Why We Love Books About Horses?

A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves–strong, powerful, and beautiful.

Most kids love horses, but it does not mean you have to be a kid to love these gorgeous animals. The love for horses is like chickenpox. It hits you when you are a kid and stays with you for the rest of your life. Whether you want to learn more about horses or their behavior or you simply love reading about them, here are some of the best books about horses nonfiction to get your fix.

What Are The Best Non-fiction Books About Horses?

I've Never Been to Me (The Hope, Horses, and Healing Collection Book 2), by Cheryl L. Eriksen

The story unfolds as Cheryl forms a transformative bond with Farletta, her equine companion, who possesses a profound ability to connect with her on a deep emotional level. Farletta not only helps Cheryl confront and surface the suppressed aspects of her trauma but also plays a crucial role in her journey towards self-acceptance and healing.

This moving story from the Hope, Horses, and Healing Collection emphasizes the power of introspection and the extraordinary influence of human-animal relationships in overcoming personal despair and embracing unconditional self-love.

I find the concept of Cheryl's journey in I've Never Been to Me deeply resonant. The idea that a kind horse like Farletta, can facilitate profound emotional healing is both fascinating and heartwarming.

Crowndale, by Cynthia Lurix

This autobiography is emotional, deep, motivational, and exciting at the same time. It sounds weird, but these are all the emotions the author has been through over her life. It all started with a passion for horses. As a kid, she used to love these animals. Her love was even deeper because she did not have a farm or horses around.

As she grew up, she had to say farewell to get grandmother and ended up with her silver. It was a small fortune back then, so she decided to leave all her self-imposed fears behind and just follow her dream. She just wanted to have a horse and look after a beautiful animal. She got rid of all the silver in order to purchase her first horse – a gelding.

The Arabian horse was named Ivanhoe. Time flew, and one thing led to another. As she kept exploring her passion, she ended up becoming a full time horse breeder. The story is sharp and takes the reader from tears of sadness to tears of joy. It is a story about horses, as well as a story about following your dreams no matter what – definitely a heartfelt read.

Chosen by a Horse, by Susan Richards

This story is touching and emotional. It tells the story of a horse – the story of love and passion, mixed with spices of sadness and happiness at once. Susan Richards decided to rescue a horse. The horse’s fate was not the best. It was a former racehorse – it also had a foal. The female horse – named Lay Me Down – simply chose to climb up into Susan’s life and not the other way around.

The horse had a feeling its life was about to change. It went up that ramp into the trailer straight away – no objections whatsoever. The horse was gentle and soft. However, as beautiful as it was in its glory days, it was malnourished, suffering from pneumonia and some eye infections. The prognostic was not the best, but the glorious creature survived the road and showed Susan that its heart was still open.

Instead of a horse learning Susan's instructions, the story goes the other way around. Lay Me Down came into Susan's life to teach her a few things about life. This horse showed the author that while life can be dangerous and there are many things that can ruin it, there are lots of joys, and they are all worth being happy about. This tale is soft and elegant, but it can also get heartbreaking at times.

Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand

This is one of the best gifts for horse lovers and a deep incursion into what horse racing truly means. It tells Seabiscuit’s story. The horse was far from perfect – an ugly tail and some crooked legs. Somehow, this horse managed to make history. It was one of the top successes in the horse racing history, but it also received more attention than anyone else during the 1930s – more successful than Mussolini, Hitler or Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This horse was pushed forward and turned into a celebrity by three different people though. Charles Howard used to repair bicycles back then. He brought the modern car into the western side of the country and became a millionaire. He had a new racehorse and he needed a trainer for it – this is when Tom Smith kicked in, an experienced trainer who knew exactly what he was doing. Raised in Colorado, he was up for the challenge.

Tom pushed Charles to hire Red Pollard as a jockey. Red was a former boxer, but he was a failure. He was also blind in one eye. This is when the action begins. Over the next four years, Red and the horse went through all kinds of issues – from severe injuries to all kinds of conspiracies. However, this pair has made history and became extremely notorious in no time.

