Joy Seymour recommends some of her all-time favorite reads for horse lovers both young and young-at-heart.
It’s the time of year when people think about gifts. I’m a book person, so I think books make the best gifts. I’m also a horsey person, so I’ve compiled a little list of some of the best horsey fiction I’ve read.
I’ll start young. This is one of my all time favorites: Flip by Wesley Dennis. Wesley Dennis illustrated Marguerite Henry’s books, which will come later in my list, but he was also a writer. I absolutely adore Flip — he has such tenacity! Great book to read aloud to your little horse lovers. And really, read it aloud to those who aren’t yet horse lovers too!
Moving up in age, how about Billy and Blaze. This is an entire series of books — Billy and Blaze is the first one. It’s about a boy and his pony. Need I say more? C.W. Anderson has always been one of my favorite authors. He was a horse person himself, and believe me, you can tell. His illustrations are simply wonderful. This series has been re-released, and they are even available for Kindle!
Next up, anything by the aforementioned Marguerite Henry. She won the Newbery Medal for King of the Wind. This is a must-read for anyone who loves Thoroughbreds, because it fictionalizes the story of the Godolphin Arabian, one of the founders of the breed.
Perhaps you prefer ponies to Thoroughbreds? Then give Misty of Chincoteague a try. Many of Mrs. Henry’s books were based on reality, and Misty was a real pony.
Fans of the Morgan breed should look for Justin Morgan Had a Horse, which was a Newbery Honor book.
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle is aimed at young adults, but entirely readable by adults as well. Award-winning, heart-wrenching, totally worth a read.
Moving solidly into adult fiction is Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley. Ms. Smiley is a horse person as well as a writer, and her knowledge of and love for horses shines through. This is a long book, but don’t let that stop you from trying it. It’s well worth the time invested. It is about horse racing, and delves deeply into the business of racing.
These are just a few of my favorite works about horses. Feel free to share some of your favorites!
Joy Seymour is a former event rider who has also foxhunted, shown jumpers and dressage, and done lots of other things with horses. As J.E. Seymour, she writes crime fiction. She lives in the seacoast area of New Hampshire.
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