5 Books for Horse-Crazy Kids
- September 22, 2016
- Maria Tibbetts
Horse books are the only access some terribly unfortunate kids have to real horses. As a kid, I was lucky enough to have a horse I could jump on at will and ride off into my imagination, as our riverbottom turned into a jumping ring or a sprawling Western ranch or a pioneer homestead. But when I turned the horse back out to pasture, I turned to my other great love–books. And books about horses were my favorites.
Blaze Books by C.W. Anderson
Billy and Blaze go on many adventures in these simple picture books with grayscale images. Blaze and the Mountain Lion was my favorite–filled with suspense and danger, it wasn’t hard to imagine that I was Billy and my palomino mare was Blaze.
Linda Craig Adventures by Ann Sheldon
This girl did have a palomino horse, so I identified even more strongly with her. And she solved mysteries and saved the day and helped on her grandparents’ ranch. These books are now out of print (but still available as used books online). My twice-monthly reading of the series was the reason our small-town library’s copies of these books had to be discarded. The Glimmering Ghost was my favorite.
Marguerite Henry‘s books
Although best-known for Misty of Chincoteague, Brighty of the Grand Canyon is the one I remember best (This is the edition I read). Marguerite Henry wrote many books about horse cultures, from Arabians and Lipizanners to Morgans and Mustangs.
National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
Velvet Brown (who came alive with the help of Liz Taylor in the 1944 film) was just a horse-crazy girl from England. She prayed for a horse, and she got one, of course. Not just any horse, a jumping horse that would carry her to steeplechase fame. This book was part of the reason I wanted a flat saddle and spent hours “jumping” my mare over sticks.
The Saddle Club Series by Bonnie Bryant
I’d love to say I had higher standards than this, but I read every word of every Saddle Club book over and over. It’s where I learned about cross-ties and mounting blocks and vans (’round here, we haul our horses in trailers). These books were the horse-lovers’ equivalent of the Babysitters’ Club or Sweet Valley Twins.
What horse books did you fill your childhood with?
About Maria Tibbetts
I grew up on a ranch in the panhandle of Nebraska. Both of my grandfathers raised Quarter horses and before they knew they would be related someday, broke horses at Fort Robinson for the Army. I showed horses in 4-H and AQHA growing up. I'm...