The best books on remarkable horses

Who am I?

I have been obsessed with horses since I was 6 years old and spent much of my childhood riding bareback through the California countryside. After graduating from New York University with a degree in journalism, I went on to become a magazine editor. My love for horses never wained, and when I became editor of Horse Illustrated magazine, my passion and my profession combined. I have since authored seven books about horses, and currently live with two Spanish Mustangs named Rio and Milagro.


I wrote...

Horses for Dummies

By Audrey Pavia,

Book cover of Horses for Dummies

What is my book about?

If you're crazy about horses, this hands-on guide is all you need to giddy up and go. Featuring updates on breeds, boarding, nutrition, equipment, training, and riding, as well as new information on various equine conditions, this resource shows you how to keep your horse happy - and take your riding skills to the next level. Discover how to: select the right horse for you, feed, groom, and handle your horse, recognize common horse ailments, and have fun in the saddle.

The Books I Picked & Why

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

By Elizabeth Letts,

Book cover of 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.


Black Beauty

By Anna Sewell, Kristen Guest (editor),

Book cover of 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.


Seabiscuit: An American Legend

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Book cover of 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.


The Black Stallion

By Walter Farley,

Book cover of 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.


Distant Skies: An American Journey on Horseback

By Melissa A. Priblo Chapman,

Book cover of 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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