Education

15 Enchanting Horse Books and Series for Kids of All Ages

Do you know a budding equestrian or a child otherwise fascinated with horses? Have you ever been in the company of a child when passing or driving by a pasture of horses? The awe and wonder these creatures inspire in children is hard to deny. Learning about and caring for these animals can impart lessons on responsibility and self-worth. These horse books for kids will provide equine-loving readers of all ages with valuable knowledge on this exciting topic while inspiring a love of reading.

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Horse Books for Kids in Grades Pre-K–2

1. If I Had a Horse by Gianna Marino

Marino’s tale of a young girl imagining her life were she to own a horse is sure to capture the imagination of any young horse lover. Our narrator muses, “If I had a horse, we would be brave together.” Coupling simple text with beautiful gouache illustrations, this is the kind of text young readers will flip through many a time.

Buy it: If I Had a Horse at Amazon

2. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle, as an example of horse books for kids

Who doesn’t love an Eric Carle book? Author and illustrator of such classics as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Carle brings his knack for eye-catching bright colors and easy-to-read text to The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse. This is sure to become a favorite of any horse-loving child.

Buy it: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse at Amazon

3. That’s Not My Pony… by Fiona Watt

Book cover: That’s Not My Pony by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells, as an example of horse books for kids

The That’s Not My series of touch-and-feel books allows the earliest of readers a full sensory experience. That’s Not My Pony… pairs recognizable text from other books in the series with tactile illustrations including the soft, fur-like mane of a pony.

Buy it: That’s Not My Pony… at Amazon

4. Noni the Pony by Alison Lester

Book cover: Noni the Pony by Alison Lester, as an example of horse books for kids

Featuring delightful characters across different animal species, including Noni’s best pals Dave the Dog and Coco the Cat, this book will bring a smile to anyone’s face. The text is written in rhyming sentences that are sure to appeal to the tiniest equestrians. For those kids who just cannot get enough of Noni, there are other titles including Noni the Pony Counts to a Million and Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach.

Buy it: Noni the Pony at Amazon

5. Hello, Horse, by Vivian French, illustrated by Catherine Rayner

Book cover: Hello Horse with illustration of child riding on horse

This picture book provides a good introduction to horses through the eyes of a boy who is initially anxious around them. This title proves that some horse books for kids can teach deeper lessons such as forging friendships and overcoming fears.

Buy it: Hello, Horse at Amazon

Horse Books for Kids in Grades 3–5

6. Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy Race, by Stacia Deutsch

Book cover: Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy. A teenage girl is seen riding a horse with two other girls cheering her on in the background.

Fans of the Netflix series Spirit will undoubtedly love this story featuring their favorite characters. In addition to caring for their horses, the girls at Palomino Bluffs Riding Academy are also learning to become better friends in this fun tale that centers around a scavenger hunt.

Buy it: Spirit Riding Free: Academy Race at Amazon

7. Magic Ponies: A New Friend, by Sue Bentley

Book cover: Magic Ponies: A New Friend. A purple cover features sparkles surrounding the face of a brown horse.

Magic Ponies is a perfect series for horse lovers who also love a dose of fantasy. A New Friend, the first in the series, introduces Eleanor to the magical pony Comet. The two soon become close friends and go on many adventures together.

Buy it: Magic Ponies: A New Friend at Amazon

8. Canterwood Crest: City Secrets, by Jessica Burkhart

Book cover: Canterwood Crest: City Secrets. A girl around 13 is shown in the foreground in riding gear with her hand on her hip and a stern look.

No list of horse books for kids would be complete without this series of novels that centers around Sasha Silver and her adventures at an elite boarding school for equestrians. In City Secrets, Sasha must turn to an unlikely ally ahead of her vacation in New York City.

Buy it: Canterwood Crest: City Secrets at Amazon

9. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, illustrated by Karen Haus Grandpre, as an example of horse books for kids

A Newbery Honor recipient in 1948, Misty of Chincoteague is the first of six books in the Misty series by Marguerite Henry. The final title in the series, Misty’s Twilight, was written in 1992. The original title takes place on the island of Chincoteague, off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland, and focuses on Misty, a gentle colt born from a band of wild ponies.

