Tarr announced at the premiere of The Man from London that he was retiring from filmmaking and that his upcoming project would be his last. The Turin Horse was originally planned to be finished in April 2009 and ready to be screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. After several delays, it was finally announced as a competition title at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, where it premiered on 15 February 2011.
The Turin Horse was originally set to be released in Hungary on 10 March 2011 through the distributor Mokep. However, in an interview with the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel on 20 February, Tarr accused the Hungarian government of obstructing artists and intellectuals, in what he referred to as a "culture war" led by the cabinet of Viktor Orbán. As a consequence to these comments, Mokep cancelled its release of the film. It eventually premiered in Hungary on 31 March 2011 instead. It was distributed in five prints through a collaboration between Cirko Film and Másképp Alapítvány.