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[[quoteright:345:[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Linkepona1_8005.png]]]]

Combine a RearingHorse, a BigDamnHeroes rescue, some CoolGuns or a sword, a pinch of DramaticWind, and you get Horseback Heroism. The sight of "Lightning" rising up on his hind legs while [[DramaticThunder thunder cracks]] in the background is enough to tell everyone involved that the Day is well and truly Saved.

This is an old trope, though this hero is by no means [[{{Pun}} riding a]] "{{dead horse|Trope}}" when he uses it to rescue friends or lovers. It's just [[RuleOfCool that awesome]].

Updated versions may substitute a CoolBike or CoolCar for the horse. In which case you can expect MyHorseIsAMotorbike.

Not to be confused with TheCavalry, who only sometimes [[MountedCombat ride literal horses]].



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Sakaki did this in a dream sequence in the ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'' anime.
* In ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', Akio swoops in on horseback in the nick of time to save Utena when she falls off of another horse. [[spoiler: Of course, given that he's systematically working on molding Utena to fit the classic "[[DamselInDistress princess]]" role, it's strongly implied that he orchestrated the whole thing so she would further associate him with her childhood prince.]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Batman does it in ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'' after a nuclear EMP strike knocks out all motor vehicle transport.
* In ''ComicBook/SherwoodTexas'' #5, Loxley escapes an ambush in the stables and emerges on a charging horse; riding over one of the Nobles as he charges off to rescue Maria.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek 2}}'':
** Spoofed mercilessly with Prince Charming.
** Also parodied, then played straight in the climax, with Shrek and his "noble steed" (actually Donkey transformed into a horse).
* The climax of ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' is a battle with the mounted Prince Philip up against Maleficent to save Princess Aurora.
* Woody riding out on Bullseye to get Jessie off the plane in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2''.
* Kristoff riding Sven in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''. Sven is a huge reindeer but he is treated much like a horse in this way.
-->'''Olaf:''' There's your [[spoiler: act of love]] right there! Riding across the fjords like a valiant, pungent reindeer king!

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Jesse does this for the heroine of one of Joan Wilder's romance novels in the fantasy sequence at the start of ''Film/RomancingTheStone''.
* In ''Film/KateAndLeopold'', Leo rides down a purse snatcher through Central Park on the back of a horse that he borrowed from a carriage ride.
* Gandalf and his army do this in ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Two Towers]]''.
* Odin gets to pull this off in ''Film/{{Thor}}''. For extra cool, the horse in question has eight legs.
* As the prince of ''Film/PrinceCharming'' rides through the city he sees a woman being attacked. He jumps from his horse to go rescue her.
* ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'' begins with Prince Edward riding up to save Giselle from a troll and they plan to get married the next day.
* In ''Film/EllaEnchanted'', one of the many times Prince Charmont saves Ella's life is from an ogre's boiling pot when he comes up on his horse.
* Many ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'' films feed this trope. Zorro's signature pose is raising his sword on top of a rearing horse.
* Done in ''Film/TheLoneRanger'', especially in the scene where the Lone Ranger and Silver appear ''on top of a building'' to lasso a gatling gun.
* In ''Film/TheGoodTheBadTheWeird'', Do-won comes charging into the Ghost Market on horseback to save Man-gil from Chang-yi. He later charges into the middle of a Japanese cavalry troop.
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' opens with a BigBadassBattleSequence in which General Maximus leads Roman cavalry into action against a Germanic tribe, [[HollywoodTactics even though Roman tactics were actually centered around their infantry]]. It does however enable to make our hero to look more badass than if he were leading the action from behind a shield wall. In his first gladiatorial combat in the Collesseum, Maximus ends up on a WhiteStallion taken from the charioteers he's fighting.
* An InvokedTrope in ''Film/AndStarringPanchoVillaAsHimself''.
** Villa is skeptical about Creator/RaoulWalsh, the American actor sent to portray him, and so the two men compete in showing off their horse-riding and shooting skills. Fortunately Walsh is good enough to satisfy Villa.
** During the train ambush, Thayer sets up his cameras under fire, points them back at the train and shouts "ACTION!" Cue Villa and his cavalry riding out of the rail cars straight into battle.
* ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven2016'': Chisolm and Faraday are fond of showing off their ImprobableAimingSkills while riding (such as accurately fanning a revolver from horseback), and make heroic charges at different points in the film.