Buy it: Misty of Chincoteague at Amazon

Horse Books for Kids in Grades 6–8

10. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Book cover: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, as an example of horse books for kids

Another Newbery Honor recipient, The War That Saved My Life is perhaps more historical fiction than horse book. Ten-year-old Ada overcomes abuse at the hands of her mother during World War II and discovers the true meaning of family as well as self-worth. Ada overcomes adversity including learning to ride a horse despite having been born with a club foot.

Buy it: The War That Saved My Life at Amazon

11. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Book cover: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, as an example of horse books for kids

This classic belongs atop any list of horse books for kids. Written nearly 150 years ago, Black Beauty has stood the test of time. A memoir written from the perspective of a horse, it was originally written to bring awareness to acts of cruelty against horses. Readers will be sure to come away from this title valuing kindness toward all sentient beings.

Buy it: Black Beauty at Amazon

12. Horse Games & Puzzles by Cindy A. Littlefield

Book cover: Horse Games & Puzzles: 102 Brainteasers, Word Games, Jokes & Riddles, Picture Puzzlers, Matches & Logic Tests for Horse Loving Kids by Cindy A. Littlefield

Know a kid that loves a good riddle, horses, or both? This book is packed with fun activities and interesting horse facts.

Buy it: Horse Games & Puzzles at Amazon

13. Paint the Wind by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Book cover: Paint the Wind by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Protagonist Maya leaves a sheltered life dominated by lies told to her by her grandmother for the Wyoming wilderness and the honesty of her mother’s family. In Wyoming, a relationship with a wild mustang called Artemisia changes everything for Maya. Tweens will love this adventure-filled story.

Buy it: Paint the Wind at Amazon

14. The Compton Cowboys and the Fight To Save Their Horse Ranch: Young Readers’ Edition, by Walter Thompson-Hernández

Book cover: Young Readers’ Edition: The Compton Cowboys and the Fight To Save Their Horse Ranch by Walter Thompson-Hernández

Thompson-Hernández, a New York Times reporter, tells the story of a group of 10 black men and one woman who continue the tradition of the Compton Cowboys. Originally part of the Compton Jr. Posse, the Compton Cowboys led lives of varying courses but all found their way back to a love for horses and riding. They live by the motto “Streets raised us. Horses saved us.” This book also features an eight-page insert of color photographs of the cowboys and horses that kids are sure to love.

Buy it: The Compton Cowboys and the Fight To Save Their Horse Ranch at Amazon

15. Horse Life: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Riding Horses for Kids, by Robyn Smith

Book cover: Horse Life: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Riding Horses for Kids by Robyn Smith

No list of horse books for kids would be complete without a fantastic how-to book regarding all things equestrian. This title is jam-packed with information about grooming, handling, training, and riding horses. The information is presented in an informative yet kid-friendly manner with helpful illustrations.

Buy it: Horse Life: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Riding Horses for Kids at Amazon

Horse Books for Grades 8–12

16. Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling, by Helena Dahlgren

Book cover: Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling by Helena Dahlgren

The first in an award-winning trilogy, this fantasy tale tells the story of four girls who must save the world with their magical horses. Tweens and teens alike will relate to the real-life struggles and triumphs of girls navigating friendships, families, and school while getting lost in the fantasy. Bonus: There is a video game, Star Stable, based on the same characters.

Buy it: Soul Riders at Amazon

17. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Book cover: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Told from the perspective of Joey, a World War I war horse, this book opens kids’ eyes to the horrors of war. It also teaches the value of loyalty as 15-year-old Albert attempts to bring Joey back home safely. For students that like film adaptions, the story was also turned into a film by Steven Spielberg.

Buy it: War Horse at Amazon

18. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Book cover: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

The first in McCarthy’s Border Trilogy, this coming-of-age tale centers around teenager John Grady Cole’s quest for the cowboy life as he flees the Texas ranch he calls home and travels into Mexico. Horses feature prominently in this action-packed story of lessons learned and innocence lost.

Buy it: All the Pretty Horses at Amazon

Looking for more animal books for kids? Check out 14 Delightful Bird Books for Kids of All Ages.

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