Horse Books

Horse Heaven, by Jane Smiley. My husband saw a review of this book (Horse Heaven) in one of his magazines and I looked it up on Amazon. Sounds pretty neat. It's about racing and I think it's written from the horses perspective.Here the link for more information and to order it. -Jen

The Grey Horse, by R.A. MacAvoy. This is a fantasy novel about a puka (an Irish spirit who can take the form of horse) who can take human form.  As a horse, he earns a reputation he must defend, and as a human (and horse trainer) he wins the heart of a woman who loves him as a's a great book.  Unfortunately, it appears to be out of print now...and my copy is gone, gone, gone.  If anybody can lay hands on one, do it! One of my all-time favorites. -Coyote

Riding Shotgun, by Rita Mae Brown. If you like foxhunting, then this is a must-read! An enjoyable novel with a twisty plot. -Christi

Carolyn Banks books: Murder mysteries with a Central Texas flavor. The heroine in her books is Robin Vaughn, who owns an OTTB named Plum. Death By Dressage, Groomed For Death, Murder Well-Bred, Death On The Diagonal, A Horse To Die For.

Jody Jaffe books: Murder mysteries starring Natalie Gold, a reporter for the Charlotte Commercial Appeal. Horse of a Different Killer and Chestnut Mare, Beware.

The Bridled Groom by J.S. Borthwick. A murder mystery staged on a horse farm. Doesn't included a lot of horsey detail, but the ambiance is there.

Remember Summer by Elizabeth Lowell. Romance. An Olympic rider is in danger because of her father's VIP status. She is kept safe by Cord Elliot, who also happens to be handsome. I don't usually read romances, but this one had a lot of Eventing detail. -Christi

I just got a book by Mark Rashid. He's a horse trainer, but his style is to tell of his experiences and what worked, what didn't, why it worked and why it didn't. He doesn't give instruction like a training manual does. He's entertaining to read about his various escapades. Sometimes I think there's a better way to do whatever he's writing about, but his primary focus is the sanity of the horse. I like his philosophy, his attitude that most problems are caused by people either doing something wrong, or just not paying attention to what the horse is trying to tell them. -Debbie

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry. The story of Sham, the Godolphin Arabian.


The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Born to Run

Dick Francis books, usually centered around horse racing.

In the Presence of Horses by Barbara Dimmick. I remember loving the book but not being thrilled with the ending. -Jen MacNeil Traylor

I remember an old book from my childhood. I think it was called "The Strawberry Roan" It was about a girl whose parents and grandparents were avid horsepeople, into foxhunting, etc. But as a very small child this girl was badly scared by a horse (I think one of her parent's hunters reared in the barn and almost stomped her) and after that she was terrified of horses, even though her family wanted her to share their interest. Then one day a roan foal is orphaned at birth, and her grandfather brings it into the kitchen to warm it and bottlefeed it. Because the foal is so small, the girl is able to get over her fear enough to touch it and bottlefeed it. The foal is given to her and she raises it and gets over her fear of horses. The only other part I remember is that she and her friend go riding in a fog so thick that they can only see a few feet in front of them. This was amazing to me, because where I was born and raised (in north NJ) we never got those kind of fogs--I didn't believe they existed until I moved to OK and saw them for myself LOL. - Sue H.

Man O'War by Walter Farley

The Black Stallion Books by Walter Farley

Horse Tamer by Walter Farley. The story of an original horse whisperer.

