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June 11, 2023 3 min read

When we’re concepting a collection, we like to really immerse ourselves in it, transport ourselves to the time and place or align ourselves with the ideals and emotions. Having a horse-filled upbringing ourselves, getting in a Hay Babies headspace wasn’t much of a stretch, but man, movies can really magnify the majesty of these creatures.\

We invite you to really connect with the collection – or just make the most of a rainy afternoon – with some of our all-time favorite films (and novels) that movingly portray the heroism of horses and the inimitable bond between a horse and its human.

BLACK BEAUTY

Based on one of the best-selling books of all time, the 1877 novel by Anna Sewell, Black Beauty is a uniquely-told first-person narrative from the perspective of the horse. This timeless classic has been adapted to film several times (about once every 25 years), so you can settle in with the one you remember from your childhood or share in the nostalgia with your kids or grandkids with one of the more recent.

NATIONAL VELVET

Of course, we love a story that emphasizes the ability of a girl to accomplish greatness! Enid Bagnold’s 1935 novel about a girl named Velvet and her horse was made into a highly successful film starring none other than Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney. An oldie but a goodie.

WAR HORSE

This Steven Spielberg-directed Oscar nominee features Hollywood heavy hitters like Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston in a World War I tale of bravery and the unbreakable bond between a man and his horse.

SEABISCUIT

Another Oscar-nominated film (starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, and Elizabeth Banks), this is a story of the ultimate underdog – an undersized horse with an oversized jockey and an unorthodox trainer, up against the odds of injury and the Great Depression.

SECRETARIAT

Another “Attagirl!” story in which a precocious Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) navigates the male-dominated world of racing horses, until her longshot thoroughbred secures its spot in history as the record-setting winner of the Triple Crown.

THE HORSE WHISPERER

This 1998 heart-string-tugging tear-jerker is the first film that Robert Redford both directed and starred in, telling a tale of the hard-fought path to healing after a traumatic incident irrevocably changes a young girl and her horse.

Personal Favorites:

CASEY’S SHADOW

We grew up on this one, and if you’ve seen it, you’ll recognize why it might resonate with us; we knew these folk – we were these folk – growing up. Heck, the movie’s tagline is “This crazy, mixed-up family doesn’t stand a chance of winning a million bucks”, haha! (One of the movie’s memorable lines, “Play the game, Daddy.” is still a familiar family quote of ours.)

ALL THE PRETTY HORSES

This one holds a special place in our hearts because we had the privilege of being present on the set of the 2000 film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s 1992 novel. We were invited by our dear friend and set decorator extraordinaire, Carla Curry, because we lent some props and our DDR Home collection for the set. “We ended up in the wardrobe trailer and eventually sent some of our vintage bandanas and serapes for costuming. Billy Bob was great and invited us to lunch!”

Honorable Mention:

THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER

A cowboy cult classic! It’s not your traditional “horse movie”, but anyone who’s ever seen the famed film knows that you can’t even touch the topic of Westerns without giving this 1982 flick its dues.

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