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Horsing Around

 Horsing Around
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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Horses can be real bastards. Tensing up as you fasten a saddle only to relax and leave the rider upside down, biting hands, "spooking" and racing off with their rider, kicking anyone stupid enough to get south of their arses, and if they lie down suddenly... get off quick, they're about to roll. And as for camels...
Horses, both in fiction and Real Life, are living creatures, and come with their own personalities. They lose their tempers, they get scared, they react like you'd expect an animal to react. Often suspiciously like you would expect a dog to react. Sapient Steeds are liable to be this if you treat them badly... or possibly just because, like humans, they have a mischievous streak.
Subtrope of Moody Mount. Aversion of Automaton Horses, and in the case of wild horses of All Animals Are Domesticated. Also an aversion of horses' usual Animal Stereotype of being noble, loyal and steadfast.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })Not to be confused with Horsin' Around.
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2020-10-05T20:24:59Z
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Alexander: When a horse trader presents Bucephalus to Philip and his court, we see Cleitus getting thrown off trying to ride it, and Philip passing on an attempt because the horse will not even let him go near it. To the surprise of everyone present, the very young Alexander volunteers to ride the horse, and to even greater surprise, he succeeds. The implication is that Alexander succeeds because in contrast to Philip and his generals, he does not rely on force but insteads talks to Bucephalus to calm it and thus gains its trust. It may also be that he is correct in assuming that Bucephalus is afraid of its own shadow.
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Wonder Woman (1987): Pegasus gets to return to the mortal coil when Medusa is beheaded for a second time, and immediately shows that she's got a strong opinions on whom she likes when she kicks the remaining two gorgons hard enough to knock them out and takes a warning nip at Ares. Wondy, who can understand animals to an extent helpfully tells an amused Ares that Pegasus doesn't like him.
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Several novels in the Heralds of Valdemar series include (usually humorous) antics from horses, such as the infamously ugly and ill-tempered Grey Stud in The Last Herald-Mage, a beautiful but stupid horse in Oathbreakers, and an entire stable full of misbehaving horses in the short story "Spring Plowing at Forst Reach" in Oathblood.
Multiple Companions are described in passing as doing this as well, either due to disagreements with their Chosen or a taste for low humor. Companion Kalira once saved her Herald from a woman pulling a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, commenting "I wish I'd had something to leave on her shoes!"
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Pegasus on Hercules is usually gentle with Herc. Megara, on the other hand...
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Zeus, Theo's recalcitrant horse in the Fools Guild mysteries by Alan Gordon. Theo's little daughter Portia gets affectionate nuzzles, while everybody else risks life and limb just getting close to him, and even Theo has a touch-and-go relationship with him.
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Fire Emblem has a couple of moody horses:
Fire Emblem Awakening has Sully's unnamed mount, a terrifying animal that's constantly menacing Vaike during some support chains. Played with in that his rider doesn't have any problems - because many people consider Sully a perfect match.
Fire Emblem Fates has Sophie's horse Avel, who constantly disobeys her: going where she doesn't want to go (which is how her Paralogue begins even), throwing her off, and even eating her hair at one point. In gameplay, he behaves like any other horse, but this is addressed in her supports with her father Silas; he explains that Avel responds to her just fine when she's in the zone during battle and taking charge, it's when she starts trying to control him that he gets uppity. (Something that can be Truth in Television.)
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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Link can tame wild beasts (usually but not always horses) to use as mounts, but as they are wild, they don't obey right at first. At first they will actively try to throw him off, and even after he calms them into letting him ride, they will often disobey instructions and try to go do their own thing. Link has to work with them and train them before they act like loyal steeds, and some are more rebellious than others.
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 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Video Game)
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The Road to El Dorado has Altivo, who may have inspired Maximus below; they're both suspiciously intelligent white warhorses who were stolen from their owners and got very very angry about it. Altivo, in this case, originally belonged to Hernán Cortés.
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Disney in general seems in love with this trope. Horses acting up are, of course, a good way of getting laughs out of parents and children alike. And since many Disney employees during the golden age were avid riders (the Disney Studios fielded two polo teams) they had a lot of experience to work with.
The scene in the Pecos Bill segment of Disney's Melody Time where Slue-Foot Sue tries to ride Pecos' horse Widowmaker. Watch it here, starting at 4:00. It helps that his eyes are visibly red with anger during this scene.