A great book that any of you avid readers out there *must* find is called Touched By Fire, by Janis Flores. It's about a woman who takes over her family racing stable, and it switches back forth between her, and her grandmother, who also ran the stable back in the 1800's. It's a thriller, mystery, romance, and very horsey! I loved that book so much, I'll probably read it again soon (even though my "to be read" stack of new books continues to grow. -Staci

As for books, I love Marguerite Henry, Walter Farley (and I can't find his work in stores anymore!), Sun Dust Devil Horse by Eva Zumwalt, The Blue Roan by Adelaide Leitch, Horse Killers (very poignant), The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (hey, it's sort of a horse book), The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis and some others that I can't remember at the moment. -JumperJen

Has anyone read the young adult book "Star of Shadowbrook Farm" by Joanna Campbell?  She wrote all the Wonder Thoroughbred books that were/are so popular with young teens. I've read some of them but Star is my absolute favorite.  It's about a tb racer retrained as an eventer.  It's a kids book but so cute and pretty accurate too.Or how about the novel (okay romance novel) True Betrayals by Nora Roberts.  It's a romantic mystery set in a thoroughbred farm and on the track.  Lots and lots of horse and horse training scenes in it. Shellie and Wink

I also remember a couple of more obscure ones like Show Gypsys by ?? Brown, and Winners by ??  Also, Laughing in the Hills by Bill Barich, and some of Bill Shoemaker's books (Dark Horse, Fire Horse et al).  -Michelle and Corrie

On another book note, there is a series of historical fiction/romance books that deal with horses by Celeste DeBlasis that I thoroughly enjoy.  The first one is called Wild Swan, and the series follows a couple from England who come to the US and get involved in horse racing in the mid-1800's beginning with their stallion, Wild Swan.  It has horses and a great love story.  My favorite type of fiction.  lol -Leann

Wild Ride: The Tragic Fall of Calumet Farm, Inc by Ann Hagedorn Auerbach

Kirk Douglas' "The Gift" is the one with the Andilusians, dressage, etc.  I also like Daniel Steele's "Palomino", but that's the only DS book I have.  -Casey

Sweet William,  by John Hawkes,   is a wonderful book, published at the same time as the Horse Whisperer, but missed the publicity and the big movie deal because it doesn't focus on that lame love story or preach a mysterious quick fix.   It was nominated, I think, for a National Book Award.  Sweet William is written through the eyes of the horse, and captures qualities of personality we love and complain about so often in many  of our best loved horse friends.....   Recall that  the archtypal Black Beauty was written from the horse's view also, but Black Beauty was always wise, forgiving and noble....Sweet William is more like the rest of us.  He sometimes misunderstands, sometimes has trouble learning from his mistakes, and is confused by humans......but he tries and in the end......Well, you read it.     I love the way Hawkes captures with words the sensory experiences  of a horse's world, and understands the foibles of personality so exasperating and endearing in horse's we have all known.  For instance, Sweet William is an "all or nothing" kind of guy:  he has a tendency to exaggerate....What ever happens is either the absolute best or the worst possible event....he is a little melodramatic, hates admitting mistakes, yet wants to believe and even when he is old looks to the possiblility that some humans might be worth believing in.  .      Like Anna Sewell's book, Sweet William demonstrates the responsibilities we have toward our equine mentors,  but unlike the original Black Beauuty, Sweet William knows that even when humans mean well by their horses they sometimes make mistakes and the mistakes hurt even if unintended......   Read It !  Sweet William helped me understand a wonderful old horse in my life, and s the thoughts of some young stud colts,  as well.  John Hawkes sees through equine eyes so well you just know that in his last lifetime he must have been a horse.......maybe Sweet William.   Sorry if this is a long post.  I usually just lurk, but I thought Sweet William deserved a word or two ---- Medea

Another set of historical novels that involves horses is the Tales of Saint-Germain and the companion series about Olivia and Madelaine.  They're written by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, who's a horse-owner herself, and you can really tell that she knows her stuff.  She always takes the time to describe the horses involved, and is very accurate in their traits as well as in the equine situation of the time period she is addressing (which changes quite often as Saint Germain, Olivia and Madelaine are all vampires).  She has never mentioned Thoroughbreds in her works, but I think it would be interesting if she did. -JumperJen

In the Non fiction realm, books about Thoroughbreds :   Ruffian,Burning from the Start by Jane Schwart sounds very interesting..   Secretariat, the making of a champion by William Nack   Both of these are adult books, highly readable, as engrossing as fiction, and extraordinarily informative about bloodlines, training methods, the affluent sector of the racing industry.  I've read and enjoyed both several times both for their  general excellence, and for the information they contain, but a word of warning:  When you read Ruffian be prepared for its intensely emotional ending.       -Medea, Warfie and friends

