Guess what? I’ve always been a bookworm! From winning school-wide prizes for having the most minutes read per month in elementary school to almost always being found with my nose in a book at my summer job, books are a huge comfort to me and a great way to pass time. Today I’ll be talking about some horse-themed books I’ve picked up and read these past few months, as well as giving you my thoughts on the books themselves!
**These are all works of fiction, but if you would like a review on my favorite non-fiction books as well, just let me know in the comments!
THE HEAD NOT THE HEART & OTHER PEOPLE’S HORSES by Natalie Keller Reinert
These two books follow the story of Alex, a woman in her mid-twenties living with her older boyfriend (later husband) training young racehorses and running a Thoroughbred breeding farm in Florida. When tragedy strikes on the farm relating to their young prospect, Alex goes on a search to find both a new horse and find a reason to stay in the busniness that is beginning to exhaust her and her partner. After a whirlwind trip to New York, Alex comes back with a new spark and a new reason to train, which is where Other People’s Horses takes off. Following Alex’s experience in New York scouting horses, her husband is forced to travel to take care of his ailing brother and his farm in Australia, leaving her to go to one of the top racing events in the country by herself to train and compete. What happens at the event tests not only Alex’s skill as a trainer, but also her relationship with her working student, husband, and her love of horses. Both books give great insight into what it is like to train and breed these incredible racehorses, as well as the challenges young trainers must face in such a competitive and high-stakes business.
THE SUMMER CIRCUIT by Kim Ablon Whitney
The best way I can begin to explain this book is like Gossip Girl for the young adult equestrian. That being said, the book starts off innocently enough but there are some rather *ahem* scandalous aspects to the story. Hannah is spending her final summer before college on the show circuit in Vermont by herself. She not only has to learn how to care for and train her horse on her own, but also keeps crossing paths with Grand Prix star Chris Kern. When Chris offers to help her train her horse, Hannah jumps at the chance, but the secret training sessions put a strain on her friendships with other riders in her barn and lead to a forbidden romance.
DANCER by Shelley Peterson
My favorite equestrian book I have ever found, with the following book being a close second. Following the story of Mousie (Hilary), a young Canadian equestrian and her stallion Dancer on their journey through the top Canadian show-jumping exhibitions all the way to England to show off their talents to the Queen. When a greedy business and horse owner takes an interest in Dancer a dangerous pursuit takes off, forcing Mousie into terrifying situations at the threat of losing her best friend. Dancer effortlessly tells the story of a girl and her horse facing all odds, and brings home the importance of believing in yourself and your steed.
AMBITION by Natalie Keller Reinert
The most recent work from Natalie, Ambition tells the story of Jules, a 22-year-old eventer who is trying to make a name for herself and her small barn in the Florida show circuit. Having been a working student all her life, Jules is fighting to keep her barn in business while trying to reach international fame as a 3-day eventer. Between balancing horses, showing, and the temoting affections of Peter, Jules is learning from the ground up in one of the toughest busninesses in the equestrian world. When a hurricaine strikes her stable, Jules is forced to bunker down with Peter, her ex-working student, and current working student, testing her will to train and forcing her to admit her mistakes. An incredible story that pulls you in from page 1, Ambition is the most realistic book I have found while also having a compelling story that makes you root for Jules and Dynamo.
See you next time!