Equestrian Literature: The Best Books To Read On Horseback Riding

Riding is an elegant, beautiful sport. It’s also one of the oldest diversions in human history. And yet, it hasn’t always gotten its due as a literary subject. 

That is, until now: There are plenty of great books out there that feature horses or people who love them! Here are some of our favorites (in no particular order).

20 Best Horse Books Everyone Should Read
Horseback riding has a rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations and has evolved greatly over time.
Prioritizing safety is crucial when horseback riding, and wearing proper safety equipment can make a big difference.
It’s important to focus on proper riding techniques to ensure the safety of both the rider and the horse.
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important precautions a rider can take to prevent head injuries while horseback riding.
Senior horses require specialized care due to age-related health issues. Caring for them requires adequate knowledge and attention.
There is a wealth of horse books available, covering a wide range of topics and interests for riders, enthusiasts, and casual readers alike.

The Man Who Listens to Horses

The Man Who Listens To Horses is a memoir by Monty Roberts, whose life has been dedicated to the study and care of horses. 

The book begins with his childhood and early experiences with horses, including an incident where he saves his mother from being trampled by stampeding cattle. 

From there it moves on to describe how he learned how horses communicate with each other through body language and how humans can do the same thing by paying attention instead of just assuming that their horse will automatically understand what they want them to do. 

The bulk of the book is taken up by a detailed account of how Roberts used this knowledge when training wild mustangs during his time as a rancher in Nevada’s Great Basin desert region; it ends with an epilogue describing some additional lessons he has learned since then about communicating with animals in captivity such as zoo animals or pets at home

The history of horseback riding can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where horses were used for transportation, hunting and even warfare. If you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating history of this sport, you should definitely check out our article on The History of Horseback Riding: How it Has Evolved Over Time for an in-depth look at the origins of horseback riding.

Care of the Horse at Grass

Published in 1867, this book is considered to be one of the earliest works on horse husbandry. It’s also an excellent guide to caring for your horse and training him/her properly, as well as riding and racing tips if you want to compete in equestrian events like show jumping or even polo (and who doesn’t?).

My Friend Flicka

My Friend Flicka is a classic horse novel that tells the story of Ken McLaughlin, a young boy living in Wyoming during the Great Depression. It’s told from his perspective and it follows him as he learns how to train horses and care for them.

My Friend Flicka was written by Mary O’Hara, who was born in Colorado during World War I. She wrote several other books about horses including The Black Stallion series (which has been adapted into several animated films).

The Endurance Handbook

The Endurance Handbook by Julie Cole is a great book for anyone interested in the sport of endurance riding. The author was a jockey turned endurance rider, and this book is her guide to the sport. It covers everything from the history of endurance riding to rules and ethics, safety tips, training programs, conditioning programs and nutrition plans.

Horse riding can be an exciting and thrilling experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety at all times. Our article on The Top 15 Pieces of Safety Equipment Every Rider Needs covers all the essential gear you need to stay safe on horseback, ensuring a fun and risk-free ride every time.

The Fine Art of Equestrianism

The Fine Art of Equestrianism is a book by John H. Finlay that was published in 2009 and has since become a textbook for horse riders. It is a guide to horse riding and horsemanship, as well as an instructional manual on how you can teach yourself the art of riding. The book consists of three parts: Part 1 covers basic information about horses; Part 2 covers various aspects of equestrianism such as saddles, bridles and bits; Part 3 explains how you can improve your skills at home or at school if there aren’t enough opportunities for practice outdoors

Dances with Horses

Dances with Horses is an autobiographical memoir about the author’s life as a horse trainer. It tells of her experiences, challenges and accomplishments in the equestrian world. The book was written in a conversational style so that it reads like you are sitting next to someone who is telling their story to you over tea or coffee. The author has written other books on horses but this one stands out because it shares her personal journey with us through her eyes and words.

The reader will find much information on how horses behave, what they need to be happy and healthy, how they learn things from each other as well as humans who work with them every day — all explained by someone who knows firsthand what goes into caring for these beautiful animals!

