Tthe best books on remarkable horses

The Books I Picked & Why

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

By Elizabeth Letts

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

Why this book?

This is an incredible and true rags-to-riches story about a horse who was on his way to a New York slaughterhouse when a Dutch immigrant named Harry de Leyer saw something special in him. Paying $80 for the gray plowhorse, de Leyer named him Snowman and taught him to jump. The rest is Show Jumping history.


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Black Beauty

By Anna Sewell

Black Beauty

Why this book?

Anna Sewell’s classic novel about a London carriage horse was written in the late 1800s, and became instrumental in the creation of the first animal cruelty laws. The story is told in the first “person,” by Beauty, who gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to be a horse in a human world.


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Seabiscuit: An American Legend

By Laura Hillenbrand

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Why this book?

Americans were struggling during the Depression, and they needed a hero. In stepped a small, knock-kneed Thoroughbred named Seabiscuit. Though he didn’t look like much, he had the heart of a champion. A classic story of the underdog who supersedes all expectations, Seabiscuit is a must-read.


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The Black Stallion

By Walter Farley

The Black Stallion

Why this book?

Most people know the movie The Black Stallion, but it all started with the book. A tale of a young boy and an Arabian stallion stranded together on an island after being shipwrecked, this is the story of the love that grows between these two lost and frightened souls. It was originally written for children, but this book is appreciated just as much by adults.


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Distant Skies: An American Journey on Horseback

By Melissa A. Priblo Chapman

Distant Skies: An American Journey on Horseback

Why this book?

Travel memoirs can be fun to read, but this one is riveting. Melissa Chapman and her horse Rainy traveled nearly 3,000 miles across America when the writer was in her early twenties. Before cell phones and GPS devices, “Missy” and Rainy trekked through backwoods and on state routes, rarely knowing where they would spend the night. Without faltering, Rainy helps Missy see America in ways most of us never do.


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