Looking for an exhaustive list of horse and pony books for horse lovers of all ages? Here is a starting point. This list is a work in progress and we would love to hear your suggestions about books to add and even books to delete. Send us your horse book reviews and book reports. Let’s make this the ultimate reading corner for equestrians, young and old!
Heels Down. Eyes up. Ride the corners.
Children’s Horse Books
Babies and Toddlers
Award-winning author Jane Yolen has written the New York Times bestselling How Do Dinosaurs . . . series and Owl Moon, winner of the Caldecott Medal. In Hush, Little Horsie, she has dreamed up a lovely rhyming read-aloud for a mother and child to snuggle up with.
This gorgeous picture book is perfect for horse lovers big and small—and for mothers in need of a good bedtime story.
n the barnyard there are roosters and cows, horses and goats, and a pink piglet who is learning to squeal. Margaret Wise Brown’s lulling story about a day in the life of a barnyard is now available as a sturdy board book. Felicia Bond’s atmospheric illustrations add to the tranquil simplicity of this story.
“Sensitive, sophisticated and lyrically written, Wedekind’s debut portrays the typical teen struggle for self-awareness in an anything-but-typical fashion. Possibly the most honest horse book since National Velvet, from an equestrian point-of-view, this offering’s riding scenes combine accuracy with seat-of-the-pants excitement. A champion.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
For authenticity in horse novels, Jane Smiley knows her horse details. In the second novel in her series of horse books for kids, A Good Horse, she tells the story of Abby and the quarter horse gelding Black George. The story is compounded into a mystery when it’s apparent Abby’s favorite colt, Jack, may have been born to a stolen mare. Black George is a talented jumper, and Abby is more of a country-taught type of rider. Can she and Black George outperform the snooty riders at the upscale horse show at the coast? She’s mostly schooled Black George on her own, with limited professional coaching. Problems arise when she realizes the night before a big show that she’s outgrown her riding clothes. Panic claims her nerves when she sees her sometimes coach raise the jumps to four feet, even though Abby knows George can jump that high easily. Can she? And can she solve the mystery about the yearling, Jack?
You may think that reading horse books for kids isn’t for you, but please realize that most kids’ books are great high-quality writing and top-notch stories. Authors such as Jane Smiley, who truly knows horses, continue to provide us with great horse stories. Give A Good Horse, and its prequel The Georges and The Jewels a try. You’ll be impressed, no matter what your age.–Robin Moore
Young Readers Horse Series
The Horse Diaries Series are horse stories like no other. Mainly because these stories come straight from the horses’ mouths. That’s right; Hapka lets the horses tell their own stories. Think a horse version of the American Girl books.
Wildly popular, both Phantom Stallion Series are filled with adventures, mysteries, and of course, HORSES, just in different settings.
Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don’t always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. Readers will be hooked on the series’ vivid characters, whose quirky personalities fill Winnie’s life with friendship and adventure.
When horses are at the heart of a series, it’s pretty much guaranteed that every book will also feature fun, adventure and friendship. This series follows twins Sophie and Liv adventures on their grandfather’s ranch.
A well reviewed, lighthearted and joyous early chapter book series highlighting the adventures and hijinks of two horse crazy girls living in Australia.
This fiction series is designed to help readers learn about and appreciate different breeds of horses along with their history and characteristics. Receiving great reviews, this collection is sure to be a success with middle grade readers who love horses or are just looking for an enjoyable wildlife adventure.
Experience the love and friendship shared between Ashleigh Griffen and her very special filly, Wonder.
For many readers there will be much to learn about in these stories including how wild horses are tamed and trained and what a rodeo is like. But the thing that shines through both of these stories and rings most true is the love and connection that Kirstie has for these horses. By caring for them and loving them, she learns much about herself and the world around her. A very enjoyable read. (Annie Galvin Teich Crazy 4 Kids Books )
Competition is fierce at the All-Stars Academy in this exciting horse series. Can the new girl outshine her rivals?
The first adventure in this fresh and fun new pony-club series for all girls who love horses. Issie LOVES horses and is a member of the Chevalier Point Pony Club, where she looks after her pony, Mystic, trains for gymkhanas and hangs out with her best friends. When Issie is asked to train Blaze, an abandoned pony, her riding skills are put to the test. Can she tame the spirited new horse? And is Blaze really out of danger? This is a fast-paced, action-packed new pony series for all girls aged 8-12.
