I loved horses when I was young, but I did not have a horse of my own. Through reading great books about the world of horses, I fulfilled a lot of my desire to be involved with them. My love of horses and reading gave me hours and hours of pure pleasure which gave me a greater admiration and love for both of them.
Here is a list of some of the best books which I loved and read over and over. They are popular books that have stood the test of time. Both young and old alike love them and cherish them, even though they are considered books for youth.
Many of the books recommended are classics that have been around for years. Most of them are award winners which shows their perfection at storytelling abilities.
Reading is Dreaming with your eyes open
Here are 9 recommended horse books and summaries
This first book recommended is on the most favorite list of almost all horse lovers, young and old.
Books 1,2,3: The Black Stallion Series
Author: Walter Farley
The Black Stallion was his first book written and it became an instant hit when it was published. Walter Farley went on to write 33 other enormously popular books that were in a series of Black Stallion stories. Even though this is a fictional story it become one of the most famous stories of the century.
Book Summary: The Black Stallion (1942)
This is the first book in the 33 book series. It is about teenage Alec Ramsay, and a beautiful wild black stallion. They become stranded together on a desert island after the sinking of their ship in a disastrous shipwreck. The first half of the story takes place on the desert island when The Black and Alec learn to first trust each other and then to develop a love and friendship. The last half of the book takes place back in Alec’s home of New York where The Black’s great speed is first discovered and then put to the test. The scenes are written brilliantly and the fantastic story is fast paced and super exciting.
The book was so well loved and accepted that a movie was filmed giving us a chance to enjoy the story of The Black and Alec in a cinematic experience. They did a great job on the movie, staying true to the characters and the feel of the storm, and the ship sinking at sea. Watching the development of the trust and friendship between horse & boy is thrilling and bound to impact your child’s imagination.
Book Summary: The Black Stallion Returns (1945)
The second in the series is also a fast paced and exciting read. It brings back both Alec and The Black. Someone is trying to claim the Black as his horse and take him away from Alec, and someone else is trying to murder him so no one can have him.
Book Summary: Son of the Black Stallion (1947)
Alec is given one of The Black Stallions colts as a gift. However, the young black stallion is savage and wild just like his name of Satan. He turns out to be quite dangerous, but of course that is what make this such an exciting book to read.
This is just three of the most favorite of the Black Stallion series. There are many more great stories if you want to continue following the tale of Alec and the beautiful, majestic Black Stallion.
Book #4: Black Beauty (1877)
Author: Anna Sewell
One of the best-selling books of all times is the book written by Anna Sewell. This fictional book was told from the point of view of the horse. Black Beauty tells of his life from the time he was born on an English farm.
Book Summary: Black Beauty
At first his life is carefree and he has a loving home to grow in. His mother’s advice to him on how to act properly is a good example of the character of Black Beauty.
She tells her son, “I hope you will grow up gentle and good, and never learn bad ways, … and never bite or kick even in play.”
Beauty finds out the hard way that not all of life is fair or easy. As he is handed from one owner to another he encounters some kindness but also finds cruel and wicked handling. Through his and other horse stories in the book we learn a lot about the inhumane treatment that many horses were given at that time.
This book did a lot to raise the standards in book writing. The author said that what she wished to accomplish was “to induce kindness, sympathy, and a better understanding of the treatment of horses.
Book #5 & #6:
King of the Wind
Misty of Chincoteague
Author: Marguerite Henry
Marguerite Henry was the beloved author of such classic horse stories as King of the Wind, Misty of Chincoteague, and Stormy: Misty’s Foal. She wrote over 59 books based on true stories of horses and other animals. She died at the age of 95 just after publishing her last book.
Book Summary: King of the Wind
In the King of the Wind we read the fictionalized history of the “Story of the Godolphin Arabian” who is one of three sire’s that every Thoroughbred horse’s bloodline comes from.
This is a great story that won the Newbery medal award. It takes place in Morocco in the stables of the Sultan around 1724 on the last day of Ramadan. One of the stable boys, by the name of Agba who happens to mute, is in charge of a beautiful golden-red stud colt named “Sham.” A close friendship develops between the boy and his horse.