Zen Mind, Zen Horse

Zen Mind, Zen Horse is a book that explores the relationship between the rider and the horse. It was written by Linda Kohanov and published in 1998 by Shambhala Publications.

Kohanov is an author, trainer and lecturer on equine assisted psychotherapy. She has been practicing for over 30 years, helping people realize their potential through horseback riding therapy programs at her ranch in Colorado Springs, Colorado called Spirit Horse Therapy Center as well as other locations around the world including Australia where she teaches workshops based on her book “Finding Balance Through Horses”.

Proper riding techniques are crucial for both the rider and the horse’s safety. If you’re looking for tips on how to improve your riding skills, be sure to check out The Importance of Proper Riding Techniques for Safety, where we go over some of the most important techniques to keep in mind while horse riding.

Merely Players

“Merely Players” by Robert Brault is a short story that was originally published in The New Yorker in 1985. It follows the life of a young boy who learns to ride and care for horses at an equestrian camp. The story follows his journey through adolescence into adulthood, where he continues to learn more about himself while working with animals–especially horses.

While reading this piece, you’ll be transported back in time when horseback riding was still popular among young people like yourself (and even adults). It’s easy to picture yourself as part of this world where everyone has their own horse stabled at home or at school during their free time!

If you’re looking for a book that will help inspire your love for horses even further than before then look no further than “Merely Players.”

Black Beauty

Black Beauty is a classic novel about a horse written by Anna Sewell in 1877. It’s the story of Black Beauty’s life from birth to old age, divided into sections that describe each period of his life.

The book became so popular when it was first published that it sold millions of copies and has been translated into over 30 languages worldwide!

Wearing a helmet while horseback riding is one of the most important safety precautions you can take. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, it’s crucial to protect your head from potential injuries. If you’re not convinced, check out our article on The Importance of Wearing a Helmet While Horseback Riding to learn about the benefits of wearing a helmet on horseback.

Riding and the Invisible Horsewoman

Riding and the Invisible Horsewoman is a memoir of the author’s life, written with love and admiration for horses. The author is a horsewoman who has worked with horses for most of her life, so she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to these beautiful creatures.

The book covers everything from how to get started riding as a child through adulthood, all the way up until retirement age–and beyond! If you want to learn more about equestrian literature but aren’t sure where to start, this is definitely one worth reading!

Senior horses may require specialized care due to their age, which can include issues like arthritis and dental problems. If you’re a senior horse owner, you should definitely check out our article on Common Health Issues in Senior Horses to learn about the most common health problems seniors face, as well as tips on how to care for them.


I hope you enjoyed our list of the best horse books to read on horseback riding. If you have any other recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on horse books you might find interesting:

25 Best Horse Books Every Equestrian or Horse Riding Lover Should Read: a comprehensive guide to some of the best horse-related books available.

25 Top Horse Books for Adults and Kids Alike: a diverse list of horse books for both kids and adults, covering everything from memoirs to young adult fiction.

25 Horse Books for Horse Lovers: another extensive list of horse books, with selections for all ages and reading levels.


What are the best horse books to read?

There are countless great horse books out there, covering everything from memoirs to training manuals to young adult fiction. Some of the most popular titles include “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” by Laura Hillenbrand, “The Horse Whisperer” by Nicholas Evans, and “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley.

Are there any good horse books for kids?

Yes, there are many horse books that are perfect for children and young adults. Some popular titles include “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell, “Misty of Chincoteague” by Marguerite Henry, and the “Heartland” series by Lauren Brooke.

What are some good memoirs about horses?

If you’re interested in learning more about the experiences of horse people, there are many great memoirs to choose from. Some of the most popular titles include “The Eighty-Dollar Champion” by Elizabeth Letts, “Wild Ride” by Ann Hagedorn Auerbach, and “The Faraway Horses” by Buck Brannaman.

Are there any good horse training manuals or guides?

Yes, there are many great books written specifically for horse training and riding. Some popular titles include “Centered Riding” by Sally Swift, “The Principles of Riding” by German National Equestrian Federation, and “The Art of Horsemanship” by Xenophon.

Where can I find horse books?

You can find horse books at most bookstores or online retailers, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also check your local library for books to borrow.