A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wild Horse, Wild Ride is a documentary about training wild mustangs for competition and adoption. There are some fearful moments as horses resist training, a couple brief instances of profanity ("s--t"), and mostly footage of humans slowly winning the trust of these wild majestic beasts as they gear up for the big day. It's an informative and sometimes moving look at the bonding and psychology of horse training, ideal for horse lovers but interesting enough for a general audience. Still, the waxing philosophical and emotional about breaking wild horses could bore younger kids.
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What's the story?
In 100 days, 100 people from all walks of life, from amateur to pro, attempt to train a wild mustang rounded up from federal public lands to be adopted in WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE. To do so, they must gain the horse's trust with patience, gentleness, and their own blend of horse whispering. But what each trainer discovers is that what's even more difficult than breaking a horse is leaving one.
Is it any good?
This movie is a remarkable look at the art of training a wild mustang. It reveals how humans and undomesticated animals forge a relationship in an incredibly short amount of time -- that is to say, very cautiously. It's well-shot and provides an intimate picture of the vast reservoirs of patience and hard daily work in earning an animal's trust, to say nothing of the hardship in letting go after all the work is done. There's a lot to appreciate here for anyone who loves horses or simply finds them fascinating. Not addressed is the controversial practice of rounding up wild horses from federal public spaces to be trained in the first place, so animal-rights-leaning parents may wish to discuss the practice's benefits and risks; toward the documentary's end, competition scenes wherein trainers stand on animals and show them off are a bit of a shift from the warm, gentle respect in the first three quarters. But overall Wild Horse, Wild Ride is a heartwarming look at the bonds between people and animals, with a diverse cast of characters of different ages and backgrounds all of whom seem to respect the animals and want the best for them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the horses are trained in Wild Horse, Wild Ride. What does it mean to train a horse vs. it's being "wild"?
Do you think horses like being trained better than being wild? What are the benefits for the horses? Do you think they would be better off roaming public lands on their own or being with humans? Why?
Which trainers stood out to you, and why? Why do you think it was so hard for them to put the horses up for adoption? Do you think the horses will be sad to leave their trainers, too?
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