All horses great and small
At Ridersmate we love everything to do with horses, real life and fictional. Below are some of our top steeds from TV, film and literature and why we think they’re the best. If we’ve missed out your favourite, let us know in the comments section at the bottom and tell us why it should make the list.
Originally running from 1961 until 1966, Mister Ed was an American sitcom about the eponymous talking horse that offered sage advice to Wilbur, his clumsy but kindhearted owner. The frustrating thing about this show is that after five years and a whopping 143 episodes, it was never explained why Ed could talk, or perhaps that makes it all the more endearing.
Companion to Gandalf, the powerful and heroic wizard in The Lord of the Rings, Shadowfax belongs to the greatest race of horses on Middle-earth. This majestic creature is silver and white, capable of understanding human speech, and well known for his ability to “ride like the wind”.
This young thoroughbred isn’t built for ploughing fields and making barren land fit for crops, yet his determination and strength combined with constant belief from owner Albert drives him to achieve something fantastic. But that isn’t the end of Joey’s incredible story, which sees him go to war, change lives, be acquired by the Germans and, after years of battle and carnage, reunite with his human friend. We are of course talking about War Horse, the epic tale by Michael Morpurgo.
The Lone Ranger aired on TV screens from 1949 till 1957, which included the magical transformation from black and white to colour (not that it made much difference to this dazzling white horse). Silver was a wild beast but decided to take a master when The Lone Ranger saved him from an angry buffalo; how many can boast that origin story?
Far less familiar than the rest of the list, Hercules is the horse of Albert and Harold Steptoe, the rag and bone men in the long-running British TV series Steptoe and Son. Surrounded by tat, squalor, soot and dismal buildings, Hercules never seemed to be bothered by his job, which is a far cry from Harold and his constantly thwarted attempts to flee their life of grime.
My Lovely Horse
Let’s finish off with a comedy classic. This nameless horse is the object of affection for Ted and Dougal in Episode 2, Series 5 of the hilarious Irish sitcom Father Ted. Part of a shared dream, the horse plays the title role in their entry for “Eurosong” and is so deeply loved that he’s showered with sugar lumps, before being taken to the horse dentist.