Never a big "animal film" fan, horse movies are different than say a pet movie (Beethoven or Milo and Otis) or a wildlife movie (The Bear).
Horse movies are different, maybe because the amount of time, money, and energy it takes to train a horse is different than a domesticated pet, although it's wild nature is controlled.
This year's bid "horse movie" is Secretariat, but it far from a novel idea to try to capture hearts with a story of a horse and it's rider.
Probably the most noteworthy recent horse film (both in terms of box-office and award acclaim) is Gary Ross' 2003 film Seabiscuit. Seabiscuit is the highest gross horse film ($120 million domestically) and earned 7 academy award nominations (but no wins).
I imagine Walt Disney's Secreatariat is attempting to beat out Seabiscuit's record. But win or loss Secretariat will be earn the prize as the first horse film of the decade added to annals of horse filmography.
5 Top Grossing Horse Films
5. The Electric Horseman (1979) $61 million
4. Hidalgo (2004) $67 million
3. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) $73 million
2. The Horse Whisperer (1998) $78 million
1. Seabiscuit (2003) $120 million
Some other horse film "standards" from almost every decade:
Racing Stripes (2005)
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005)
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991)
The Black Stallion Returns (1983)
The Man From Snowy River (1982)
The Black Stallion (1979)
International Velvet (1978)
National Velvet (1944)
My Friend Flicka (1943)
A Day at the Races (1937)
Black Beauty (1921, 1946, 1971, 1994)
Pictured above: Tobey Maguire in Seabiscuit