Review of Flicka

Flicka (2006)
WARNING: to parents, serious issues
13 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have trained un-broken horses and instructed young riders for a few years. Currently I am a Mounted Patrol officer. Please take what I say very seriously. I am very concerned about children endangering themselves based on "lessons" they might learn from this movie. As an officer on horseback I am used to having children literally run up to my horse. A normal horse, without special training would have injured/run away from these children. It bothers me that parents usually stand back and laugh as their children run at our horses. I believe both children and parents are getting the wrong idea about horses and the way they act based on movies like this one that continue the mis-notion.

This movie teaches: 1) That if you get on a wild mustang's back, that has never had a rider it will miraculously understand! Oh, you may fall off a time or two, but that's alright!

REAL LESSON: It takes weeks, months to even "green" break a horse (walk, trot, canter) Even the process of adding weight to a horse's back and riding equipment is done slowly and gradually. The young girl here goes against the horse's natural nature and defies all safety/acts bratty towards her Father when he tries to correct her.

2) It's okay to steal/run away with a horse in the woods/rainstorm!

REAL LESSON: I think you understand this one.

other things that are just wrong: Galloping a horse in the rain, "talking" to the horse as if its a human instead of using riding cues, not wearing a helmet (Many Western riders do not, but on a green-broke horse this is just asking for trouble).

I'm worried that someone's young daughter is going to wander into a neighbor's pasture and approach a horse thinking it will "magically" become her friend. I've seen a little boy injured because he hid into a strange horse's stall believing it was his "friend."

This movie does not at all encourage realistic, safe relationships between horses and riders. If you do let your children watch this version of Flicka, try to explain to them that horses are animals and Katy's behavior is wrong. If they want riding lessons after this movie talk to your instructor about how to act around a "real" horse. Encourage them to read books such as "Pony Pals" or "The Saddle Club" which usually encourage safer practices/life lessons.

It will be better for your family, I assure you.
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