December 9, 2020

Book Recs: Horse Fiction

I've always loved horses even though I've only gone riding three times in my entire life. But I was that girl who read The Saddle Club and Misty of Chincoteague growing up but then once I hit high school, there was nothing. Not because I lost interest but because I don't think there were any other horse books that I knew of at the time. It wasn't until I became obsessed with the TV show Wildfire back in 2005 (so long ago!) and then read Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally (which prompted me to go riding IRL) that I started to actively look for more horse books again. And even then I would say it's really been the last couple of years where I've started finding ones that I enjoyed enough to put on a list. So this has been a long time coming! 

That said, there are a lot more horse / equestrian fiction out there than I realized but a lot of it isn't main stream or it isn't exactly what I'm looking for. For the record I prefer horse books that are: geared at an older audience, feature the heroine as an aspiring or accomplished rider, and romance (because I'm me and I always want romance in my books). So if any of you love horses too and have recommendations that fit the bill, feel free to send my way! 


Now here are my recommendations:


  1. Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally | So good I read it twice! Savannah has grown up helping out her father at the horse stables and her dream is to become a jockey. I clearly enjoyed watching her pursue that because I found myself going horseback riding for the first time as an adult only weeks after reading it. 

  2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater | To be honest, it's been a very long time since I read this book but I knew it should be on here. If you want horses and fantasy, this is the one for you. 

  3. Stay the Distance series by Mara Dabrishus | Racing Savannah may have renewed my interest in horse books, but this series is the one that made me obsessively look for new equestrian fiction. The author has done horse racing and dressage and that personal experience shows in her writing. I read all three books in like 3 days. I just loved them! (I also enjoyed her other book Finding Daylight if you want to read more from her.)

  4. The Lady by Anne McCaffrey | When you find out that the author who wrote one of your favorite series (Harper Hall Trilogy) and made you fall in love with fantasy as a middle schooler also wrote a horse book?! Needless to say, I was shocked when I discovered the existence of The Lady. It was released in 1987 and the story takes place way before that, so certain things don't always translate well which you should keep in mind. But I still liked it! 

  5. The Hidden Horses of New York by Natalie Keller Reinert | This didn't become a new favorite like I had hoped but I super appreciated the premise and how the author strove to find horses in New York City. 

  6. Learning to Fall by Anne Clermont | Anne Clermont is a horse professional so again, the parts dealing with horses, training, and competing were very well-written but I also liked the heroine's personal journey as well. 

  7. The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes | This wasn't what I expected at all and it's definitely not my favorite Jojo Moyes book but there was something moving about the story, especially towards the latter half. The young girl in this and her passion for horses is incredible. 

  8. The October Horses by Genevieve Mckay | The beginning of the story requires a certain.. suspension of disbelief but the heart of the story and the relationships the heroine forms as she learns about horses is what kept me reading. There's supposed to be a second book and I think I'll probably continue! 

  9. Merindah Park (Merindah Park #1) by Renée Dahlia | I have mixed feelings about this one. The writing was okay and I definitely raised my eyebrows a bit at some of her descriptions (I wondered if she did enough research on Japanese culture) however, I truly loved the setting of the story and how the series is supposed to focus on a different person of this horse-racing family (although the second book was a bust for me). It's also the book that made me realize that equestrian romance is an actual genre and OMG I really want to find more (that are good). 

  10. The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss | If you're looking for a quiet, historical novel about horses, this is a good one to pick up. 

***
What do you think of my list?
And do you have any horse books to recommend?


To see others I've read and didn't make the cut or plan to read, 

1 comment

  1. Yay for a horse fiction recommendation list! I do actually think I haven't read any horse books in the recent years, except for Racing Savannah and The Scorpio Races, but some of these intrigue me as someone who also grew up reading the Saddle Club books.

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