Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Horses in fantasy films

A post at tor.com: Galloping Straight Into Our Hearts: The Greatest Horses of Fantasy

They don’t mean “The greatest horses in fantasy.” They mean, “The greatest horses in fantasy *films*. Which is fine, but I’m just saying, you aren’t going to see Bansh from Range of Ghosts here.

But still! Pretty horses!

Yes, yes, you can hardly beat the Frisian in “Ladyhawk.”

The horse that’s missing that I immediately thought of: The white Andalusian from the movie adaptation of “A Winter’s Tale.”

colin-farrell-new-york-city

This horse was clearly trained in classical dressage. Lovely animal. I love Andalusians anyway.

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9 Comments Horses in fantasy films

  1. Elaine T

    Some of them were pretty – the Friesian, Shadowfax – others weren’t. WHAT was going through the minds of the creators of that Pegasus? It looked like clay – the Teen got very eloquent on how bad it was and how the wings would never have lifted the critter.
    One of the prettiest horses in film was the Black Stallion back in the day.

    What gives away the Andalusian’s training in dressage? (have only read about dressage, never seen it.)

  2. Rachel

    Well, you know, really pegasi fly by magic. The wings are just symbolic. On the other hand, I agree the one shown on the tor.com post looked pretty sad.

    The extremely collected power of a dressage horse must be trained; it is not natural for a horse to gather itself up that way. But it is a beautiful, powerful way of moving and along with specialized gaits and transitions, the best dressage horses can practically trot in place and canter in slow motion. You can’t force a horse to do it; it has to be structurally sound to start with and then taught to collect itself. In order to really excel, I believe the best dressage horses have to themselves value the power and control of dressage, just as the great show dogs have to love showing and understand they are performing.

    Here is a link to a site showing the dressage rider Steven Wolgemuth riding a couple different horses, including the great Graf Gotz.

    Here is a video showing a fine dressage performance. The video quality is not great, but the horse and rider are good.

  3. mona

    Funny to see Epona on the list, but so on point. Hah. What I would give for a Legend of Zelda movie adaptation!

  4. SarahZ

    I’m not really a horse person, but when I think horses in fantasy there’s a story about Mercedes Lackey that springs to mind.
    One of my parents’ friends knew her growing up, and she was aware that Mercy was an author now, but didn’t realize how popular her books were. When I told her that I’d red Mercedes’ books, she told me that when they were younger they’d write plays and perform them for their parents. Apparently, Mercedes’ parents got upset that the other kids kept making her be a talking horse, not knowing that that character was only there because she was so insistent that there always be a talking horse. I thought that was pretty funny, given the prevalence of magic, talking horses in Valdemar.

  5. SarahZ

    :) I was so surprised that our family friend hadn’t even read any of Lackey’s books. If a kid I grew up with became an author I’d at least check out what she wrote.

  6. Rachel

    Sarah, I sure would, too! I’d sort of think that most people who were friends (or reasonably close acquaintances) of an author would read at least her first book.

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