I have seen horses falling down many times in war movies while running. How do they make horses fall down in war movies? Are they highly trained to know fall down at some place or some barriers are given to them?

  • So many film-techniques question, may be you are to be a director soon :)
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 11:05
  • @AnkitSharma: hmmmmm. Firstly I haven't never imagined about directing process. But it very tough and work of genius people. Hats of to directors :) Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 12:09
  • 2
    Related: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/2619/… Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 17:09
  • some horses get trained by getting snakes and small animals to spook the horses
    – user35007
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


Nowadays, horses are trained to fall safely. Almost all animal performances are under the close supervision of the Film and TV unit of the American Humane Association. Stunt horses can be trained to fall on command safely.

Some techniques used to ensure the horses safety:

  • Each horse has its hoof in sponge rubber to soften kicks, and mouths are taped to prevent biting.
  • To make the scene look more action packed, it is filmed at a very slow speed then at regular speed looks fast and furious.
  • Other preparations include digging a hole to fill with soft loose dirt to cushion the horse.

Taken from http://www.quora.com/In-war-movies-how-do-they-make-horses-fall-down-during-a-battle-scene

Other effects (such as a horse breaking a leg in the movie Dreamer) are done with mechanical horses. Still other movies use digital effects, such as Lord of the Rings, which had large battles scenes that were completely computer generated. Horses and other animals are treated very well on movie sets.

Sadly, in the older films they actually do the inhumane things & use trip wires to make the animals fall. And there were cases when the animals were killed such as in a 1940 Jesse James movie where 8 horses were killed. ref: http://horsefame.tripod.com/stunts.htm

  • 5
    8 horses killed :( +1 nice content. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 10:55
  • Oh man, the trip wire could explain this: movies.stackexchange.com/q/8578/67
    – Wok
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 6:18
  • Your right it looks like it could have been used.
    – Travis
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 10:59
  • "Stunt horse" = now I know what I want to be when I grow up!
    – DA.
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 19:13
  • Good answer, but there are countless instances, where still animals are killed or treated badly in sets. And that even in case of blockbusters like LOTR, Hobbit, Life of Pi. hollywoodreporter.com/feature. AHA is not exactly the source you want to trust. And killing animals does not prevent getting any credit or awards.
    – Paharet
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 8:20

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