Horse Movies

I love a good horse movie.

I come from a family of people who love horse movies, too. This is probably because my grandparents bred horses, and at some point or another growing up, nearly everyone in my family had a horse or rode horses.

My love of horse movies was something I shared with some of my friends the year I lived in Wichita—we’d gather together for a “girl’s night” to eat dinner, and watch a horse movie. Michael started calling it “horse movie night” because that’s always what we decided to do with our evening.

Michael knows that anytime there’s a movie about horses, I will talk about how desperately I need to see it until we go.

My grandfather is also a horse movie fanatic, and my mom sometimes forgets this—she was surprised that my grandfather wanted to see War Horse in the theatre. She even said, “he hasn’t wanted to see a movie at the movie theatre in forever! Since…since…”

What she was struggling for was Secretariat.

And the time before that, Seabiscuit.

Noticing a theme here?

So when my grandfather announced that’s what he wanted to do on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, we  all went to the movies.

I’d like to remind readers that I grew up in an agricultural region, where lots of people think things like owning a horse are humdrum. It was news to me that horses were “only for rich people,” as my brother-in-law from Philly grew up believing—it was inconceivable to him that lots of people owned horses. Likewise, I can’t imagine what a childhood is like without a pony.

I mean, people just GAVE AWAY horses where I lived.

Seriously, there was a local bank that gave away a pony every year at the county fair.

Another example of local horse obsession: while day after Christmas bargain shopping, my sister overheard this conversation:

Teenage Girl:   “Look, Mom, these shoes make me look like Lady Gaga!!”

Mom:   “Take those off, you can’t wear those horseback riding.”

Going to see a horse movie in my hometown is ripe for comedy. The theatre was nearly full, and there was an almost constant (very quiet and polite) commentary on the movie. Especially on the quality of the horse itself, but also on the lack of realism in the movie.

As my grandfather waxed eloquent after the movie, the film producers clearly knew nothing about farming—why didn’t they clear those rocks before plowing that field? Why’d they leave that plow out in the field? If you left it out in that kinda’ climate it’d be nothin’ but junk. For that type of plow, you’d need two horses—it’s designed that way. Putting one horse on it would ruin both the plow and horse.
And so on.

My grandmother’s only comment was, “I wish there had been more horse and less war.”

But one thing we could all agree on: it sure was a beautiful horse.

It makes me want to add a few movies to my Netflix queue: Hidalgo, Secretariat, and Seabiscuit for a start.