Horses in popular culture, and things which tick me off

18 03 2007

Pounding hoofs, originally uploaded by _dixie.

Herewith, some clichés I could really do without…

1. Whenever a galloping horse is shown in a movie, the camera will linger awhile on the pounding hooves. Why is that?

2. Horses in movies also whinny all the time for no reason. There’s a Canadian Historica Minute in which a midwife and girl are racing through the snow in a sleigh to reach the girl’s mother, who is in labour. Suddenly, there’s a downed tree across the trail! The horse rears and whinnies! First of all, the horse would have seen the tree from a ways away and slowed itself down in time; secondly, there is no earthly reason for the horse to whinny about it.

3. Cartoon horses with giant schnozzes and feet. I just hate that.

Bad art! BAD ART!

4. I’m tired of the horse whisperer cliché. Good horsemanship was good horsemanship long before we started getting all evangelical about it.

Those are a few of mine…what might yours be?

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13 responses

18 03 2007
Sarah Stephan

Well done. The needless whinnying always irritates me too. But I guess that’s Hollywood.

18 03 2007
Transylvanianhorseman

A rampant cliche is Hollywood’s depiction of the white men riding west as the good guys. Those men were using their horses and guns to perpetrate genocide.

18 03 2007
defrostindoors

Well, not so much in Canada; usually the Mounties got out there first, so our west wasn’t quite so wild and woolly. :)

19 03 2007
Pony Tail Club

How about young girls breaking horses that everybody else is too terrified to ride–all done in a couple of hours by themselves, (as seen in my friend flicka)

19 03 2007
MiKael

Well, one things for sure, most of what gets written and shown on camera about horses isn’t done by someone who knows them. And most people watching or reading don’t know the difference.

19 03 2007
kathy

Agree whole heartedly about the whinny thing. I also agree with Pony Tail about the young girls being able to break wild horses…

26 03 2007
Cleo

1) Foleying in the wrong hoofbeat pattern, ie. sounds of galloping when the horse is trotting.

2) Horses that are completely the wrong breed/type for the area they’re supposed to be in or obviously not what the human character says they are.

27 03 2007
defrostindoors

Related to that: switching horses throughout a movie. I watched Into the West with some friends and pointed out how the horse differed from scene to scene; it was a grey horse, but sometimes it had a snip on its nose and sometimes it didn’t. ;)

In The Black Stallion TV series, they were always going on about how valuable and special the horse was, yet they were constantly taking him on and off horse trailers without any leg wraps, boots, head protection or anything, just a halter. :?

28 04 2008
joschmo

how about cartoon horses with human eyes. or female horses always having a flower in their mane/girly aspect about them?
yea they winnying at stupid times is really annoying too.

4 05 2008
Anne-Marie

Although I love the animation, it is super annoying in “Spirit” when young Spirit laps up water like a dog. Yes, I know, it’s a cartoon. Ever since Bambi, great animators have studied the realistic habits of animals, and the animator of adult Spirit was really great (he drew Belle in “Beaty and the Beast”!)
Yes, the human like eyes is weird, too, but I think provided much more opportunity for expression.
I did like however, that the horses didn’t talk or sing in the movie. Rock on Bryan Adams, the eighties wouldn’t have been the same without you.

If you want a good “Western” movie, check out “The Cowboys” with John Wayne – it is the best!

29 09 2008
Horsey Girl

OMG. I hate that whole whinnying all th time thing too!! Oh-and when people name things wrong, like calling a bridle a halter. I agree with Cleo about number 2. However, I think the horses with big hooves and schnozzles are cute!!! Also, a great example of a horse movie is Hidalgo. Wonderful movie!!!! I enjoy the Spirit movie to, but I hate when horses do un-horsey things. Like when baby Spirti goes and puts his forelegs on a buffalo’s head. A real foal would NEVER do that.

11 03 2010
Dante

I agree wholeheartedly with all of the original points, and the young girl cliche, and the “girly female horse” cliche. I don’t mind when movies switch the horses from scene to scene, though — it doesn’t detract from the film and it gives the individual horses more rest time (plus each horse has different skills).

I seriously dislike: excessive whinnying, talking horses, horses that don’t behave like horses (unless there’s a good reason for it), and the always-annoying “monogamous horse” thing (for example, Rain and Spirit are a ‘couple’).

It also irritates me when horses can gallop for hours without rest or water (simply impossible), and when people in movies NEVER take off the damn saddle. Good going, guys; now your horse will develop a sore and weak back, not to mention horrific saddle sores. >.<

2 09 2010
Elllen

OMG, I hate the whinnying and also in films like racing stripes, where the horses are constantly rearing for no reason whatsoever! And they also lock eachother in stables- um compelety unreal? AND Stripes wins the big race, he’s, like, 13″hh and the others are huge, that is TOTALLY unreal, plus all the horse just wander about everywhere without a human, that would acctually never happen. AND the jumping filly has a really long mane and (though I acctually prefer long manes) she would never be able to compete with a mane like that!

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