[[folder: Literature]]
* The Rohirrim, Gandalf on Shadowfax, and various other instances in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* A frequent occurrence for ''Literature/{{Zorro}}''.
* Occurs a couple of times in ''[[Literature/{{Deryni}} The King's Justice]]'':
** Duncan fights for his life when his army is surrounded by Loris' troops and the main Mearan army, then casts a spell for a diversion while ordering Dhugal to leave and warn Kelson.
** Kelson and Morgan, [[TheCavalry riding with their forces]], cast spells to [[spoiler: save Duncan from arrows as he's being burned at the stake]].
* Sandor Clegane's rescue of Sansa in the second book of ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' certainly qualifies, even though technically he's afoot at the outset. Still counts, though: he appears in the nick of time, prevents her from getting pulled off her horse and raped, swings up onto her horse in front of her, and gallops her to safety through a rioting mob. Another instance is his rescue of Arya when [[spoiler:she suicidally tries to save her mother at the Red Wedding.]] This one's odd because he ''does'' show up a horse (as lightning illuminates the scene, even), and ''does'' ride up to her at a gallop while rain pours and thunder rolls...and then whacks her unconscious with the flat of an axe. (So that he can take her away from the unfolding slaughter.) Heroic!
* The deghans in the ''Literature/FarsalaTrilogy'' clearly ''think'' they're this, and in the beginning they are - it's mentioned that Farsala is one of the few countries to have an effective cavalry. However, they are easily defeated by [[TheEmpire Hrum]] foot soldiers.
* ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'': Morris Roth, in the novella "The Wallenstein Gambit"[[note]]in the first ''Ring of Fire'' anthology[[/note]], assumes the role in the defense of Prague from Holk's mercenaries, but not just with the traditional rearing horse and sword waving. As the defenders first gathered he did all that, but when Holk's goons showed up the next day, Roth, riding a horse borrowed from Pappenheim, simply kept his uptime rifle close to hand, ready to use. His coolly awaiting the arrival of the mercenaries served the purpose of calming his poorly trained troops far better than the sword waving routine.
* In the second ''Literature/TimeScout'' book, Skeeter uses his hard-earned horseback skills to win a duel in the Roman arena, then pole vault out and save a friend from slavery.
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': [[spoiler: After Nolien mana mutates into a unicorn]], Tiza rides into battle like a mounted knight.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheATeam'', "[[Recap/TheATeamS3E9Showdown Showdown]]". [[LegendaryImpostor The fake A-Team]] rig a van so it will drive down and hit one of Winnetka's tents. Hannibal, grabbing one of the horses from the show, catches up to the truck, jumps into its cab, and manages to stop it {{just in time}} to prevent it from hitting the tent and two people.
* The Doctor in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Girl in the Fireplace" (jumping the horse through a mirror for extra awesomeness).
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Lyanna Stark is officially introduced galloping at the Winterfell grounds.
* A staple on ''Series/QueenOfSwords''.
* Out of the night, when the full moon is bright, comes a horseman known as ''Series/{{Zorro}}''...
* This is a staple of ''Series/TheLoneRanger'', which showed such a sequence in its opening credits each episode.
* The fifth episode of ''Series/BurnNotice'', "No Good Dead", features the CoolCar variant. Michael says, "When your back's against the wall and time is running out, there's nothing like seeing an old friend." Cue the CoolCar moment as the perfectly restored 1973 Dodge Charger (destroyed at the end of the last season) comes screeching into frame, driven by Fiona.
* Referenced in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', where Fitz-Simmons tell Skye that the reason May is called "The Cavalry" is because she took out a hundred hostiles while riding a horse.
-->'''Ward:''' [[ShroudedInMyth The story gets bigger every year.]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Winifred Burkle becomes smitten with our hero after he rescues her from execution by demons, riding off with her on a horse "just like a fairy tale".
* In the pilot episode of ''{{Series/Roswell}}'', Liz is accidentally shot when a fight breaks out at the diner she works at. Max, against his better judgement, uses his [[HalfHumanHybrid alien powers]] to [[HealingHands heal Liz's wound]] before running out and driving away in an open-topped jeep.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest''. In "A More Perfect Union", Root rides up on a black horse JustInTime to kneecap the two hitmen who are about to shoot John Reese and the VictimOfTheWeek. She then puts the DamselInDistress on the back of the horse and [[LesYay they ride off together]].

