The best horse books 📚

Browse the best books on horsess as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of This Way, Charlie

This Way, Charlie

By Carson Levis, Charles Santoso

Why this book?

This Way, Charlie is a beautiful book based on the true story of an unlikely friendship between a partially blind horse and a very grumpy and stubborn goat at a wildlife rehabilitation farm. The gentle text tells their story and shows how a little help from a friend can help overcome all kinds of obstacles, physical or mental. The illustrations are beautifully designed and executed in a soft impressionistic way that is almost dreamlike. Resulting in a heartwarming book that celebrates the kindness, compassion, trust, and strength of a friendship.

From the list:

The best children’s books on extraordinary animals

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Book cover of Black Beauty

Black Beauty

By Anna Sewell, Kristen Guest

Why this book?

Despite being written almost 150 years ago, Black Beauty is still one of the absolute classics. Not only is it one of the bestselling books of all time, it’s also been described as the most influential anti-cruelty novel ever.

I love it because it’s told from Black Beauty’s point of view, encouraging readers to see the world from a horse’s eyes.

Black Beauty meets with both kindness and cruelty throughout his life, from his carefree days as a foal to his happy retirement in the country. 

In places it makes for an uncomfortable read, but ultimately it’s an uplifting tale.…

From the list:

The best books that capture the bond between horses and people

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Book cover of Only My Horses Know

Only My Horses Know

By Cinda Jo Bauman

Why this book?

The healing power of horses is used nowadays in formal equine therapy, but young people have always known their horses could nurture them. I love this book because it shows how a horse can provide support in a situation as challenging and stigmatizing as the mental illness called bipolar. Horses provide a wonderful way for readers to come to terms with such a complex topic. I love the premise that horses help kids to cope with human difficulties. 

From the list:

The best middle-grade books about brave kids and horses

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Book cover of Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West

Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West

By Marguerite Henry, Robert Lougheed

Why this book?

This true story was one of my favorites growing up, and I’ve read it many times. Annie is a polio survivor with a limp, but this doesn’t stop her from riding the range.  Neither does being a girl stop her from battling a terrible situation: the slaughter of mustangs. Annie risks her life to photograph mustang roundups and then takes the fight to the US government, finally getting a bill passed to prevent the inhumane treatment of wild horses. So inspiring!

From the list:

The best middle-grade books about brave kids and horses

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Book cover of Wild Thing

Wild Thing

By Dandi Daley Mackall

Why 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. 

From the list:

The best horse books for tweens, teens, and young adults

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Book cover of The Nature of Horses: Exploring Equine Evolution, Intelligence, and Behavior by Stephen Budiansky

The Nature of Horses: Exploring Equine Evolution, Intelligence, and Behavior by Stephen Budiansky

By Stephen Budiansky

Why this book?

Horses are central to human history, but they have a history of their own. Budiansky explores equine history using biological science, animal behavior, and evolutionary history. How did horses evolve? How did horses and humans come together to co-evolve? Why do horses and humans get along so well? What are horses like? How do horses do what they do? After setting horses in historical context Budiansky takes up issues of communication, social behaviors, intelligence, the senses, the mechanics of movement, and the production of power and speed. This book shows that horses are not magical or mystical creatures, but serious…

From the list:

The best books about horses in history

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