Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Movie Horses

Finally, we get back to movie horses!
My favorite movie horse of all time has to be Cisco (Dances With Wolves buckskin) who was an AQHA gelding named "Justin" (Plain Justin Bar).

When I went looking for a picture of "Cisco" I found the above photos with the title "the horse Kevin Costner rode in 'Dances With Wolves'" beneath which read:

mauntainmaus Pro User says:

"Lucky horse!"

Hmm.... I'd have to agree! But also found it kind of sad that this horse was being kept as a tourist attraction in Mitchell, SD along with other props from the movie!

My favorite scene from Dances with Wolves would have to be when he gallops across the field in front of the opposing army with his arms in the air....I get choked-up just thinking about it...

This is kind of a long clip but you can scroll over to the 2min :30second mark to see the action!

...or maybe my favorite is when the native kids come to steal Cisco but as they are galloping away and glorying in their achievement, Cisco slams on the breaks and runs off- breaking the arm of his captor in the process.....

Or was it when they hunt the buffalo together.... *sigh* there are just to many to choose from!

And of course who could forget another movie in which all the joy and heart wrenching glory of our love for horses so beautifully comes to life....
As in The Black Stallion.

In which an horse named Cass Ole plays the Arabian stallion we all know and love.

Of course there is more than one famous black horse worth noting...
the horses that played "Beauty" in the movie Black Beauty. Docs Keepin Time (AQHA) had a few other note worthy parts.... as "Black" on The Adventures of the Black Stallion television show and as "Gulliver" in the Horse Whisperer.

Speaking of The Horse Whisperer....

....this movie featured more than its fair share of QHs.... my favorite being Robert Redford's horse Rimrock (Rambo Roman) who was owned by Buck Brennerman, (the inspiration for Tom Booker).

One other horse that stood out in my mind was the bay horse ridden by Chris O'Donnell in the movie The Three Musketeers. Now that is a luck horse! Here is a scene that I love wherein D'Artagnan leaps onto the back of his faithful stead while his foe is forced to do what we have all had to- once or maybe even twice before-chase after his own horse! .....

Click here for it!!!

And guess what!? Our good friend Gabrielle Anwar (who played Sonora in Wild Hearts Cant Be Broken was in that movie too!

And then there is the great Denny!!! ( from the Man From Snow River)....

I dont know about you but I ran down many a mountainside on my make-believe horse trying to re-enact the above scene!!! I think this movie has some of the greatest shots of equine action ever filmed. Check it out.....

More to come....


  1. Thank you for these posts!! I love reading about the differnet horses and their real names/stories.

    Some of my favs are the two lead horses from "Bandidas", The horse in "Ever After" from the Gypsees, and of course the famous "Mr.Ed".

    Do you think you can dig up any info about them? :)

  2. Oh gawd I had forgotten about The Man from Snowy River! I loved that movie, haven't seen it in decades. Now I'm going to have to go rent it. Thanks!

  3. Oooh, can I pick some?
    What about the horse that played Phar Lap? (Towering Inferno)
    Antonio Banderas' Tornado (from Zorro) btw I loooove the part where he's trying to get the horse to come to him but it won't!

  4. Well actually I am glad to hear the "Cisco" is now in Mitchell, rather than at the 1880 Town(on I-90) in SD. I always thought it was unfortunate that those people ended up with him. They have a really cool place, but it closes in the winter and they ummmm...aren't exactly inclined to take care of their animals in the winter. I noticed that their signs referencing him were gone, but sort of heard the rumor that he died one winter. I'm glad that is not true.

    Ohhh...hey, what about "Dollar", John Wayne's horse? Now that was a nice, nice horse.

  5. What about Bucephalus from Alexander the Great with Collin Farrell? Loved that horse he was gorgeous..I loved that Friesian.

