Director John Frankenheimer, extrapolating from his earlier films The Gypsy Moths and Grand Prix, examines machismo and how men test themselves to the limits of endurance in The Horsemen. The film takes place in modern day Afghanistan. Uraz (Omar Sharif), the son of Tursen (Jack Palance), the stable master for a feudal lord, is a master horseman who lives by a primitive code of honor. Uruz's family honor is damaged when he breaks his leg playing the game which is the Afghani equivalent of polo. His father, who lost a lot of money betting on his son, will barely speak to him. To regain the family honor (and wealth) he must somehow re-learn how to ride -- after his injuries cost him his leg below the knee. In the face of great obstacles, and despite the derision and treachery of others, he gains the chance to play in the games given by the king of Afghanistan. The footage of the horsemanship in these dangerous and anarchic games is one of the real highlights of this film.
by Clarke Fountain synopsis