The Prince's horse in Sleeping Beauty, who until the climactic scene was very stubborn and had to be bribed by carrots to do his master's bidding, and even then the horse bungles it and charges straight into a puddle.
Phoebus' horse from The Hunchback of Notre Dame when he was told to "sit". His face seemed well smug. Self-satisfied maybe?
Pegasus on Hercules is usually gentle with Herc. Megara, on the other hand...
Maximus from Disney's Tangled won't let Flynn Rider ride him. It may have something to do with him being the Captain of the Guard's horse, and Flynn being a wanted criminal. Until the end when they team up to rescue Rapunzel.
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The scene in the Pecos Bill segment of Disney's Melody Time where Slue-Foot Sue tries to ride Pecos' horse Widowmaker. Watch it here, starting at 4:00. It helps that his eyes are visibly red with anger during this scene.
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The horses in the Hank the Cowdog series are real jerks because, as Hank puts it, not only do they think they're better than everybody else, but they will go out of their way to try and prove it.
And that's just the usual ranch horses. Book Number Eight pits Hank against Tuerto, a "One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse" who breaks loose and terrorizes the ranch simply because...well...he can.
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The Prince's horse in Sleeping Beauty, who until the climactic scene was very stubborn and had to be bribed by carrots to do his master's bidding, and even then the horse bungles it and charges straight into a puddle.
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Ichabod Crane's borrowed horse Gunpowder in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: "The animal he bestrode was a broken-down plow-horse, that had outlived almost everything but its viciousness."
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The Classic Disney Short "How To Ride A Horse" starring Goofy is built entirely on this trope. Note that Walt Disney (and a lot of his animators) were avid polo players.
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 Classic Disney Shorts
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Discworld:
Going Postal: Moist von Lipwig rides a half-mad stallion called Boris from Ankh-Morpork to Sto Lat to help save the postal system. The stablemaster gave it to him as retaliation for Moist's disparaging remarks about his horses—although he tries to back out when Moist accepts the ride, because then it started "looking too much like murder". It is mentioned that Boris would have been a champion racehorse except for his unbreakable habit of attacking the competitors and jumping the fence at the first turn.
The horse belonging to the hapless Lieutenant Blouse in Monstrous Regiment. Turns out part of the reason the horse so grumpy may be that Blouse thinks the horse is male, but male she ain't. Blouse isn't very observant.
According to Witches Abroad, Jason Ogg the Lancre blacksmith has the secret of the Horseman's Word used to quieten bloody-minded stallions. It involves a swift smack between the eyes to get the beast's attention, followed by the threat of the stallion finding his "goolies" between the anvil and a big hammer. Even the most fractious stallion calms down around Jason.
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In The Elenium novels, Sir Sparhawk's horse Faran. Faran is infamous for his bad temper and a tendency to bite strangers (such that Sparhawk always has to warn handlers about it). In one of the later books, the child-goddess Aphrael tells Sparhawk that Faran only has a bad temper because he is trying to please Sparhawk by matching his personality. Much to Sparhawk's annoyance, Faran has a habit of prancing whenever Sparhawk rides him with his formal armour on. The horse is also remarked upon to be unusually intelligent, to the point of understanding Sparhawk's speech and having memorized the ritual entry into a Pandion Chapterhouse as well as Sparhawk has.
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The Mandalorian. The title character has to mount the blurrg that tried to kill him previously so he can cross the deserts of Arvala-7. He gets thrown repeatedly and ends up demanding a landspeeder until he's shamed into having another (successful) try when it's pointed out that his ancestors tamed much fiercer beasts.
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On The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Brisco's horse Comet is like this sometimes, when they've had a spat.
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In Black Beauty, a horse revolts when the bearing reins are drawn too tight to bear. As the book is an Author Tract against cruelty to animals, the narrative's sympathy is entirely on the side of the horse, with the result that bearing reins soon fell out of favour except as safety equipment.
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To tame a wild horse in ARK: Survival Evolved, you have to feed it, then mount it and repeatedly feed it in quick-time events while it tries to buck you off.
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Donald Duck's steed in "Dude Duck".
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DuckTales (1987): Scrooge McDuck had a horse like this in his youth.
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 DuckTales (1987)
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In The Sharing Knife, Dag's horse Copperhead is habitually described as "evil", and won't allow anyone but Dag to care for him.
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Seabiscuit in both the film and in real life. Also contains a scene where an unnamed horse bolts and nearly kills his rider when he is spooked by a backfiring tractor.
