The Pile on my Nightstand, on my desk and in the mail… HORSE BOOKS!

Friday, September 23rd, 2011 | Filed under Handy Tips

I love photos and I love non-fiction books.

Non-fiction horse books with photos beckon me.

Of course, this entire blog is based on the relationships between equines and their humans…

So a non-fiction photo book about a horse and its owner is almost like the apple in the Garden of Eden!  I want it!!!!


Amazon is very smart… If I sign on, the little computer gnome will salute me with several books he thinks I will like.

Dang it!  That little gnome is generally correct.  And, not only will he show me several books I will want, but he bundles them with other books that I’ll probably like as well.

Right again.

So, I try not to sign onto Amazon because I end up ordering more books than I need.  They pile up on my nightstand, desk and in my mailbox.

I’ve sworn off Amazon…

These are the books that the Amazon gnome thinks I should purchase.


However, yesterday I was broadsided…

I received an email from Catskill Animal Sanctuary (website linked here).

I wrote about them long ago (linked here).  Their story is very inspiring… This one woman, Kathy Stevens, who had no experience in running a sanctuary, bought a bunch of land and created a business model that helped generate interest and responsibility from her community towards the Sanctuary.  The Sanctuary is part of the community like the local library or the local historical monument.  The community takes care of the Sanctuary and helps provide for it.

Great idea!

Not only is the Catskill Animal Sanctuary constantly figuring out ways to incorporate their business into the business of the community, they do incredible good for all of their sanctuary animals as well as stockpile funds for their survival.

CAS’s business model is rare and quite successful.

Anyway, I received an email from Catskill Animal Sanctuary.

Within that email was a link to the founder’s new book, ANIMAL CAMP.

This is the book from the email that started it all!

I clicked it.

Oops.  Here we go again…

Yup, I ordered it.  Ordering that book got me hooked into Amazon again whose gnome showed me a few more books I would probably (and did) like and the whole thing spiraled AGAIN.

I decided to share it all with you – the books I ordered and the books I already have, stacked all around me.


I expect that ANIMAL CAMP is a collection of Kathy’s experiences around her Sanctuary.  Yay!  I’m all over that!

Her other book, WHERE THE BLIND HORSE SINGS was her first.  I don’t know what it is about.  But, I ordered it anyway because I’m sure that this brilliant woman would have something to teach me…  You can go to the website and order, too, if you’d like.

Yup, I ordered this one, too.


OK, this one is like crack for me… Hollywood Icons and their horses, plus stories – written by Robert Mitchum’s daughter!!  Love it!  I ordered this last week and it just arrived.  So, I haven’t pawed through it yet.  I’m sure it will bring forth a few blog topics…  <smile>

I got lucky with this one.  The Amazon gnome told me that there were a few ‘used’ to pick from.  And, actually, it came in pretty good condition.

I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this one!

I ordered this 'used' but it is in great shape!



These two just came today.  A reader told me that she wrote childrens’ books based on her own horse, Quincy.  In a lovely gesture, she sent two of the books in the series to me.  They arrived today.  I took photos and then looked inside.  I haven’t read them but I’m fairly certain I will like them.

The Quincy books that just arrived

If you’d like to meet the author or the real horse, here is a link to her website.

Here is a photo of the actual Quincy who is alive and well – creating more inspiration for his owner.

The real Quincy


I wrote about this a while ago.  The book was coming out and I had never heard the story!

For me, the David and Goliath stories make me wanna dance around to the theme of ROCKY.

So, after writing the post (linked here), I pre-ordered the book.  And, it arrived last week.

It sits on my nightstand…  I really want to read it!

Another one that looks very inspirational - sitting on my desk


As you know, I’ve written a few posts about the movie, War Horse.  Not only did we meet the artist who created the horse drawing used in the theatrical trailer, she also ended up becoming the horse dresser on the movie (linked here)!

And, small world as it is, the actual owner of the horse from the drawing contacted HORSE AND MAN to tell me all about her lovely boy (story linked here).

Anyway, after all of that – and the discussion amongst you all regarding the play and the book, I decided to read the book.  So, it is on my desk.

This one is short... I should have read it by now!


I had never heard of this horse either!  Somehow he came into my radar and I had to find out about this horse who was a huge celebrity of his day!

This ‘most intelligent horse in the world’ was like a rock star on the vaudeville circuit.  Jim Key could draw more crowds than any other exhibit.  He even had his own building!  Everyone knew Jim Key.

Yet, I had never heard of him.

