Lights, Camera, Gallop! by Lesley Lodge

There isn’t much that is more stirring than watching a group of wild horses gallop across the movie screen in pure freedom.

And what could be better than watching the hero ride off into the sunset on his trusty steed?

Even if you’re not the biggest horse lover, it’s hard to imagine the success of movies such as westerns, historical films, and the like, without the inclusion of horses.

That’s because horses have played a very active role in film, right from it’s very beginnings, from more benign rolls as work and saddle horses, to more front-and-center rolls like the comedy TV series Mr. Ed, or most recently in Steven Spielberg’s hit film “War Horse”.

Lights! Camera! Gallop! traces the horse’s history in film, from silent films to movies to tv series. It also takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes look at the tricks of the trade, make-up application, and horsey “doubles”, answering the pervasive question of “how do they do that?”

This is a really engaging book full of fun facts, wonderful photos (in color and black and white) from some of the most popular movies and shows involving horses. Lodge offers a fascinating look into the special effects used in filming and production, explaining how tricks and stunts are pulled off, and how the AHA stepped up to protect horses in film. It also covers a vast array of interesting facts about some of the most famous horses from movies and tv, with a trivia section at the end of the book to either test your own knowledge, or enjoy with a horse-loving friend.

Just a few topics covered in this book include wild horses and film, horses and comedy, the history and influence of the western, as well as useful websites where you can view film clips and more for free. 

I’m not going to lie to you – I’m a total horse nerd, and as such, I absolutely adored this book. It brought me back through all of my favorite horse-film experiences, from the Black Stallion to National Velvet to Black Beauty, Mr. Ed, and beyond. This book is a load of fun and contains a vast wealth of trivia, facts and info. Lesley Lodge clearly knows her stuff, and if you have a passion for horses, or even just film history, I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

Rating: 4 stars


I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

About the author:

Lesley Lodge now lives on a smallholding bafflingly close to Luton after many years working on regeneration projects in south London. She grew up in the New Forest with holiday jobs in a racing stable and on a palomino stud farm. Her long-time ride is Freddie, a hairy bay cob mare with a moustache. PHOTO with book is courtesy of Premier Newspapers.

Visit the author’s website at



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