The Greatest Horses in Western Cinema

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 12:30pm
Jordyn Hampe
The Greatest Horses in Western Cinema




Trigger was nearly as popular as his owner, Roy Rogers, and was possibly the most famous horse in the movie industry. Trigger was originally named Golden Cloud, and had a repertoire of over 100 tricks.

His first appearance was in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” in 1938, where he played Olivia de Havilland’s horse. His career spanned 20 years and he appeared in at least 80 feature films and 100 television episodes during this time. He even had his own comic book series!



Silver and his owner, the Lone Ranger, had a deep bond that was explained in the 1938 episode “The Legend of Silver.”

In this tale, the Lone Ranger came across a horse that was battling a buffalo. The man saved the horse’s life, and in return, Silver remains forever loyal to the Lone Ranger.



Dollor appeared in many of John Wayne’s Westerns after appearing in one of his most memorable scenes in “True Grit” in 1969. In this scene, Dollor is the horse carrying Rooster Cogburn during his famous charge.

Wayne was so fond of the horse that he changed the script of “The Shootist” so that he could mention the horse several times by name. Although Wayne never actually owned Dollor, his contract required that no one else be able to ride the horse, and the request was honored for the remainder of Dollor’s life.


Mister Ed

Wilbur Post and his talking horse (who only he could hear) made for great comedy from 1961 to 1966. Although Western actor Allan Lane voiced the Mister Ed, in reality, he was a palomino Saddlebred-cross named Bamboo Harvester.

Bamboo Harvester got his start under the guidance of one of Will Rogers’ protégés, Lester Hilton. Many believe that Bamboo Harvester was made to “talk” for the show through use of peanut butter, but that theory has never been confirmed.

You can catch our profile of everyone's favorite talking horse in one of our episodes of This Old Horse with Carly Twisselman.



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