Books for Horse Lovers

black beauty, book
Black Beauty

Growing up, I was an avid reader. The librarians knew me by name at the library and knew that I loved horses and reading books about horses. Today, I still enjoy reading books for horse lovers.

10 books for horse lovers

Below, in alphabetical order, are my book recommendations. I have only listed 10 book titles. Please feel free to add to this list under the comments section and tell me why you like the book.

Black Beauty, author Anna Sewell

Why I like Black Beauty

Narrated in first person perspective, Black Beauty tells the tale of a horse raised in England on a farm in 1877. His life pulling taxi cabs in London is not an easy life. Not only is Black Beauty one of the best selling books of all time, it is often referenced by animal rights advocates as one of the best anti-cruelty books of all time.

To this day, I look to see if  owners take proper care of their horses when they offer horse-drawn carriage rides. Do the horses have access to drinking water? Sadly, this is not always the case in some countries.

cowboys are my weakness, book
Cowboys Are My Weakness

Cowboys Are My Weakness, author Pam Houston

Why I like Cowboys Are My Weakness

“A real cowboy is hard to find these days,” states Houston in her collection of short stories. I should state right off that this book is not written for young girls.

If memory serves me right, I read this book when I was in college. Houston is a strong and smart independent personality who seems to be drawn, repeatedly, toward unavailable men. While Houston doesn’t like being compared to “the female equivalent of Hemingway” I understand some of the comparisons. I would love to go horseback riding with Houston one day.

Flying Change, author Patrick Smithwick – read my review

Why I like Flying Change

Horse racing and steeplechase competition is foreign territory to me. I like this book for the “comeback kid” perspective. Author Patrick Smithwick returns to the demanding equestrian lifestyle of steeplechase competition in his late 40s. What a competitor!

Horse Heaven, book
Horse Heaven

Horse Heaven, author Jane Smiley

Why I like Horse Heaven

Author Jane Smiley bases her book on the thoroughbred race horses of Southern California. She shows us the fast-paced world of the race track from the horses perspective, along with their equestrian companions; horse trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, horse breeders and grooms.

Misty of Chincoteague, author Marguerite Henry

Why I like Misty of Chincoteague

Inspired by a real Chincoteague pony named Misty, this book needs to be on every little girl and boy’s bookshelf. Written in 1947 by American author Margueriete Henry, the ponies of Chincoteague, are located on the islands off the coast of Virginia. Brother and sister Paul and Maureen want to have their own horse and somehow come up with enough money to purchase the coveted “Phantom” and her colt “Misty.”

I can relate to the trials and tribulations of owning a horse at a young age and the joys and responsibilities that come with the privilege of horse ownership.

My Friend Flicka, author Mary O’Hara

Why I like My Friend Flicka

While written in 1941, here’s a book that many young boys can still relate to today. Set on his family’s ranch near Cheyenee, Wyoming, Ken McLaughlin is described as a daydreamer who doesn’t much care for school. Needless to say, he’d rather spending his time on the ranch than away at boarding school. He convinces his father that, like his older brother, he needs a horse to break and he selects “loco” part Mustang Flicka. This book has me tearing up every time.

Objects in Mirror, author Tudor Robins – read my review

Why I like Objects in Mirror

This is a good book for young girls struggling with acceptance and change during the challenging middle and high school years. I know that I turned to my horse as my companion and best friend when I didn’t get asked to the dance and I certainly used horseback riding as my escape from the pressures of life as a student.

Young black stallion, horseThe Black Stallion, author Walter Farley

Why I like The Black Stallion

Another book published in 1941, The Black Stallion is about an Arabian stallion and a young boy named Alec.After being shipwrecked on an island with this wild horse, the pair form an inseparable bond. They are rescued and brought back to civilization where Alec begins racing this magnificent horse.

The book is the first in a series of Black Stallion books by Walter Farley. As a child, I loved The Black Stallion movie, too.
The Horse Whisper, author Nicholas Evans

Why I like The Horse Whisper

As a young horse owner, this book caused me great angst. It starts off on a snowy day in upstate New York. Two girlfriends are riding their horses along the road when a big rig truck rushes by and spooks one of the horses. Truthfully, the unfolding story is an equestrians worst nightmare. It is also a story of finding inner-strength and recovery – for both horse and rider.

More people are probably familiar with the Robert Redford-directed movie, staring Redford and a young Scarlett Johansson.

War Horse, author Michael Morpurgo – read the movie review

Why I like War Horse

Confession; I haven’t read the book. I did see the movie War Horse. I had to wait until the movie came out in video, as I knew I would embarrass myself sobbing in the movie theater. Director Stephen Spielberg isn’t an equestrian so I’ll cut him a break for some of the unrealistic scenes from the movie. Did you read the book? What did you like about the book?