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Well written horsey novels for grown-ups

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  • #61
    Bluegrass, by Bordon Deal. A good racing novel. Might be hard to find.

    Comment


    • #62
      Horseplay by Judy Singer was like Bridget Jones Diary with horses- a riot to read! Its not terribly deep but its a fun read and a really nice book to own and pick up and put down when life gets frustrating.


      I must mention this- just in case *gasp* someone on these boards hasn't heard about it- THE CHRONICLES OF THE $700 PONY! A total riot and so worth it.
      Times and traditions in the horse world shift and change, much of the old grandeur has been lost; But for one brief shining moment, there was a gigantic shocking pink d**** in the Hunterdon tack room.

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      • #63
        Laura Crum mysteries with an equine vet as the detective. The author clearly has a clue.

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...r=Laura%20Crum

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        • #64
          I loved the Show Gypsies and Riders.
          Other favorites include Dark Horse (Tami Hoag)
          In Colt Blood, Chestnut Mare Beware, and Horse of a Different Killer are also good books whose author's name escapes me right now.
          Sara Gruen's books were good if a little unrealistic.

          I enjoy reading the racing "biographies" like Seabiscuit and Ruffian and even Walter Farley's "Man O War". They tend to not be as "Romance Filled" as some of the above novels, IMHO.

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          • #65
            Just seconding Old Bones, all the Jean Slaughter Doty books (thank you! for saying that name, I couldn't remember it to save my life), and The Fox in the Cupboard.

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            • #66
              I think I can recommend "Drinkers of the Wind" by Carl Raswan. I read it a long time ago, and then lent it out and never got it back . It's non-fiction about Raswan's travels through the desert searching for the ideal Arabian horse. Unfortunately, I hardly remember anything else about the book except that I enjoyed it.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Used To View Post
                Sara Gruen's books were good if a little unrealistic.
                Unrealistic? No! I mean, I totally found it believable that there could be an 18 year old girl who rides a brindled-colored Hanovarian in both Grand Prix Jumping AND 4* eventing.

                And don't forget the 16 year old daughter who has ridden for one year, has ridden in exactly one event in her whole life, who then gets on a Nokota horse who hasn't let anyone ride it and they majikally bond. A mere 2 weeks after that initial ride, she takes it to a 2* event and they leap over an in & out on cross country in a single bound, which impresses team selectors to no end.

                Clearly I need to find a new trainer. I mean, Suzi Q is an Indian pony, too, and here we are, still at Beginner Novice almost 2 years after we bought her. We must be doing something wrong!

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                • #68
                  Chiming in...

                  Dark Horse is a must if you've ever spent the season in Wellington. To me the biggest appeal of the book was knowing everywhere in it and trying to figure out who was who. Otherwise it's your standard murder/suspense.

                  Horse Heaven, A Year at the Races, and Barn Blind- all by Jane Smiley. The first two are just wonderful, thoroughly enjoyable. The last is a good read but dark and left me feeling fairly dismal at the end.

                  Horse People- by Michael Korda. A non-fiction memoir of a horsey husband. Really enjoyable to me.

                  Stud- can't remember the author offhand, but a really fun (non-fiction) look at the Kentucky TB breeding business.

                  The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword- Robin McKinley- I think these are actually considered young adult fantasy, but great stories, well-written with wonderful horse characters.

                  All of Dick Francis' books are somehow related to horses (mostly steeplechasing), some more than others, but are good, enjoyable mysteries.

                  Ruffian, Burning From the Start- Jane Schwartz. A nice tribute to the wonderful TB filly.

                  The Bolinvars- Marguerite Bayliss. After War Admiral recommended this book several times here on COTH I took the trouble to track down a copy on ebay, and I'm so glad I did. This is one of my all-time favorite horse novels. (Thanks again, War Admiral )

                  K. M. Peyton wrote several books about British Pony Club children, again Young Adult books, but I recently re-read them and still enjoyed them. The Team, Dark Horse, and tons of others.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by tarragon View Post
                    The Bolinvars- Marguerite Bayliss. After War Admiral recommended this book several times here on COTH I took the trouble to track down a copy on ebay, and I'm so glad I did. This is one of my all-time favorite horse novels. (Thanks again, War Admiral )
                    You're welcome! Always glad to make a convert to this fabulous book. I re-read it regularly. I mentioned this to you via PM at the time, but if you're ever bored, you can look up the TB characters on pedigreequery.com. You won't find the actual horses but you'll find ALL their sires and dams... Apparently this novel was based on old family journals, so it's very accurate!
                    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by LE View Post
                      Seabiscut is brilliant. One of the best books ever written(non-fiction) Made watching the movie highly disappointing.
                      Agreed. That book would have made a much better HBO series.

