The best books for horse lovers

Who am I?

I have always loved horses and riding. My dream was to become a showjumper but, unfortunately, my opportunities in London were limited and although I rode a lot in Australia, my jumping was limited to the odd log in the bush. I’m an avid reader and particularly enjoy horse books written for adults, which is why I wrote a book for horse lovers. I have recommended books that gave me pleasure and which I am sure other horse lovers will enjoy.


I wrote...

Winston - A Horse's Tale

By Rita Lee Chapman,

Book cover of Winston - A Horse's Tale

What is my book about?

One for horse lovers from teenagers upwards!  Winston is a good-looking palomino horse whose life involves several different owners and many adventures. As you read his story, told by Winston himself, you will appreciate horse ownership from the horse’s point of view. Born on a country property in Australia, Winston tells of his breaking-in and education and the different people he encounters – good, bad, and ignorant. As well as his own story, Winston includes the experiences of other horses he meets along life’s way.  

It is an eventful life – the story of one Australian horse out of thousands, but one that you will remember.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Jump for Joy

By Pat Smythe,

Book cover of Jump for Joy

Why this book?

Jump for Joy was written by my favourite showjumper when I was growing up in London, Pat Smythe. One of the first two women to compete in the Olympics, Pat was a household name in England in the 1950s and 1960s and was awarded an OBE. Jump for Joy is one of several books she authored, and tells stories about some of her most famous horses, including Prince Hal and Tosca. I was thrilled to own this book in my teenage years. 


High, Wide and Handsome: A Pictorial History of Australian Show-Ring Jumping 1900-1950

By A.J. Chittick,

Book cover of High, Wide and Handsome: A Pictorial History of Australian Show-Ring Jumping 1900-1950

Why this book?

High, Wide, and Handsome is a non-fiction, pictorial history of Australian Showjumping from 1900-1950. These black and white photos depict the very different riding styles of showjumpers during these earlier years. Riding in long stirrups and even side-saddle, these fearless riders tackled enormous jumps on their courageous horses, up to nearly eight feet in height. Other photos show them jumping three or four abreast, the Section Fours, the riders sometimes going so far as to colour-co-ordinate their horses.


Horses of the Fire

By Leanne Owens,

Book cover of Horses of the Fire

Why this book?

Teenagers will love The Outback Riders series by Leanne Owens. An Australian author, Leanne is an English/History teacher who also writes freelance for horse magazines. Her experience with horses growing up in the outback is combined with stories about teenagers in her very popular Outback Riders series. She has also written the Dimity Horse Mysteries for readers who like mysteries, crime, romance, and horses. 


Free Rein: The Autobiography of an Olympic Heroine

By Gillian Rolton,

Book cover of Free Rein: The Autobiography of an Olympic Heroine

Why this book?

Free Rein is the autobiography of two-time Australian Olympic champion, Gill Rolton, who famously remounted at the Atlanta Olympics with a broken collarbone to finish the team event. Gillian was a late starter to eventing at the age of twenty-one but went on to compete for thirty years. This autobiography reveals the injuries to herself and her horses which meant missing the LA and Seoul Olympics, the success she achieved with her wonderful horse, Peppermint Grove and her inclusion in the Australia Sporting Hall of Fame.


Come to Grief

By Dick Francis,

Book cover of Come to Grief

Why this book?

Dick Francis combines the wonderful world of horses with crime mystery. Dick Francis wrote many books and later combined with his son, Felix, who continued the dynasty after his father’s death. This is exciting and factual fiction. In Come to Grief, Sid Halley, an ex-champion jockey turned investigator, uncovers an obnoxious crime committed by a close friend, whom he had held in high regard. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Australia, private investigators, and Australian Outbacks?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Australia, private investigators, and Australian Outbacks.

Australia Explore 178 books about Australia
Private Investigators Explore 121 books about private investigators
Australian Outbacks Explore 10 books about Australian Outbacks

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Tracks, Ultimate Road Trips Australia, and Australian Geographic Outback Queensland if you like this list.