Horses: Reading and Riding
Title: War Horse
By: Michael Morpurgo
Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, the story begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forced apart by war, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets: British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter.
Title: The Black Stallion
By: Walter Farley
Young Alec Ramsay is shipwrecked on a desert island with a horse destined to play an important part in his life. Following their rescue, their adventure continues in America.
Title: The Black Stallion's Filly
By: Walter Farley
Henry Dailey buys a spoiled, contrary two-year-old filly, a daughter of the Black, in November, and is determined to have a Kentucky Derby candidate by May.
Title: My Friend Flicka
By: Mary O'Hara
Through his intense devotion to the colt Flicka, a young boy, living on a Wyoming ranch, begins to learn about responsibility and gain a better understanding of his brusque father.
Title: The Hearts of Horses
By: Molly Gloss
This breakout novel from the author of The Jump-Off Creek tells the heartwarming story of a determined young woman with a gift for "gentling” wild horses.
In the winter of 1917, a big-boned young woman shows up at George Bliss’s doorstep. She's looking for a job breaking horses, and he hires her on. Many of his regular hands are off fighting the war, and he glimpses, beneath her showy rodeo garb, a shy but strong-willed girl with a serious knowledge of horses.
So begins the irresistible tale of nineteen-year-old Martha Lessen, a female horse whisperer trying to make a go of it in a man’s world. It was thought that the only way to break a horse was to buck the wild out of it, and broken ribs and tough falls just went with the job. But over several long, hard winter months, many of the townsfolk in this remote county of eastern Oregon witness Martha's way of talking in low, sweet tones to horses believed beyond repair--and getting miraculous, almost immediate results--and she thereby earns a place of respect in the community.
Along the way, Martha helps a family save their horses when their wagon slides into a ravine. She gentles a horse for a dying man--a last gift to his young son. She clashes with a hired hand who is abusing horses in unspeakable ways. Soon, despite her best efforts to remain aloof and detached, she comes to feel enveloped by a sense of community and family that she’s never had before.
With the elegant sweetness of Plainsong and a pitch-perfect sense of western life reminiscent of Annie Dillard, The Hearts of Horses is a remarkable story about how people and animals make connections and touch each other's lives in the most unexpected and profound ways.
Title: The Whole Sky
By: Heather Henson
Twelve-year-old Sky, a horse whisperer like her father, must put her own troubles aside when a devastating sickness strikes the foals at the multimillion dollar horse farms where they work.
Title: The A Circuit
By: Georgina Bloomberg
A billionaire heiress, a working student, and the daughter of a famous rock star compete on horseback riding's elite A circuit.
Title: Dark Horses
By: Cecily Von Ziegesar
Merritt Wenner has been sent to an equine therapy program where she meets Red--a failed racehorse and a terror in the barn--and begins competitive hunter/jumper riding, finding herself drawn to the groom, Beatrice, and a rival rider, Carvin.
Title: Shy Boy: The Horse That Came In From the Wild
By: Monty Roberts
World-famous horse gentler Monty Roberts reveals the unique rapport he shares with one special horse: a wild mustang
In this beautifully illustrated book, Monty Roberts's be loved horse Shy Boy takes center stage. In a gripping, intimate narrative and in one hundred color photos, Monty Roberts relives their unique relationship, beginning with his first encounter with the wild horse in the high desert. During a dramatic three day ride across a hundred miles, Monty Roberts used all his skill to connect with the little mustang he finally befriended.
Throughout the year that followed, Shy Boy grew to love life on the farm, playfully demanding attention and becoming fascinated by children. During a year of challenges and one frightening illness, the wild horse earned the respect and admiration of his trainers--he had exceptional spirit. And, as his fame grew following the PBS-aired documentary that featured his initial three-day encounter with Monty Roberts, Shy Boy began to receive visitors from all over the world.
Yet throughout Shy Boy's year of fame, Monty Roberts was asked, "Would Shy Boy rather be free!" With trepidation, he took Shy Boy back to the wild to let him choose: Go with your herd, or stay with your gentler. What happened is so exciting and moving that it will surprise every reader.
And like Monty Roberts, readers will fall in love with Shy Boy.
Title: Seabiscuit: An American Legend
By: Laura Hillenbrand
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the author of the runaway phenomenon Unbroken comes a universal underdog story about the horse who came out of nowhere to become a legend.
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit's fortunes:
Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
Praise for Seabiscuit
"Fascinating . . . Vivid . . . A first-rate piece of storytelling, leaving us not only with a vivid portrait of a horse but a fascinating slice of American history as well."--The New York Times
"Engrossing . . . Fast-moving . . . More than just a horse's tale, because the humans who owned, trained, and rode Seabiscuit are equally fascinating. . . . [Laura Hillenbrand] shows an extraordinary talent for describing a horse race so vividly that the reader feels like the rider."--Sports Illustrated
"REMARKABLE . . . MEMORABLE . . . JUST AS COMPELLING TODAY AS IT WAS IN 1938."--The Washington Post
By: William Nack
In 1973, Secretariat, the greatest champion in horse-racing history, won the Triple Crown. The only horse to ever grace the covers of "Time, Newsweek," and "Sports Illustrated" in the same week, he also still holds the records for the fastest times in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. He was also the only non-human chosen as one of ESPN's "50 Greatest Athletes of the Century." The tale of "Big Red" continues to be a classic, more than 30 years after its initial publication.