Grade 3-5-An excellent overview of an international array of horse and pony breeds including many that may be unfamiliar to American children. The book covers the majority of breeds in half-page treatments that feature at least a paragraph of commentary and a captioned side body, and a full-color photograph that points out conformation differences particular to each breed. Arabians and Thoroughbreds each rate a spread, as many breeds are descended from them. An extensive glossary and a short list of recommended Web sites extend the usefulness of this series entry. An attractive, informative book that is sure to please both readers and browsers alike.
Girls love magic and horses and this series combines them both. In each book, a young girl rides on a magical carousel and is transported to a different time and place. There, she must solve a problem.
This series cashes in on the My Little Pony toy market
An early chapter book series featuring a group of young girls and their ponies.
Carole and Stevie are happy to find that Lisa, the new student at Pine Hollow Stables, shares their enthusiam for riding and horses and, as their friendship grows, the three girls decide to form the Saddle Club.
These books are packed with information about the care and training of horses. The reader will experience the thrill of competition in the ring as Heather and Blackjack participate in shows and the feeling of flight as she and Rusty jump the fences. The stories are well constructed with exciting plots and interesting characters. The strongest characters are the horses that exhibit their personalities as they face life’s challenges. Anyone who loves horses will love this series. –Catholic Library Journal
This powerful series follows Amy Fleming through the loss of her mother and her struggle to continue the work at Heartland-a refuge for abused and abandoned horses.
Each book in the Mustang Mountain series is a thrilling read filled with stories of friendship, adventure and intrigue.
Set on the wild and windswept landscape of Nova Scotia’s eastern shore, the Saddle Island Series is a fine but unremarkable equine mystery series that will appeal to the horse crazed gal who has exhausted all the other horse series.
“Quirky, lively, and utterly delightful, the four-book Fetlocks Hall series is full of enough starlight and rainbows, magical creatures, true horse facts, and glorious riding – from moonlit flights on enchanted ponies to gymkhana, polo, and eventing competitions, from blissful trail rides with unicorns through pink-blossoming apple trees to the Grand National steeplechase – to enchant even the horse-craziest girls ages 6-11. ” Reviewed by Great Books for Horse Lovers
Teen and Adult Horse Series
Classic Horse Books
Marguerite Henry’s Newbery Honor Book has captivated generations of boys and girls both with its thrilling descriptions of true incidents from the tiny island of Chincoteague, and its realistic yet wonderfully magical atmosphere. This story of an animal brought into captivity poignantly reveals the powerful opposing forces of humans and nature.
The timeless story of spirited Velvet Brown and her beloved horse has thrilled generations of readers. And now the republication of this classic story in a fresh, up-to-date package will charm confirmed fans while captivating new ones. Fourteen-year-old Velvet is determined to turn her untamed horse into a champion and personally ride him to victory in the world’s greatest steeplechase, the Grand National.
*Starred Review* It’s 1872, and 15-year-old Rachel often escapes the confines of corsets and social strictures by going for gallops on her beloved horse around her small-town Illinois home. When her father moves the family to Boston and the horse is sold, she has a difficult time adjusting to her father’s demands of ladylike behavior and her mother’s coaxing her toward womanly pursuits. The author of Black Storm Comin’ (2005), Wilson paces the story well, with tension building: an arsonist is at work setting fires in Boston and the horses needed to pull fire equipment are falling ill at an alarming rate. At first only her grandmother seems to understand the importance of Rachel’s dream of becoming a veterinarian, but soon she has other allies, and a path that appeared to be blocked begins to open before her. The love interest and the mystery that are integral to the story are secondary to Rachel’s pursuit of her goal, which begins with helping one firehouse horse recover from burns. The novel’s finest achievement, though, is the convincing depiction of family dynamics in an era when men ruled the household and women, who had few opportunities, folded their dreams and put them away with the linens they embroidered. Carolyn Phelan
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (Recipient of the Caldecott Medal for illustration in 1979. )
With brilliant, stylized illustrations and simple text, Paul Goble tells the story of a young woman who follows her heart, and the family that respects and accepts her uniqueness. Considering how difficult it is for some communities to allow friendships to grow between people of different cultures, this village’s support for the girl’s companions of choice is admirable. Goble’s bold paintings reflect this noble open-mindedness. The young horse fanatic of the house will joyfully add this book to his or her collection. Children are passionate people; they will relate. (All ages) –Emilie Coulter
This is the story of the little runt who became the father of a world-famous breed of American horses — the Morgan.
