21 Best Children’s Books About Horses

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May 2021

Many kids dream of riding, racing, or even owning their own horse one day. Reading with the little horse lover in your life is one of the best things you can do to encourage them to use their imagination and follow their dreams. Saddle up for books about adventure, perseverance, and fun with our list of the 21 best books about horses.

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Bookshelf full of colorful books next to red rocking horse

Picture Books About Horses

The Princess and the Pony Book Cover
The Princess and The Pony Pages

The Princess and the Pony

Kate Beaton
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. She wants a pony, but not just any pony. She wants a big strong warrior horse fit for the warrior princess she is! Though the princess doesn’t receive the exact pony she expected, she learns an important lesson along the way. 

This humorous book is all about a strong independent girl with a desire to be taken seriously. The Princess and the Pony is a lively read full of silly text and creative illustrations. This is a wonderful story for the whole family.

A Horse Named Steve Book Cover
A Horse Named Steve Pages

A Horse Named Steve

Kelly M. Collier
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8 
Steve is a fine horse, but he wants to be exceptional. In order to stand out, Steve ties a golden horn he stumbled across onto his head. To follow suit, all Steve’s forest friends begin to tie things on their heads, too. When Steve loses the horn, though, he wonders how he can stand out. 

All about originality and being unique, this picture book is a silly and entertaining horse book for early readers. Amusing illustrations and charming text teach an important lesson about being yourself.

I Want A Horse!  Book Cover

I Want a Horse!

Mikaela Vincent 
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
Have you ever wanted something so much it was all you could think of or dream about? In this inspirational picture book, author Mikaela Vincent uses colorful artwork, clever rhyme, and heartwarming humor to tell the story of a young girl who asks for her heart’s desire only to discover a treasure she already possesses that surpasses all her imaginations.

Learn all about the special relationship between an ambitious little girl and her creative mother. This story about navigating wants and discerning needs will teach your little ones a valuable lesson about asking for things and finding contentment.

B is for Buckaroo Book Cover
B is for Buckaroo Pages

B is for Buckaroo

Louise Doak Whitney, Gleaves Whitney, Susan Guy
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
Andalusia begins with and A, B is for Buckaroo, and L is for Lasso. Hold on to your hat and strap on your spurs! Cowpokes and buckaroos of all ages will enjoy this A-Z gallop through the facts, feats, and folks of the cowboy way of life. Even greenhorns are invited to ride this fun-filled range. 

This fun alphabet picture book will teach your little horse lover all about the wild wild west. Full of cowboy vocabulary and text for all reading levels, this book is sure to please all ages, from littles learning their alphabet to older readers interested in the history of cowboys and their horses.

little girl stands near pony

Books About Horses and Ponies

Noni the Pony Book Cover

Noni the Pony

Alison Lester 
Book Type: Picture
Age: 2-5
Noni the Pony lives on a farm by the bay. She’s friendly and funny and her best friends are Jac Dog and Coco the Cat. In the day time she gallops and canters and entertains the other farm animals, but sometimes at night, when the leaves sigh in the breeze, Noni gets spooked and that’s when her friends help Noni go to sleep.

The first in a series of books following this spunky little pony, Noni the Pony is full of lively rhyming text, bright illustrations, and a message of friendship and fun. Noni’s friendly and inclusive attitude will encourage little pony-loving readers to treat their friends and family with love and respect.

That's Not My Pony Book Cover
That's Not My Pony Pages

That’s Not My Pony

Fiona Watt
Book Type: Board
Age: 2-3

This delightful board book about ponies is aimed at very young children. The bright pictures, with their patches of different textures, are designed to develop sensory and language awareness. Babies and toddlers will love turning the pages and touching the feely patches.

Full of fun textures and bright colors, this book is perfect for little hands to explore. Hidden characters and simple text make That’s Not My Pony a great choice for an interactive reading experience with little ones.

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses Book Cover
Fritz and the Beautiful Horses Pages

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses

Jan Brett 
Book Type: Picture 
Age: 3-5
Fritz isn’t like the beautiful horses within his city walls. He’s a pretty pony who is learning what his role in the community truly is. When faced with the important task of rescuing the city’s children, Fritz learns that just because he has been excluded doesn’t mean that he isn’t important and valued in the city. 

This is a sweet story with an uplifting message about standing out, inner beauty, and courage. Fritz’s journey from outcast to hero is illustrated in stunning pictures that will fill your little reader’s heart with wonder and joy.