The Faraway Horses, by Buck Brannaman

The author talks about this personal experience with horses. He first discovered his passion for horses when he was 12 years old. Ever since then, he has been through all the potential problems a horse lover will experience – he has been bit, but he has also been run over or kicked. It is just part of the game and this is how you gain experience with these majestic creatures.

The author was just trying to find a way to contain the horse without getting himself hurt some more. Then, it hit him – everything would be so much simpler if he could just figure out what horses do and why they do such things. He put himself into the horse’s shoes and tried to understand its point of view, preferences and needs in the long run. Fortunately for Buck Brannaman, it worked.

This method seems to work wonders and creates a deep connection between the horse and the owner. All in all, this horse book is about the love between a horse owner and the animal. He shares all the methods he has discovered in the long run, whether you are interested in training, advice or what it takes to establish a deep connection – one of the best gifts for horse lovers.

The Perfect Horse, by Elizabeth Letts

This book tells a real story from World War II. From some points of view, this is a story about war. From other points of view, it is a story of love and passion for horses – definitely one of the best books about horses nonfiction. The story follows an intense mission of rescuing some apparently priceless pedigree horses through a comprehensive mission that involved some of the world’s finest soldiers.

During World War II, Russians managed to stop Hitler from the east. On the other hand, the Allies started attacking from the west, so Hitler seemed trapped. Meanwhile, American troops discovered a secret plan that no one knew about. It seemed the Germans were trying to come up with a superior horse race by mixing some of the finest purebred horses they could find.

At first, it did not seem like a threatening plan, but an American general – George S. Patton – decided to take things further. After all, the dedicated equestrian liked the idea of rescuing all those horses and ruining Hitler's plan. The mission was complicated, but it was pretty straightforward – soldiers had to kidnap the animals and take them into safe territory. The soldiers were helped by an Austrian colonel, who was a famous Lipizzaner trainer.

The Man Who Listens to Horses, by Monty Roberts

The Man Who Listens to Horses is a bestselling memoir. Monty Roberts is one of the most famous horse trainers in the world. He runs the Join-Up International organization. Introduced to horses decades ago, he soon realized that many of the training methods out there were quite violent and inappropriate – some of them involved hurting horses and were based on frightening them. Therefore, he decided to start a change.

The trainer revolutionized the training industry with some new techniques. Practically, all the violence was gone. His gentle moves seemed to work and got horses trained the pleasant way. He decided to promote these techniques and help other trainers – as well as amateurs trying to keep their horses under control. Later on, he ended up using his organization to promote this technique and change the overall horse training industry.

This horse book tells his story. It is a memoir he wrote to tell the people how he has managed to find gentle ways to train horses. He explains the philosophy behind their behavior and why certain techniques are more efficient than others. The author also provides a deep insight into what it takes to train a horse and the amount of dedication required to do a good job.

The Eighty-Dollar Champion, by Elizabeth Letts

The action takes place in the fall of 1958. The Madison Square Garden – New York City – was hosting the National Horse Show. There was wealth everywhere around – beautiful horses, purebred creatures and lots of money hanging around. One horse stood up in the crowd because it looked like it does not belong there – Snowman, a former plow horse. His owner Harry de Leyer was also there.

The new owner first saw this horse on a winter afternoon. It was taken to the slaughterhouse. He saw the horse still had it, so he bought him for not more than 80 dollars. The horse started a new life on Harry's small farm. However, he was struggling with money, so he had to sell Snowman to a different farm – just a few miles away from him. Snowman had a different point of view and ignored Harry's plans with him – eventually, he showed up at Harry's farm, dragging a tire and a broken fence.

That is when Harry knew that the horse was different. He started training Snowman and got the animal into all kinds of shows. They went against all odds, but their popularity skyrocketed. This house was standing out and making a difference. All in all, this book shows the motivational and inspiring story of an unlikely duo – the story of consistency and inspiration, as well as hope and dreams.

