Horse Book Favorites?
Here's Ours - Some Very Good Ones

Horse Book Favorites? My favorite is often the last one I read. But here are some of my "all time" favorites that I personally believe would make great gifts for the horse lover.

A few years back while visiting a friend in Denmark we'd stopped by a bookshop in the little town of Birkerød, north of Copenhagen. The shop had a nice selection of horse books and we picked out a couple to add to our library.

These quickly became favorites of ours. While both of our copies are in the Danish language, we can nevertheless easily recommend them as gifts as they are also published in English. You can find out more about any of these books simply by clicking on the illustrations.

Book 0- Illustrated Horsewatching

  • Illustrated Horsewatching by Desmond Morris was the first horse book. Originally published in English, the Danish title Set Med Hestens Øjne literally translates to Seen With the Horses Eyes, very descriptive of the content.

    This "Horse 101" book, is aimed at the novice or first horse person. The 40 or so sections briefly describe how horses see, hear, and smell, their capabilities, habits, and why they act the way they do. A great horse book for the young rider, probably not the best idea for the more experienced horseman or horsewoman.

    Dancing With Horses

  • Our second purchase is in Danish and authored by a German trainer who lives in Denmark and works in Spain (how global can you get?). Fortunately Dancing With Horses by Klaus Ferdinand Hempflingis readily available and a best-seller in English. This book is directed towards those wishing to enjoy working a bit with their horse.

    The author lays out basic groundwork for training a horse with the initial focus on the horses point of view, its natural equlibrium, and means of communicating.

    An interesting and informative chapter suggests bareback riding sessions as the means of getting a true feeling of balance and unity with the horse. The foundations are well established before specific training exercies are introduced.

    *****Hempfling's latest work, What Horses Reveal is also an excellent choice for a gift. A very interesting book indeed.*******

    Natural Horse Man Ship
  • Natural Horse-Man-Ship by Pat Parelli is not a horse-training book but more of a people-training book , a blend of concepts and exercises emphasizing a form of horse-human communication in which the human learns to speak "horse" to the horse.

    Parelli breaks down working with the horse into six themes, focusing in turn on atttitude, knowledge, tools, techniques, time, and imagination, applying these themes both on the ground and in the saddle.

    We can't say enough good things about this book except that we refer to it often.

    If you scan through Parelli's book (like we tend to do on a computer screen) you're going to miss a whole lot of important stuff. Just about every sentence contains something worth knowing. Few authors are able to to that. On a per-page basis this has to be one of the best books on horsemanship you can find.

    Enyclopedia of the Horse

  • E.H. Edwards certainly knows how to put a book together. The New Encyclopedia of the Horse will appeal to just about everyone, especially to the newcomer to the horse world. This book is on many favorites lists and is our favorite "coffee table" horse book.

    The New Encyclopedia of the Horse begins with a chapter on the origins and evolution of the horse, moves to a discussion of early uses of the animal, describes Eastern and Islamic influence on equine history, the origins of the various breeds, and the horses introduction to America.

    The by-breed desciptions, while brief, are very informative. Besides its elegant appearance, The Encyclopedia of the Horse is jam-packed with information.

    A second book by Edwards worth mentioning is Ultimate Horse, also a fine general reference book. It also fits nicely into the "Coffee Table Book" category due to the exceptional photography it contains. While the bulk of this horse book describes the major breeds, there is valuable supporting information covering basic horse care.

    Ultimate Horse and The Encyclopedia of the Horse are both visually attractive; not to be carried around the barn. We believe you won't go wrong in giving either of Edward's books as a gift.

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