Books and Stories about Horses


Why do writers use horses or references to horses in their stories?

Throughout history, horses have represented power, grace, beauty, nobility, strength and freedom.  Different cultures attribute a variety of meanings to horses.  In medieval times, horses were a Celtic symbol of battle, victory and the spoils of war.  The Greeks and Romans also considered horses as powerful symbols of war and victory as well as honor, domination and virility.  In Hindu, the horse is associated with the cosmos.  The Chinese culture uses horses to represent love, endurance, devotion and stability.

Native Americans attribute wisdom and freedom to horses, and believe that a partnership with horses must be respected above all else.

Horses are beautiful animals and anyone who’s been up close to them can feel their power and imagine the wisdom behind their large and soulful eyes.  This small collection of literature shows how many different genres use horses in their stories.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – classic children’s book about a hard-working horse’s life and treatment of horses.

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls – a “true life novel” that takes a look at the author’s family history.


“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D. H. Lawrence – Mabel Pervin faces a desperate decision. Her father has died, and has left Mabel and her adult brothers deep in debt from his horse dealing business. Mabel has nothing and must find her own way.

The Horse Dealer's Daughter

The Horse Who Lived Upstairs by Phyllis McGinley – a charming children’s book about a city horse who believes it’s better in the country

the horse who lived upstairs

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson – a Norwegian coming-of-age story about family, betrayal, loss and misunderstood relationships.

Out Stealing Horses

Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner – Robert is allergic to roses and hopes that a city job will keep him from sneezing in this classic children’s tale.

robert the rose horse

“Wild Horses” by Rick Bass – How can a man who trains cattle and breaks horses for a living know how to cope with survivor’s guilt?

Scribner Anthology big

Thanks to the following sources of information:

What does a horse symbolize? – from

Horse Symbol Meaning Horse Meanings and Cultural Symbolism – from

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!



13 thoughts on “Books and Stories about Horses

  1. Wow you’ve got quite a selection of horse books all featuring in quite different types of stories. As a child I went through a phase of reading books about horses and horse-riding even though I’m terrified of them…

    1. I’ve been near horses, and rode one once, but I’m not a horseback rider and didn’t notice I had read all these horse-related books/stories until this morning! Thanks for stopping by!

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