Recommended Reading

The links below is the gateway to the CSI recommended reading list. Because there are many excellent books available on Sporthorse riding, training, handling, and breeding, the topics have been divided up into pages by topic. Click on the desired topic in the list to see books in that category.

CSI Members have generously offered to sell their own copies of some of these books. Look for the link to email them about it. If you are a CSI member and wish to sell a book you see listed, please contact Linda at for more information.


Blessed Are The Brood Mares
This is a more technically oriented book than Modern Horse Breeding, but still not at the level of a veterinary text book, so it is still readable by the those without a medical degree. Good middle of the road breeding book.
Equine Breeding Management and Artificial Insemination
Modern Horse Breeding
This is an excellent general text on horse breeding. It is not as technical as some books on the market so that it will be an easier read for the breeder just starting out (without causing too much panic over what MIGHT go wrong).
The Complete Book of Foaling
Breeding Management and Foal Development
This is one of the more technical text available on breeding management. If you have read other books and always want more details, this is the right book for you.
The Formative Years: Raising and Training the Young Horse


Horse Genetics
This is basically more of a primer on genetics with more detail on genetics in a general sense without the detailed focus on color as in the books below. If you want to develop a broad understanding of genetics, this is the right text.
Horse Color Explained
Gower has some critics who disagree with her genetic theory, but this is still an excellent book, imo. She has photos of color variations beyond the norm such as bindle. Still a worthwhile read.
Horse Color
If you can only buy one book on color genetics, this is probably your best bet. Excellent photos showing variations on color and color genetics explained in a fairly straightforward manner.
Equine Genetics and Selection Procedures
If you are looking for the ultimate book in equine genetics, this is it. It is not the easiest read, but it has the most details on genetics and equine selection procedures for breed improvement above all others!


Conformation and Performance
This book focuses on different aspects of conformation why that t would be a help or a hindrance to specific types of performance. This is an excellent general text but does not delve in to the interdependencies between body parts and bio-mechanics of movement. Excellent book for someone who wants a quick, to the point reference.
Horse Conformation & Athletic Movement
This is a basic CD on conformation and movement. This is more fundamental that some people will need, but a good introductory work on conformation and the different needs of different riding disciplines.
Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement
This is a must read for students of gaits & equine movement. Harris delves into aspects rarely discussed in books such as how a rider effects a horse’s movement, how shoes can impact movement, and how to improve movement.
Anatomy of the Horse
This is a basic text on anatomy, bones and soft tissue. In order to truly understand & discuss conformation, a horse person needs to understand equine anatomy.
The Horse in Motion: The Anatomy and Physiology of Equine Locomotion
The Horses Muscles in Motion
Understanding the Horse’s Back

In Hand Work

Schooling Horses in Hand
This is a fairly advanced text on work in hand. Trainers who are just trying to learn work in hand may become frustrated by this work, but for those who have some background will most likely find this an excellent addition to their library.
Right from the Start
This book focuses on starting out young horses with communication and low stress, including some discussion on how horses think and learn. This book has some introductory work in hand as well as starting a horse off under saddle.
Showing in Hand
101 Longeing and Long Lining Exercises


Dressage In Harmony: From Basic to Grand Prix
This is an excellent book covering the basics of classical dressage.
Dressage Principles Illuminated
Dressage With Kyra
Dressage for the 21st Century
This is a wonderful work that explains dressage principles in an easy to read, easy to understand manner. The author uses photos and illustrations well to show correct vs. incorrect and to clarify his points. Well written, easier to read than many classical dressage text. Highly recommend.
Cavalletti: The Schooling of Horse and Rider over Ground Polls
This is the consummate text on cavalletti. Any rider that wants to improve & strengthen their horses’ use of it’s back should consider this book.
Centered Riding


Anne Kursinski’s Riding and Jumping Clinic
101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider
Jumps, etc.: Jumps, Dressage Arenas and More
School Exercises for Flatwork and Jumping
Making Your Own Jumps (Step by Step)
This book is ideal for those who don’t have a budget to buy fancy jumps! This offers cost effective alternatives to spending thousands on a jumping course.
Hunter Seat Equitation
This is a classic in the hunter world, an older text but still valuable for those interested in learning more about equitation.
Winning: A Training and Showing Guide


The art of Long Reining
by Sylvia Stanier
An excellent guide to help you understand, get started and learn to advance with your long reins.
Long Reining to Break Horses to Harness
by Heinrich Freiherr von Senden
Very descriptive book on the steps to start a horse in harness- the author also explains his reasoning on his method of training.
Carriage Driving
A logical approach through dressage training  by Heikke Beand and Sarah Blandchard- the MOST complete book I have found on starting horses in harness and continuing their training. These authors use a dressage background and this book will help challenge those who already have their horses going nicely in harness.
Judging Carriage Driving
by Salie Walron
This author has several well written informative driving books. This book is no exception. Learn about the different types of harness classes, what the judge is thinking and the different styles of carriages/carts and their proper use. A very informative book.
Drive smartly – Drive Safely
by Carriage Association of America
A great little resource. Valuable information for beginners.
Carriage Turnouts
by Carriage Association of America
Learn all the types of carriages, harness that will match and the proper dress code for each. A lot of info packed into a handy guide.
Breaking a Horse to Harness
by Salie Walrond
One of the best written books for those without trainers. Easy to follow, lots of photos and a systematic approach to teaching.
Driving a Harness Horse
by Salie Walrond
This book covers some of her previous work “Breaking a Horse to Harness” along with more info on carriages and turnouts.
The Essential Guide to Carriage Driving
by Roberta Coffey and Jaye-Allison Winkel
The ultimate beginners guide. These authors cover it all,¬† from how to pick a harness horse, to how to chose the proper harness, and carriage/cart. Fitting of harness and Carriage/cart, starting your horse in harness and much, much more..if you can only afford ONE great book, and are just learning about harness, fit and function…this should be it!
This is not a book, but rather the top rated “Driving Digest”¬† find out more info about this magazine that is printed once every two months…it contains lots of valuable advice, as well as great advertisements for you needs.
Manual for Drive Dressage
by The Dressage Committee of the American Driving Society
For those wanting to learn dressage OR how to keep your horse fit and in shape while driving, this book has lots of exercises and also explains what is required of each of the ADS Levels.

General Horse Care

Better than Bombproof
by Sgt. Rick Pelicano
This is Sgt. Rick’s 2nd book in this series. Bonding and despooking training is discussed from on the ground, in the arena and on the trail. This book has a huge amount of info that will help increase your horse and rider ( or driver ) bond. Excellent choice for young horses to old.
To the Nines
by Jennifer Chong
A book packed with information on turnout for you and your horse. This book covers the proper attire for Dressage, Eventing and Hunter/Jumper, many things are also applicable to 4H shows, and Driving. A value packed book that will help you navigate all those unwritten rules in showing horses.