    Love these posts! The Black is my all time favorite...as I am an Ayrab owner...:-)

  6. Yes, well The Black of course has a special place in my heart as he does any horse-crazy kid from the era of the movie.
    I also loved the horse who (mostly) played Cisco in DwW. Not exactly drop dead gorgeous, but C-U-T-E, and more importantly for the movies - expressive. I think however, that the horse in 1880 town was "Buck" and listed as "one" of the horses Kevin rode in the movie. Justin Plain Bar was retired to Redstone Ranch in Pilot Point, Texas which, as far as I can tell, no longer exists. Justin might not either. Foaled in 1983, he'd be going on 26 if he were still around. Buck apparently was housed in 1880 town with two mules from the movie as well as a few other horses and at least one Texas Longhorn and a camel. At least he had company. But he did pass some time in the last couple of years from what I can tell. Of course, it's possible that Redstone dissolved, sold off their stock and because a middle-aged kinda cute gelding wasn't much use to them, Justin went to SD and became Buck. Or maybe I'm just too cynical from reading too much FHOTD. :)

  7. It's hard to choose just one horse, they are all great. Nice posts, and very interesting.
    As a kid my favorites were, Trigger (of course) and Hi Ho Silver Away, with the Lone Ranger. You're much too young to remember them, but we didn't have cartoons, we had real horses and people.

  8. Ahh, the black stallion. Our prior barn had a registered Ole stallion offspring. On her old website, that's not longer up because of some issues that happened at the barn, she had the whole history and story of the black stallion. For the life of me I cannot remember what her name was. It started with a Z. I think Zolena Ole or something. Shoot. They were trying to get into the Black Stallion literacy program where they would take her to the schools and stuff for learning. I guess you can do that if you have A black stallion (regardless of breed) or an offspring of any horse that played the black stallion.

    Anyhow. I like the horse that the kid rode in "The New Kid" at their football game. :))

  9. I have a hard time choosing a favorite too - my first movie horse love of course was The Black, but there have been many since then. I liked the horse from the movie Alexander - I hated the movie. OH and I too loved Zorro's horse - a horse with a sense of humor, I liked it! And I liked Rimrock too!

  10. Doller, John Waynes Horse was my favorite. I read an ad several several years ago selling him somewhere here in California. I've always wondered what happened to him.
    And Kirk Douglas horse in Lonely are the Brave! That was a great horse too- but I don't think he was ever in anything else.

  11. I always loved the horse that played Ginger in Black Beauty--that was a good looking horse!

    And how about the gelding Billy Crystal rode in both City Slickers movies? I'm sure you know this, but he loved that little black horse so much he bought him!

    My other favorite horse is the liver chestnut John Wayne rode in McClintock. I've always wanted a liver chestnut--they seem to be kind of rare!

  12. Love them all of course... but don't forget "Ladyhawke " and the scene where they {Navar & Goliath} trot into the church followed by the gorgeous andalusian. I'm liable to wear that scene out on my dvd. Oh, and then theres Dice in Duel in the Sun....on and on....

  13. Oh Yes LadyHawk!! Amazing scene in the church...the sounds of the thundering hooves on the cobblestones!

    LOVED Dances with Wolves. My all time favorite movei with horses, too.
    I met Michael Blake, the man who wrote the book. He came to Albuquerque to do a lecture and I was amazed when he said that noone wanted to make his book into a movie. All the movie studios turned him down...for many years!!

    Can you believe it??

    If it weren't for Kevin Costner who made it all happen, there never would have been the movie Dances with Wolves!
    Michael Blake: fascinating man! Kevin Costner: awesome man!
    Cisco: The best horse ever!

    Hey! What about Hidalgo???!!
    We have it and I've probably watched it a bazillion times. Makes me laugh, cry, get angry, everything! Hidalgo is amazing. I love that Vigo buys many of his favorite horses that he rides in movies. Of course, he bough Hidalgo! :)


  14. Awwww dancing with wolves...I love that horse :P Movie horses should be the ones walking home with the oscars.

  15. i love so many movie and tv horses. Trigger, Sliver and Scout, Champion, Mr. Ed, Denny-the horse from snowy river,lol. John Waynes' horses, Bo - True Grit, The app he rode in Rio Diablo, Cochise, old Dollar in The Shootist. I always love movies involving horses. I can usually tell when they use more than one. Well they almost always do. Wish there was another trigger out there, but that horse was like Elvis, there will never be another.

