With 40 new films added this month—on therapeutic riding, racing, rescue, horse cultures big and small and more—there’s plenty to watch as we wait for the spring thaw and dry footing.
Below are a few of the unforgettable gems:
From some of the filmmakers that brought you Netflix’s Unbranded, Horse Rich, Dirt Poor is a wild horse film with a different angle. Instead of looking only at the politics, animal rights, or history of the Mustang, Horse Rich takes a more ecological approach. While this film is scientific, it is also postcard-pretty, showing fabulous footage of The United States’ most fabled horses.
British trainer Mark Johnston didn’t always run one of the most idyllic racing operations in the UK. Nor was he the UK’s most successful trainer with a record 4,194 career wins as of 2018. Instead, this documentary harkens back to a different time, showing the hardscrabble life and often run-down facilities where Johnston cut his teeth and worked his way into racing stardom.
Drew Doggett’s equestrian photography is the stuff of internet legend. From his photos of Icelandic horses among the ice to Sable Island horses on the beach, you have probably seen his photography on some horse-lovers Facebook feed. He’s also a lyric storyteller with Band of Rebels. This short film follows The Guardians of the Camargue, French Cowboys who protect and tend to the white horses of the French Marshland.
The French film, Hozho, takes place in the Arizona desert. Shiprock, the gleaming volcanic formation, watches over as the horsemen of the Navajo reservation discuss their equestrian philosophy below. The little film is as beautiful as it is cool. Smart use of music and expansive photography makes it a pleasure to watch, even if the subtitles are still in French.
The West Virginia Classic is the highest paying state stakes race in the U.S. Topping out $500,000, it is a race that trainers dream about and Angelo Jackson thinks he has the horse to do it. Halter Off is his grey Thoroughbred, who along with looking fantastic on film, might have what it takes to win. Far from the big hats of the Kentucky Derby, this short shows a rougher version of the racing industry that we don’t often see.
Carry Your Hand is an intimate look into the life of professional jumping rider Susan Artes. Not only do we see the inner workings of her riding and training philosophy, but also a life story marked by tragedy. Carry Your Hand is a blend of narrative and interview with great pacing.
Fate brought Chayah and Lisa Kincaid together. Previously abused, the spirited, but soulful Arabian gave Kincaid two black eyes on their first day together. Through persistence and love, Chayah changed her life.
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