Title: Believe: A Horseman's Journey
By: Buck Brannaman
In his best-selling The Faraway Horses, we learned about how Buck Brannaman, the inspiration for The Horse Whisperer, found his calling and honed his craft. Since its publication, the book has also struck a responsive chord with non-horse owners because of the universal application of Brannaman's approach to interpersonal relationships. Believe continues to chronicle this journey. We meet people and horses with whom Brannaman works, and experience firsthand the sense of hope he helps instil in riders and, ultimately, the horses. And beyond such face-to-face encounters, people continue to contact Brannaman with stories of the successes they achieved after reading The Faraway Horses.Here is a woman who suffered an abusive childhood and marriage. After watching a Brannaman clinic, she expressed her epiphany to the trainer: I came home a different person. Now because of you I am going to look at a young horse tomorrow, and my boys are planning the new pens they are going to build for me.
Title: Storey's Guide to Training Horses: Ground Work, Driving, Riding
By: Heather Smith Thomas
Storey's Guide to Training Horses is a one-stop reference for every aspect of horse training, including a complete program for turning a shy and gangly foal into a calm, confident, well-balanced equine partner. Now with full-color photography, the third edition includes step-by-step guidance on all the essential training procedures for both English- and Western-style riding, including haltering and leading, saddling and mounting, and addresses the finer points of gaits, lightness, and collection. Best-selling author Heather Smith Thomas draws on her decades of equestrian experience to anticipate every situation that might arise and provide answers to managing all the potential challenges of training different types of horses.
Title: The Dressage Seat: Achieving a Beautiful, Effective Seat in Every Gait and Movement
By: Anja Beran
With stunningly beautiful photographs and clear descriptions, classical dressage authority Anja Beran breaks down the physical requirements of the rider's seat on the horse, as well as its responsibilities during various movements--from the gaits and paces to lateral work, lead changes, piaffe, passage, and pirouettes.
Beran provides a unique perspective on the use of breath when riding, citing the recommendations of a classically-trained opera singer who regularly works with Beran and her riding students to develop their deep breathing skills. 'A relaxed seat', Beran says, 'is never possible with restricted breathing'.
In addition, she explores the need for an improved inner attitude in order to truly refine your seat on a horse. Fear, stress, and tension all interfere with your ability to focus on the horse and connect with him during the time you are together. Simple practices can help open and calm the mind, and over time, contribute to an overall better outlook and enhanced physical capacity.
In the second half of the book, Beran is joined by her personal physiotherapist and dance teacher for an in-depth look at human anatomy and how it functions in conjunction with the horse. Practical exercises give readers easy ways to improve mobility, strength, stability, coordination, perception, and overall posture, with superb results.
Title: Two Brains, One Aim
By: Eric Smiley
A valuable, thought-provoking look at the best ways riders and horses can learn and improve together.
Riding well can be a puzzle. This book puts together the pieces, including:
How humans and horses learn.
Striving for partnership vs. dictatorship.
Early training and developing skills.
Dressage outside the arena.
Ground poles for the rest of us.
Jumping and cross-country tips.
Solving problems, wherever you ride.
Being coached and being a coach.
"This book is aimed at riders, coaches, and anyone interested in learning more about how humans and horses interact. I have tried to harness my own experiences when I cover the three main disciplines--dressage, show jumping, and eventing--and how they relate to one another. I look at how those in a coaching position can guide riders to perform better by making their lives less complicated and more fulfilling, and I examine how riders can apply the same principles to training their horses and become self-sufficient." --Eric Smiley
Title: The 100% Horse: How to Create the Go-Anywhere, Do-Anything Horse
By: Michael Peace
The ability to take a horse anywhere and have the confidence to expect good behavior is the goal of every horse owner and rider. While this may be easy to achieve in a familiar setting, it can be difficult when on die road or at the showground--places where good behavior from a horse is a must for safety reasons. In this guide, celebrated trainer Michael Peace, who's worked with the Metropolitan Police to train unflappable horses, shares a training approach that combines practical advice with an intuitive understanding of equine behavior. His non-confrontational approach can be applied to any horse and easily followed by every rider.
Title: 4-H Guide to Training Horses
By: Nathan Bowers
Training a horse is one of the biggest challenges a 4-H'r (or any animal lover, for that matter) can take on, and one of the most rewarding. This step-by-step illustrated guide offers the first-time horse trainer straightforward instructions for getting started with a foal, a yearling, or an older horse. With expert advice on safety and equine care, the guide covers the basics of establishing trust and authority, training with a bit, training to drive, training to allow riders, achieving different gaits, reaching definite goals, and breaking an old horse of bad habits. Whether you're a 4-H'r taking up the project of a lifetime, or someone simply interested in training a horse, this book provides all the information you need to get started--and to succeed.