AWHC Staff Book and Film Recommendations for the Wild Horse Advocate

From feelgood children's stories to glaring informational books, the staff at AWHC has devoured it all. We totally understand that sometimes it feels like there is an overwhelming amount of information to sift through, and a huge number of books, movies and documentaries to read and watch, so we decided to bring you our favorites. Whether you want to relax on the beach and read captivating stories from the west, or cuddle up on the couch and binge some documentaries, we got you!

Suzanne Roy

Wild Horse Annie and the Fight to Save the Mustang, Alan J. Kania: “As one of the few insiders from Velma Johnston’s campaign to save America’s mustangs, Alan J. Kania presents a thorough, deeply researched, and carefully crafted portrait of the woman without whom we would have no wild horses today. He also recounts the details of that hard-fought battle, making Wild Horse Annie an invaluable record of one of the great environmental wars of the twentieth century.” —Deanne Stillman, author of Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West

Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West by Deanne Stillman: An epic story that restores the horse to its rightful place in the history of the American West.

Grand Canyon for Sale: Public Lands versus Private Interests in the Era of Climate Change: Stephen Nash: "This is an outstanding book that every American ought to read. Nash manages to weave his way through an immensely concerning subject with irony, humor, and just enough hope so as to inspire readers to continue the fight against ongoing threats to public lands." —James L. Powell, author of Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West

Cloud Wild Stallion of the Rockies, "Cloud's Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns" and "Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions". PBS Nature Films by Ginger Kathrens: Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies Cloud is a wild horse of a different color - almost pure white. And his regal bearing and feisty personality make him stand out all the more. From the day of his birth in the Rockies, he so enthralled Ginger Kathrens that she began to follow his story, filming him and his fellow wild horses of the Arrowhead Mountains over the course of seven years. But in the highly competitive "culture" of wild horses, was Cloud capable of becoming the great band stallion she expected?

Into the West: Here's the enchanting big-screen adventure about two city kids who receive a gift beyond their wildest dreams -- a magical horse. But when a rich breeder tries desperately to take the horse away from them, their only hope is to escape and become the coolest outlaws ever to ride ... INTO THE WEST! Capture the thrill of this delightful adventure and experience for yourself the feeling and joy it brought to critics and audiences everywhere! 

Grace Kuhn

This Land, by Christopher Ketchum: “A hard-hitting look at the battle now raging over the fate of the public lands in the American West–and a plea for the protection of these last wild places”- Penguin Random House:

Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustang: David Phillips: “A gripping, myth-busting biography of the mustang, one of the most charismatic characters in the epic story of the American West, and a whip-smart argument for how to keep what’s left of its wilderness as wild as possible.” - Dan Egan, author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Netflix: As eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale animal agriculture has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.

brieanah schwartz

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses- Paul Gobal: There was a girl in the village who loved horses... She led the horses to drink at the river. She spoke softly and they followed. People noticed that she understood horses in a special way. And so begins the story of a young Native American girl devoted to the care of her tribe's horses. With simple text and brilliant illustrations. Paul Goble tells how she eventually becomes one of them to forever run free.

My Friend Flicka- Mary O’Hara: The first time that Ken McLaughlin sees Flicka galloping past him on his family's Wyoming horse ranch, he knows she's the yearling he's been longing for. But Flicka comes from a long line of wild horses, and taming her will take more than Ken could ever have imagined. Soon, Ken is faced with an impossible choice: give up on his beautiful horse, or risk his life to fight for her.

Hidalgo: Hidalgo is a 2004 epic biographical western film based on the legend of the American distance rider Frank Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo. It recounts Hopkins' racing his horse in Arabia in 1891 against Bedouins riding pure-blooded Arabian horses.

terri ducay

Wild at Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them: Terri Farley: "Anyone who cares about wild horses should read this book. So should anyone who cares about how science is being abused to justify flawed management policies masquerading as 'responsible conservation'." —Dr. Ross MacPhee, Curator of Mammalogy/Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History

Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs: The Life of Velma Johnston: Lison Griffiths and David Cruise: The true story of the intrepid woman whose life-long determination to protect America’s mustangs captured the heart of the country.