Shy Boy, by Monty Roberts

To fully appreciate Shy Boy, you would have to see such a horse run free in an open space. However, the story is so well written that you can actually picture this horse flying around. It is a compelling story that can be dramatic at times, but also fascinating and inspirational. Plus, it features some breathtaking pictures to help you get an idea of this shy boy.

Monty Roberts describes the three day ride he took through the desert. He had a little mustang and the two have finally managed to become friends. They went over miles of plain desert to explore and bond even more. Meanwhile, Monty used all his skills to connect with this beautiful horse. Things evolved pretty fast and over the past years, Shy Boy became one of the main characters on the farm. The horse was always demanding attention and trying to play, but it also loved children.

The horse went through a few illnesses and challenges, but things worked out in the long run. It gained international reputation due to its exquisite skills. But despite this extraordinary connection, Monty kept struggling with a question – would Shy Boy rather run free in the fields? To help the horse decide, the author took the animal in the wild to let it decide. The decision is pictured in some inspiring pictures.

War Admiral, by Edward L. Bowen

War Admiral is the real story of a horse that managed to beat all odds and succeed. The horse gained fame all across the USA due to its outstanding balance and ambition. The story follows its successful beginnings, as well as the hassle and training it had to go through overtime. Obviously, the book is mostly aimed at the successful season that brought in the Horse of the Year award. At that time, War Admiral was only three years old.

This story does not follow its successful venture only, but also the ups and downs. For instance, the author insists on the Pimlico Special event. At that time, War Admiral raced like a champion, but the horse lost to Seabiscuit – another celebrity horse with an incredible reputation. Despite the loss, the horse kept moving forward and succeeded later on.

All in all, War Admiral has managed to score one win after another. It was one of the best-rated horses of those times and has gained notoriety all over the country. This story is inspiring and dramatic at times, but it is also motivational and shows the strength of an ambitious horse – definitely one of the best books about horses nonfiction.

Gunner, by Judy Andrekson

This book is part of the True Horse Stories collection. Each book in the collection features a different horse from a random part of the world – a horse that can easily be considered a hero. From all these books, Gunner is by far the most famous one because the story simply stands out in the crowd with its motivational profile, dramatic line and experiences.

Gunner is an American Paint Horse belonging to Heather Lott Goodwin. There are more horses in this herd, but Gunner is the star. This horse is a show animal that has also earned the World Championship Paint Horse award. Then, Hurricane Katrina kicked in and smashed the farm, killing many of the animals too. Heather and her family decided to live in a horse trailer for almost two months. Some of the animals were killed. They could not find Gunner though.

The horse was located months later, miles away. He was in bad condition and ready to be put down. Heather found the horse dehydrated and blind. She nursed him back into shape. Less than a year later, the horse was ready to compete again. This story shows just how far love can go. It shows how important ambition and dedication are when it comes to a friend’s life.

Chosen Forever, by Susan Richards

It all started with Susan’s decision to adopt a horse. She found a horse that was rescued by a local SPCA. The horse was not in the best condition – instead, it had been through all kinds of abuse. She had no idea that this horse would literally touch her heart and change everything she believed in. This is not the first book telling Lay Me Down’s story, but it represents one of the most emotional ones.

At that time, Susan was a writing teacher. She lost her mother and she ended up abandoned by her father. She was involved in an unhappy marriage and divorced, suffering from anger and anxiety. She aimed to be published and a decade later, she has managed to do it. Her memoir starring Lay Me Down is what made the difference.

The book is so successful that it brought in a tour. She reconnected with people she knew. She even met the man who sold her his house more than two decades ago and they fell in love. This is a positive story about how a horse can change your life to 180 degrees.

Final Thoughts on Books About Horses

Bottom line, these are some of the most emotional books about horses nonfiction. Whether you want to find out more about horse or you are after some great gifts for horse lovers, any of the above-mentioned books will give you something to reflect on. They are emotional, dramatic and happy and they will certainly trigger some feelings.

If you are interested in touching stories, check out our favorite memoirs.

Featured on Joelbooks