  16. Thanks for the great posts! I actually met "Buck" at the Old West Town in SD on the way back from a conference. I can't be sure, but he sure appeared to be the real deal- He was of course a pretty old guy by then and I remember at the time wondering how old he would have been when they filmed. I think 7 sounds about right- at the time I saw him he would have been 23 or 24. He looked as though he was well taken care of and was a LOVE!! (Got a lock of his mane) Of course, I can't say where he was kept in the winter, but it was NOT at the tourist attraction. There would have been no facilities there in the winter and the enclosure they had him in was simply a buck & rail corral with a water tank and a reproduction Cavalry tent for shade. It was clean and well maintained and he appeared very healthy for an older horse. We were also told that he "came from Texas originally" - so maybe it was in fact Justin? On a last note which I though was pretty interesting....there was a fee to see the movie props, photos, etc. But visiting "Cisco" was free.

  17. Hey, i just watched Hidalgo AGAIN and it is soooo awsome.... but i must admit, i shut my eyes when anything bad might happen to anyone of the horses but when something happens to the other riders or characters, i just laugh....
    im much more attached to the horses.

  18. Thanks for sharing these photos of Plain Justin Bar. I just pulled out the old VHS tapes of Dances with Wolves and saw it again. Can't believe this movie is 20 years old this year.

    It's good to hear that Justin is being well taken care of in his twilight years.

  19. My all time favorite Movie horse is "Denny" from "The Man from Snowy River". Talk about a horse that will walk through fire for you and has spirit, all around awesome horse and beautiful too.

    Just to add another favorite I dont already see listed:

    "The Hell B**ch" from "Lonesome Dove. Fiesty, inteligent, a leader, and beautiful too. Worth mentioning at least.

  20. Although the Man form Snowy Rivers is a great film it was made at a time where the proper precautions to the safety of the horses where not taking into consideration. One of the horses that doubled Denny died in the scene from the second movie when they make that famous down hill run.

    I heard this from a film horse trainers in the business as that is what I do so its true. You can see in the scene that the horse breaks his neck and the stunt rider gets hurt real bad. Its very sad, and as much as I want to say those things don't happen anymore I cant because they killed two horses on the new Flicka film.

    As I have worked for many of these trainers and knew lots of them their intentions of course are never to hurt them its just accidents happen.

    Check my blog about Film Horses

  21. I always cry when I see in the movie Dances With Wolves that Cisco dies.
    I love Horses and I have a Few times that a horse die orbe sale. And when I hear that I can just nothing than cry. I am a animallover and I have respect for them. So I feel no compassion when the people who kill hem be killed by the sioux-indians.

    From Josefien out Holland

  22. I found info on the lighter tan of the Dances With Wolves movie horses (Cisco). I found this the other day whilst browsing. Horse was 33 years old, that's a rightful life for such a famous horse.


  23. I actually visited The Cisco horse at the 1880 Town. I don't remember what year it was, but it was May and still off season. They had him pastured at a nice large pasture about a half mile away. They brought us up there to meet him. He had a barn and everything. We got to lead him around and pet him. He was a very nice horse and the people thought a lot of him. As far as horse life in SD, he had it pretty good. In the summer he had a large corral in the exhibit and his own little barn. Not to mention he got a ton of attention which he seemed to love. I didn't think he would live to be that old or I would have stopped back to see him. Sad to really know he's gone.

  24. favorite of all time, denny (snowy) from man from snowy river. he was a fantastic example of an australian waler. beautiful horse. i cant remember ever thinking of him and not putting myself on his back for that ride down the mountain...i think i've looked for that intense friendship in every horse i've owned since. my heart still swells and i get a huge lump in my throat that i cant swallow everytime i see him. he had that extra gear. that extra, something. everything. the spark in his eye that said, yeah i can do that. (sigh) what a champion.
    cisco (justin) is the next love of my life. i wish i had gotten to see him when he was alive.

  25. We have Buck or Bucky at the barn i work at.. He is about 30-35 years old and he was Cisco or one of them in dancing with wolves..