18 horsey books to curl up with this January

We round up some of the latest horsey books to hit the shelves — from racy 'bonkbusters' to magical children's books. Get your nose into one of these reads and grey January will be over in a flash

NB: The shopping links below are provided to help you buy these items. We may earn a small commission from some of these links.

Forever Amber

Author: K.J. Dixon
The gist: A true story charting the story of Katy Dixon’s pony Amber who was diagnosed with a fractured splint bone and a cracked cannon bone. A decline in condition along with suffering from several life threatening illnesses leads to Amber’s future hanging in the balance. Katy is faced with a decision to either let her go or fight for her…
Price: £3.99 on Kindle
Publisher: Forever Amber Publishing



Author: Jilly Cooper
The gist: The queen of the bonkbuster’s latest instalment from the fictional county of Rutshire plunges us into the glamorous — and cut throat — world of Flat racing, with its usual smattering of romance, sex and scandal.
Price: £20
Publisher: Bantam Press

Sprinter Sacre: The Impossible Dream


Author: Edited by Brough Scott
The gist: A tale of one of the most remarkable comebacks in National Hunt racing, Nicky Henderson’s  (now retired) stable star Sprinter Sacre made the impossible, possible. This Racing Post hardback depicts his battle back from the brink following a heart scare to reign supreme in the 2016 Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Price: £20
Publisher: Racing Post Books

The Ride of my Life


Author: Michael Clayton
The gist: “I imagined the Editor’s chair as a saddle on a highly experienced horse with a great many miles still to travel, but I had no illusion it was to be an easy ride,” says Horse & Hound’s former editor Michael Clayton in his autobiography ‘The Ride of My Life’. The book charts his boyhood work in local stables to working as a journalist on Fleet Street, to the highs and lows of his long tenure in charge of Horse & Hound.
Price: £20
Publisher: Merlin Unwin Books

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop


Author: Clare Balding
The gist: When horse-mad 10-year-old Charlie Bass accidentally manages to buy a racehorse, she is thrilled. But there is one problem with Noble Warrior — he won’t gallop. Clare Balding’s first children’s book takes readers on a journey to find out whether Charlie can turn her chaotic family into a top training team and whether Noble Warrior can overcome his nerves to become a champion.
Price: £10.99
Publisher: Puffin Books

Horses: Portraits


Author: Derry Moore
The gist: This coffee table book features a mixture of photographs and expert comment celebrating the horse. Derry Moore’s artistically captured images are full of imagination — with the turn of each page you are taken to inviting-looking gallops, picturesque hunting scenes and exotic yards in Delhi, Spain and the USA.
Price: £45
Publisher: Rizzoli New York

Valegro — The Little Horse With The Big Dream


Author: Carl Hester with Janet Rising
The gist: This is the first in the Blueberry Stories, which tells the trials, tribulations, adventures and characters Valegro meets along the road to becoming an Olympic gold medallist — complete with beautiful illustrations and insights from Carl about horse care and training.
Price: £6.99
Publisher: Troubador

The Horse Encyclopedia


The gist: A stunning celebration of the equine world, this latest volume of The Horse Encyclopedia is a fully illustrated look at all the major horse breeds and types, from Dartmoor ponies to the Orlov Trotter. It also includes expert advice on horsecare, feeding and grooming.
Price: £25
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley



Author: Carol Dunster
The gist: Carol Dunster has written this book in dedication to her horse Boxer, who died in 2013. In December 1996 she rehomed him from World Horse Welfare (Horse & Hound‘s charity of the year for 2017) and the book tells her rags to riches story with Boxer, and the highs and lows they had together.
Price: £7.99
Publisher: Carol Dunster

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Author: E.H. Humphreys
The gist: This novel dives readers into the world of polo, seen through the eyes of Victoria Blake — a professional polo player trying to prove she can compete with the best men in the sport. Players follows Victoria’s rag-tag team through triumph and heartbreak on the way to England’s prestigious Gold Cup.
Price: $15 (£11.97)
Publisher: Elizabeth Hart Humphreys



Author: George H. Morris
The gist: An autobiography, telling the story of George Morris — “a horse lover, rider, carouser, competitor, taskmaster, dreamer, teacher, and visionary”. George Morris has represented the USA as an athlete and a coach as well as instructing many of the USA’s best horsemen and women.
Price: £29.95
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books

Just One More Smile


Author: Diana Reynolds
The gist: This is the tale of jockey Fred Archer, told in the words of his great-granddaughter. It takes you on a journey through time into a childhood of hard graft, parental influence, strength, fear and success — and gives a glimpse into the real lives and romanticism of the harsh world of racing.
Price: £5.77
Publisher: Diana Reynolds

The Derby Stakes: 1780-2016


Author: Michael Church
The gist: With luxury binding and gilt edges this history of the Derby Stakes, detailing the races, winners and jockeys, and extensive records and analyses is essential reading for those with a serious interest in racing.
Price: £65
Publisher: Raceform Limited

Mr Darley’s Arabian: High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life – A History of Racing In Twenty-Five Horses


Author: Christopher McGrath
The gist: In this book, the award-winning racing writer traces the extraordinary bloodline of the thoroughbred through 25 generations to one of our greatest modern racehorses, Frankel.
Price: £25
Publisher: John Murray

Understanding Horse Performance — Brain, Pain or Training?


Author: Sue Palmer, with a foreward by Richard Davison
The gist: The book’s aims to help you unlock your horse’s potential by identifying problems and determining whether they are due to ‘brain’, ‘pain’ or ‘training’, knowing what question to ask and learning practical assessment techniques.
Price: £19.99
Publisher: J.A. Allen

Racing Manhattan


Author: Terence Blacker
The gist: With the tag line ‘A girl. A racehorse. And a world that doesn’t care’ — this is an emotional story about Jay, an outsider at school who runs away to work at a racing stables. Fate brings into her life the beautiful but misunderstood mare Manhattan, whose racing career is over and whose life hangs in the balance.
Price: £7.99

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill


Author: Megan Shepherd
The gist: It’s December 1941 and Britain is at war. Emmaline has been evacuated away from the bombs to Briar Hill Hospital in Shropshire and when she gets there she discovers a secret — there are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill…
Price: £12.99
Publisher: Walker Books

Horses and Humans


Author: Lucy Sewill with a foreward by Monty Roberts
The gist: In this new collection of her work, photographer Lucy Sewill turns her lens to the animals that she has loved her whole life, revealing the amazing bond that they have with their owners and handlers.
Price: £35
Publisher: Peridot Press

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