[[folder: Music]]
* In the music video for ''Music/ShaniaTwain'''s "That Don't Impress Me Much", one of the hunky gents she encounters while hitchhiking in the desert is something like an Arabian adventurer on the back of a charger. She waves him on, the ice princess.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise'': When Sir Gerald's would-be assassin is fleeing on a motorbike in "The Killing Distance", Willie chases after him on a horse. And it's awesome.

* "A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver! ''Radio/TheLoneRanger!'' ... With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early western United States! Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice! Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear! From out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!"

[[folder: TabletopGames]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', most characters with ability-based charmsets like the Solars and Sidereals can do this to one extent or another. The Solars invoke the trope the hardest though, particularly [[RidingIntoTheSunset Hero Rides Away]].

* The boxart of ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'''s special-edition Toa Lhikan & Kikanalo set depicts the hero Lhikan riding the rearing beast, despite the fact that in the story, he never shares a scene with any Kikanalo.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Link has been known for his horseback-riding skills since ''Ocarina of Time'', but the first time full-fledged mounted combat was used in the series was in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', when you fight King Bulbin for the first time.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'': The second half of the FinalBoss involves Link fighting Dark Beast Ganon on horseback, shooting at Ganon's weak points with [[EleventhHourSuperpower the Bow of Light]].
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' the Tatsumaki Zankantou (aka "Tornado Blade") CombinationAttack has the [[GratuitousGerman Aussenseiter]] transform into a horse ridden by [[EverythingsBetterWithSamurai Dygenguar]], who pull off this pose (with a {{BFS}}) before charging at the opponent.
* This is [[SummonMagic Odin]]'s standard operating procedure in the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games: appear ominously out of the darkness while lightning flashes around him, raise his sword/spear, have his steed Sleipnir rear up on his hind legs and whinny, then charge the enemy with [[SingleStrokeBattle deadly intent]].
* The ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' games give you a button specifically for making your horse rear up.
* Pushing the 'jump' button while your horse is stationary in ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' also does so, and it triggers automatically when you successfully break in a wild horse.
* Similarly, in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', pressing the jump button while on a horse and stationary causes it to rear up like this, with similar results for most other ground mounts.
** Inverted in Warcraft III, before his [[FaceHeelTurn Face–Heel Turn]] Arthas as a paladin is without a mount, after he becomes a death knight he is almost always seen riding his undead steed.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Kessen}}'', your generals would ''always'' rear up their horses like this, along with uttering [[PreMortemOneLiner some sardonic/heroic line or another]], after accepting an order to march or attack.
* Bartz of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' comes riding in on his charger to save Lenna, and then Lenna and Galuf. This being ''Final Fantasy'', though, his charger is a chocobo. And the chocobo kind of had to talk Bartz into the second instance.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Paladins}}'', you start each match, and return after each respawn, riding into battle on horseback to get to the battle faster.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SevenKingdomsThePrincessProblem'', two of the several possible results of the disastrous riding excursion in the second week has the PlayerCharacter saved from certain death by Hamin, or Hamin and Zarad together, riding to her rescue.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the "Hair-Raising Harness Race" episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePerilsOfPenelopePitstop'', Penelope and her horse rescue the Ant Hill Mob from falling down a deep chasm.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/CartoonNetworkGroovies'' short ''El Kabong Rides Again'', the title character rides in wielding ''a guitar'' to smite the villain.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Spike the dragon hopes for this when he goes to rescue Rarity from the Diamond Dogs during "A Dog and Pony Show". Twilight (the steed) is less than happy with the concept, but humors him. (And [[FridgeLogic if you think about it]], he's trying to do this to impress another ''pony''. What would they think of this?)