Recommend books! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Recommend books!

I posted this some time last year and didn't get many responses. But it's a new decade, so I'm trying again!

Can anyone tell me some horse-related books that they like, and maybe briefly what they are about and/or why they liked them? Could be anything: health, training, riding, fiction, history (actually, especially history). I need some new books!

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post #2 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 05:30 PM
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I like the Cherry Hill books How to Think Like a Horse and Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage. Both are pretty self-explanatory based on their titles. The first one is good for people with no horse experience or someone that just wants a refresher on why they behave as they do. I've also read Centered Riding by Sally Swift, which regardless of your discipline, is good at getting you to think about how you carry yourself while horseback.
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post #3 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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I like the Cherry Hill books How to Think Like a Horse and Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage. Both are pretty self-explanatory based on their titles. The first one is good for people with no horse experience or someone that just wants a refresher on why they behave as they do. I've also read Centered Riding by Sally Swift, which regardless of your discipline, is good at getting you to think about how you carry yourself while horseback.
Yes! I own and recommend all three books!

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post #4 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 05:39 PM
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I just re-read your post and see the history comment. I have a book I just started on the history of humans and horses sitting on my nightstand. I'll try to remember to post back with the title. I, unfortunately, can't tell you if its worth reading or not yet as I only got few pages in, but you can look into it.
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post #5 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by The Humble Horseman View Post
I just re-read your post and see the history comment. I have a book I just started on the history of humans and horses sitting on my nightstand. I'll try to remember to post back with the title. I, unfortunately, can't tell you if its worth reading or not yet as I only got few pages in, but you can look into it.
Yes please!!!

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post #6 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 05:48 PM
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The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts - One of the Best rag to riches horse story ever.

The Art of Horsemanship by Xenophon - shows that good horsemanship is really ancient

A Good Horse Is Never a Bad Color by Mark Rashid - makes you think ...

The Faraway Horses by Buck Brannaman - some background on the Master Guru

Man o' War by Dorothy Ours - my Favorite Thoroughbred

Twenty Gallant Horses by CW Anderson hard to find but one of the best illustrated books on famous racers/jumpers from the past

Smoky the Cowhorse by Will James - Black Beauty for the Western Crowd. Tear Jerker.

Wildfire by Zane Grey - another tear jerker - a little more adult than Smoky

From Rider to Horseman: Expert Tips for a Lifetime Journey by Richard Winters - got to add one of my friends Richard is a good guy and has some solid advice
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post #7 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I posted this some time last year and didn't get many responses. But it's a new decade, so I'm trying again!

Can anyone tell me some horse-related books that they like, and maybe briefly what they are about and/or why they liked them? Could be anything: health, training, riding, fiction, history (actually, especially history). I need some new books!
I can't recommend My Friend Flicka enough.

Despite it's reputation as a "children's book" it's actually quite mature in tone. Their's talk of money problems, a strained marriage, male horses get gelded, horses die and a predatory cougar is on the loose. Honestly if it was published today, it would probably be considered a Young Adult book.

If you aren't already aware the book centers on a ten year old boy and his family, who live on a ranch in Wyoming and raise horses. But honestly, I'd say that it's the boy's Mother whose the protagonist, given how much of the story is told from her point of view.

Anyway it really is a good book and I've heard that it's sequels Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming are worth checking out as well.
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post #8 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 06:06 PM
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Here are two books that provide different perspectives on training and riding history:

"The Italian Tradition of Equestrian Art" by Giovanni Battista Tomassini from Xenophon Press provides a survey of treatises on horsemanship from the Renaissance and centuries following.

"The Revolution in Horsemanship and What it Means to Mankind" by Robert M. Miller, D.V.M, and Rick Lamb from The Lyons Press provides a well researched history of the development of what has come to be called "Natural Horsemanship" in the United States.
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post #9 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 06:13 PM
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Smoky the Cowhorse by Will James - Black Beauty for the Western Crowd. Tear Jerker.

Smokey the Cowhorse is a wonderful book! I adore how it's told from the horses point of view without really humanizing them. Honestly, I would recommend any of Will James's books if you're a fan of the western genre.

Just uh, be aware that Will James was... okay I'll be blunt here, the guy was a flaming racist. Even for his time some of his beliefs were pretty repugnant.

This pops up from time to time in his books. Sometimes it's subtle enough to ignore, but sometimes it's... not.

Smokey is unfortunately in the latter category. Mid-way through the book a horse rustler is introduced, this character is a pretty awful person who cruelly treats the horses he steals.

But Will James doesn't lay blame for this person being well... a bad person on his upbringing or lack of moral values or anything. He lays the blame on the man's race and it ain't Caucasian.

Later on another more minor character who also mistreat horses is introduced and yes, again Will James says that it's his race that's the cause behind his animal cruelty. And yes, this man isn't Caucasian either.

I'm not sure if later editions of Will James's books expunge the racism, so just be aware that you might run into that unpleasant nonsense if you read his books.
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post #10 of 34 Old 01-16-2020, 06:27 PM
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Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards is my go-to after losing a horse, or just wanting to take the time to remember one that I have lost.
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