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Five Great Books To Boost Your Equine Knowledge

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

I think most of us realise when it comes to horses you just never stop learning. These days, the way we find information has changed hugely –type a few words into a search engine and you’ll find all the information you need. But for me, you can’t beat a good book – curling up on the sofa and giving it your total attention for a few hours. It’s a chance to really focus as you turn the pages. There’s something really special about reading a book – the turning of the pages, the smell of the paper.

If you’re a lover of books and keen to improve your horsey knowledge here are my top five books (in no particular order) from Gillian Higgins, and why they all make a great Christmas gift to give or receive.

"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." Mortimer J Adler

How your Horse Moves

Whether you’re new to the world of equine anatomy or have some knowledge, this book takes a fresh look at equine anatomy and biomechanics and is a comprehensive guide to how horses move, presented from the inside out, which makes it much more fun to learn about.

This is the first of Gillian’s books to be published – in fact she turned the publisher down when they first approached her to write a book because she thought people wouldn't want to read it. Thank goodness she changed her mind. How Your Horse Moves is still a firm favourite and will make a great gift for anyone who rides or works with horses.

How your Horse Moves is beautifully presented and written in an easy to understand language. You’ll gain a valuable insight into how your horse works and discover how correct riding and training will bring the best out in your horse.

Horse Anatomy for Performance

The horse’s body is a such a marvellous machine. Each anatomical system has individual tasks to perform but is also interdependent on each other. Horse Anatomy for Performance looks, in detail at how the horse functions and looks at some practicalities of anatomical training.

After learning all about the 12 systems of the horse you’ll have a much clearer understanding of how anatomy influences the way you manage, ride, and train your horse.

This book clearly explains the importance, relevance and interaction between each of the anatomical systems, it will really make you look at your horse in a whole new light.

Anatomy in Action

Immerse yourself in this beautiful and comprehensive study of horse movement from the anatomical perspective. It was five years in the making and this is a unique and detailed study of the horse in motion.

Anatomy in Action is available as a beautiful, quality, hardback book, a detailed, high definition movement video course or both. It illustrates the versatility, elegance, strength, beauty, and athleticism of equine movement. This is an amazing resource that you will treasure, analyse, interpret and relish for years to come.

Take time to enjoy this unique, fold-out anatomical catalogue of movements with compelling skeletal photographic images accompanied by concise explanations of each movement. There’s also video links complete with Gillian’s commentary that make this book a treasure trove of biomechanical insights for anyone who loves horses.

Exploring Equine Anatomy

Now for something a little different. With mental health never far from our thoughts Exploring Equine Anatomy provides an excuse for a little ‘me time’.

This colouring book showcases Gillian's love for equine anatomy and drawing. It also cleverly combines the therapeutic benefits of colouring with learning – you’ll study different horses doing a variety of movements. It will encourage you to look at how the muscles move and change as the horse moves.

Exploring Equine Anatomy is a mindfulness colouring book that encourages you to stop and sit quietly to create your own works of art. In a short space of time you’ll find your mind becomes calmer and quieter.

There are also inspirational quotes and the anatomical terminology of the muscles and skeleton preceding each section, it gives the perfect opportunity to learn as well as relax.

Posture and Performance

This beautifully illustrated book gives you all the ingredients you need to put together an effective, achievable, varied and safe training programme.

Posture and Performance is refreshingly different and encourages you to look at training and management from a completely different perspective. After reading this practical and comprehensive riding and training guide you will have a better understanding of how your horse functions, so you can maximise his potential, improve your skills, reach your goals and enjoy your horse to the full.

Posture and Performance is based on the principles of anatomy and biomechanics with the welfare of the horse in mind. Split into two parts, the first section covers the principles of training where you’ll learn about what you’re trying to achieve in your training from the anatomical perspective. Plus, discover the importance of posture as well as learning about asymmetries and compensation patterns.

The second part is exercises for performance. Here you’ll learn lots of tips and exercises that will help to improve your horse’s posture, paces, core stability, flexibility and more.

Posture and Performance is a book that you will refer to time and time again for inspiration and knowledge.

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