Winnie the Horse Gentler: These books follow the adventures of Winnie Willis, a twelve year old girl with a knack for training horses. As Winnie makes friends, struggles in school and works with her beloved horses, she learns important lessons from and about God. (Read my review of the first book.) Definitely a great resource for horse loving kids. Amazon recommends these books for readers age 8 and up. There are 8 books in this series.
Pony Pals: These are geared for very young readers. They are the first horse stories I can remember reading, and I can still recall puzzling over how to pronounce dyslexia (which one of the girls has). There’s nothing profound in them, but they are good, clean reading for little kids. Amazon recommends them for readers age 7 and up. There are 44 books in this series.
Treasured Horses Collection: I have not read all of the books in this series, but I enjoyed the ones I did read. The book shown to the left is one of the longest lasting books on my shelf, and I read it many times. In the “Treasured Horses Collection” history meets girls and their beloved horses. What’s not to like? 🙂 Kate’s Secret Plan and Pride of the Green Mountains are my two favorites from this series. Amazon recommends these books for readers age 9 and up. There are 13 books in this series.
The Black Stallion Series: When a boy and a wild black stallion are stranded together on an island, an incredible friendship begins that will lead them on many adventures. The black stallion stories are some of my all time favorite books. It is one of the few horse related series that works for boys and girls alike. I still reread them. These are classics of the horse story world. Amazon recommends these books for readers age 8 and up. There are 20 books in this series.
Hoofbeats: Katie and the Mustang: Like the Treasured Horses Collection this series combines history with horse crazy girl. Katie is a young orphan searching for her uncle. She develops a strong friendship with a mustang while traveling on the Oregon Trail. I have not read these books since I was quite young, but I remember enjoying them so a few years ago I purchased the last two books to add to my library. Amazon recommends this series for readers age 8 and up. There are 4 books in the series.
Starlight Animal Rescue: The Coolige family (relatives of Catman from the Winnie the Horse Gentler series) takes in both unwanted children and animals. They put the two together and do their best to help them and serve God in the process. I love animals and hope to be a foster parent someday, so I love this series. (Read my review of the first book.) Amazon recommend the books for readers 8 and up, but I think 10 and up is a bit more accurate. There are 4 books in the series.
Racing To Freedom Trilogy: Another series where history meets horses. The Racing To Freedom Trilogy is more historical fiction than pure animal story, but there is “plenty of horse” to satisfy animal loving readers. In these stories a young slave proves his metal and his love for horses by jockeying race horses for his master. (Read my review of the first book.) Amazon recommends this trilogy for readers age 10 and up.
Horseshoe Trilogies: While these books do not have tremendous literary quality, they are perfect for horse loving young readers. With Josie’s family struggling with financial difficulties, they must find new homes for their horses. Josie is sad to see Faith, Hope and Charity leave but is determined to find the right homes for all of them. Amazon recommends these books for readers age 8 and up. There are 9 books in this series.
Spirit of the Cimarron: Inspired by the Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron movie (which I never watched), each of these books is about a different horse. The stories are told from the horse’s point of view. The one pictured here was my favorite. I can remember reading it in the car while driving to a father/daughter camping trip with my dad. Amazon recommends these books for readers age 8 and up. There are 4 books in the series.
The Animal Ark Series: These books are what my mom dubbed “junk books” when I was reading them. They don’t have any great literary or moral value. However, the stories contain no objectionable content and with more than 62 books in the series Animal Ark can keep animal crazy, book crazy kids busy for a long time. Amazon says these books are good for readers age 8 and up.
(NOTE: There is a ten book related series called Animal Ark Hauntings. For obvious reasons I never read these and do not recommend them.)
Phantom Stallion: I’ve only read the first few books in this series, but the ones I read were pretty good. The stories are about a girl who shares an unusual friendship with a wild stallion. Most of the stories include this “phantom stallion” as well as another horse that is Samantha’s current project. Samantha is friends with a young man, but this friendship does not move toward a dating relationship in the books I read. This series is not as strongly “pulp fiction” as Animal Ark and the Thoroughbred series. Amazon recommends these books for readers age 8 and up, while the book publisher recommends them for ages 10 and up. There are 24 books in this series.
Thoroughbred Ashleigh & Ashleigh’s Thoroughbred Collection: I re-read the first book in this series (Lightning’s Last Hope) a year or two ago and was surprised at the simplicity of the writing. Like Animal Ark, these books can be classified as pulp fiction but have plenty of horse content. My favorite book was The Forgotten Filly. Amazon says these books are good for readers 8 and up. I think 10 to 12 is more accurate. There are 18 books in these two series combined.
NOTE: Later books in the Thoroughbred Ashleigh series may contain some dating. I can’t remember.
Thoroughbred: The first few books in this series are okay. The cover shown here brings back fond memories. However, after a few books dating relationships begin to get as much or more focus than the horse stories. Thoroughbred is a popular series and I think many libraries carry these books, but I do not recommend letting your horse crazy little girl read them.
Heartland: I don’t recommend these books for the same reason I don’t recommend the Thoroughbred series. A lot of attention is paid to public school dating drama.