Horses are one of the world’s most beautiful creatures! Strong, steadfast and beautiful, there is nothing quite like the love of a horse, is there? With December 13 being recognized as the National Day of the Horse by the American House Council, we’re choosing to spend today honoring our four-legged friends by taking a look at six incredible horse books that we’re absolutely in love with!
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
1. Black Beauty
Whether or not you’ve ever sat down to read this classic, there isn’t a book lover out there who hasn’t heard of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Having been injured early on in her life, Sewell relied on horse-drawn carriages to get around most of the time growing up. Eventually, it would lead to her writing this incredible tale of a horse who is passed from person to person. Black Beauty experienced everything from carefree and happy days with his mother to a harsh and difficult time in England as a carriage horse.
Written from the horse’s perspective, Black Beauty is a timeless story about compassion and kindness.
Known for being an American sports icon, Seabiscuit’s story is an unforgettable one! Back in 1938, there was nearly no bigger attraction to the American public than that beautiful, high-spirited horse. This novel describes the rise of Seabiscuit’s fame, going from a bent-kneed any-horse to a rockstar in his own right within the sports world.
In Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, you can read about the legendary horse himself and the way three men, over the course of four years, changed his life and their own!
Nicknamed the ‘most famous fictional horse of the century’ by the New York Times, The Black Stallion isn’t just a standalone novel, but is rather the first entry in the series by Walter Farley. The first novel is an exciting and glorious read about a prized stallion after he wanders into teenager Alec Ramsay’s life via a ship journey gone horribly wrong!
Black Stallion, nicknamed ‘The Black’, is something of a high-maintenance horse. This becomes abundantly clear when Alec and him are stranded on a deserted island together. Still, the two learn to love one another and the novel is nothing if not heartwarming!
And if you’re in the mood for something soul-searching and sweeping, we can’t forget to mention Nicholas Evans’ The Horse Whisperer! It chronicles a trip Grace Maclean and her beloved horse, Pilgrim, (alongside Grace’s mother) go searching for a man named Tom Brooker. The thing is, both Grace and Pilgrim were hit by a truck in the past and have since been suffering the traumatic aftereffects. It seems that, impossibly, the only person who can help them is the all but legendary ‘Horse Whisperer’, Tom Brooker.
Set against the backdrop of rural Montana, we promise you won’t be able to put this novel down once you pick it up!
5. War Horse
In the same vein of Black Beauty, War Horse by Michael Morpurgo tells the story from the horse’s side. The year is 1914, and farm horse Joey is sold into the army. He misses his dear friend Albert, the son of the farmer who raised him and is reluctant to embrace his new life. Still, the horse is forced to adjust. He is trained to do more than any simple horse should have to. Between facing the enemy, carrying wounded soldiers and more, all Joey wants is to be back home again.
Horses never have it easy in novels, and Joey certainly doesn’t. That being said, as difficult as this story can be at times, it is well worth the read!
This one is for the feminists among us! Secretariat by William Nack details the true story of ‘Big Red’. Penny Chenery is a housewife forced to contend with the male-dominated world of horse-racing once her husband dies. She gets help from Lucien Laurin, a horse trainer she brings on board the team. When Secretariat (or ‘Big Red’) is born, an adorable foal with bright chestnut fur, Penny and her allies help raise the horse into doing what was previously believed impossible. What follows makes Big Red the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.
It’s safe to say he might just be the best racehorse out there too! To find that out, you’ll just have to read the novel!
For more awesome books about horses, click here!
To read about librarians who delivered books on horseback, click here!