A great book is "Black Horses for the King" by Ann McCaffrey. It is a fictionalized history of the development of horse shoeing. The fictional story deals with these black horses that are going to King Arthur (I believe). But at the time the only horseshoing methods were things like tying rawhide "boots" around the hoof, etc. In the course of the story they develop the science of nailing metal shoes to hooves. Even though it is fiction, the author carefully researched the history of horseshoing aspect. It is a fascinating read for anyone into horses (or not) because Ann McCaffrey is a fantastic storyteller, one of the all-time top fantasy/science fiction authors. She often incorporates horses into her books and she now lives in Ireland and raises and trains show horses, so she knows what she's talking about. -Sue H.

The Money Creek Mare by Patricia Calvert. A broke teenage girl schemes to breed her father's mare to a prize stallion.

The Monday Horses by Jean Slaughter Doty. A great young adult novel set in the world of show jumping.


Horse Movies

In addition to the movies listed here, check out the following link which was recommended by Jennifer MacNeil Traylor:

Simpatico, Set in the world of horse racing, starring Nick Nolte, Sharon Stone, and Jeff Bridges,60,73549,00.html

Speaking of horse racing movies, one of my favorite movies was called Champions.  It stars John Hurt who plays a steeplechase jockey who gets cancer.  It's really good and has some excellent Grand National footage. -Betsy

Phar Lap

The Man From Snowy River and Return to Snowy River- I believe that Tom Burlinson, who starred in both "Snowy River" movies, also starred in Phar Lap, another fantastic horse movie.  -Leann

The new Sleepy Hollow. I really liked the Sleepy Hollow scenes when the horse came out of the tree and started galloping down those paths.  -Kelley

Into the West, set in Ireland. I adored this movie, though shed a whole bunch of tears....Gabriel Byrne helped ;-)  The horse those poor boys found was truly magical.   I really liked LadyHawk too, but haven't seen Sleepy Hollow yet.  Heard there was lots of good horse action though. -Betsy

National Velvet and International Velvet

The Black Stallion, according to Jen MacNeill Traylor, won an Oscar for cinematography.

The one that turned me onto eventing was Sylvester.  It was pretty unrealistic but oh, well. -Jen MacNeill Traylor

If you really want to see some gorgeous horses (and men:) rent The 13th Warrior. It just came out on video and I really liked it (for the horses of course). -Jen MacNeill Traylor

The Black Stallion and The Black Stallion Returns

Black Beauty

Another great one, mentioned here, is The Silver Stallion. And what about that one about the diving horses, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. -Staci

Miracle of the White Stallions

For good-looking horses, I like Legend, Sleepy Hollow, Highlander, Dragonheart and Kenneth Brannaugh's Henry V. -JumperJen

There was a movie that came out about two years ago, I think it was Three Musketeers that had some awesome horse scenes in that.  The Roman riding was amazing.  I rented the movie just for those scenes although it was good in more ways than that. Enjoying the conversation, Shellie and Wink

BTW I enjoyed The Horse Whisperer (I liked it better than the book) it was pretty and I thought the little girl & boy were great, but there were a few flaws in the movie.  So it wasn't an A + or anything. -Betsy

I only watched The Zorro movie to see the horse. -Franki

Danny. Does anyone remember that movie?  It was probably really stupid but I just loved it for some reason. -Monica

Dark Horse


Everything That Rises

Blue Grass

The Red Fury

In Pursuit of Honor - GREAT movie based on a true story about the calvary horses from the war -Noelle

Two-Bits & Pepper The Wild Pony

Wind Dancer         

Tally Ho 

The Pit Pony  

Something To Talk About

If you want to see a great documentry, check out the National Geographic video about Horses in Ireland.  It was at my video store.  It's pretty magical. -Betsy