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Gallop into the narrative corral where the spirit of horsemanship leaps off the page.

This collection of equine masterpieces guides you through the silent communication between rider and steed, celebrating the bond that has captivated hearts for centuries.

Are you ready to ride through the pages of the best equestrian books ever assembled?

Best Equestrian Books:

  1. The Art of Horsemanship
  2. Centered Riding
  3. Reflections on Riding and Jumping: Winning Techniques for Serious Riders
  4. The Complete Training of Horse and Rider
  5. The United States Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship
  6. Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse
  7. 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider
  8. The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation
  9. Seabiscuit: An American Legend
  10. Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal
  11. The Faraway Horses: The Adventures and Wisdom of One of America’s Most Renowned Horsemen
  12. The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd

#1 The Art of Horsemanship

  • ✍️ Author: Xenophon
  • 📆 Year Published: Circa 350 B.C.
  • 📘 Genre: History, Strategy and Coaching

Considered one of the earliest known works on riding, training, and the care of horses, “The Art of Horsemanship” by Xenophon has endured millennia as a classic equestrian text. The treatise, written by an ancient Greek cavalryman, provides timeless insight into horse behavior and effective communication between horse and rider.

Its philosophies on kindness, patience, and technical precision still resonate with modern equestrians, offering a foundational read for those interested in classical horsemanship and the historical relationship between humans and horses.

#2 Centered Riding

  • ✍️ Author: Sally Swift
  • 📆 Year Published: 1985
  • 📘 Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“Centered Riding” is a transformative guide by Sally Swift that revolutionized horseback riding with its innovative approach focusing on the use of the body, mind, and spirit. Through techniques like centered balance, soft eyes, and breathing, riders learn to achieve harmony with their horses.

This book is beneficial for riders of all disciplines and skill levels, offering practical exercises that enhance both the rider’s performance and the horse’s responsiveness, making it an indispensable addition to any equestrian’s library.

#3 Reflections on Riding and Jumping: Winning Techniques for Serious Riders

  • ✍️ Author: William Steinkraus
  • 📆 Year Published: 1991
  • 📘 Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Written by Olympic gold medalist William Steinkraus, “Reflections on Riding and Jumping” is a comprehensive guide that captures the essence of competitive riding. This book offers a wealth of wisdom on technique, training, and strategy for anyone looking to excel in the equestrian sports of riding and jumping.

Steinkraus’s lucid explanations are accompanied by instructional photos, making it a key resource for riders aiming to transform their approach and improve their partnership with their horse.

#4 The Complete Training of Horse and Rider

  • ✍️ Author: Alois Podhajsky
  • 📆 Year Published: 1967
  • 📘 Genre: Strategy and Coaching

Authored by Alois Podhajsky, former director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, “The Complete Training of Horse and Rider” presents classical principles of dressage and horsemanship.

The book is an authoritative reference for achieving schooling success, detailing the necessary steps from breaking young horses to refining the performance of accomplished dressage competitors. Time-tested and detailed, Podhajsky’s instruction continues to serve as an essential guide for equestrians dedicated to the art of dressage and methodical horse training.

#5 The United States Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship

  • ✍️ Author: Susan E. Harris
  • 📆 Year Published: 1994 (updated editions available)
  • 📘 Genre: Strategy and Coaching, Youth and High School Equestrian

“The United States Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship” by Susan E. Harris is a cornerstone guide for Pony Club members and a comprehensive resource for any young rider.

The step-by-step manual covers everything from the basics of horse care and handling to the intricacies of riding and jumping. Harris’s easy-to-follow instructions make it an ideal book for developing horsemanship skills and knowledge, solidifying it as a trusted educational text for the youth equestrian community.

#6 Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse

  • ✍️ Author: Janet Foy
  • 📆 Year Published: 2012
  • 📘 Genre: Strategy and Coaching

In “Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse,” Janet Foy tackles the challenges and realities faced by many dressage riders who may not have the ideal mount. With generosity and practical advice, this book provides strategies for training and competing with horses that have various conformational challenges or behavioral quirks.

Foy’s encouraging approach and real-world solutions to common dressage problems make this an invaluable resource for riders aiming to maximize their horse’s potential, regardless of its imperfections.

