1. Horse by Geraldine Brooks
Heralded by Jane Smiley for The New York Times Book Review as “A revelation . . . [the] best horse book I’ve ever read,” Brooks’ 2022 novel has reminded the general public of their childhood dreams of fast horses crossed with the actualities we all need to face in American life.
2. With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard by Traci and Carleton Brooks and Rennie Dyball
Carleton Brooks and Traci Brooks bring decades of experience teaching, showing, and judging to their first book, With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard. A guide to horsemanship, training, and the horse industry, this must-read manual is filled with techniques, tips, insights, and anecdotes to bring out the best in you and your horse. Whether you are a horse owner, a student in a lesson program, or a veteran of the show circuit, With Purpose has something for everyone. If you love horses and want to be the best rider and horseman you can be, this is the book for you!
3. The Equine Listenology Guide – Essential horsemanship, horse body language & behaviour, groundwork, in-hand exercises & riding lessons to develop … connection & collection by Elaine Henry
‘Listening to the Horse’ is packed full of stories, lessons, case studies and training exercises for you & your horse including Groundwork & in hand exercises, 10 minute lessons and bad weather exercises and the #1 lead rope mistake to avoid.
4. In the Middle are the Horsemen by Tik Maynard
In 2008, 26-year-old Tik Maynard faced a crossroads not unlike that of other young adults. A university graduate and modern pentathlete, he suffered both a career-ending injury and a painful breakup, leaving him suddenly adrift. The son of prominent Canadian equestrians, Maynard decided to spend the next year as a “working student.” In the horse industry, working students aspire to become professional riders or trainers, and willingly trade labor for hands-on education. Here Maynard chronicles his experiences-good and bad-and we follow along as one year becomes three, what began as a casual adventure gradually transforms, and a life’s purpose comes sharply into focus.
Over time, Maynard evolved under the critical eyes of Olympians, medal winners, and world–renowned figures in the horse world, including Anne Kursinski, Johann Hinnemann, Ingrid Klimke, David and Karen O’Connor, Bruce Logan, and Ian Millar. He was ignored, degraded, encouraged, and praised. He was hired and fired, told he had the “wrong body type to ride” and that he had found his “destiny.” He got married and lost loved ones. Through it all he studied the horse, and human nature, and how the two can find balance. And in that journey, he may have found himself.
5. Brain Training for Riders by Andrea Monsarrat Waldo
Andrea Monsarrat Waldo teaches you how to: handle uncomfortable emotions, such as fear, anger, anxiety, and embarrassment; hone your mental game and focus your riding time to get the most out of your hours in the saddle; care for your emotional injuries the same way you would care for an injured horse; and produce a state of “Focused Calm” and tap into the skills you have (whether you know it or not!) to ensure an outstanding ride.
6. The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts
If you haven’t heard this classic of resilience, chance, and believing in a dream, it is a must listen for any horse-lover. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo, based on the insight and recollections of “the Flying Dutchman” himself. Their story captured the heart of Cold War-era America – a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. Elizabeth Letts’s message is simple: Never give up, even when the obstacles seem sky-high. There is something extraordinary in all of us.
7. Horses for Courses: The Definitive Guidebook for the Prospective College Equestrian, Second Edition by Randi Heathman
Confused about your options for riding after high school? In today’s world, there are so many options that you probably should be. Heathman breaks down What types of colleges, universities, and educational programs are available, the competition formats, and different types of intercollegiate equestrian team, how to create a list of potential schools, and what to look for on your visit to campus, how to navigate the NCAA eligibility process if you hope to become a varsity athlete in the NCEA, how to apply to college, and how scholarships and financial aid come into play after you’ve been accepted, how to make the transition from a high school equestrian to an intercollegiate equestrian team member, and more.
8. Milo’s Eyes by Lissa Bachner
The extraordinary bond between Lissa Bachner, a young blind woman, and Milo, a neglected, frightened horse, helped them become one of America’s most inspiring, successful riding teams in the world of show jumping.
Lissa Bachner was born with a passion for horses and won her first blue ribbon at age five. Other awards would follow as a young rider, and for years Lissa trained with jumpers, tackling more difficult leaps, and working to perfect her ride.
When blindness struck in her teens, it appeared her passion for riding would come to an end. How could she jump hurdles when she could barely navigate through her own home?
But success, trust, and love came to Lissa when her trainer convinced her to buy a “diamond in the rough” from Germany. On New Year’s Eve, Milo arrived at the barn, frightened and neglected. Taking one look at his shaking, filthy body, Lissa promised Milo that he would only know kindness. Through countless eye surgeries and the many months of training and work, Lissa and Milo formed a magic bond that made them inseparable.
With effortless humor and penetrating compassion, Lissa weaves a story of unfaltering faith in Milo, and the unconditional love they shared.
9. The Man Who Listens to Horse by Monty Roberts
This 90’s classic sold over a million copies leading equestrians and non-equestrians alike to consider how they could use trust and empathy to win over their animals.
Monty’s father, a traditional horse trainer, had taught his son to dominate a horse in order to “break” it. But when he was 13, Monty made a discovery that changed his life. As he watched a mare tame a rebellious colt, Monty saw that she was speaking to it through eye and body movements. Astonished, Monty realized that he could train horses by using their language, speaking to them in ways that would form trust and understanding.
10. 50 Things to Know About Caring for Your Horse on a Budget: Grooming, Cleaning, and Basic Care by Amanda Wills
Most books on horse care will provide you with a list of horse-specific products that are “necessary” to properly care for your best equine friend. The good news is that not all horse-specific products are necessary, and some budget-friendly substitutions are available.
You’ll discover that some surprisingly simple solutions are available for basic horse issues, concerns, and care. Though the saying goes, “if you want to become a millionaire with horses, start with a billion dollars”, there are a few ways to save with your horse while still offering the best care. This book will help you find ways to save and substitute in order to take care of your heart horse for a lifetime.
By the time you finish this book, you will be ready to start saving on tack, feed, and everything in between for your four-legged friend. So grab your copy today. You will be glad you did from the first tip to the last piece of advice.