Horse Sense

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Horse Sense
Horse Sense film.jpg
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Written by
  • Chad Hayes
  • Carey W. Hayes
Directed by Greg Beeman
  • Joey Lawrence
  • Andrew Lawrence
Music by Marco Marinangeli
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s)
  • Andrea Baynes
  • Carey W. Hayes
  • Chad Hayes
  • Greg Beeman
  • Christopher Morgan
Cinematography Rodney Charters
Editor(s) Terry Stokes
Running time 92 minutes
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original network Disney Channel
Original release November 20, 1999 (1999-11-20)
Followed by Jumping Ship

Horse Sense is a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie, directed by Greg Beeman. It stars Joey and Andrew Lawrence. It was followed by a sequel called Jumping Ship.


Michael Woods (Joey Lawrence) is a lazy, preppy 20-year-old living off the wealth of his parents in Los Angeles, California, while struggling through college classes and dating a spoiled heiress named Gina (Jolie Jenkins), whom his family dislikes. Michael learns that his 11-year-old cousin Tommy Biggs (Andrew Lawrence), whom he has not seen since a family reunion several years earlier, will soon be arriving from Montana to visit. Michael casts Tommy aside during his visit, prioritizing his social life and the demands of his girlfriend over his guest, believing it would be sufficient to entertain Tommy with his family's large television and movie library.

On Tommy's last day in California, the family housekeeper Arlene makes Michael aware of his mistreatment toward Tommy and intends to tell his parents about it. Michael attempts to take Tommy to Disneyland to make up for it. However, en route to the theme park, Michael receives a phone call from Gina pleading for him to meet her at a racetrack so she can introduce him to her father. Michael capitulates and leaves Tommy at a children's daycare center while he drives to the track to briefly meet Gina's father. Michael charms Gina's father over the course of a couple hours. When Michael realizes how late it is, he hurries back to pick up Tommy and collides with another vehicle. When Michael arrives, he learns Arlene had picked Tommy up several hours earlier. When he comes home, Michael is confronted by his angry father, Glenn (Robin Thomas), who discovered his maltreatment towards Tommy from Arlene.

After Tommy arrives back home, Michael's mother, Jacy (Leann Hunley), informs him that she had a conversation with his aunt, Jules (Susan Walters). Glenn tells him that his behavior is disgraceful in choosing his social life and Gina over family. When Michael's parents learn about his automobile accident with Deidre White from the police, they determine that the appropriate disciplinary action would be to send him to work on his aunt's ranch in Montana for a month. If Michael's parents get a negative telephone call from Tommy or his mother regarding him, they intend to cancel his upcoming trip with Gina to the French Riviera. Michael arrives in Montana and is taken to his aunt Jules' ranch, where he meets her ranch hands Twister (M.C. Gainey) and Mule (Steve Reevis), as well as Tommy.

Michael is put to work early the next morning, although every task he is assigned by Tommy is deliberately sabotaged to make his labor harder, as revenge for his neglect in California. Michael eventually confronts Tommy, who tells him that he got what he deserved. Angered, Michael tells Tommy that his behavior was unacceptable, and reveals that he only got along with him at their family reunion years ago because they were the only children at the event. No longer caring if his parents cancels the French Riviera trip, Michael tells Tommy off to let him get through the month in peace. The next morning, Twister reprimands Michael for his treatment toward Tommy and derides him as a lazy, spoiled brat for the way he's been behaving. He mentions that he has a four-year nephew who works harder than Michael and is more grateful for what they have. During their discussion, Michael is surprised to learn that the Biggs are suffering financial problems and Twister ends their conversation by warning him to reexamine his attitude.

Left to his own thoughts, Michael realizes how selfish he's been and begins to adapt to life on the ranch. He mends his relationship with Tommy, who reveals his father was terminally ill, and his medical bills combined with the loss of labor from his death snowballed into financial woes. It is there, Michael also learns the real reason Jules sent Tommy to LA and further regretted not spending more time with him there. He also beings to see Gina for the shallow snob she is and how ungrateful Michael had been to his parents. Later, Michael learns from Jules that the ranch is going to be foreclosed soon. The Biggs are behind on their mortgage and the bank will not allow them any more time. The ranch has not been profitable enough and the bank plans to auction the family's ranch and personal property at the end of the month. Michael is further devastated to hear this and begins formulating plans to help his aunt out.

Michael returns to Los Angeles after a month on the ranch, but a changed person. He finds city life and his rich lifestyle no longer appealing in comparison to being on the ranch. Michael ends his relationship with Gina after realizing that she is a rich snob and isn't someone he wants to be with. Coming home, he chastises his father for not helping the Biggs, only to find Glenn's true reasons behind it. Michael learns that Glenn offered to bail them out, but Jules was too prideful and refused to accept it. Michael resolves to do something about the Biggs' ranch, and sells his Porsche Boxster to a local dealer to provide a lump sum of cash to allow the ranch to survive a little longer. Upon returning to Montana, Michael presents the money to Jules in hopes that she will fight the bank and try to keep the ranch. Jules graciously rejects Michael's offer and suggests that it is time for she and Tommy to move on.

On the day of the auction, Michael recalls one of the real estate classes he had previously taken in school. While his paper received a low grade, he recalled the premise was in reference to a land trust which, if arranged in conjunction with the bank, would allow the Biggs to remain on the property indefinitely and continue to work the land without concern over the debt they owed to the bank. Michael successfully negotiates the terms with the bank and returns to the ranch to present his good news. Jules agrees to let Michael stay on to continue working with the ranch and spend more time with the family. The movie ends with Tommy and Michael finishing a tree house that Tommy and his father had never completed.



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