This legendary story tells of their adventures in the Sahara desert, in the courts of France and then in England
The ancestries of both Man O War and Seabiscuit can be traced back to the Godolphin Arabian.
Among Marguerite Henry’s books is the much loved Misty of Chincoteague.
Book Summary: Misty of Chincoteague
This is a novel written for children which is set in an island town of Chincoteague, Virginia where wild ponies have lived for centuries. Most believe that these wild ponies came to the islands after surviving a shipwreck.
The story centers around orphans Paul and Maureen Beebe who want to buy Phantom a mare with a little filly at her side called Misty. Readers will love the story of determination and belief that allows Paul and Maureen to achieve their dream.
Other books in this series by Marguerite Henry are also recommended to allow the readers to continue with the romance and excitement of the stories of the herd of wild ponies. To name a few:
- Stormy, Misty’s Foal
- Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague
- Misty’s Twilight
Remember that Henry wrote over 59 books. You will not go wrong in searching out her great library anytime your reader needs something new.
Two books that Henry wrote are about real horses from history that will give you some true backgrounds on their life.
- Justin Morgan had a Horse
- A Horse named Seabiscuit
Book Trilogy #7:
My Friend Flicka (1941)
Green Grass of Wyoming (1946)
Author: Mary O’hara
This trilogy by Mary O’hara was written on her Wyoming ranch where she was living with her second husband. Her best known and loved works were written at this time.
Book Summary: My Friend Flicka (1941)
Ken McLaughlin, a 10 year old boy, has been sent home from boarding school and told he will have to repeat his 5th grade year. This angers his father. Ken’s mother, Nell, convinces his father Rob that it would be good good to give Ken a colt so he could train it and it would give him some responsibility too.
Ken’s chooses a horse named Flicka, which means little girl in Swedish. This angers Rob that Ken picked the chestnut filly. The bloodlines of Flicka have been shown to be hard horses to tame and train because they have mustang blood in them. This is a wonderful story of how a horse can transform the life of this young boy who is trying to find his place in the world.
This story was so successful and so loved that many adaptations were made of the trilogy. There were movies made as early as 1943 and as recent as 2006. The books were also made into a successful TV series called “My Friend Flicka” was popular in 1956.
Book #8: War Horse
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Book Summary: War Horse
War Horse is another book like Black Beauty which is told by the horse’s point of view. The book starts with a sad scene where Joey, the horses name, is taken away from his mother and sold to another farm. Enter a young boy named Albert who gently starts trying to break the colt.
The heart of the story is that Joey is sold to the Cavalry and becomes a War Horse serving during World War One where the British loses the war. There are many exciting adventures that Joey has to endure. Albert, his former master, tries hard to find Joey to bring him home.
Book #9: Riding Lessons: Ellen & Ned
Author: Jane Smiley
The last one I would like to recommend is a modern book that has just been released by an author who really knows both horses and storytelling. Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize winner and has authored many books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Book Summary: Riding Lessons: Ellen & Ned
This is a fictional book about a young 11 year old girl named Ellen. Ellen seems to be a bit mischievous and tends to misbehave when it suits her.
Ned is a colt who used to be a racehorse, who has hurt his leg and was sent to the ranch.
Riding Lessons, is the first book in a middle-grade trilogy. Set in the 1960s in Northern California, the story’s told by a horse-crazy fourth-grader.
Ellen and Ned seem to understand each other, almost more than humanly possible. Is there something special between the two of them? That’s what we will explore in reading the books.
“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle”
~ Winston Churchill
Where Can You Find Old and Rare books for Sale? Horseinfo.com is offering their customers old out-of-print and hard-to-find-titles. They are offering this page for both buyers and sellers of old horse and veterinary books and or videos.
The miracle about horse story books is the great love and friendship that develops between the horse and their owners or handlers. It teaches the humane way the animals should be treated with love and kindness. The stories have excitement and thrills, heartache and disappointment and are written to ensure a great experience for every age of reader.