Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wild Hearts Cant be Broken

Does anyone else remember this movie? I was flipping channels this evening and found an old movie featuring the actress that played Sonora in Wild Hearts Cant Be Broken. At the sight of her face, and her curly brown hair, I was immediately taken back to my sitting in front of the TV and watching this movie, marveling at the horses, and the will of this young woman. I watched it over and over again. Looking back now, of course I have a different perspective on the whole thing but at the time, I dreamed of being Sonora and diving my horses!

Here you can see a nice montage of the movie....

Did you recall that the movie was actually based on the real life story of Sonora Webster Carver.

(picture of Sonora)

She was a "New Jersey woman who made history in 1924 when she became the first woman to ride the diving horses at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, who became blind after a diving accident but continued high-diving horses for many years, and whose story was told in the 1991 movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken", died Sept. 21 in Pleasantville, NJ at age 99." While she was unable to watch the movie (released in 1991) she was able to listen to it!

Sonora actually has an autobiography called, "A Girl and Five Brave Horses."

Below are some photos I found of the high diving horse act that the Carver's put on at Steel Pier. I also found some footage of an actual dive.

And you thought training a horse to load in a trailer was difficult!!


  1. Okay- I don't understand how they got horses to do this!? Crazy! Did the horses ever get hurt?
    I have yet to see that movie. I will have to put it on my list of "to sees!" ;)

  2. Ditto to what Pony Girl said - holy cow! How did the horses not break legs doing that? That is some wild stuff!

  3. Oh my gosh. That is just crazy. Those have to be some amazing horses. Did you see mugwump's post about her and her friend jumping off a cliff into the water when they were young? Everyone gasped at how crazy that was and we didn't even SEE it!!! Those are amazing. And just think, she lived to be 99. You can definitely say she LIVED a filling and exciting life!!

  4. I've seen the movie many times and have always loved it. Mind you my views on the whole thing has changed slightly now that I am older and more educated.... But still what an amazing feat to acomplish! Those horses trusted her with their lives. As do ours every single day.

  5. Although I find this diving horse "thing" to be horrid, I did have a horse that would jump off of anything...on her own. One summer afternoon we had left her and her buddy in the stock pens only to find her a half hour later in the front yard. As it turned out, after more than one surprise visit, and a sneak trip to the pens- no one had closed the gate to the ramp where the trucks backed in to and cattle were loaded. Quoata would simply walk up the ramp, look to see if anyone was around and launch herself into the lane and meander off like she was Queen of the neighborhood. Her buddy never even attempted to jump. She would walk up, look out and then back down the ramp or turn around. Until the day we put her down, if she was around the pens, she would check that escape route...just in case someone had forgotten it. She had no problem hopping off of anything she found in her way, i.e. deep ditches, burms...and would even cross cattle guards if she found a need. (Please don't fugly me to death, I know they are aweful and dangerous and what she did was too...but that was the situation at the time...and she would do it on her own. And I would NEVER pasture a horse near one ever again).

  6. Pony Girl and Laura- I imagine that a few horses would have but probably more in the training than the ones who made it to the actual show. There were activists that closed down the jumping act at Steel Pier. It is crazy!! But WHCBB is a horse lover's must see movie...regardless.

    Ezra- I didnt think of Mugwamps post last night but someone should suggest she check this out.

    Natarojo- The movie really captures the love of a girl for her horse...and Matt Dillion.... lol

    Nikker- WOw! What a horse you had! She would have made a diving horse for sure! Dont worry about posting stuff like that around here. This is no fugly blog and I will take down anyone who gets nasty.

  7. was not Matt was Michael Schoeffling that played Al Carver. Ahh...Al...*sigh* you were another of my many hearthrobs.

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  10. I loved that movie it was one of my all time favorites. It just shows what you can do if you set your mind to it. Now, thats what I call "balls to the walls!"

  11. Excellent choice!!! My sisters and I probably wore out at least two VHS tapes of this!!!

    We always liked The Journey of Natty Gann too. :)

  12. I can't count the times that I have watched that movie!! I loved it as a kid. That and the movie, "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suite". Have you seen that one? It's so good!! But Wild Heart's Can't be Broken is a great movie. I would never ever do that, I am so scared of heights. AHHHHH!! But she was one brave woman, and it's nice to know she lived utnil 99. In the movie her husband was cute!! Well, I thought he was when I was in sixth grade!! :)