My Pony Book Cover
My Pony Pages

My Pony

Susan Jeffers
Book Type: Picture
Age: 5-8
This little girl longs for a horse of her own, but her parents always say it’s too expensive and they don’t have room. Her parents kindly drive her by the barn so she can see the ponies and understand what it’s like to care for them.  Soon, the girl discovers that she can be creative and channel her love for horses into illustration. As the horses take shape on paper, her imagination takes flight and soon she is soaring on her own horse through the sky and moonlight and clouds to a place born of dreams.

My Pony presents a heartfelt story about using your imagination to follow your dreams. Introducing a helpful message about not always getting what you long for, this story teaches kids to use their creativity to pursue their passions. Often the most rewarding experiences come from hard work and putting your imagination to use.

A Grey Wild Horse Roams A Mountainous Landscape

Books About Wild Horses

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses Cover
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses Pages

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

Paul Goble
Book Type: Picture
Age: 5-8
Based on a Native American folktale, this book tells the story of an indigenous girl who is lost in the plains and encounters a gentle herd of wild horses. Guided by the beautiful wild horses, the girl finds her way back to where she belongs, but does not sever her loving connection with the sweet animals. 

Paul Goble’s illustrations which are full of colors and stand in stark contrast to the simple white background pages create a beautiful counterpart to the moving story of a young girl on a journey. A story that encourages a connection to nature and wildlife works with the patterned pictures to create a lovely read for horse enthusiasts.

The Mud Pony Cover
The Mud Pony Pages

The Mud Pony

Caron Lee Cohen, Shonto Begay
Book Type: Picture 
Age: 4-8
A young Pawnee boy, longs for a horse of his own. He shapes one out of the mud he finds along the creek, and discovers one terrible day when he is left behind by his tribe that his creation has come to life! Now, guided by his ‘mud pony,’ who speaks to him in his dreams, and is a gift from Mother Earth, the boy catches up to his people, going on to do great things, as a warrior and a chief.

This book is a touching narrative about loneliness, imagination, and dreams. The boy in the story has a mystical connection with this wild mud pony, and the beautifully illustrated tale depicts the magic, wonder, and excitement of their relationship as they journey together.

Wild Horse Winter Cover

Wild Horse Winter

Tetsuya Honda 
Book Type: Picture
Age: 2-8
Based on an actual event, this suspenseful story tells the miraculous saga of a herd of beautiful wild horses and details the life of a young colt as it matures and follows the lead of its protective mother to overcome a wild, raging blizzard in the dramatic conclusion of their journey. 

The soft paintings combine with the simple text to bring a vanishing breed vividly to life. A wonderful book for reading aloud or for sharing, the story subtly parallels the growth of all creatures and underscores the strong bonds that exist between parent and child.

Pony Poems for Little Pony Lovers Cover
Pony Poems for Little Pony Lovers Pages

Pony Poems for Little Pony Lovers

Cari Meister
Book Type: Picture
Age: 3-7
Calling all pony lovers! This poetry collection, chock full of horses, is sure to delight young readers, whether they dream of being a cowgirl or a knight, becoming an equestrian, or simply making a pony friend of their own. These short, rhyming poems are perfect for read-aloud sharing.

These poems about horses will teach young pony lovers about all different kinds of horses, running from everyday life with ponies to whimsical fantasy and imagination stories. Each poem consists of short verses that rhyme and is complemented by colorful  watercolor images.

Horse Race

Books About Horse Racing

Hello, Horse Cover
Hello, Horse Pages

Hello, Horse!

Vivian French 
Book Type: Picture
Age: 5-8 
Hello, Horse! gently introduces young children to Shannon, a friendly chestnut mare, and offers encouragement to children unfamiliar with or a little nervous of these large, beautiful creatures. The subtext is packed with practical tips, such as the right way to offer an apple, and also covers their behavior and life cycle.

This is a wonderful book for children who are interested in learning to ride and race horses. Its encouraging tone and helpful horse tips make these wondrous creatures far less intimidating and introduce the vocabulary of horse competitions and care to little horse lovers.

The True Story of Zippy Chippy, The Little Horse That Couldn’t  Cover
The True Story of Zippy Chippy, The Little Horse That Couldn’t  Pages

The True Story of Zippy Chippy, The Little Horse That Couldn’t

Artie Bennett 
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
Zippy Chippy is descended from the leading legends of horse racing. He is destined for greatness and glory. But when the starting bell rings, it’s anybody’s guess what Zippy will do. Will Zippy go for a gentle trot around the track or stop and smell the roses? Or, perhaps, never even leave the starting gate?!

