Horses have shaped the landscape of our history for centuries. For those of us who are passionate about horses there is a beauty and nobility about them that not only captures our imagination but also instills a sense of wonder and inspires us to dream bigger dreams. Horses have helped us battle against enemies, farm our lands, travel long distances, and run great races. They provide therapy, perform incredible feats of strength and skill and have been our companions, champions and helpers throughout centuries of civilization. They are fascinating and noble animals that have captured the heart of many people young and old.
If you have a horse lover at home and need some ideas for great books this summer, I have some recommendations just for you!
My Chincoteague Pony by Susan Jeffers. A lovely picture book about a girl who saves money to buy her own Chincoteague pony on Pony Penning Day. Sadly she doesn’t have enough money but others in the crowd help her accomplish her dream. In the end she finds a way to pay it forward. A touching story based on true events.
The Blind Connemara by C.W. Anderson. A brave girl finds a way to work with a beautiful blind pony and unwittingly becomes an inspiration for handicapped children. C.W. Anderson also writes the Billy and Blaze series and other horse books.
Doodlebug by Irene Brady. A young girl dreams of owning a “Beautiful Black Stallion with a Flowing Mane and Tail.” She saves her money and attends the local horse auction with high hopes. What she comes home with is an ugly, pathetic, injured pony that at first seems to be of no use. With persistent care she is able to nurse him back to health and discovers there is more to him than meets the eye.
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo. A humorous story about a reformed thief turned cowboy who longs for a horse of his own. He finally finds the perfect horse, but keeping her is another matter.
The Horse Diaries Series by various Authors. Currently there are 16 books available in the set. They are written about different breeds from the horse’s perspective and usually are based on a true event in history.
White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry. An inspiring story about the power of dreams, hard work and perseverance, plus fascinating insights into this beautiful breed. Marguerite Henry’s books are all thoroughly researched and are mostly historically accurate while being fiction. Others are Misty of Chincoteague, King of the Wind, Justin Morgan had a Horse, Brighty of the Grand Canyon, Sunshine of Sawdust Valley, Our First Pony, Five O’clock Charlie, and many more. All her horse books (and biographies) are excellent.
Smokey the Cowhorse by Will James. (Recommended and reviewed by my 10 year old) A wild mustang is captured by some cowboys and changes owners throughout his life. Once he was a bucking bronco in a rodeo and another time rounded up cattle for branding, but he always longed to be free. (Caution: May be a little bit sad.)
Horses: The Ultimate Treasury. This non-fiction book has beautiful full page pictures of many different horse breeds and also short stories about famous horses throughout history including Alexander and Bucephalus.