he was "old" and "needed to go".
      10 days ago  •  5,841 views
    I suspect my friends get fed up if they have to watch a horse film with me, I usually sit there looking irritated and making random comments on how inaccurate it is.
    The main pet hate for me is definitely the constant whinnying, my horses only make noise when it's tea time, when their friend escapes into the next door field, or if they just want to randomly call out (Which is rare). Seriously, horses don't feel the need to chatter away constantly!
    Another thing that bugs me is when people just leap off their horse and run over to a random point of interest, and the horse just stands there (Again, making lots of random noises). Real horses do not stand there like saints while you wander off into the unknown! Mine would say "Sod the human" and wander off home.
    Also, everything has to be over dramatized (Like Valkyrie mentioned). 2ft is not a big fence, thundering into a 5' high, 4' wide hedge, is what I'd call a big fence, make a big deal about that instead, not some pole on the floo
      9 days ago  •  5,515 views
    Im not even bothering to think of any other movies right now, but I remember at the end of Hidalgo, when the "cowboy" lets Hidalgo free with the herd of wild horses-- you can see light reflecting off Hidalgo's horseshoes.
    What a marvelous idea to set a horse free with all four sets of horseshoes still on! XD
      9 days ago  •  5,882 views
    Dark Star  
    I remember watching a movie with my ex. (I told him to NEVER watch a horse movie with me, but he wanted to so I gave him the warning) We watched Cowboys and Angels. I was critiquing the whole movie. "Heels down", "Get off that bit or he's gonna flip on you", "Oh suck it up baby, he's only 14 hands tall", etc.

    Saddle club drives me crazy.
      9 days ago  •  5,271 views
    Right, the horse is going to go galloping and jumping THROUGH the train. Completely realistic. NOT! That's not even close to possible. The rider would have both knee caps immediately removed, and the horse would likely fall off or under the train, and both would be seriously hurt. Just no.
      9 days ago  •  5,154 views
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