A curated collection by Mike Shortridge.
People have had a priceless bond with horses for thousands of years so it’s no surprise that they pop up frequently in our literature, through children’s stories, poetry, novels and short stories, as well as non-fictional riding instruction manuals.
Many of us will have grown up with Black Beauty while the story of War Horse became a renowned stage play, and more recently a film. Whether the horse is the hero of the tale, or the victim which needs to be rescued, horse lovers everywhere will enjoy all of the stories on this list.
Here are some of the top must-read fiction stories which horse lovers everywhere will value and cherish.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
This timeless story has entertained children for generations and been made into several TV shows and films and has to be on every horse lover’s bookshelf. This wonderful story explores the special bond between children and horses in a way which no other book has come close to.
Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen
This book and its sequel explore the experiences of high level equestrian competitions which are pulled together to create an engaging and heart-warming story that will keep all horse lovers entertained. It will also please those who like the horse riding descriptions to be accurate.
Ruffian: Burning From the Start by Jane Schwartz
This book tells the true story of race horse Ruffian but makes this list as it reads as well as any novel, telling the full story of the horse’s life and tragic death. While it may not actually be fiction, this story is as entertaining and enthralling as any made-up tale.
Samphire Song by Jill Hucklesby
A teenager girl has her dream of owning a horse fulfilled, but then has to sell him to pay for her brother’s medical care. The story follows her attempts to raise the money to buy him back and then find him again.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
War Horse is a must have read for all horse lovers, or else watch it on the stage, or even watch the film – there are so many ways to enjoy this fantastic tale. One warning with this story — you will need to have a box of tissues to hand.
Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse by Robin Hutton
This story takes us through the life of Sgt. Reckless, the Mongolian horse which served as part of the Marines in the Korean War and was the only animal to be awarded a rank in the United States Marine Corps.
Learning to Fall by Anne Clermont
This novel explores the challenges and tribulations of trying to save a family horse business following the death of a father. The story looks at the financial problems and other difficulties faced by the family.
The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
This novel became a major film and tells the story of the “horse whisperer” who is the last hope for a mother and daughter pair trying to save their injured horse’s life. Another story which tugs at the heartstrings.
Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards
The author tells the story of how she rescued a former race horse and the resulting changes in her own life from the bond generated. This true story is touching, exploring the relationship and bond which is what makes horses such special creatures.
The One Dollar Horse by Lauren St. John
A girl buys a horse for a dollar to save it from being badly treated and the story follows her struggles and attempts to keep the horse and support it, so she can compete in the horse trials at Badminton. This touching tale looks at the tug between wanting and affording a horse of your own.
From stories of war heroes to mistreated horses which need rescuing, and real life racehorse tragedies, there really is something for every horse lover among the horse fiction genre. With enchanting children’s tales and tear-jerking grown up stories, horse lovers of all ages can take delight in these charming books.
With the adventures of Black Beauty through to the power of War Horse, there is no doubt that horses will continue to play a huge role in the human world and in the world of literature in particular. There is something fascinating about the special bond which people have with these special animals.
If you need a special birthday gift for the horse lover in your life, or you are looking for a holiday read or simply a new addition to the bookshelf you can’t go far wrong with one of the ten from our chosen list. Don’t forget, these are just our choices – there are many more horse stories available in the bookshops.
Mike is a freelance writer who contributes regularly for http://www.horseseller.com.au/blog. During his spare time, he likes to binge watch on his latest TV obsession and go hunting for obscure vinyl toys.