Giddy Up, Readers! The Best Horse Books for Kids Ages 8 – 12

by Laura Lambert

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When I was in elementary school, I rode a black, swayback Arabian named Charlie. Later, in middle school, it was a warm, chestnut American Standardbred called Tommy, a retired harness racer turned fat and lazy. And for a short time when I turned 13, it was Teardrop, an uppity Appaloosa who regularly slammed my leg against the rail when we practiced in the arena, just to let me know who, really, was boss.

None of these horses were mine — I never did get the proverbial pony — but I loved them all the same. At 8, 10, and 12 years old, I rarely felt more free and at one with myself than on the back of a horse, galloping alongside one of my best friends. They kept me grounded. They kept me busy. And they kept me more or less out of trouble.

For the horse-loving kid in your life, the next best thing to riding one of these magnificent creatures is reading about them in books. Here are a few well-loved horse books to get them started.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2023.