This is the true story of an underdog racehorse who doesn’t come out of the competition victorious. Despite not winning, Zippy maintains his positive attitude and upbeat persona, proving that beating the competition isn’t the most important thing. This is a great way to introduce little horse lovers to the idea of trying hard and not getting too discouraged.

 The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield Book Cover
 The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield Pages

The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby: The Story of Jimmy Winkfield

Crystal Hubbard
Book Type: Picture
Age: 6-9
Born into an African American sharecropping family in 1880s Kentucky, Jimmy Winkfield grew up loving horses. The large, powerful animals inspired little Jimmy to think big. Looking beyond his family’s farm, he longed for a life riding on action-packed racetracks around the world.Like his hero, the great Isaac Murphy, Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield would stop at nothing to make it as a jockey. Though his path to success was wrought with obstacles both on the track and off, Wink faced each challenge with passion and a steadfast spirit. Along the way he carved out a lasting legacy as one of history’s finest horsemen and the last African American ever to win the Kentucky Derby.

This true story of perseverance, passion, and hard work is a great message for little readers. It teaches them not only about an inspirational historical figure in horse racing, but also about the meaningful relationships people can form with horses and the value of persistence.

Stick Horse Derby Book Cover

Stick Horse Derby

Mark Wayne Adams
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
The Kentucky Derby inspired this boy’s love of horses and racing out in “the sticks”. Mounted on a stick horse his heart and bare feet pounded dirt trails across his old Kentucky home. Derby isn’t the race horse he wanted, but through patience and training he helped the boy win lasting friendships. 

This book is all about an unlikely friendship and an unconventional relationship between a boy and his stick horse. It tells an uplifting tale of finding joy in unexpected places.

Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse Book Cover
Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse Pages

Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse

Meghan McCarthy 
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
Seabiscuit is a descendent of a successful racing horse, but with crooked legs and a long losing streak, he is the ultimate underdog. After being purchased by a new trainer and learning a thing or two about racing, Seabiscuit begins to win more and more races. Eventually, he is up against War Admiral–one of the fastest racers there is. Will Seabiscuit emerge victorious? 

This is a heartwarming true story about determination and hope that will inspire little readers to work hard and have faith. This book’s humorous illustrations and historical accuracy will keep your child engaged and informed about the true tale of Seabiscuit the racehorse.

Horses Graze with A Sunset on the Horizon

Fictional Books About Horses

If I Had A Horse Book Cover
If I Had A Horse Pages

If I Had A Horse

Gianna Marino
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
If I Had a Horse is all about a young girl who dreams of owning her own horse one day. The book is full of lovely descriptions of what she and the horse would do together, what they would share in common, and how they would differ. Ultimately, she concludes that if she had a horse of their own, they would do anything and everything together. 

This book of simple and straightforward text and lovely painted artwork is a vibrant story that depicts the beauty of this little girl’s dream. Colorful illustrations and whimsical text will entrance any horse-loving reader.  This book will inspire your little one to dream big and seek out adventure.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse Book Cover
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse Pages

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

Eric Carle
Book Type: Picture
Age: 3-8
The artist in this book follows his imagination, painting a blue horse, a red crocodile, and orange elephant, and many more colorful animals. Thinking like a young, imaginative child, the artist proves that creativity can lead to a beautiful and unconventional outcome. 

This book is great for teaching littles about all kinds of animals. Horse-lovers will love the vibrant illustrations, patterns, and bright colors. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse will make a sweet addition to family storytime.

Robert the Rose Horse Book Cover
Robert the Rose Horse Pages

Robert the Rose Horse

Joan Heilbroner, P.D. Eastman
Book Type: Picture
Age: 3-7
Robert the Rose Horse has a problem. He lives on a rose farm, but he is allergic to roses! It seems that Robert’s sneezes aren’t welcome, no matter where he goes, but one day, his sneeze will save the day! 

This is a great book for beginners. Its unique and imaginative story will keep young readers entertained, and its classic design is sure to make it a favorite among kids and parents alike. This book is bound to make a wonderful addition to any little library.

If A Horse Had Words Book Cover
If A Horse Had Words Pages

If A Horse Had Words

Kelly Cooper
Book Type: Picture
Age: 4-8
Red Badger is a newborn foal learning to stand when she slips and gets stuck in a muddy badger hole. A little boy rescues her, and they soon become friends. The little boy and Red Badger experience all the different seasons on the farm and learn from one another. 

This gentle narrative tells the sweet tale of a boy and his horse. The pair’s friendship is both heartwarming and inspiring. Full of touching illustrations and kind text, this book is perfect for kids interested in horses.

 

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