Horse Fiction - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-23-2020, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Horse Fiction

I wasn't sure where to post this, but I hope I'm in the right place. I'm super excited to find this forum and for it to be active. I've been looking for some fiction based around horses. I love the Thoroughbred books, saddle club the heartland books (and show), and all the other great horse novels, but they're all aimed for 11-17 year olds.

I'm wondering if I've somehow have missed all the great horse fiction for adults.

I looked into Dick Francis's books and while they are adults, I wonder if they haven't aged well.

Most of my googling has found books that have horses around the edge of the storyline.

I hope to at least find some to see what the writers have done and start writing a series of horse novels aimed for adults (Of course, nothing r rated.) More like heartland but maybe without the crazy drama that's been added to that show.
Is horse fiction for adults not publishable? Is my hope of writing one crazy?


P.S. Ideas for horse fiction are more than welcome. (I've got the characters and the basic plot but I need some horse-related conflict!)

Thank you!
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-23-2020, 03:41 PM
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Some of the older classics when written were for the adult rider and they have been put on the shelves for younger and younger audiences.

That subject was touched on recently in a discussion about another book. Target was adult reader. Started as a college required read and presently required for some districts as young as 7th grade.

Children are being exposed to so much.

I loved the Bonnie books by Barbara Van Tuyl. Those themes could be expanded in adult fiction. Still love Inspector Vickle.

Thunderhead.

There is Nora Robert's Irish Thoroughbred trilogy. She also has a book about a Virginia horse farm - True Betrayals. I think she has others those just come to mind.

The Horse Whisperer. Jilly Cooper - Riders. Steifvater (?)- The Scorpio Races.
Sara Gruen has some books that are horse themed.

I tend to read a reread the classics when I want something quick that I know I will enjoy.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-23-2020, 04:13 PM
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The early Dick Francis books were brilliant. He was a National Hunt jockey and knew the business backwards. Any of his earlier (60s-mid 70s ) were all very horsey after that not so much.

Also Jenny Pitman, a renowned National Hunt trainer wrote a series of five books, all based on jump racing in the UK.

All easy reads and enjoyable.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-23-2020, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post


Thunderhead.

There is Nora Robert's Irish Thoroughbred trilogy. She also has a book about a Virginia horse farm - True Betrayals. I think she has others those just come to mind.

The Horse Whisperer. Jilly Cooper - Riders. Steifvater (?)- The Scorpio Races.
Sara Gruen has some books that are horse themed.

I tend to read a reread the classics when I want something quick that I know I will enjoy.
I did not like the horse whisperer. I mean I did, it was REALLY well written but it was SO well written that the accident scene freaked me out and I hated the ending (not the same as the movie). It was a REALLY well written book though.

I like the Nora Roberts books as well - they were pretty good. Thunderhead is one of my favorites but it's actually part of a trilogy so you would read My friend Flicka, Thunderhead, and then Green Grass of Wyoming. All great books.

I liked Man O War and Sea biscuit, I think the ones I read were written by Walter Farley? Who I believe may also have written the black stallion books....
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-23-2020, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
Some of the older classics when written were for the adult rider and they have been put on the shelves for younger and younger audiences.

That subject was touched on recently in a discussion about another book. Target was adult reader. Started as a college required read and presently required for some districts as young as 7th grade.

Children are being exposed to so much.

I loved the Bonnie books by Barbara Van Tuyl. Those themes could be expanded in adult fiction. Still love Inspector Vickle.

Thunderhead.

There is Nora Robert's Irish Thoroughbred trilogy. She also has a book about a Virginia horse farm - True Betrayals. I think she has others those just come to mind.

The Horse Whisperer. Jilly Cooper - Riders. Steifvater (?)- The Scorpio Races.
Sara Gruen has some books that are horse themed.

I tend to read a reread the classics when I want something quick that I know I will enjoy.
I sometime wonder if the horse whisper wasn't just meant to be a drama of people and just have horses as a way to create drama.

I'll have to check out the other novels you mentioned! thank you!
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-23-2020, 09:32 PM
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Fern Michaels also has a series about thoroughbreds. Kentucky Rich, Kentucky Heat and I forget the other titles but they are Kentucky something. There's 3 or 4 of them in the series.

@CClark , you write a book centered around horses and I'll read it. I'm always looking for horse themed stories.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-27-2020, 01:12 PM
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I hated The Horse Whisperer as well! Actually, I really enjoyed all of the parts about the girl and her horse healing and learning to trust each other again after their accident, but the whole adultery/romance plot just ruined it for me, and the ending too was just...blah.

I love horse fiction and have tried just about every book I could find that even vaguely used horses as part of the plot. A few suggestions...

Shadow Horse by Alison Hart - this one is aimed at teens/YA but it's a good mystery that does center on horses. I read it years ago (I was probably 15/16? I'm 30 now...) but only just this year found out that it has a sequel! Which is amazing news as it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and for all that time I thought that was it!

Horseplay by Judy Renee Singer - this is about a woman going through a divorce who becomes a working student at a dressage barn. It was kind of a comedy and it got weird near the end, but I really appreciated reading about an adult woman. And very horse centric.

The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss - I read this one so long ago I don't totally remember plot, but it's about a girl who becomes an apprentice (I think) breaking horses on a ranch during the 1910's. I love historical fiction so I liked this a lot. I think there was a romance plot as part of it.

The Valley of Horses by Jane Auel - This one is a little different. It's part of the Earth's Children series, about very early humans. The main character of this book becomes the first person to bond with and ride a horse. There is so much more to it than that, as it is part of a bigger series, but horses do play a big role in this one.

I think it is harder to find horse fiction aimed at adults because the "horse obsession" that a lot of younger kids have tends to fade out as we get older. And then adults have so much more going on in their lives that a book about an adult rider who is totally wrapped up in getting ready for a big show and drama with the mean girl on an expensive horse (as an example of a super basic plot of many children's/YA horse fiction) is a lot less realistic than an adult rider who rides and shows but also has more complex relationships with others at the barn and in their personal life, has a job outside of the barn, etc.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-27-2020, 01:35 PM
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I had totally forgot about the Auel books. Some of my favorites!

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-27-2020, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavigatorsMom View Post
the whole adultery/romance plot just ruined it for me, and the ending too was just...blah.
Yes. I think that was my issue too. Call me old fashioned - but I didn't like that part.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-27-2020, 01:38 PM
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The Valdez Horses, it was by Lee Hoffman. I read it a million years ago. It was really good. It's a western.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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