A Gift Horse

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
A Gift Horse Movie Poster Image
Formulaic faith-based horse movie has heavy themes.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Being grateful for what you have; accepting others; recombined families; dealing with grief and loss.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents are extremely engaged, present, and emotionally expressive. Amanda is hardworking and kind. Abigail is spoiled and selfish. 


A girl swings a shovel at a horse, implying that she's going to hurt it, but stops.


A girl tells another girl that she'll never win or be anything, but then she apologizes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Gift Horse is a faith-based movie about a young girl's devotion to horses after the loss of her mother to cancer. While learning to care for and rehabilitate a horse, she also struggles to accept her father's new girlfriend. Due to the pervasive heavy themes, this film is best for tweens and up.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byheatherm8 September 5, 2015


The only thing I csn say good about this movie is that it kinda sorta talked about prayer and God. This movie reiterated that it's okay to scream and be m... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycowgirl7478 November 8, 2016

What's the story?

Grieving the loss of her mother to cancer, Amanda (Kyla Kenedy) throws herself into caring for horses after school. There, she falls in love with Misty, a horse owned by local entrepreneur Mr. Canton (John Schneider) that needs a lot of work getting ready for the competition. But if Misty can't perform better, Amanda will have to endure yet another loss. Meanwhile, her father has a new girlfriend whom she struggles to accept.

Is it any good?

A GIFT HORSE has some positive messages about faith, family, and hard work, and it takes a very thoughtful approach to giving kids the space to grieve a parent's loss. It's beautifully shot in a great countryside setting, but the heavy themes and sweeping score, as well as the wooden acting and sentimental dialogue, make for a pretty weighted, maudlin viewing experience.

There is a fairly formulaic story about the patience of getting a horse up to competition standards, so this film is best for horse lovers and Christian families looking to have the power of faith enforced. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how A Gift Horse portrays grief. Do you think it's realistic? Why, or why not?

  • What is the film's message about gratitude? What things are you grateful for, and why?

  • What part does religion play in the movie? How does it help the characters cope?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love horses

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