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Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right
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Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  52 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
How far can a horse travel in a day? What does a horse eat? When is a brown horse really a sorrel (or a bay, or a dun)? What do tack and withers and canter mean?

In this long-awaited and much-requested book based on her "Horseblog" at Book View Café, author and horse breeder Judith Tarr answers these questions and many more. She looks at horses from the perspective of the
Kindle Edition
Published (first published November 15th 2010)
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I started off as highly impressed with Writing Horses, but my opinion has dwindled the longer I've worked on this review. It is an excellent resource for providing basic, factual equestrian and equine information for reference intended for writers. The writing is clear and easily read, and I particularly loved the hyperlinks embedded in the PDF that provided easy access to a lot of other helpful materials. But this is by no means a perfect book, and it's worse for being marketed as the end-all a ...more
Sherwood Smith
Mar 07, 2011 Sherwood Smith rated it it was amazing
I've read this twice, and I find myself going back to it frequently. Though usually I do not like reading on the computer (and this is formatted for ebooks of all stripes if one prefers) the embedded URLs are crampacked with good information giving further details of every aspect of horse history, physiology, social and herd dynamics, breeding, and doctoring. There is also a chapter on magical horses and how to add realistic drama to your story with details of horse trivia.

In short, this is a bo
Patricia Burroughs
Aug 21, 2011 Patricia Burroughs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference, writing
I bought this e-book for the information and read it for the pleasure. Tarr's voice is conversational and entertaining as she breaks down the basics of horses for writers who aren't horse-savvy. Whether writing about real life breeds or making up one's own special magical horses, this book is a must have, and a bargain at only $4.99.
Faith Justice
Dec 31, 2010 Faith Justice rated it really liked it
I received this as a free ebook from the publisher as part of an Early Reviewer Program. The opinions are my own.

Written by fantasy and historical fiction author Judith Tarr (a.k.a. Caitlin Brennan and Kathleen Bryan), this is a non-fiction resource book, geared to writers who need to write about riding/driving/working with horses. Ms. Tarr is a horsewoman and does a good job of sharing the basics and giving resources for more advanced research. The book is divided into several parts covering:

Katharine Kimbriel
Aug 29, 2011 Katharine Kimbriel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Writers using horses in their stories, horse lovers, people researching horses
Recommended to Katharine by: discovered while the blog was being written.
This is a comprehensive little book on writing about horses in fiction. Even if you have one fleeting scene with people on horseback, this book could help you avoid some obvious, glaring errors. Judith Tarr has an entertaining non-fiction voice and a deep love for her subject. This handy e-book is attractively priced over at, where I found it. Even if you're making up a breed of horse, Tarr provides basics about herd animals you'll find essential.

Also recommended for horse l
Mar 06, 2017 Rian.J.Lloyd rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-craft
Excellent reference material. I learned a lot about horses that I never knew and how to apply that to writing in a realistic way.
Apr 23, 2011 Tracey rated it really liked it
Judith Tarr is someone who's been on my List forever; I think the first I read by her was The Hound and the Falcon, which was an astounding and beautiful trilogy. Alamut was gorgeous too, and I wanted a sequel to A Wind in Cairo in the worst way. It was the latter especially that proved to me that Ms. Tarr knows her horses - it was the perfect fantasy + horse book.

So I was tickled to win her Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right. This is a book by a woman whose love of horses only gre
Lee Dunning
Jan 18, 2016 Lee Dunning rated it really liked it
I fancy myself a writer of sorts (cough) and my chosen genre is heroic fantasy. Occasionally I have to mention the use of horses. Horses are cool. They're beautiful and powerful ... and I know almost next to nothing about them. Enter Judith Tarr's book, "Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right".

Holy furball! What fascinating, complicated creatures! Powerful, yes, yet fragile too. Ms. Tarr lays it all out. Do you simply want to know about the breeds and colors available? It's in her boo
Bonnie McDaniel
Jan 03, 2015 Bonnie McDaniel rated it liked it
I know everybody's supposed to be into ebooks now, but you will get my last physical book when it's pried from my cold dead fingers, dammit. That said, I do have a few ebooks and short stories, and this is one of them.

(Also, you should hie thee straight over to Book View Cafe and peruse their selection. That's where I downloaded this book. It's an independent publishing cooperative where almost all the royalties go straight to the authors--none of this Amazon middleman nonsense. Not to mention
Jan 11, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it
So far I've only read the first chapter but it's already been worth reading! I used to write about a girl and her horse but I never knew enough about them to satisfy myself. I researched things a bit but that's totally different than reading a book like this--one that's specifically designed to teach you how to write about horses in your book. I've looked for a book like this for a LONG time. And I was really fortunate to get an ebook copy in the giveaway. Seriously, I highlighted and noted most ...more
Oct 12, 2015 Robin rated it it was amazing
Excellent, quick-read, easy to understand resource for any writer whose stories include horses -- starting with the simple reminder that horses are not like dogs! Ms. Tarr, both a novelist and horsewoman, dispels a lot of myths we might be used to seeing in books and movies, thinking they're correct. Horses don't whinny or flick their tails in greeting. They can't gallop for hours. (Okay, Shadowfax in Lord of the Rings can, but he's special.) They need water throughout the day -- lots of it. Arm ...more
Jul 31, 2013 Gmc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reveiwed
Being a horsewoman myself I feel strongly about some of the errors writers make about horses. In one book I read recently everybody rode stallions, these animals never noticed the other stallions (LOL). There wasn't a single gelding in the whole book. This book "Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right" was entertaining and accurate. The web links where informative. I can't wait to get my hands on the hard back edition. I wonder how the web links will be handled it it. I love Judith Tarr ...more
Rachel Brown
Jul 25, 2012 Rachel Brown rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A writer’s guide to horses by a writer, rider, and horse ranch owner, covering everything from the basics of anatomy and riding, to modern horse breeding and training, to horse issues in historical or fantasy settings, to the psychology of horses and people who deal with them.

Informally written, extremely easy to read, and very, very useful. It's probably too basic for anyone who already knows a lot about horses, but a great resource for the rest of us.
C.B. Matson
Dec 21, 2015 C.B. Matson rated it really liked it
Judith Tarr presents a good, clear picture of the mechanics of riding, owning and caring for a horse. Her love of riding and deep attachment to these animals comes through in every page. Writers, if you feature horses in your book, you need to know this stuff. I only wish she had expanded on horse psychology and a bit more on tack and gear. Maybe next book...
Jun 02, 2015 Stan rated it really liked it
A good resource for writers who want to include horses in their writing. The book is accessible and interesting. The only knock I might give it is that it includes so much advice, you are worried you will forget the bits at the beginning of because you are picking up so much as you read along.
Nov 28, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
Another book read for research for writing. This touches the surface and is rather informative at the level of at least knowing a high level of details that can make horse characters more then just transportation.
May 17, 2015 Sineala rated it liked it
As the title suggests, this is useful if you want to write about horses.
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AKA Caitlin Brennan, Kathleen Bryan.

Judith Tarr (born 1955) is an American author, best known for her fantasy books. She received her B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College in 1976, and has an M.A. in Classics from Cambridge University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She taught Latin and writing at Wesleyan University from 1988-1992, and taught at the
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