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30 Best Horse Books

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Here are 30 great horse books.

Horse Book 30: Just Horses: Living With Horses In America  

Just Horses: Living With Horses In America
By Margot Page
Beautiful images capture the spirit of the horse from quirky publisher Willow Creek Press.


Horse Book 28: Gypsy from Nowhere  

Gypsy From Nowhere
By Sharon Wagner
Wendy meets Gypsy, a filly who needs Wendy as much as Wendy needs her.


Horse Book 26: Happy Horsemanship  

Happy Horsemanship
By Dorothy Henderson Pinch
This child’s guide to equitation, written from a horse’s point of view with charming, humorous illustrations.


Horse Book 24: Chestnut Mare Beware  

Chestnut Mare Beware
By Jody Jaffe
Reporter Nattie Gold and her show hunter Brenda Starr take on a murder mystery exposé in Virginia hunt country.


Horse Book 22: Heads Up, Heels Down  

Heads Up, Heels Down
By C.W. Anderson
A classic introductory riding guide.


Horse Book 20: Saddle Club Series  

Saddle Club Series
By Bonnie Bryant
Horse-loving best friends share enough riding adventures at Pine Hollow to fill more than 100 books.


Horse Book 18: Riders  

By Jilly Cooper
File also under "trashy novel”—a guilty pleasure about show jumping, scandal and seduction.


Horse Book 16: Secretariat: The Making of a Champion  

Secretariat:  The Making of a Champion
By William Nack
This 1975 biography of Triple Crown Winner Secretariat was updated in 2002.


Horse Book 14: Ride Like an Indian!  

Ride Like an Indian
By Henry V. Larom
Native American wisdom helps a pair of dude ranch misfits.


Horse Book 12: Hunter Seat Equitation  

Hunter Seat Equitation
By George H. Morris
The Bible, written by the master of the sport.


Horse Book 10: National Velvet  

National Velvet
By Enid Bagnold
A teenage girl wins a horse in a raffle, trains it, and rides it in the Grand National steeplechase.


Horse Book 8: The Black Stallion  

The Black Stallion
By Walter Farley
Shipwrecked on an island together, an Arabian horse and a boy bond.  Once rescued, they go on to win a match race against the top Thoroughbreds in the nation.


Horse Book 6: A Leg at Each Corner  

A Leg at Each Corner
By Norman Thelwell
Nothing is cuter, or more mischievous, than a Thelwell pony in the hilarious cartoon "guide to equitation.”


Horse Book 4: Seabiscuit  

By Laura Hillenbrand
Modern day masterpiece about the small colt who became an American racing legend when the country needed him most.


Horse Book 2: Misty of Chincoteague  

Misty of Chincoteague
By Marguerite Henry
At the annual Pony Penning roundup, Misty becomes the beloved pet of two children and a beloved icon of horse loving children everywhere.


Horse Book 29: Summer Pony  

Summer Pony
By Jean Slaughter Doty
Ginny brings a pony home for the summer, but shaggy, spotted Mokey is not the sleek show pony she envisioned.


Horse Book 27: A very Young Rider  

A Very Young Rider
By Jill Krementz
Who didn't want to be Vivi Malloy in the '70s?  Follow Vivi and her pony Ready Penny on the A-circuit, in photos.


Horse Book 25: Hank and Chloe   Hank and Chloe
By Jo-Ann Mapson
An urban modern western with romance between a hard-headed horsewoman and a mild-mannered professor.

Horse Book 23: The Stone Pony   The Stone Pony
By Patricia Calvert
JoBeth spends time with her late sister’s horse, Riono, and learns she and her sister weren’t as different as she thought.

Horse Book 21: Klimke on Dressage   Klimke on Dressage
By Reiner Klimke
The master of dressage illustrates the ideal development of a horse through the levels.

Horse Book 19: Horse Heaven   Horse Heaven
By Jane Smiley
This character-driven novel takes the reader on a wild ride from California to Kentucky to Paris with the high stakes game of horse racing.

Horse Book 17: Old Bones the Wonder Horse   Old Bones the Wonder Horse
By Mildred Mastin Pace
The true story of 1918 Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator.

Horse Book 15: The Horsemasters   The Horsemasters
By Don Stanford
A group of young riders pursue British Horse Society certification in England and bond over the grueling experience

Horse Book 13: Odds Against   Odds Against
By Dick Francis
We selected this one for its hero, the one handed jockey turned private investigator Sid Halley.

Horse Book 11: Ruffian, Burning from the Start   Ruffian, Burning from the Start
By Jane Schwartz
The life and tragic end of the filly who captured America’s heart in the mid 1970s.

Horse Book 9: Smokey the Cowhorse   Smoky the Cowhorse
By Will James
Smoky survives the hardships of life on the range, partners up with cowboy Clint of the Rocking R Ranch, and even serves a brief stint as a rodeo bronc.

Horse Book 7: My Friend Flicka   My Friend Flicka
By Mary O'Hara
A young boy struggles to please his domineering father and finds solace in gaining the trust of a filly.

Horse Book 5: Centered Riding   Centered Riding
By Sally Swift
Creative visualization for better riding.

Horse Book 3: True Instinct   True Unity
By Tom Dorrance
The first and last word on natural horse training, from one of the men who started it all in modern times.

Horse Book 1: Black Beauty   Black Beauty
By Anna Sewell
Told straight from the horse’s mouth, Black Beauty’s tumultuous life in Victorian England. One of the first books to deal with the welfare of the horse.

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30 Best Horse Books

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Reader Comments

Jan Sharp    Ashtabula, OH

10/24/2017 10:58:32 AM

You need to add the Darken books. "Darken: The Scaredy Cat Champion" and "Darken: In Good Company".

Sonia    International

4/27/2017 12:01:11 AM

If you really want to read a good story about a unique horse with a difference, funny, sad, cheeky, humorous with underlying messages. Acknowledged by Queen Elizabeth and Gai Waterhouse, Queen of Australia's racing fraternity and other celebrities. I suggest, "Francis The Horse That Is," Francis Goes To Europe," and "Francis Goes To South America."

cc    Countyside, OH

1/10/2017 9:58:22 AM

I have read alot of these great books. I see a few to go to yet.

alison    Chicago, IL

6/17/2016 6:38:24 PM

I would strongly recommend Last Chance Mustang as an addition to this list. It's a fabulous animal/horse book about love, devotion, and commitment. The author is Mitchell Bornstein.

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