5 books about horses for equestrians

There's little that can compare to the feeling of getting lost in a good book. Here, we reveal our favourite horsey books that have recently been released. 


The lost war horses of Cairo, the passion of Dorothy Brooke, by Grant Hayter Menzies

In a nutshell:

This biography tells the story of Dorothy Brooke, founder of equine charity Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys, as she travels to Egypt in 1930.

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She’s shocked to discover thousands of former British horses left behind after the war and establishes an organisation to help them.

The blurb: 

In 1930, wealthy Scottish socialite Dorothy Brooke followed her new husband to Cairo, where she discovered thousands of suffering former British war horses leading lives of toil and misery.

Brought to the Middle East by British forces during the Great War, these ex-cavalry horses had been left behind at the war's end, abandoned as used equipment, too costly to send home.

Grant Hayter-Menzies chronicles not only the lives and eventual rescue of these noble creatures, who after years of deprivation and suffering found respite in the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital established by Dorothy, but also the story of the challenges of founding and maintaining an animal-rescue institution on this scale. 

The legacy of the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital and its founder endures today in the dozens of international Brooke animal-welfare facilities dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules across Africa, Asia and Latin America.


Little Alf by Hannah Russell

In a nutshell:

The true story of Alf, a plucky Shetland pony who was born with dwarfism, and how he found his forever home with, Hannah Russell, author of this book.

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From starting life in a muddy field to becoming a social media star, Little Alf has enjoyed a busy few years since Hannah rescued him when she was just 16 years old. 

The blurb: 

There was once born a very little pony. 

Being quite so little, he was rejected by his herd, and the future looked bleak. A few fields over, a young girl was coming to terms with the fact that she would never be able to ride again. Unknowingly, they were about to change each other's lives...

The pony was Little Alf, a Shetland pony with dwarfism, and the girl, Hannah, who rescued him aged sixteen. From charity work and building a business together, they became constant companions, though there have been a few casualties along the way - mainly garden ornaments and the neighbours' vegetables.

Little Alf is the story of their life together - the adventures and the mischievous behaviour of the most adorable little pony.


The Girl on the Dancing Horse, by Charlotte Dujardin 

In a nutshell: 

Her long-awaited autobiography is finally here. Dressage star, Charlotte Dujardin, offers a glimpse into the magical journey that she and Valegro went on to become one of the world’s most famous duos.

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Go behind the scenes at pivotal moments in their careers, including the emotional moment Charlotte decided to retire Valegro. 

The blurb: 

Charlotte Dujardin and her charismatic horse Valegro burst onto the international sports scene with their record-breaking performance at the London, 2012 Olympics.

The world was captivated by the young woman with the dazzling smile and her dancing horse.

But no one quite knew what it took to get there, nor how hard the path to success would be – until now.

Dujardin began riding horses at the age of two, but dressage was firmly the domain of the wealthy, not the life of a girl from a middle-class family.

Her parents sacrificed all and with a undeterred focus, Charlotte left school at 16 to follow her dream.

When she was invited to be a groom for the British Olympian Carl Hester, she began to ride Valegro, a dark bay gelding and an unbreakable bond was formed. 

This is their incredible story.


Planet Fran: Population one and just a little unstable, by Josie King

In a nutshell: 

Horses are, in Fran’s words, ‘big and with a mind of their own’ and somewhat of a mystery to her.

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That is, until she’s thrust into equestrian life by the man willing to invest in her start-up company.

He’ll give her all the money she needs on one condition – enter a British Event in a few months’ time and win. What could possibly go wrong?

The blurb:

With a head full of get-rich dreams and a business idea but no funding, Fran McBride embarks on a life-changing challenge.

Immersed reluctantly into an equestrian life, Fran has to grasp the basics of not only how to care for a horse, but how to ride and jump.

In fact, her very future depends on it! For a capable adult, just how difficult can that be? Maybe not so.

For our super intelligent yet super un-coordinated Fran? Very bloody difficult. Will she make it? Will she get her desperately sought after investment?


Horse massage for horse owners, by Sue Palmer

In a nutshell: 

A lifelong horse lover, author Sue Palmer has dedicated her life to horses. Here, she explains how to massage your horse and how it will boost your bond in the process.

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The blurb: 

This book is a must for anyone who would like to improve the health, wellbeing or performance of their horse.

Practical, educational and easy to follow, the author shares with you the knowledge and skills you need to massage your own horse.

Learn about equine anatomy, massage techniques, and how to combine the moves to develop a complete massage routine.

With the emphasis on how you can work with your own horse, Sue offers an insight into how to reduce pain and stiffness in your horse as well as improve performance.

Massaging your horse gives something back in return for all he does for you, and will help you and your horse to truly enjoy the time that you spend together.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here.