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Synopsis: American Horses (USA)

Directed by: Eric Bendick
52:50 mins

American horses are icons. Mustang. Appaloosa. Morgan. Quarterhorse. Even their names suggest a timeless power. Horsepower that shaped a nation. A nation whose demands shaped them. Each has a unique story to tell. Born of legendary historical moments, charismatic figures, and singular places, AMERICAN HORSES takes us on a journey tracing the emergence of these breeds over time. But the work to understand, create, and maintain their legacies is not over. Today’s horse trainers are as diverse as the horses they care for. Their passion is unbridled – for they continue in the long tradition of innovation and husbandry that is now part of the very fabric of America.

AMERICAN HORSES showcases an epic comeback story of Equids in North America that blends 50-million years of evolution, remarkable wild behavior, and the complex contemporary breeds that have emerged across the American landscape. Our challenge was to get inside the horse as never before – to bring the rich tradition of natural history storytelling to illuminate the horse as an incredibly adaptable and successful species adept at both life in the wild and in domestication. We also sought to tell the story of ancient horse evolution on the American continent and the progression towards human-horse co-evolution in the iconic breeds we know and love today. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the scriptwriting was to distill each iconic horse into a signature chapter blending seamlessly within a cohesive overall narrative arc. In doing so, we sought to balance the voice of quintessential narrator Bill Pullman who provides ‘big picture’ context with the authentic and singular voices of characters who live, breathe, and sleep horses. Giving these voices room to breathe brought these stories to life and allowed our audience a one-of-a-kind perspective into this world.




Run Time

53 minutes

Directed by

Eric Bendick

Director's Bio

Director – Eric Bendick

Eric is a director, producer, and writer whose work explores connectivity, conflict, and human expression at the intersection of man-made and wild spaces. He’s led filming expeditions to the heart of many of the last untamed landscapes on Earth. His productions for National Geographic, PBS, Smithsonian, and others have garnered an EMMY, a WEBBY, as well as numerous awards and accolades from major film festivals around the world. Eric is a current grantee of the Redford Center.

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