#7 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider

  • ✍️ Author: Jec Aristotle Ballou
  • 📆 Year Published: 2005
  • 📘 Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider” by Jec Aristotle Ballou is a pragmatic playbook for those seeking to enhance their dressage technique. Each exercise, designed for both horse and rider, focuses on improving fundamental aspects of dressage performance such as balance, rhythm, and suppleness.

Ballou offers clear directions and diagrams, making it simple to incorporate these exercises into daily training. Whether preparing for competition or building a solid foundation, this book is an excellent tool for curated dressage progress.

#8 The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

  • ✍️ Author: Elizabeth Letts
  • 📆 Year Published: 2011
  • 📘 Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“The Eighty-Dollar Champion” is an inspiring true story by Elizabeth Letts about a horse named Snowman and his unlikely rise to fame in the world of show jumping.

Rescued from a slaughterhouse by Dutch immigrant Harry de Leyer, Snowman went on to become a national sensation in the 1950s. This moving tale of an underdog’s triumph captures the incredible bond between a man and his horse while highlighting the limitless potential and heart that lies within every steed.

#9 Seabiscuit: An American Legend

  • ✍️ Author: Laura Hillenbrand
  • 📆 Year Published: 2001
  • 📘 Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

In “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” Laura Hillenbrand brings to life the rousing saga of the legendary racehorse Seabiscuit. During the Great Depression, Seabiscuit became a symbol of hope for many Americans, transcending the sport of horse racing.

The story weaves together the lives of the horse, his owner, trainer, and jockey, who together achieved what seemed impossible. Hillenbrand’s meticulous research and vivid prose make this an unforgettable biography that captures the spirit and perseverance at the heart of America’s cultural history.

#10 Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal

  • ✍️ Author: Tim Hayes
  • 📆 Year Published: 2015
  • 📘 Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal” by Tim Hayes explores the profound impact horses can have on human healing and therapy. Showcasing personal accounts and scientific research, Hayes delves into the emotional connections and breakthroughs made possible through equine-assisted activities and therapies.

This book illuminates the significant role horses can play in addressing psychological, emotional, and behavioral challenges, providing hope and insight for those seeking a path to recovery and personal discovery with the aid of these compassionate animal companions.

#11 The Faraway Horses: The Adventures and Wisdom of One of America’s Most Renowned Horsemen

  • ✍️ Author: Buck Brannaman and William Reynolds
  • 📆 Year Published: 2001
  • 📘 Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

“The Faraway Horses” is the autobiographical account of Buck Brannaman, a celebrated horse trainer and real-life horse whisperer. This book recounts Brannaman’s life experiences, from overcoming an abusive childhood to becoming a beacon in the horse training world.

His empathetic approach to training, based on mutual respect and communication rather than force, has revolutionized the way people relate to horses. Brannaman’s wisdom and philosophy extend beyond horsemanship, offering lessons on life, trust, and the healing nature of these majestic animals.

#12 The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd

  • ✍️ Author: Joe Camp
  • 📆 Year Published: 2008
  • 📘 Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies

Joe Camp’s “The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd” is an engaging narrative that examines the natural behaviors and instincts of horses. Camp shares his journey from novice to impassioned horseman, revealing transformative insights gained from observing horses in natural herd dynamics.

His book challenges conventional wisdom on stabling, shoeing, and feeding, advocating for more holistic horse care practices. In doing so, Camp’s storytelling nurtures a deeper appreciation for the emotional intelligence and social complexity of horses, enriching the reader’s connection with these sentient beings.

FAQ

What are the best Equestrian books of all time?

“The Complete Training of Horse and Rider,” “Centered Riding,” “Hunter Seat Equitation,” “Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse,” and “Riding Logic” are the best Equestrian books of all time. These classics cover a broad range of topics from training to discipline-specific techniques.

What is the best Equestrian book for adults?

“Centered Riding” by Sally Swift is the best Equestrian book for adults, offering insightful techniques for achieving harmony between horse and rider, suitable for all skill levels.

What are the best books for Equestrian fundamentals and strategy?

“The Complete Training of Horse and Rider” and “Riding Logic” are the best books for Equestrian fundamentals and strategy, providing thorough instruction on foundational skills and thoughtful approaches to horsemanship.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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