Dancing with Horses
Jim McDonald (Matt McCoy) is a widow doing everything he can to raise his daughter Paige (Raeanin Simpson) on his own, making sure she gets to do what she loves which is ride horses. But an accident during a competition makes things a whole lot more complicated as Paige suffers a spinal injury which prevents her from walking and possibly facing a life in a wheelchair. With Paige shutting herself off in a world of silence Jim decides to call in expert therapist Susan Allen (Mel Harris) who uses animals to help children recover after trauma. But not only will Page have to warm to Susan but Jim will have to have the faith in Susan and methods to let her do what is best even if he feels the need to intervene. But they all move to the horse ranch of old friend Truman Richards (Brian Keith) where he has a very special horse called Wind Dancer.
Maybe today was not the day for me to watch "Wind Dancer" as even before putting it on I felt like I had already seen the movie. And that is because all the ingredients had been used in other movies both before this one was made and many since. It meant that even before watching I could second guess certain things were going to happen and there was going to be very few surprises when it came to the outcome.
So what do I mean? Well we have the injured child, the single parent, the tough therapist who of course is the opposite sex of the single parent and the wise old ranch owner who always has a sly smile on his face. I need more than both my hands to count the other horse movies which feature these same elements and as I said it doesn't do much with these elements that you won't have seen before. As such initial animosity ends up making way for respect, young Paige realises she is more capable than she thinks and along the way old Truman offers come pearls of wisdom. The only question of doubt is whether Paige will walk again or discover she has a lot to give whilst being in a wheelchair.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with the familiarity of "Wind Dancer" it has a strange tone which at times seems almost non existent as if it is trying to be different but not replacing the usual atmosphere with anything new. It means that whilst there is a decent storyline lurking in the movie it struggles to emerge due to the uneven style. It also gets distracted with a subplot about an unreliable ranch hand and a woman who wants to by Wind Dancer.
What this all boils down to is that "Wind Dancer" is for all sense and purpose just another horse movie which features many of the cliches you will find in other movies which focus on a child recovering from an accident who finds a connection with a horse. Whilst it has issues including a strange lack of atmosphere in places it still has a certain amount of charm.