Last Chance Mustang: The Story of One Horse, One Horseman, and One Final Shot at Redemption: Mitchell Bornstein: “Horse enthusiasts will be moved by Samson's tale, laughing at his quirky personality and weeping at the injustices experienced by this noble beast. Animal lovers will enjoy being introduced to the collection of formerly unloved, rejected animals that are part of Samson's new life. Bornstein, a talented storyteller, captures the distinct personality of each barnyard companion.” ―Library Journal


Brighty of the Grand Canyon- Marguerite Henry: A determined little burro earns the loyalty and affection of everyone he encounters in this classic story from Newbery Award–winning author Marguerite Henry.

Misty of Chincoteague: Nobody could capture the Phantom. She was the wildest mare on Assateague Island. They said she was like the wind, that the white "map" on her shoulders was her mark of freedom.


Black Stallion: Walter Farley: First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.

The Black Stallion: 1979: "The Black Stallion is a magical fable that basks in shimmering imagery, innocent wonder and the romantic longings that we thought Hollywood had left behind in the '50s."- Boston Globe

Buck: Buck explores the life of Buck Brannaman from his childhood living with an abusive father to his successful approach to handling and training horses. Brannaman worked on the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer as the lead equine consultant. He teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment.


The Soul of a Horse: Life’s Lessons from the Herd, By Joe Camp: A heartwarming story of a couple and their horse exploring what caring for a horse can teach us about companionship—whether it’s with a four-legged friend or a fellow human.

Chosen by a Horse, by Susan Richards: “Proof that love for another animal can alone make one human and humane: wit and crushing sadness chasing each other all across the page; intelligence and bravery and perfect literary pitch... Damn great.”—Melissa Holbrook Pierson, author of Dark Horses and Black Beauties: Animals; Women, a Passion

War Horse, by Michael Morpurgo: In 1914, Joey, a farm horse, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of World War I on the Western Front. When Joey is dragged away, his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he is forced to leave behind. In the army the beautiful red-bay horse is trained to charge the enemy, drag heavy artillery, and carry wounded soldiers not much older than Albert off the battlefields. Amongst the clamoring of guns, and while plodding through the cold mud, Joey wonders if the war will ever end. And if it does, will he ever find Albert again?

How To Think Like a Horse, by Cherry Hill: “Hill first guides the reader through the physical, mental, evolutionary and social processes that lead to common equine behavioral traits. She then relates how that knowledge can be applied practically and routinely at the barn to create an effective partnership between horse and human…In short, a multitude of considerations ultimately affect how well a human communicates with his or her horse when mastering new skills and Hill capably addresses them all with insights she's gained from her lifetime of equestrian experience.” -Western Horseman, January 2007

The Perfect Horse, by Elizabeth Letts: “[Elizabeth] Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses. . . . The author’s elegant narrative conveys how the love for these amazing creatures transcends national animosities.” —Kirkus Reviews

Gunner, Hurricane Horse by Judy Andrekson: Each book in the True Horse Stories focuses on a contemporary horse from a different part of the world, and each animal is, in his or her own way, a hero.


Billy Jack: Ex-Green Beret hapkido expert saves wild horses from being slaughtered for dog food and helps protect a desert "freedom school" for runaway.

The Mustang: The story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.


The Phantom Stallion: Terri Farley: It's been two years since Blackie, the horse Sam raised from a foal, threw her in a near-fatal accident. She's been separated from her family, her ranch and the wild mustangs she loves. Now she's home again, but her beloved Blackie has been missing since the day Sam was injured. Then, on the night she returns, a mustang comes to Sam. Is it Blackie, grown up and gone wild? Is it the legendary stallion known as the Phantom? Or could it be both?

Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron: A wild stallion is captured by humans and slowly loses the will to resist training, yet, throughout his struggles for freedom, the stallion refuses to let go of the hope of one day returning home to his herd.

American Mustang: A young girl discovers that America's wild horses are in danger of being wiped off the land they've called home for thousands of years, as American Mustang the Movie unveils the compelling story of the wild mustang.