When training any horse, including Mustangs, sometimes it pays to go back to the house and curl up with a good horse training book. Especially so when you are looking for different ways to approach a challenging training situation or perhaps looking for ideas on what to teach next.
The type of book to recommend really depends on two important factors, your experience level and your horse’s experience level.
I’ve been a beginner and am now more advanced so I’ll try and break the books out into categories for those just getting started and those of you with more horse/training experience.
All of the links below conveniently open to Amazon for you. I am an Amazon affiliate and do receive a small commission for referring them but that does not affect the price you pay.
These are 100% books I own and whole heartedly recommend whether or not you buy them through the links I provide.
These Are My Top 3 Horse Training Book Recommendations for Beginners
While these books are great, in my opinion, for beginners, they are also awesome for experienced horsemen as well. These are books I own, love and have read many times.
- Natural Horse-Man-Ship by Pat Parelli – I know there are many that love Parelli and many that really despise him. For those of you adult enough to set any prejudice aside, this book teaches some really great, really basic ground training steps. It is the book I learned from as a kid who couldn’t afford a trainer and I think it still has immense value for anybody who reads it.
- Bombproof Your Horse by Rick Pelicano – This book can really help you think outside the box when it comes to desensitizing your horse and helping him overcome his fears. There are a lot of man-made items mustangs never encounter in the wild. Obstacles are my #1 tool to teach horses how to handle fear and investigate scary things. Rick wrote a follow-up to this book I have yet to read called “Better Than Bomproof” which might be great if you were willing to pick up the set.
- True Horsemanship Through Feel by Leslie Desmond – This one can be a bit hard to read but is well worth picking up. Bill Dorrance is one of the true great horsemen and you won’t be sorry to have read this book and then show it off on your shelf.
My Top 3 Recommendations for More Advanced Trainers
This set of books is great for the more advanced trainers but really, anyone in search of educating themselves about horses can benefit from them. They cover some basic concepts and some more advanced concepts.
- The Art of Liberty Training for Horses by Jonathan Field – This is an excellent book for any horseman who feels they have at least a cursory awareness of their body position and how it impacts the horse. The book covers groundwork and liberty work while teaching you to communicate better with your horse. It’s an excellent resource.
- A Journey to Softness by Mark Rashid – This book is easy on the pocketbook and yet packed chock full of knowledge. Softness and lightness is something I am continually working on. I’ve gotten better but there is always room for improvement. Mark has a great way of explaining things with the written word which is then easily applied in the barn.
- 101 Ground Training Exercises by Cherry Hill – This book is great for getting ideas of things to work on. I like to look through the exercises and think of ways to make them more challenging or more exciting for my horse and I.
Mustang and Wild Horse Story Books for Kids
Encourage the young ones in your life to get excited about wild horses with these books.
- The Black Stallion Adventures by Walter Farley – This is a boxed set of the classic series you may yourself have read as a kid. I loved these books, and later the television series. This set makes a great gift for any horse loving kid (and adults too!)
- Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry – Another wonderful classic. This time about the Chincoteague ponies. There is also a boxed set available on Amazon as well.
- Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West by Marguerite Henry – A true story about Wild Horse Annie’s mission to save the Mustangs. This is a great read for Mustang enthusiasts young and old.
What To Look for In a Good Horse Training Book
There are two things I look for in a good horse training book.
- It has to be able to teach me something I didn’t already know or provide insight and inspiration.
- It has to spark ideas.
All of the books I have recommended above do this in some way or another. The reality is, learning how to train horses from a book isn’t as easy as it sounds.
It is something that may take multiple attempts. You may struggle and you may even still need to hire a professional to help you.
When applying the techniques you learn in any book remember that you are going to make mistakes, and that’s OK.
Challenge yourself to set a goal for the week. If you go out to the barn 5 times a week, break that goal down into five pieces and map out what you want to work on each day.
At the end of five days, you may have completed the task on day 3 or maybe only got to step 2. Either way it’s OK. The important thing is that you are taking the time to build a relationship with your horse. You are putting the effort in and, as long as you continue to do so, you’ll be able to achieve your goals.
Horse Books For Beginning Readers
There are some kids out there that sure do make a hand. Many can ride before they can even read well. I believe it’s important we teach children to appreciate the written word from a young age.
These books are great for younger readers who maybe aren’t proficient at reading yet but are getting there. The goal is to maintain their interest and spark in horses.
Unfortunately, not all children of horse owning parents will grow up loving horses, but we can at least try and encourage it!
- Little Pinto and the Wild Horses of Mustang Canyon by Jonathan London – This is a cute little book about a little pinto foal and his band.
- DK Eyewitness Books: Horse – This is a great transition book. I have always loved all of the DK books from childhood to adulthood. They are packed full of beautiful pictures which make them very easy for young children to make up stories about the horses. As they get older, the informative tidbits make learning fun. While this isn’t a mustang specific book, it’s a great book for kids who love horses.
I hope you find some use in this list of books that I have curated for you. I have added this as a page to the website instead of a post so that I can update it from time to time.