With the world coping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and everyone spending a lot more time at home than usual, why not take the opportunity to get stuck into a really good horsey book?
NB: The buying links below may earn Horse & Hound a small commission, which will help us to continue publishing during the pandemic…
1. Riders, by Jilly Cooper
Leave the coronavirus pandemic well behind and escape to Rutshire with this Jilly Cooper classic. As hilarious as it is insightful and racy, Riders delves into the world of 1980s showjumping, with an array of scandalous yet irresistible characters whose adventures and misdemeanours will always leave you wanting more.
2. Stable Lass, Riding Out and Mucking In — Tales from a Yorkshire Racing Yard, by Gemma Hogg
Go behind the scenes of the racing world with this fascinating first-hand insight into the life of a stable lass. Gemma is currently assistant trainer at Micky Hammond Racing in Yorkshire, and won the prestigious Godolphin Stud employee of the year award in 2016. In this book she covers the brutally long hours, interesting characters (both human and equine), the incredible highs of the sport and the indescribable grief of losing a horse.
3. The Horse Whisperer, by Nicholas Evans
A total classic that never gets old. After a tragic riding accident involving her 13-year-old daughter Grace, Annie Graves embarks on a journey of soul-searching as she takes horse and daughter to see Tom Booker, a renowned horse whisperer. Whether you’re reading this for the first time or the 15th, this memorable novel won’t fail to tug at your heartstrings.
4. Not Enough Time, by Henrietta Knight
A rollercoaster story of triumph over tragedy and great love, between racehorse trainer Henrietta Knight and her husband Terry Biddlecombe, a former champion jockey with a complex past. The book takes you through the pinnacle of their success, as they trained Best Mate to win three Cheltenham Gold Cups, as well as the tragedies that followed.
5. The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
A heartwarming story of 19-year-old Martha Lessen, a female horse whisperer in 1917. With a very different approach to working with horses compared to the men she encounters, Martha’s compassionate manner and gentle techniques finally earns her respect within the local community. This is a remarkable story about how people and animals make connections and touch each other’s lives in the most unexpected and profound ways.
6. Four Legs Move My Soul, by Isabell Werth & Evi Simeoni
This ‘authorised biography’ offers a fascinating insight into the life of the six-time Olympic gold medalist, who has remained at the very top of the sport for a full three decades — and shows no sign of letting anybody else take her place yet. It’s compelling throughout, with refreshingly honest commentary from Isabell interspersed with the third-person narrative. For anyone with a love of dressage — or simply an interest in top level sport and its characters — this is a must-read.
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7. Jill’s Gymkhana, by Ruby Ferguson
If cabin fever has made you revert to a more child-like state, you could do worse than revisiting the horsey children’s classic that is Jill’s Gymkhana, and the rest of the series of Jill books. Join teenage Jill as she discovers the challenges and the joy that comes with learning to ride and owning a pony – with many elements that remain as relevant today as in 1949 – and enjoy a serious dose of horsey nostalgia.
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