10 Best Best Books About Horses Update 05/2022

Best Books About Horses

Learning to ride horses was like learning how to be a cavalryman. The horses had to follow orders, and the rider had to know how to give them. People who had never been in the cavalry started paying attention to horse behavior in the 1960s. When I wrote my first middle-grade series, The Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, I wanted to focus on that, so I set it in the 1960s and introduced trainers who used new techniques at the same time.

My new book, Riding Lessons, is about Ellen, a girl who loves horses but has to beg to learn how to ride. She has to beg her parents for help. She is what used to be called “contrary.” She wants to get what she wants and knows how to get it (sometimes by subterfuge). Her as a child: I would have loved to be her friend.

The Manual of Horsemanship by the British Horse Society and Pony Club

The Manual of Horsemanship by the British Horse Society and Pony Club

An 11-year-old friend of mine convinced me to join the Pony Club, where I learned the words “headstall,” “free box,” “gymkhana,” and “day rug” in the process. I learned that horses teach their riders to pay attention, be aware of their bodies, keep themselves in line, follow rules, and look at other people. Joan Wanklyn’s beautiful drawings show the horses’ thoughts and personalities.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

It was written by a woman who got only £40 for her work and died soon after the book came out. It’s about an abused horse thinking about other abused horses that he’s known, and it was written by a woman who died soon after it came out.

National Velvet by Enid Bagnold

When I read National Velvet for the first time, I read it for the horse. Now, I read it for the way it shows Velvet’s family. Velvet, of course, won the Grand National. Her siblings, her parents, and Mi are all people from their time and place, making the best of their muddy and odd situations. When Bagnold talks about things that aren’t true like Velvet’s run, I love how she makes them into vivid, real-world things like bad weather and random events.

The Kellys and the O’Kellys by Anthony Trollope

It’s a good read about Ireland, women, money, and family problems, but my favorite parts happen on the ground. It’s not because Dot Blake is so colorful, but because he is so smart. It’s good that he gives good advice about racing and marriage, but he doesn’t act like one himself. Horses and hunting were two things that Trollope knew a lot about. In his novel, Orley Farm, there is a well-choreographed hunting scene, and in The Duke’s Children, Lord Silverbridge is conned out of what would be worth about £7 million today.

Carrot for a Chestnut by Dick Francis

This short story, which was first published in Sports Illustrated, is by far Francis’s best work. I’ve read and enjoyed many of his novels. Among them are the sons of a trainer. In this story, one brother is more important than the other and gets to ride better horses. The other brother decides to poison his brother’s horse. I’ll go there. I love the twist in the story. The psychological insights are so interesting that I can’t keep my eyes open.

Saratoga Fleshpot by Stephen Dobyns

Saratoga Fleshpot by Stephen Dobyns

For his poetry, Dobyns is best known. But in the 1990s, he wrote a series of funny detective novels set in Saratoga, New York, where he lived. A two-year-old horse who bites anyone who stands near him and a man named Victor Plotz are the best parts of this story. I love them all. Dobyns is a master of language and seems to know everything there is to know about horse races.

The Horse, the Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David W Anthony

My favorite book could be one that I haven’t finished, but one that I read often and enjoy. It combines three of my favorite things: horses, travel, and philology. The stone block at the city gate where chariot wheels made grooves in the paving stones is what I remember most about Mycenae when Anthony talks about it. It makes me think of when I read Bede in my class on Old English. In his book, he talks about how to train horses. I see a wide, rolling steppe that I haven’t been to. This is one of my favorite history books.

Slow Horses, Fast Women by Damon Runyon

An out-of-print set is very hard to find. Guys and Dolls and Other Writings, the main Runyon book in print, doesn’t have one of my favorite stories in it: All Horse Players Die Broke. However, Runyon’s style is always unique, funny, and insightful. “Judy”: A woman, a gun, and a “pimple”: “Although it was only the night before that I was standing in the same place and wondering where I could borrow a Betsy so I could shoot myself right through the pimple.”

Talking With Horses by Henry Blake

Talking With Horses by Henry Blake

“Horse whisperers” have written a lot of books that I have read. It started in the 1920s when Henry Blake was born. He grew up with horses, and he started making useful animals out of rogues, like dogs. Blake was good at what he did. One day, he took five untrained horses fox hunting because the hunts kept coming across his land and he saw it as a chance to jump on them one by one and give them something to do. He’s one of the funniest of all the people who believe in humane training methods.

Deborah Butterfield by Robert Gordon

Deborah Butterfield is a sculptor and a dressage rider. I wrote an introduction to this book. The book is only a way to see photos of her amazing art. Many of her cast bronze horses start out as branches and pieces of wood that she shapes into horses that are up to seven feet tall at the withers. She then turns them into bronze using the lost wax casting method, which she learned from her father. In this picture, these animals look very active and alive. How can this be? They know.

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