                      But what I find interesting about the Hillebrand book is how she left out all mention of Kayak II, C.S. Howard's Argentine import who won the '39 Big Cap, when Seabiscuit was out for the year. Both ran in the '40 Cap, with Howard's then-legal declaring for Seabiscuit before the race, meaning he gave instructions to K's jockey to let S win if it came to that - which it did. They finished 1-2 in track-record time but the talk was that the better horse didn't win.
                      **********
                      Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                      **********
                      "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Eventer62 View Post
                        A Portion for Foxes by Jane McIlvaine McClary.
                        My all-time favorite.
                        If you read one book in your life make it this one.
                        I was going to post this if no one else did. She also wroth childrens books that are very good.
                        Only marginally horsey but the 1916, 1921, 1949 and 1972 books by Morgan Llewelan
                        I wasn't always a Smurf
                        Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
                        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                        The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I believe the Calumet book (non-fiction) is "Wild Ride." Can't remember the author.

                          Any of The Bloodhorse books about famous racehorses, Man O'War, etc.

                          Lyndon Stacey's mystery ovels, if available.

                          Carolyn Bank's dressage series, Death by Dressage, Death on the Diagonal, A Horse to Die For, etc.

                          Laura Crum's mysteries: California vet, western orientation: Cutter, Roper, Slickrock, Hayburner, etc.

                          Buster Black has a couple of funny rodeo riders novels.

                          Hate the Horse Whisperer, and also dislike the Sara Gruen ones (sorry!). The dressage/showjumper/eventer business (what, exactly does the horse DO!?!), 14 year old can make uncontrolableeventer do passage and piaffe on 10 minutes acquaintance, sorry - lost me there.

                          I didn't much care for In the Presence of Horses, but it was well written.

                          The classics are always good: Mary O'Hara's triology- My F.Flicka/Thunderhead/Greengrass of Wyoming, plus her memoir, Wyoming Summer.

                          Liked Horse Heaven and a year at the Races, but didn't care for Smiley's "Barn blind"

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Oooh yes, A Portion For Foxes!!! Didn't see the "first round" mention. Another fave.
                            "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Fiona Walker's "French Relations" and the sequel "Well Groomed."

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Ruffian- but grab some tissues to read it

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Sweet William, by John Hawkes. Narrated by "Old Horse", a TB, it is the story of his life...and more. Great book!

                                  In Service to the Horse (non-fiction) - fun read

                                  all Dick Francis books

                                  Beautiful Jim Key (non-fiction, thanks CG!!!)..

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Little Britches by Ralph Moody.

                                    Warning: this book is not for the faint of heart (when the boy's horse breaks a leg in a rotten bridge, he holds horse's head under water to put her out of her misery), man-haters (the father is a strong, patient, competent HERO), horse-worshippers (a horse trapped on a train tressel is whacked on the head to knock him out long enough for the men to boost him out of the tressel timbers and pitch him over the side), or politically correct "liberals" (there's a black horse named Nig).

                                    It is a gut-wrenching story of a boy growing up in Colorado in the early 1900's (but told in a grown-up way). Although the young Ralph is the narrator, the real hero seems to be his dad (who dies at near the end of the book and leaves young Ralph as "man of the family" before he's even a teenager). It's not a "horse book" per se, but horses play a huge role.

                                    Also it's not a good book for those who wish to think highly of themselves and don't want some characters in a book show them how much better humans can be than they themselves ever were.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Originally posted by CamsMom View Post
                                      Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen
                                      i'm reading this right now, it's a bit boring but very horsey

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        I really liked Riding Lessons and Flying Changes by Sara Gruen. Sure, they are a bit unrealistic, but a very good read and quite entertaining.

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by Lisa Cook View Post
                                          Unrealistic? No! I mean, I totally found it believable that there could be an 18 year old girl who rides a brindled-colored Hanovarian in both Grand Prix Jumping AND 4* eventing.

                                          And don't forget the 16 year old daughter who has ridden for one year, has ridden in exactly one event in her whole life, who then gets on a Nokota horse who hasn't let anyone ride it and they majikally bond. A mere 2 weeks after that initial ride, she takes it to a 2* event and they leap over an in & out on cross country in a single bound, which impresses team selectors to no end.

                                          Clearly I need to find a new trainer. I mean, Suzi Q is an Indian pony, too, and here we are, still at Beginner Novice almost 2 years after we bought her. We must be doing something wrong!
                                          Ugh, I hated those books. Completely with you there. Absolutely terrible. I don't think I even finished the 2nd in the series (which is a stretch for me).

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