The most recommended horse books

Who picked these books? Meet our 75 experts.

75 authors created a book list connected to horses, and here are their favorite horse books.
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What type of horse book?


Book cover of Horses Adored and Men Endured: A Memoir of Falling and Getting Back Up

Heather Wallace Author Of Back Door Horse

From my list on books if you love horses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been horse-obsessed since before I can remember. I begged my parents for lessons and read every horse book I could, starting with Misty of Chincoteague and the Black Stallion series. I let life lead me away from horses, but I came back after almost two decades away. Now, I write about horses for a living and work with them daily–the main theme of my life in both books and business is connection. I write nonfiction and fiction books and have a hilariously honest and fun podcast called Adulting with Horses, where we talk about our favorite topic. Want to guess what it is? 

Heather's book list on books if you love horses

Heather Wallace Why did Heather love this book?

I laughed my way through this book, which is like Bridget Jones’ Diary if written by a horsewoman.

The author's honest, personal account of dating in the modern world makes me happy to choose horses over men every day of the week! It’s hilarious, honest, and raw. 

By Susan Friedland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Horses Adored and Men Endured as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a single woman searches for her knight in shining armor, sometimes the horse is the better option. When Susan was a girl of 10, she thought it would be perfect if only she could marry a horse. Two decades later, she sometimes feared she might have to marry a horse as there seemed to be no suitable human alternative. Trot through Horses Adored and Men Endured, and you’ll sneak a neighbor’s Palomino to a horse show, buy a green gelding as a first horse against all conventional advice, and trek across the Irish countryside on a sassy chestnut. Tag…

Book cover of Afraid to Ride

Sara Warner Author Of Still Waters

From my list on with adventure, strong women, and horses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong horsewoman, environmental researcher, and writer. After a career with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, working to protect wild rivers and streams, I “retired” to become a dressage teacher, trainer, and judge, and I regularly travel the Gulf Coast, teaching dressage clinics. I have taught literature and writing at the college level. I have bred and trained champion horses and helped horses rescued from dire situations. Together with my husband, I also organized a rescue operation for horses on the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. I have a PhD in History, Theory, and Culture from Emory University. All in all, I’ve had an adventurous and wonderful life which I try to share in my writing.

Sara's book list on with adventure, strong women, and horses

Sara Warner Why did Sara love this book?

I first discovered this wonderful story decades ago in my youth, when I read everything I could find with a horse in it. Many years later, following a catastrophic riding accident, I found this book tucked away on a backroom shelf. I immediately recalled that Judy’s struggle was precisely the one I was then facing, and I spent the afternoon re-reading her story. There may be something enduringly healing about the stories we love in childhood, because the power of Anderson’s story helped me recover my confidence with my horses. An added bonus of Anderson’s books are his masterful sketches which capture the essence of the horses at the center of his stories, and Afraid to Ride includes some of my all-time favorites.

By C.W. Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Afraid to Ride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Book cover of Riders

Fiona Walker Author Of The Country Set

From my list on heart-warming and uplifting fiction about horses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved horses, in real life and fiction. I guzzled up pony stories as soon as I was old enough to read, then I started writing them, tales of teenage orphans adopted by distant aunts who lived in crumbling stately piles with fields full of ponies. When I started writing fiction for a living, it stood to reason horses would feature, and three decades after one trotted into my debut novel French Relations – then galloped off into the sunset in its sequel Well Groomed - they’re still a mainstay. Of the twenty novels I’ve written, more than half have horses at their heart, including my new Comptons series. 

Fiona's book list on heart-warming and uplifting fiction about horses

Fiona Walker Why did Fiona love this book?

Naughty, pun-laden, wise-cracking, and wildly sexy, Riders was the first of Jilly Cooper’s ‘Rutshire Chronicles’ introducing us to the Cotswolds show-jumping set, led by the thoroughly unreconstructed Rupert Campbell-Black whose ruthless bid to win Olympic gold sweeps up all in his wake. The male characters, alternately strutting around in breeches and dinner suits and trailed by adoring Labradors and women, are all a wonderfully undomesticated pack. The feisty heroines who take them on inevitably end up swooning. It’s the horses – a brave bold and talented herd – that are by far the most noble characters and provide many genuinely moving moments. Riders is about as politically correct as a cigar in a maternity ward and unapologetically British from hunting cap to mahogany-topped boot, yet it remains the best ‘grown-up pony book’ in existence, still adored by tens of thousands of fans.

By Jilly Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Riders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is The Classic Bestseller. Set against the glorious Cotswold countryside and the playgrounds of the world, Jilly Cooper's Rutshire Chronicles, Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata and Score!, offer an intoxicating blend of skulduggery, swooning romance, sexual adventure and hilarious high jinks. Riders, the first and steamiest in the series, takes the lid off international showjumping, a sport where the brave horses are almost human, but the humans behave like animals. The brooding hero, gypsy Jake Lovell, under whose magic hands the most difficult horse or woman becomes biddable, is driven to the top by…

Book cover of Horse Gone Silent

M.J. Evans Author Of The Stallion and His Peculiar Boy

From my list on horses that teens will love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a life-long equestrian. I believe I was born with manure in my blood! I have always loved horses. I bought my own horse with my own money when I was thirteen and had to work to support him myself. I continue to own and ride horses more than fifty years later! I love competing in Dressage and riding the trails in the beautiful Colorado mountains. My interest in researching and writing historical horse stories grew out of my love of both horses and history.

