C&I Recommends: Books For Horse People

Looking for the perfect gift book for the horse lover in your family? give C and I Recommend something.

Our January 2023 issue’s Entertainment “Hot List” was designed to help you choose shows to watch and books and music to give, share or just enjoy yourself in the new year. We only have so many pages in our print edition, and there are plenty of good things left to suggest. Here are six horse-related books we’re excited about.

Lightning Swords: The Green Beret Horse Soldier and America’s Response to 9/11 Mark Nitsch, Bob Pennington, and Jim DeFiles (Promote Press). This first-person account tells the story of how a small group of Green Berets used horses and laser-guided bombs to take out the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11. The Green Berets—Special Forces ODA 595—became known as the Horse Soldiers in Hollywood. What they achieved, and what is considered one of the greatest military victories in US history, is the subject of the 2018 film 12 strong. This latest book goes into much more detail.

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Milo’s eyes By Lisa Bachner (Behler Publications). Written by a renowned award-winning blind horseman who is ranked the nation’s No. 1 handicap rider by the USA Equestrian Federation, this compelling read tells the love story between rider Lisa and her once-neglected and fearful horse, Milo. is behind Their journey to becoming one of America’s most successful equestrian teams in the world of show jumping makes for inspiring reading.

American Friends Ranch By Lynn Downey (OU Press). From the author-history which also gave us Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave the World Blue Jeans A Brief History of Sonoma, Arizona’s Vulture Mine and Vulture City, and his award-winning debut novel, Friends in a hurry Here comes this exciting new take on the time-honored Buckaroo Gateway, American Friendly Ranch, where rides and horses define the original Western vacation. It is well summed up by the subtitle: A Touch of the Cowboy and the Thrill of the West.

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Horses that buck By Margaret Kahn (OU Press). Volume 5 in the Western Legacies series, this biography tells the story of champion rider and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer “Cody” Bill Smith, who, when asked in an interview what he loved most about rodeo, responded: “Horses that buck”. This equivalent would help Josh Smith survive the life of a miner in Montana, take him to the national finals 13 times, and eventually help him in the business of raising horses for his Circle 7 brand.

the horse By Geraldine Brooks (Viking). The Pulitzer Prize-winning author turns his flair for historical fiction to the fascinating true story of a famous 19th-century champion racehorse and the important roles black trainers and jockeys played in the pre-Civil War South. the time Declaring that Brooks had created an unusually sensitive portrait of the “enslaved horse and his special bond” with the great Thoroughbred stallion Lexington.

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Wilde: Legendary Horses of Sable Island By Drew Doggett (Drew Doggett Photography). This beautiful picture book is nine years in the making from award-winning photographer Doggett’s 70 days among the wild horses of Sable Island. Visitors are only welcome on the wind-swept moon of Nova Scotia’s sand horses in the North Atlantic between June and October, and then only for the day. But Doggett takes you there on a long photographic journey among some 500 horses of a mysterious breed who rule “their own isolated kingdom… the authors of their own destiny and the only full-time occupants of this foreign land.

Find more 2023 entertainment tips from the editors of C and I over there.

(Photo: via Amazon listing for Drew Doggett’s wild.)


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