So, I did some research and wrote about him.  You can read it here.

And, I ordered the book.  It sits on my nightstand right now…

The Beautiful Jim Key - a huge celebrity in his day!


OK, well, the movie SECRETARIAT is playing almost daily on a few channels around here.

To be honest, some parts of the movie dragged for me, yet other parts sent me over the moon!!  I keep waiting to hear my favorite parts and then I run downstairs to watch.  It never gets old…

Anyway,  Amazon helped me stumble upon a book written by the daughter of the owner of Secretariat called SECRETARIAT’S MEADOW.  I thought this would be thrilling because she was there from his birth to his death.  So, I ordered it.

The book by the daugher, Kate Chenery Tweedy

Then, I made the mistake of reading a few reviews of the above book – and one of them mentioned the ‘all time best’ book on Secretariat by Raymond Woolfe… so I ordered that one, too.  At least I got a ‘used’ version.

Neither of those books have arrived yet…

So, I expect my piles to grow a bit in the near future!  ;)

They say this is the ultimate Secretariat book...


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

10 comments have been posted...

  1. tish

    I am tish, i love this site,and look forward everyday to it coming,along forwarding it to my grandson. I have written a bedtime story for him. it is now published. the boy and the blue painted pony. It is about passing down to my grandson,to become the third generation natural horse trainer,with his blue and white paint mini foal.My grandfather trained team draft horses in his day.I have trained and showed llamas for many years.Then I put together a breeding herd of mini paints. It teaches young children to repect their mini,learn from them on what they give back.

  2. meg

    “Where the Blind Horse Sings” is a great book. Each animal’s story is lovingly told and you’ll feel you should be doing more to help out animals in general. The blind horse trusts his rider enough to be ridden through varying terrains and is a touching story. It had a personal reason for me to like it since my own horse was blind and everyone told me to put him to sleep. He lived for 10 more years and was shown during that time. I think many people just assume that they can’t live without their sight and it’s a good story to illustrate that. There are also stories of the farm animals that have found a home there. I wished I lived near so I could volunteer there!

  3. RiderWriter

    Seabiscuit, I’m with you – I’m a huge reader and rare is the book that I don’t finish. The writing in Jim Key WAS really, really bad and I did not wind up reading all of it, either. Not sure what was wrong but boy, was it slow going. I was disappointed, too, because it could have been really good.

    Hope you get the “80-Dollar Horse” book soon like I’m planning to, I sure hope that’s a winner!

  4. RiderWriter

    (Warning: long post – way too much to say here!)

    WOW, oh wow. Boy, do I ever wish we lived closer together because Girlfriend, you are a person SO after my own heart when it comes to reading! We would have a blast exchanging books (and you would save some money ;-). I can’t afford to buy very many so I do a lot of library visiting. But the truly special ones… oh, yeah. Here’s my breakdown of today’s list:
    – “Animal Camp” and “Where The Blind Horse Sings”
    Have not heard of them or this sanctuary, but will immediately check with the library
    – “Hollywood Hoofbeats”
    Same. I know I would eat it up.
    – “Quincy” books
    Have not heard of them, but probably would enjoy. Not as high on my list.
    – “80 Dollar Champion”
    NOT MISSING THIS. It’s on my Christmas/birthday list, will absolutely own it.
    – “War Horse”
    What can I say… I got this from the library as soon as I found out it was a book (heard about the play). Absolutely bawled my freaking head off. Last movie I went to showed the movie trailer, and I was sobbing in 30 seconds flat, no joke. Not sure if I can handle the whole movie, but I guess I’ll have to see it. Going BY MYSELF and packing a whole hella lot of tissues.
    – “Beautiful Jim Key”
    Got this from library and read it. Fascinating story, truly!
    – “Secretariat’s Meadow” and the Woolfe book
    Perhaps you’re not aware yet of the fact that I’m a manic Big Red fan. One peek into my house and you’d figure it out right quick; there is Sec stuff everywhere. I started with a gorgeous print and the William Nack book about him, both purchased in the KY Derby Store in 1992. My copy of the Woolfe book was borrowed from the library and conveniently “lost” shortly thereafter… I am not proud of this but I DID pay the library for it! At the time I didn’t know where else to get it. When the “Meadow” book came out of course I was extremely excited, and my hubby probably planned on buying it for me. I beat him to it. Not only did I get a copy at the WEG, I had it signed by Ms. Tweedy herself (a lovely and friendly woman, just like her mother, whom I’ve also met)! The sales that day benefitted the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center so it was extra-good.
    But here’s the funny part of the story. Like I said, I bought the book and had Kate T. sign it. It started to rain and I didn’t want my new purchase to get wet, so I asked one of the ladies in the booth to put it aside and said I’d be back in a couple hours (after 3-day stadium jumping) to pick it up. When I got back, my book had… vanished. Now why somebody else would want a copy signed “To RiderWriter” I don’t know, but it was gone! I was pretty mad, especially because Kate had left for the day. They offered me another book but doggone it, I wanted a signed one. The ladies said they’d mail me one. Well, a month went by and nothing had showed up. I figured I’d made a nice donation to the MMSC which wasn’t the end of the world. Then I came home from work one day and found a padded mailer containing a signed copy, which had been sent from CO – by Kate T. herself! WHAT A GREAT LADY. Those Secretariat connection people are ALL classy and nice, in fact. I met the whole crew two years at the Secretariat Festival in KY. So enjoy your books wholeheartedly! And I recommend the William Nack “Secretariat” book if you don’t have it. It’s awesome, I never get tired of re-reading it, and yes, I have not one but two signed copies… he’s a terrific person, too. :-)

