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12 Best Horse Documentaries in 2021

Oliver Jones

Experts believe that horses were first domesticated by humans 5,500 years ago in Kazakhstan. At the time, they were kept for their milk and for riding. They changed the way that humans lived and almost certainly advanced the human species.

With the advent of horseback riding, people would have been able to travel farther to hunt and mine, and it would have improved their trade opportunities. Since then, we have used horses for transport and agriculture, and they have also featured heavily in warfare over the centuries. To this day, we still use horses for drafting work, transport, and pleasure and competition riding.

If you’re a “horse person,” you’ll enjoy watching these documentaries. There are 12 of them, covering different aspects of the species and our relationship with them. All are available to watch on YouTube.

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1. The Horse Whisperer

Watch It On: YouTube

“The Horse Whisperer” is a short, 5-minute documentary about Jean Francois Pignon. The French rider tells of his relationship with a white horse called Gazelle and how this relationship helped him develop a strong bond with other horses. Pignon now shares his horse-whispering skills with thousands of viewers every show.


2. The Path of the Horse

Watch It On: YouTube

This documentary is from Stormy May, a former horse trainer who travels the world to explore the relationship between humans and horses. May’s journeys are self-funded, and she sets off to rediscover the reasons for her love of horses, no doubt feeding viewers’ own love affairs with the magnificent animal.


3. Wild Horses of Montana

Watch It On: YouTube

This is a three-part documentary that made Cloud, the American Mustang, a well-known name in the world of U.S. horse lovers. YouTube has the second and third installments of the series, and these work well as standalone episodes, so you won’t miss the first episode.


4. Wild Horses in the Arrowhead Mountains

Watch It On: YouTube

This is the third part of the docuseries into Cloud and the rest of his wild herd. Filmmaker Ginger Kathrens made the films while learning more about wild horses for a documentary that had been commissioned by PBS Wild America. Kathrens is also the author of “Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies.”


5. In the Valley of Wild Horses

Watch It On: YouTube

This 2018 documentary is quite short at 23 minutes and looks at the Canadian community of Xeni Gwet’in, who travel 200km via horse and cart to attend the William Lake Stampede. The Stampede is an annual rodeo event that includes a host of activities and takes place on Canada Day weekend every year.


6. North America’s Wild Horses

Watch It On: YouTube

“North America’s Wild Horses” is a documentary on American Mustangs. Filmmaker Jan Delaporte follows these wild horses as they are rounded up, captured, and domesticated. The documentary explores the many ways in which the Mustang has been integrated into our society and how they affect our lives.


7. 500 Miles

Watch It On: YouTube

“500 Miles” is about 16 U.S. veterans and 16 mustangs that come together to give one another reasons to get up in the morning. At the end of the documentary, riders and horses make a journey of 500 miles to show how far they have come.


8. The Life of Wild Horses

Watch It On: YouTube

“The Life of Wild Horses” is an upsetting and somewhat harrowing documentary that looks at wild horses in the Australian wilderness. The film can be challenging to make it through to the end.


9. Horses by National Geographic

Watch It On: YouTube

This National Geographic film aims to cover everything about horses in the wild. In particular, it looks at the close relationship that humans and horses have had for the 5,000 years since we first domesticated them.


10. Jockey School

Watch It On: YouTube

Jockey School is a U.K. documentary that takes a group of troubled teenagers and puts them through a 12-week intense course to become jockeys at the Northern Racing College in Doncaster. The film follows three teens to see how the program pans out and whether it could potentially help the kids secure a better future.


11. Nez Perces Horses

Watch It On: YouTube

The Nez Perces are a North American Indian people who primarily live around the Snake River. They first bred the Appaloosa horse, which has become one of the most popular and widely used breeds in the U.S. This short documentary takes a look at the Nez Perces and their relationship with the forerunner of the Appaloosa horse.


12. How to Make a Horse a Friend

Watch It On: YouTube

Horses have nearly 17 different facial expressions and can recognize human expressions. This documentary looks at Jimmy Anderson and how he uses these and other essential horse facts to help form strong and almost unbreakable bonds with his rides.

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Horse Documentaries

Horse documentaries are a great way to get to know more about horses, our relationship with them, and more specific information. Whether you want to learn more about horses or you simply enjoy watching anything to do with them, the 12 films on this list are ideal for starting your journey.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.