M.J.'s book list on horses that teens will love

M.J. Evans Why did M.J. love this book?

Shane Ledyard is a well-respected horse trainer, riding instructor, and competitor in the hunter/jumper world on the east coast of the U.S.A.

But, after reading this book you can see his love of and empathy for the horse and all horses in general. It is a heartwarming story that teens and adults will love.

By Shane Ledyard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Horse Gone Silent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by a true story, Horse Gone Silent delivers adventure, drama, and life lessons in a tale that will speak to your heart like no horse story ever has before.

2020 EQUUS Film Festival Literary Award Winner

In the first book of the Horse Gone Silent trilogy, you will follow the life of champion show jumping horse "Calebo" from his sweet youth in the Netherlands to the United States where he quickly makes it to the top of his sport. Multiple times throughout his life, unbelievable events occur where this kind, courageous horse faces unfathomable depths of despair as he…

Book cover of Just Like My Dad

Natasha Wing Author Of The Night Before Father's Day

From my list on fathers and journals for daughters.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father died in 2020 during the pandemic so Father’s Day has taken on a new importance to me as far as reminding people to spend time with the people they love before they are gone. I had started to write a story about my dad and his childhood days before he went to the hospital, and with the help of his friend, was able to complete it for the family to have as a keepsake. I encourage kids to ask questions of their parents and for parents to write down or audio record the stories that they want to pass down. Children’s books and journals are a great way to start the conversation.

Natasha's book list on fathers and journals for daughters

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

This is a sweet generational story about a boy who wants to be just like his cowboy dad. He accompanies his father at the cattle ranch and helps him all day with the horses and cows, and mending fences, until they both return home, “feeling tired and good.” But the best part of the boy’s day is when his dad tucks him in with the assurance that he’ll be a great cowhand, just like his father’s dad. It could be a good conversational starter about modeling for your kids, and asking your children How are you just like your dad?

By Tricia Gardella, Margot Apple (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just Like My Dad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boyds Mills Press publishes a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction picture books, chapter books, novels, and nonfiction

Book cover of Wild Thing

Marsha Hubler Author Of A Horse to Love

From my list on horses for tweens, teens, and young adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have horse blood in my veins. I’ve loved horses ever since I knew what amazing animals they are. I grew up in a town where no one could house a horse. As I read about horses and learned more about them, I dreamed about the day I could have my very own. As a married adult with 4 acres of property and a little barn, I finally had my own horses over a 20-year period. The knowledge I gained by having my own beloved animals and caring for 12 foster children prepared me to write the Keystone Stables series about foster girl, Skye Nicholson, and her quarter horse, Champ. 

Marsha's book list on horses for tweens, teens, and young adults

Marsha Hubler Why did Marsha love this book?

As an author ready to write my own horse book series with a Christian message many years ago, I gleaned much from reading some of Dandi Daley Mackall’s Horse Gentler series. This first one impressed me the most because it portrays the main character, twelve-year-old Winnie Willis, close to the age of Skye Nicholson, the main character in my own series. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. The book is good, safe reading for tween and teen horse lovers. 

By Dandi Daley Mackall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wild Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don't always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. Readers will be hooked on the series' vivid characters, whose quirky personalities fill Winnie's life with friendship and adventure.

In #1 Wild Thing, Winnie's fearful heart finally begins to trust God again…

Book cover of Annan Water

Catherine Ann Cullen Author Of The Song of Brigid’s Cloak

From my list on children’s stories with a song connection.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet, children’s writer, and songwriter from Drogheda, Ireland. Ballads were always part of my family life. My favourite uncle, Gerry Cullen, is a song collector and singer who was central to the revival of folk singing in Drogheda. It was only when I embarked on a Creative Writing PhD in 2015 that I fully recognised the influence of ballads on my work. This has brought me deeper into ballad studies and I have just begun a postdoctoral fellowship at University College Dublin to reclaim lost street poets and tenement balladeers of 19th-century Ireland. For me, the ballad is a peerless narrative form: compact, rhyming, rhythmic, and memorable.  

Catherine's book list on children’s stories with a song connection

Catherine Ann Cullen Why did Catherine love this book?

Galway-based writer Kate Thompson heard the Scottish folk song "Annan Water" in her local pub. It tells of a doomed rider who crosses a flooded river to meet his Annie. Thompson fills out the sparse narrative into a modern setting, and makes the ballad a character in her story when Michael is haunted by the words: "And woe betide you, Annan Water / By night you are a gloomy river." She harnesses its resonance, harness being apt as the story centres around Michael's horse-dealing family as well as his attraction to another Annie. There is tragedy in the story, as in the ballad—Thompson believes children should not be protected from death. Certainly children brought up on ballads, as I was, face sisters killing sisters, hangings, and, of course, drownings.