  5. Seabiscute

    Wow, I have not encountered more than a couple of the books listed (the Snowman one is definitely on my wish list, though) — thanks for these ideas!

    About The Beautiful Jim Key, however — I advise putting it at the bottom of your stack. Though the premise is appealing, the writing was so bad I simply could not finish reading it. And I read *everything* — it is rare that I don’t finish something I’ve started. I was very disappointed…

    To make up for that, how about considering some Morgan books! These are fiction. Ellen Feld has a series — I have met her at Equine Affaire — and Nancy Bailey writes books inspired by her amazing Clifford; she is on some of the Morgan email groups.

    Back to non-fiction, there’s another book I recommend, Forward Motion: Horses, Humans and the Competitive Enterprise, by my college classmate Holly Menino Bailey. It’s a look at top equestrians in several disciplines — I thought it was fascinating.

    Again in the fiction category, there’s Jane Smiley’s Horse Heaven — loved it!

  6. Sharon Weishaar

    Thank you for sharing these books. I have already read “Beautiful Jim Key” and “The Eight-Dollar Champion”. They were both excellent!! I too am a sucker for non fiction horse books and my headboard, bookshelf and spare closet are full of wonderful books.

    I too would recommend any or all of the books by Mark Rashid. They are not instructional per say, but you sure learn a lot from each one.

    Now it looks like I will have to purchase a few more of the ones you have mentioned. I am especially interested in the books by Kathy Stevens.

    As always, thank you for the daily blogs. I look forward to them every day!

  7. sue tyrkus

    Thanks for the info on the Secretariat books!! Must get them…my grandfather and his partners bred 2 of their mares to Secretariat…amazingly beautiful foals, but didn’t turn out to be nearly the caliber of “himself”. I was fortunate to see him up close and personal, and he was the most stunning creature, with a lovely, kind eye. I recently found my grandfather’s winning ticket from Secretariat’s last race…it was taped inside the back of the frame of a large photo of Secretariat I was having remounted! Wow…what a find…jumping up and down!!

  8. KW

    I recommend and LOVE books by Mark Rashid. They aren’t “training” books, but rather pages of stories from his childhood/adult life and the insights he’s picked up over the years from horses. His page turners will make you laugh, have ‘ah-ha’ moments, and teach some unique lessons!

    I started with “Considering the Horse”, “A Good Horse is Never a Bad Color”, and “Horses Never Lie”. But if you love a horse-human connection story, you might really like “Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse”. It’s a wonderful telling of Mark’s special connection with his reliable horse, Buck. GREAT reads!

  9. Linda Horn

    I’m so excited you bought the “Quincy” books! Camille makes her home in La Plata, NM, which is very close to where I live. Getting “Quincy Finds a New Home” off the ground was extremely challenging. The first time I read it was when she generously donated a number of copies to our local rescue’s fundraiser. Haven’t read “Quincy Moves to the Desert” yet, but I’m sure it’s a good one. I heard she’s planning to add more to the series. What adventures will Quincy and his pal Beau have in the future? Guess we’ll just have to stay tuned!

  10. peg

    No fair!! Now I’ve got to find those books.. However I’ve been in S.M.Stirling ‘s “Novels of the Change” for the past few months.. The first one is “Dies the Fire” He does know about horses and has a great horse in most of the books. “Epona” seems to be more than a horse.

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