The best books about the relationship between horses and people

Diana Kimpton Author Of There Must Be Horses
By Diana Kimpton

The Books I Picked & Why

Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership

By Mark Rashid

Book cover of Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership

Why this book?

I discovered Mark Rashid’s books when I was researching horse whispering for my own book, and I was so entranced by what he was saying that I went to one of his workshops to watch him in action. I love both the way he writes and the way he teaches from his own experiences and mistakes. This is not a training manual – it’s a book that will improve your understanding of horse behaviour and emotions so that you can work with them without force. 


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The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse

By Linda Kohanov

Book cover of The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse

Why this book?

This is another book I found while researching my own, and it opened up a whole new way of looking at horses and how they relate to us and to each other. By sharing her own journey of discovery with horses, Linda Kohanov shows the way they can sense emotion and how that can be used to help people. I was so intrigued that I spent a day having equine-assisted learning myself – an amazing experience that left me calmer and happier. 


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Muted

By Leanne Owens

Book cover of Muted

Why this book?

One of the main characters of this novel is a horse whisperer whose traumatic experiences on his eighth birthday have left him unable to speak. When he hears about stallions who are kept entirely indoors in order to produce a new drug, he sets out to ease their suffering. In the process, he meets Karen Lawford, the workaholic heir to the drug company, and tries to reawaken her love for horses so she can see that what is happening to the stallions is wrong, and tries to help her too. I love this well-crafted story of love and healing, but feel I should mention that it includes horses dying and being badly treated.


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War Horse

By Michael Morpurgo

Book cover of War Horse

Why this book?

This novel tells the same story that the film and the brilliant stage play are based on, with one important difference – the book is written from the point of view of the horse. Joey takes us from his foal hood, through his developing relationship with his owner’s son and eventually to the terrifying battles of the First World War. Michael Morpurgo uses the connection between Joey and the humans he meets to show the dreadful price that horses and people alike paid in that conflict and the fact that there were good people on both sides. I’m sure it deserves to be as much a classic as Black Beauty


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The Horse Whisperer: A Novel

By Nicholas Evans

Book cover of The Horse Whisperer: A Novel

Why this book?

I read this book when it was first published, and I couldn’t put it down. The story opens with a dreadful accident where a lorry hits two girls out riding together. One girl and her horse are killed, the other girl has life-changing injuries. and her horse is so traumatised that the vet suggests putting him down. However, her mother refuses to do that. Instead, she loads the horse into a trailer and takes him and her daughter to Montana to meet a horse whisperer who she hopes can heal them all. (NB Although this story features a child, it is not a children’s book.)


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