Great Horse Books (for Adults)

When I was at the library last week I found, in the library sale pile, a stack of hard cover Dick Francis mysteries for a buck a piece. I snapped them up and have been happily rereading them. I’m an avid mystery reader and if the books have an equine sub-plot, so much the better! Even though I’ve already read everything that Dick Francis has written, I read some of them so many years ago that I’m enjoying them just as much the second (or third) time.

I started reading horse fiction as a child. I devoured every book that Walter Farley ever wrote, and luckily he wrote many! Of course, I read classics such as Black Beauty and My Friend Flicka, and had a personal favorite, A Horse Called Joe.

As an adult, novels with horse themes lie thinner on the ground. With such a plethora of horse books for young girls, I’m surprised that there aren’t more authors catering to adults who are obsessed with horses.

With beach weather fast approaching, it’s time to stock up on some good horse fiction (and non-fiction) so that even when you’re not riding yourself, you can ride vicariously.

Some of the books that I’ve read and enjoyed recently include:

  • Any Dick Francis mystery
  • Seasbiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand
  • Horse Heaven, Jane Smiley
  • A Year at the Races, Jane Smiley
  • The Grave Maurice, Martha Grimes (not the most accurate book, but I do love Martha Grimes)
  • Hot Blood, Ken Englade (non fiction, but more horrifying because it’s factual)
  • Sweet William, John Hawkes
  • Stalking Horse & Fire Horse, Bill Shoemaker
  • $tud by Kevin Conley (non-fiction)
  • Horsepeople are Different, Cookie McClung (actually, anything written by Cookie McClung has me in stitches!)

There are a few on my “to read” list that have been recommended by others:

  • The Hunt & The Chase, Jan Neuharth
  • Horse People, Michael Korda
  • Rita Mae Brown’s foxhunting mystery novels
  • The Monday Horses, Jean Slaughter Doty
  • The Language of Light, Meg Waite Clayton

I’ve also come across some good compilation lists that have given me some new ideas:

7 thoughts on “Great Horse Books (for Adults)

  1. Eheheh… unwittingly your post has helped to feed my addiction! I collect these terribly addictive books and plan on having a library for all the horse mad kids that come through my property.

    Perhaps there’s some here worth a look –

    Thanks for the list and links!


  2. I read many of these books as well as fantasy, science fiction and romance involving horses and now I write them. Why not take our favored mounts to the stars? Machines cannot reproduce themselves and horses never need batteries. Anne McCaffrey’s “Duna” books and Andre Norton’s “Beastmaster” series do a good job with horses on other planets.

  3. Perhaps you might enjoy my novel TRUE..see my pages and reviews on amazon…So grateful to find readers out there..I will send free books to anyone willing to review…For the love of horses…Melinda Field

  4. Try the new novel by Cher Griffin! Ritzforg 127 a nice mystery novel with oodles of horses. It’s on her web site or Amazon, BN, etc. Great read!

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