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A non-comedic example can be found in Gaia: Viviana, who is apparently not a skilled or bold rider, insists on riding a gentle but rather sorry looking nag named Casper because "He has never unseated me." Unfortunately, Casper proves that even the gentlest horse has his limits, dumping her and bolting when someone or something deliberately spooks him.
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Fire Emblem Fates has Sophie's horse Avel, who constantly disobeys her: going where she doesn't want to go (which is how her Paralogue begins even), throwing her off, and even eating her hair at one point. In gameplay, he behaves like any other horse, but this is addressed in her supports with her father Silas; he explains that Avel responds to her just fine when she's in the zone during battle and taking charge, it's when she starts trying to control him that he gets uppity. (Something that can be Truth in Television.)
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Druids in Pathfinder have the option to take care of a drake instead of getting a standard animal companion. A drake is obviously much more intelligent than an animal and develops extra abilities when growing but is also lazy and moody and thus a real pain in the ass to direct towards any task, requiring a Diplomacy check from its "charge" (drakes refuse the word "master") for everything it's asked to do. A drake can also serve as a mount when large enough but remains reluctant to carry anyone but its charge.
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Rhyshadim in The Stormlight Archive will only allow their chosen human to ride them. One time, when for strategic reasons one hero needs to ride another's Rhyshadim, it takes hours to talk the horse into it.
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The Mustang: Marcus, the title character and horse, is a particularly difficult to break wild mustang.
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In Dungeons & Dragons, there's an item known as the Obsidian Steed. If the rider is good-aligned, they must roll to control the beast or it goes to the Lower Planes and dumps them there.
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Appa of Avatar: The Last Airbender. When a ten-ton bison decides something (entering a cave, leaving without backup, etc.) is a bad idea, it ain't happening.
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Going Postal: Moist von Lipwig rides a half-mad stallion called Boris from Ankh-Morpork to Sto Lat to help save the postal system. The stablemaster gave it to him as retaliation for Moist's disparaging remarks about his horses—although he tries to back out when Moist accepts the ride, because then it started "looking too much like murder". It is mentioned that Boris would have been a champion racehorse except for his unbreakable habit of attacking the competitors and jumping the fence at the first turn.
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Rashomon: The court officer claims that the bandit was thrown by the horse he stole from the samurai — the bandit maintains that he fell out of the saddle because he was weakened by poisoned water.
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The horse belonging to the hapless Lieutenant Blouse in Monstrous Regiment. Turns out part of the reason the horse so grumpy may be that Blouse thinks the horse is male, but male she ain't. Blouse isn't very observant.
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According to Witches Abroad, Jason Ogg the Lancre blacksmith has the secret of the Horseman's Word used to quieten bloody-minded stallions. It involves a swift smack between the eyes to get the beast's attention, followed by the threat of the stallion finding his "goolies" between the anvil and a big hammer. Even the most fractious stallion calms down around Jason.
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Tumbleweed won't allow anyone he doesn't respect to ride him.
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Counselors and Kings has a black stallion belonging to the Jordaini order, who despite being both the largest and the finest horse in their big stable typically was left in his stall. The beast was controllable most in the scenario "set the right direction and let him bolt like mad," and wooden hitching posts worked only until he'd get bored. Matteo rode this one when he meant business, after which he considered an unbroken horse not challenging. And upon reassignment named another aggressive mount after this one.
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Jonric's party in Broken Quest end up with 'asshole horses' that refuse to move and have to be dragged along by their reins.
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In Candleshoe, Priory (David Niven) rides a horse that is rather difficult to control. It eventually gallops off in mid conversation with Priory on it. It's not clear whether this is really a case of a Moody Mount, or if Priory is just that bad at horsemanship.
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The horse girls of Uma Musume are known to do this, with many quirks based on their real life counterparts. Seiun Sky, for instance, is seen needing a push◊ to get into the starting gate like her real life version did, and the real Gold Ship's stubborn and capricious nature is shown by his horse girl version being a Cloudcuckoo Lander.
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Jolly Jumper, the horse of Lucky Luke, is a textbook example. Besides being able to run impossibly fast and long, even while sleeping, and always coming when Lucky Luke whistles, as the series develops he gets the ability to speak and play Chess with Lucky Luke. Oh, and don't think of stealing him. It will get really painful when he recognises that you are not his rider.
