10 SMH Moments From Western Movies

Maria Wachter loves a good Western flick … but has noticed a lot of things that make us equestrians just shake our heads. Here are her top 10.

We know the Western movie industry wasn’t always the kindest to its equine stars (check out this firsthand account about horses in films in the 1950s.) But we’ve still got our favorite classics … despite some of these total shaking-my-head moments that any real equestrian will instantly recognize.

1. The horse ALWAYS comes to a whistle. Ah yes, if it were only that easy.

Zorro's horse Tornado

Zorro’s horse Tornado

2. They never use breast collars on their horses. We’re not riding in an arena, Blondie.

Pale Rider, 1985

Pale Rider, 1985

3. The horses fall down faster than a drunk leaving a bar. Boring movie? Let’s stir things up and flip a horse.

The Wonderful Country, 1959

The Wonderful Country, 1959

4. The riders yank on the horses’ mouths …. even when they want them to go forward. Sorry, horse. Hope you got some extra oats after that scene.

The Searchers, 1956

The Searchers, 1956

5. The women in the movies make riding in a dress and corset look comfortable. Not only that, their makeup always is perfectly applied. Because we all know how amazing we would look after a month long pack trip.

Two Mules For Sister Sara, 1970

Two Mules For Sister Sara, 1970

6. The horse always rescues the rider. Burning building and you’re trapped in the tower? Jump — don’t worry, your horse will catch you. We all know in real life that ain’t gonna happen — Star is running away as fast as he can.

Chisum, 1970

Chisum, 1970

7. The bad guy always wears black. No wonder he’s so angry, he’s sweating to death under all those dark-colored garments.

Lee Van Cleef, American actor best known for playing the "bad guy." 1925-1989

Lee Van Cleef, American actor best known for playing the “bad guy.” 1925-1989

8. The good guy always wears white. In real life, no one that has half a brain wears white around horses if they can help it.

Rustler's Rhapsode, 1985

Rustler’s Rhapsody, 1985

9. The sidekick always gets stuck riding a donkey or mule. Why can’t the star ever ride the longears?

Rustler's Rhapsody, 1985

Rustler’s Rhapsody, 1985

10. We are insanely jealous of how well Native Americans ride bareback. The Dances with Wolves buffalo hunt scene. Enough said.

Dances With Wolves, 1990

Dances With Wolves, 1990

What’s your favorite Western movie moment? Share in the comments!

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