Horse-related books to "inspire" kids?

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Horse-related books to "inspire" kids?

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    12-03-2011, 02:42 AM
Super Moderator
Horse-related books to "inspire" kids?

I'll admit that I'm already a "that grandma who gives weird presents", at age 21, because here I am wanting to give my lesson kids books for Christmas.

But, I really feel like one can learn a lot from reading a book if they keep that book around. My first riding instructor gave me books that I still have and sometimes refer back to, so yknow. And reading books about a subject one loves can make all the difference between loving to read and hating to read...I am such a old lady (all of my friends make fun of me for this).

Anyway, I'm looking for books to "inspire" my lesson kids. I'm hoping for books that have pretty correct information (preferably non-fiction) while still being interesting to younger readers.
Last year I gave the 6 year old (now 7 year old) a book about horse and pony breeds which she LOVED. She's really into the whole "magical unicorn/horse, BFF's forever" thing right now. She's really great with Lacey, very firm, and doesn't put up with anything. She's almost a little too pushy with Lacey at times. A book with more pictures would be good for her since she loves to draw and is generally very visual. Any ideas?

The other girl (she's only been with me for maybe 9 months so I didn't give her anything last year) is 10 and she's really into facts, information, and asking tons of questions. She wants to know everything I can possibly think to tell her about anything and then she wants to ask questions about what I told her. She's a very quiet rider, kind of nervous but is becoming more confident as she realizes that her inner thoughts have an effect on Lacey's behavior. She's one of those kids that is so so good right off that I'm really not teaching her much anymore. Basically, her lessons are just supervised horse fun times. Actually though, she's one of those kids that's going to end up like me - relatively good from the start so no one actually "teaches" them beyond the basics so when they get to a more advanced point, they're just kinda like "um...what?"
If there's a book out there about the different actions one can perform on a horse and what they're good for, or something, she'd probably think that was really cool. Does anyone know of something like that?

Help me be a grandma-like person? Please?
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    12-03-2011, 09:56 AM
The Encyclopedia of the horse.. I know it may seem really weird, but the one I have has pretty much anything you want to know about horses, from every breed you can imagine, to the weird ( and normal) horse sports played around the world =) oh an yeah it has huge pictures.
    12-03-2011, 10:06 AM
I can't think of any story type books off the top of my head. I give mine books as well (and usually homework along with them lol) My mom is a 4-H agent and we dug through her office and I snagged all of their out of publication horse & pony manuals/workbooks. They are great for the beginners, cover the basics of nutrition, confo, colors, markings/patterns, blemish vs unsoundness, showring etiquette, etc. 4-H/ag extension office might be a good place to start.

I also contacted the equine prof at a local university's vet school and got a list of their book list for coursework. My older students got college level equine studies books.
    12-03-2011, 11:18 AM
I don't know that it is a kid book, but EVERY horse person should read The Horse Boy by Rupert Issacson.
There is another one too that I will have to dig up.
    12-03-2011, 12:15 PM
I don't have a story book to recommend, but I did come across a Documentary on DVD. It's called "Buck." Buck Brannaman tells how and why horses are a big part of life. He overcame an abusive childhood and has an uncanning connection with horses and people. He is a horse trainer who travels 9 months out the year to help people understand their horses. My friend has my DVD and is watching it with her 8 year old grand daughter.

It's a true story, it inspirers and it's Grandma approved! LOL

If you are interested in something like this you can order it online from Walmart.
    12-03-2011, 02:27 PM
The Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell would be a great one for the 10-yr old.
    12-03-2011, 03:57 PM
Depending on her reading level, "Fritz and the Beautiful Horses" is a wonderful book that I cherish. The illustrations were done by someone who knows and loves horses. It may be a little young for the 10 year old, I used to read it aloud to my daughter.

As a tween, I loved the Mary O'Hara books, My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming. Unlike the perfectly awful sentimental movies made of the first one, they are very horsemanlike in their approach.

For reference books, I loved the old Ft. Riley Cavalry manual (yes, someone gave me one as a gift.) the Horse Encyclopedia and Learning to Ride, Hunt and Show by Gordon Wright. I have made a ton of handouts out of that book over the years for new riders. I used to give new students a folder and handouts each week - parts of the horse, parts of the tack, correct position, holding the reins, etc. Most of them came from the Gordon Wright book - hard to beat it.

For older kids that are most serious, the hunter seat classics are George Morris's Hunter Seat Equitation and Anna Jane White-Mullen's Juddging Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation.

I also loved the glossy photo books as a kid - photos of Grand Prix jumpers and Olympic competitors.

BTW - I think it's wonderful that you're doing this.
    12-04-2011, 01:47 AM
Super Moderator
Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions!! I really appreciate it.
I'll go take a look see at all those and see which ones strike me as "perfect".
Thank you so much, again! :)
    12-05-2011, 02:32 PM
I'm not much of a big reader, but at times when I feel I can sit down and enjoy a book, I tend to find Monty Robert's books pretty amazing. Especially if you're into natural horsemanship, but obviously depending on the kids ages, you may want to get something a bit simpler... Also, fiction-wise, War Horse... It's coming out on film soon, but the book is pure brilliant. I remember reading it when I was really little, and loving it. So much so, i've read it several times. It's I feel, a better version of Black Beauty, and more realistic in a way, as it could be based on a true story, as it is about a world war.

But when I was younger, I tended to enjoy buying the books about breeds, as I loved looking at where they all came from and how they all looked and why. But I could only look at them and concentrate if they had nice big, and bright pictures of the horses. So maybe a breed book? I also remember being given a sticker book of horse breeds when I was younger, and that was a lot of fun to play around with, and I learnt a lot from it... I think I may still even have it o.0
    12-05-2011, 03:38 PM
The Saddle Club series or The Truth About Horses by Andrew McLean depending what type of reading they like.

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