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Garfield and Friends had a black horse named Certain Death on Cactus Jake's Dude Ranch in "Polecat Flats" who was so ferocious it had to be kept behind a four-rail fence and could beat it hooves on its chest like an angry gorilla when sufficiently enraged. He appears again in "Cactus Jake Rides Again", where a Champion cowboy is scheduled to ride Certain Death and must be thrown so that Cactus Jake can get a cash bonus. Unfortunately, due to eating four pans of Garfield's lasagna, Certain Death becomes drowzy and tired until Garfield feeds him Cactus Jake's special deluxe chilli, turning him ferocious again and winning the rodeo.
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A disobedient pony is the only reason the protagonist of Lure of the Temptress gets involved in the plot. He's not a soldier, but his pony decides to charge after the king's horsemen as they head to battle. Then he's thrown from his saddle and gets captured, leaving him as one of the only survivors.
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Red Dead Redemption has a lot of unique horses that must be "broken" before they can be ridden. And even a broken horse can still throw you off if you don't pay attention to the stamina meter, or if you spur it too much.
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Stranger (ridden by The Hound) and Smiler (ridden by Theon) from A Song of Ice and Fire. Justified Trope since these are war mounts, trained for battle.
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Ponyta and Rapidash from Pokémon are both described as being wild-natured and burning anyone whom they don't trust if said person attempts to ride them. In one early episode, Ash Ketchum has to train a Ponyta for a race after its own trainer is injured and has a very hard time of it. About halfway through, though, things get better and Ash gains the trust of the Ponyta, which goes on to win the race - after evolving into Rapidash.
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The horse ridden by Chon Wang in Shanghai Noon has a mind of its own and rarely responds to his wishes unless it wants to.
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The protagonist of the Garrett, P.I. novels dislikes horses, and claims they're sneaky bastards that invoke this trope on him deliberately every chance they get.
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Averted in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Epona is a trusted horse that follows the player any time she is summoned. However, unless you learned Epona's Song from Malon in the pre-Ganon Hyrule, Epona won't let you ride her. When you beat Ingo in a race with her, the rancher is utterly flummoxed that anyone could "tame that wild horse".
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Game of Thrones: Ser Loras Tyrell exploits this trope to win a joust by riding a mare in heat against Ser Gregor Clegane's bad tempered stallion.
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Lucy the pony from Non Sequitur is unusual in that as a talking horse she'll actually explain why she's acting spooky or headstrong.
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Juggernauts of Khorne from Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 are all but untameable, goring and crushing any unworthy mortal or daemon with the impudence to attempt to ride them. Even those who succeed in getting a Juggernaut to accept them as a rider have little control over their monstrous mount, merely clinging to the beast�s back as the Juggernaut itself decides when an where it will attack.
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The Woman in Red: Teddy tries horseback riding with Charlotte.
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In Warhammer 40,000, Slaughterfiends are demonically-possessed machines that exist only to kill. Khornates make a point of trying to hitch a ride on one, as such a feat vastly improves their status.
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Warhammer has Cold Ones, ostrich-sized raptor-type dinosaurs used by Dark Elves and Lizardmen as cavalry. In the Dark Elves' case, riders need to smear themselves with a special unguent that masks their scent (otherwise the Cold Ones attack them), prolonged use of which deadens your sense of touch. In the fluff, one elf got rid of a rival by replacing his unguent with a placebo, ending with the rival ripped to shreds.
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Taming horses in Minecraft amounts to getting thrown by them repeatedly until they get used to you (and sometimes one more time an instant after they do for good measure). Fortunately that deals no damage. Also, if you don't equip it with a saddle, you can't control it.
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My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
The show usually averts this when dragon cub Spike rides on Twilight Sparkle's back, justified in that they communicate verbally and Twilight's like family to Spike,
Parodied in "A Dog And Pony Show" when the Diamond Dogs try to grab onto the ponies, intending to saddling and muzzling them as new work horses. Being sentient equines with attitude, the ponies buck the dogs off rodeo-style.
A loose example that's played for laughs in "The Best Night Ever." Two pony stallions help to pull the ladies' carriage to Canterlot, and glare angrily at Spike when he gets too into his role as coach-dragon and whips them.
A pony using another pony as a mount results at best in a miffed pony. Rainbow is less than happy with a shrunken Applejack rigging her with a crude bit and bridle for aerial assault in 'Bridle Gossip', and even Twilight lets out a miffed reply when Spike tries to have his 'noble steed' (read: her) charge in "A Dog and Pony Show". And 'Clover the Clever' (played by Twilight) is sullen about having 'Princess Platinum' (played by Rarity) ride her to avoid wading in a stream in the Hearth's Warming Eve pageant.