By Kate Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Annan Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

. Michael first sees Annie one morning on the banks of Annan Water, when he is out exercising two horses from his parents` stables. That first impression of her never leaves him. She triggers in him a desire to get to know and understand her and in doing so, to understand himself . Complicated by the fact that he is haunted by the tune and words of a song about the Annan Water, he finds there is no easy answer to the way he must go- to get to know Annie seems as impossible as interpreting the words of the…

Book cover of First Rider's Call

Jacqueline Fellows Author Of The Sherangivan

From my list on fantasy about demonic possession.

Why am I passionate about this?

My training is in Classics (especially Greek drama), which has given me an appreciation for clever writers who tweak conventional themes to surprise readers, foil expectations, and explore new ideas—or new sides of old ideas. Greek epic and tragedy also exhibit fairly rigid expectations about personal responsibility: even if a god made you do it, it’s still your responsibility. Agamemnon has to pay for sacrificing his daughter; Heracles has to perform his labors. Madness and possession are vivid ways to explore where one’s autonomy leaves off and another power takes over. They’re excellent tools for poking at humans to see how a thinking, feeling individual deals with unintended disaster.

Jacqueline's book list on fantasy about demonic possession

Jacqueline Fellows Why did Jacqueline love this book?

You’re soon going to notice that I like clever variations on a common theme.

This book is a really fun mishmash of possible ways for possession to happen: a person can be possessed by a friendly ghost, a malevolent demon—or both at once! The heroine travels back in time (unusual for fantasy) and possesses the ghost when she was still alive. Two good guys can occupy the same body without surrendering their autonomy; but one can also take over when the other’s strength fails.

I also like the interweaving of the protagonist’s adventures in both the past and the present with chapters from a thousand-year-old journal. The temporal complexity works well with the way the characters fold into each other.

By Kristen Britain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First Rider's Call as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Magic, danger, and adventure abound for messenger Karigan G'ladheon in the second book in Kristen Britain's New York Times-bestselling Green Rider fantasy series

Karigan G'ladheon was once a Green Rider, one of the king of Sacoridia's elite magical messengers. In the messenger service, she was caught up in a world of deadly danger, and though she defeated the rogue Eletian who cracked the magical D'Yer Wall-which had protected Sacoridia for a thousand years from the dark influence of Blackveil Forest, and Mornhavon the Black's evil spirit imprisoned within it-she had nonetheless been tainted by his wild magic.

Exhausted in body…

Book cover of Horse Heaven

Meredith Marple Author Of The Year Mrs. Cooper Got Out More: A Great Wharf Novel

From my list on people with other animals in the mix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former independent publisher and current writer of memoir and fiction. My degree was in zoology (animal biology), which got me my first job in educational publishing. After a solid career in textbooks, I switched over to trade publishing and finally writing. I may have left the "hard science" behind, but I continue to be fascinated by human and animal behavior, which shows up in my reading and writing. 

Meredith's book list on people with other animals in the mix

Meredith Marple Why did Meredith love this book?

The animal is a number of racehorses. The human is a collection of owners, trainers, jockeys, and more, yielding a comprehensive look at human and animal behavior in the horse racing industry. A strong, intimate novel. I used to ride but never very well, and I’ve always wondered what a horse’s “thoughts” involved. Author Smiley gave me a feel for that as she applied her own assumptions to one horse in particular.  

By Jane Smiley,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Horse Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



of craft and an uncompromising vision that grow more powerful with each
book . . . Racing's eclectic mix of classes and personalities provides
Smiley with fertile soil . . . Expertly juggling storylines, she
investigates the sexual, social, psychological, and spiritual problems
of wealthy owners, working-class bettors, trainers on the edge of
financial ruin, and, in a typically bold…

Book cover of By the Sword

Kit Caelsto Author Of The Pegasus Project: A Musimagium Story

From my list on fantasy for horse lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

“Horse Crazy” isn’t a description; it’s a way of life for me. I’ve loved horses since I could remember, selling Girl Scout cookies to finance my way through three years of horse camp, working weekends cleaning stalls, even pursing a degree in Equine Science. Discovering fantasy books with magical, sentient horses not only introduced me to fantasy fiction, but also just made my own experience with horses seem real. Currently, I write equestrian fantasy as well as equestrian literature (horse books for those who chose not to grow out of being horse crazy” and live on my homestead with my herd of rescue horses, who inspire me every day.

Kit's book list on fantasy for horse lovers

Kit Caelsto Why did Kit love this book?

If Magic’s Pawn introduced me to Valdemar, then By the Sword, based on the ballad Kerowyn’s Ride, stole my heart forever. This is a standalone book in the world of Valdemar, and Kero spoke so much to me as a tomboy that it instantly became my favorite Mercedes Lackey book. If you don’t want to start out with a trilogy, and yet want a taste of Ms. Lackey’s writings, then By the Sword is a great place to start.

By Mercedes Lackey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked By the Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. When an attack on her home leaves her father slain, her brother wounded, and her brother's fiancee kidnapped, Kerowyn prepares to face the enemy who has shattered her family's dreams.