The best horse books actually written by horse people

The Books I Picked & Why

Comet in Summer

By Grace Wilkinson

Book cover of Comet in Summer

Why this book?

This book is a great summer read. The relationship between young eventer Rio and her project horse is really special and the author does a good job of introducing us to this fun, quirky family, their many pets, and their dilapidated country house. The descriptions of the French countryside and the differences in how horses are cared for in France were really interesting. It is a fun, captivating read.


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The Lady

By Anne McCaffrey

Book cover of The Lady

Why this book?

Written by the same author who wrote the amazing Dragonriders of Pern books, The Lady is set in 1970s Ireland and follows the horse-loving Carradyne family. There is plenty of drama and tears but it has a happy ending and the horses are very well written. Life wasn’t easy for women in Ireland at the time and McCaffery didn't shirk away from all the unfairness that she saw in the world around her. There are a few pretty shocking moments but it all works out in the end.


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Working Trot

By Jessie Haas

Book cover of Working Trot

Why this book?

This is a great novel about a young man who is deciding if he wants to dedicate the rest of his life to training dressage horses. He interns with his cousins who are professional horse trainers and gets a crash course in classical dressage. It follows the real triumphs and struggles of working with horses for a living as well as his personal journey to become a better rider and a stronger person. 


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The Dressage Chronicles

By Karen McGoldrick

Book cover of The Dressage Chronicles

Why this book?

This true-to-life series follows dressage rider, Lizzy, who gives up her job, her boyfriend, and her whole life in order to become a working student with a top trainer. It has a great cast of authentic characters, both humans and horses, and the training parts are spot on. A very enjoyable series.


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The Stake Night

By Susan Archer

Book cover of The Stake Night

Why this book?

This whole series is so interesting. It follows the interconnected lives of top trainers and the (mostly wealthy) riders who show upper-level Saddlebreds. This is a world I’d known absolutely nothing about before. So, reading this series was fascinating and eye-opening. It’s like getting a glimpse of a completely different, and sometimes over-the-top, world. The author knows her subject so well that it’s like being transported to those high-stakes shows.


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