Spike also gets thrown off by Applejack and Rainbow Dash during a rodeo in "Fall Weather Friends." One wonders how they talked him into participating in the first place.
Twilight also flips Spike off her back for making a lame joke in "The Cutie Pox".
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True Lies has a wonderful example when the police horse Arnie is using to chase a perp flat out refuses to jump a gap between skyscrapers.
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In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, the Turtles try their hand at horseback riding. They are each in turn thrown off... except for Leonardo, who goes riding off standing on the horse.
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Spirit: Riding Free has the titular horse. While he is more mellow than his father and trusts one girl with letting her ride him, he still expects his freedom to be respected; any sign that anyone might try to tie him up, lock him up, or put a saddle on him will result in him panicking, as Lucky finds out the hard way when she accidentally closes him in a stable and he responds by smashing a hole into it to get out.
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In Run Wild, Run Free, Philip befriends a wild horse, and he and the Colonel try to tame it. They eventually succeed, but Philip spends a lot of time being thrown off the horse's back first.
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The Legend of Frenchie King: Maria tries to sell Louise a very wild horse of hers. Much to Maria's surprise and displeasure, Louise ends up gaining control of it after some rodeo-like stunts.
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In Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron has an entire sequence where soldiers attempt to "break" the resistant title tharacter. Fittingly enough, the background music is "Get off of my Back." Later in the movie, Spirit is just as resistant and rebellious to a kinder Native American, but eventually warms up to him. Justified in that he was taken from the wild and treated harshly.
Horsey people in general tend to have a Misaimed Fandom towards Spirit considering he's unrideable.
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The Chronicles of Narnia novel, A Horse And His Boy, has a Deadpan Snarker of a horse as a main character.
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Maximus from Disney's Tangled won't let Flynn Rider ride him. It may have something to do with him being the Captain of the Guard's horse, and Flynn being a wanted criminal. Until the end when they team up to rescue Rapunzel.
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Fire Emblem Awakening has Sully's unnamed mount, a terrifying animal that's constantly menacing Vaike during some support chains. Played with in that his rider doesn't have any problems - because many people consider Sully a perfect match.
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Phoebus' horse from The Hunchback of Notre Dame when he was told to "sit". His face seemed well smug. Self-satisfied maybe?
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Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows distrusts horses, describing them as "dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle"note an Ian Fleming quote and complaining that they have minds of their own. The horses we actually see turn out to be more typical fantasy motorbikes.
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In an episode of Doug, the titular character has been invited to a dude ranch by Patty. So, wanting to impress her, he claims to have better equestrian skills than he actually does. He gets saddled with a mean black horse ironically named Sugar.
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Mister Ed: What do you expect? The show stars a talking horse!
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In The Mask of Zorro Alejandro tries to summon his horse, Tornado, with a whistle, so he can jump out of a window onto its back. The horse comes at the whistle, but is having none of this "leaping onto his back" stuff, and steps aside, causing Alejandro to land with a painful set of Amusing Injuries. This is also a throwback to an earlier scene where the previous Zorro did it without a hitch.
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At least one canon Sherlock Holmes story involved this. In "Silver Blaze", it's revealed that the titular horse had killed the "murder" victim. However, since the victim had attempted to lame the horse via a surgical tool, and the horse was likely reacting to something the victim was doing in line with it, Holmes calls it a case of self-defense.
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Celestia does this to Navarone in Diaries of a Madman, after he invades one of her dreams. Since dream logic is in effect, it also results in him being Squashed Flat.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Lucky Luke (Comic Book) / int_7c8a4602
type
Horsing Around
 U.S. Acres (Comic Strip) / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 Hercules / Disney / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
 The Hunchback of Notre Dame / Disney / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
 How to Train Your Dragon / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
 The Elenium / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 DavidNiven
seeAlso
Horsing Around
 FullMetalJousting
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Horsing Around
 HonorsParadox
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Horsing Around
 WarHorse
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Horsing Around
 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (Manga) / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 Vampire Knight (Manga) / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 Full Metal Jousting
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Horsing Around
 Spellbinder / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 The Witcher: Game of Imagination (Tabletop Game) / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
 Hercules / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 Sleeping Beauty / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 Tangled / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 The Hunchback of Notre Dame / int_7c8a4602
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Horsing Around
 TheMooFamilyHolidayHoedown
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around
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Horsing Around