The mother of a severely traumatized daughter enlists the aid of a unique horse trainer to help the girl's equally injured horse.
Teenager Grace MacLean (Scarlett Johansson) and her best friend Judith (Kate Bosworth) go out early one winter's morning to ride their horses, Pilgrim and Gulliver. As they ride up an icy slope, Gulliver slips and hits Pilgrim. Both horses fall, dragging the girls onto a road and colliding with a truck. Judith and Gulliver are killed, while Grace and Pilgrim are both severely injured. Grace, left with a partially amputated right leg, is bitter and withdrawn after the accident. Meanwhile, Pilgrim is traumatized and uncontrollable to the extent that it is suggested he be put down. Grace's mother, Annie (Kristin Scott Thomas), a strong-minded but workaholic magazine editor, refuses to allow Pilgrim to be put down, sensing that somehow Grace's recovery is linked with Pilgrim's.
Desperate for a way to heal both Grace and Pilgrim, Annie tracks down a "horse whisperer", Tom Booker (Robert Redford), in the remote Montana mountains. Tom agrees to help, but only if Grace also takes part in the process. Grace reluctantly agrees, and she and Annie go to stay at the Booker ranch where Tom lives with his brother and his brother's family. As Pilgrim and Grace slowly overcome their trauma, Annie and Tom begin to have mutual romantic feelings. However, they are both reluctant to act on these feelings – Annie is married and Tom had his heart broken before, when his wife left him because she belonged to the city, not the ranch.
The status quo is broken when Robert MacLean (Sam Neill), Grace's father and Annie's husband, unexpectedly shows up at the ranch. Annie is increasingly torn by her feelings for Tom and her love for her family. Soon, with Tom's help, Grace finally takes the last step to heal herself and Pilgrim – riding Pilgrim again. As the MacLeans get ready to leave the Booker ranch, Robert tells Annie that he knew Annie was in love with Tom, and gently asks Annie to make her decision one way or another before going home. Although Annie wishes she could stay with Tom on the ranch, she also knows that she belongs to the city, just like Tom's wife. The film ends with Annie driving away from the ranch, while Tom watches her go from the top of a hill.
The Horse Whisperer is a 1998 American drama film directed by and starring Robert Redford, based on the 1995 novel The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. Redford plays the title role, a talented trainer with a remarkable gift for understanding horses, who is hired to help an injured teenager (played by Scarlett Johansson) and her horse back to health following a tragic accident.