Praised for swift action and beauty of language, The Horsecatcher is Mari Sandoz’s first novel about the Indians she knew so well. Without ever leaving the world of a Cheyenne tribe in the 1830s, she creates a youthful protagonist many readers will recognize in themselves. Young Elk is expected to be a warrior, but killing even an enemy sickens him. He would rather catch and tame the mustangs that run in herds. Sandoz makes it clear that his determination to be a horsecatcher will require a moral and physical courage equal to that of any warrior. And if he must earn the right to live as he wishes, he must also draw closer to family and community.
Smoky the Cowhorse is a novel by Will James that was the winner of the 1927 Newbery Medal. “One of the finest horse stories ever told.” — Herald Tribune
Part bildungsroman, part horse opera, part meditation on courage and loyalty, this beautifully crafted novel won the National Book Award in 1992. The plot is simple enough. John Grady Cole, a 16-year-old dispossessed Texan, crosses the Rio Grande into Mexico in 1949, accompanied by his pal Lacey Rawlins. The two precocious horsemen pick up a sidekick–a laughable but deadly marksman named Jimmy Blevins–encounter various adventures on their way south and finally arrive at a paradisiacal hacienda where Cole falls into an ill-fated romance. Readers familiar with McCarthy’s Faulknerian prose will find the writing more restrained than in Suttree and Blood Meridian. Newcomers will be mesmerized by the tragic tale of John Grady Cole’s coming of age.
At once an epic love story and a gripping adventure,The Horse Whisperer weaves an extraordinary tale of healing andredemption — a magnificent emotional journey that explores our ancient bondswith earth and sky and hearts untamed. It is a stirring elegy to the power ofbelief and self-discovery, to hopes lost and found again.
Coffee Table Horse Books
Horse Care and Training Books
The Green Guide for Horse Owners and Riders: Sustainable Practices for Horse Care, Stable Management, Land Use, and RidingThe Green Guide for Horse Owners and Riders takes a clear look at current horse-care practices and provides green alternatives for day-to-day horsekeeping – both for the property owner who keeps dozens of horses and for the rider who rents a stall in someone else’s barn.
“Looking for a way to push your riding from good to great? Eventing star Denny Emerson takes you through seven broad ‘Areas of Choice’ that will help you on your mission to be your best.” —Horse & Rider (May 1, 2011)
Ask someone who works with horses how best to communicate with a balky colt and she will tell you that horses do not respond to human cajoling. To be successful the human must understand and work with, not against, the horse’s instincts, needs, and fears. When a trainer resorts to human teaching methods — reasoning, begging, bribing, even hugging and kissing — the horse will become confused and unable to respond appropriately. But if horses are treated respectfully with methods they understand, everyone involved — animal and human — will be happier, safer, and more productive.
Horse trainer and instructor Cherry Hill believes that every human/horse relationship benefits from a greater human understanding of what motivates horses, how they experience the world, what makes them happy, and what worries them. Journey through the equine mind with Hill as she explores all that makes a horse tick. How do his basic needs dictate his behavior and mood? What touches and tastes appeal to his senses? How does his “flight or fight” instinct dictate his response to sudden movements?
Hill offers interactive experiments — fun for both horse and human — that bear out her findings on horse behavior. And her final chapter presents simple training methods that draw from the insights and information presented throughout the book.
Covering every aspect of horse ownership, from choosing and looking after your horse, to diagnosing illnesses and being alerted to those serious enough to need professional attention, the Complete Horse Care Manual is packed with fully up-to-date medical and dietary information, insights on horse behavior, and the latest developments in equine passports and micro-chipping. Attractive full-color photographs throughout the book illustrate every facet of horse care.
Be sure to check out The Riding Corner’s new Dare to Ride. Dare to Read. one book, one community reading program!
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Elska (Horse Diaries Series #1) by Catherine Hapka
What are your favorite horse books? What books should we add to the list? We would love to know! Leave a comment.
Dare to Ride. Dare to Read.