Telling your storiesfrom the stables to the fields

08 December,2019

Rural Books To Unwrap Under The Christmas Tree This Year

With only a few weeks to go until Santa pays a visit, present buying is in full force! There is not one person in your life that wouldn’t appreciate a book to unwrap under the Christmas tree this year. If all else fails, gifting a book to those impossible to buy for family members or friends will always go down well.

If the countryside runs through their veins or they live and breath the equestrian life, here are some of our favourite titles that make excellent Christmas gifts:

Starting From Scratch by Henrietta Knight

After discovering what makes trainers tick in The Jumping Game, Henrietta Knight tackles jockeys in Starting From Scratch. Having visited many of the world’s leading riders, Henrietta uncovers their stories: where they come from, how they became hooked on the sport, why they were willing to risk everything every day, and what are the secrets to their success.

Anyone keen to gain a better understanding of horse racing’s leading protagonists will find this a compelling read. From £14.99

Till the Cows Come Home: A Lancashire Childhood by Sara Cox

A wonderfully written, funny coming of age memoir of growing up in 1980s Lancashire, by best loved DJ and broadcaster Sara Cox. This funny, big-hearted and often moving telling of Sara’s semi rural upbringing is not what you’d expect from the original ladette but it is touching, nostalgic and a fantastic read for any rural life lover! Read our review of this super book too. From £12.99

Two Brains One Aim by Eric Smiley

Renowned international coach and clinician, Eric Smiley intends to bring together the mind of the rider with the mind of the horse. The focus of the book is to improve the ability of the rider by increasing their understanding of the horse, both on and off the ground. Featuring extensive advice on pertinent riding topics, Two Brains, One Aim stands as the perfect guide for any aspiring equestrian. £19.95

Adventures Of The Yorkshire Shepherdess 

Amanda Owen loves her traditional life on her hill farm alongside her nine children and husband Clive. And, as readers of her previous bestsellers or fans of the tv series will know, every day at Ravenseat brings surprises.

Ravenseat is a tenant farm and may not stay in the family, so when Amanda discovers a nearby farmhouse up for sale, she knows it is her chance to create roots for her children. The old house needs a lot of renovation and money is tight, so Amanda sets about the work herself, with some help from a travelling monk, a visiting plumber and Clive. It’s fair to say things do not go according to plan! Funny, evocative and set in a remote and beautiful landscape, this book will delight anyone who has hankered after a new life in the country. £12

The Wimpy Trilogy by Diary Of The Wimpy Eventer

The Wimpy Trilogy – Three books written to help you find your missing confidence, to inspire you to reach your goals and to make you laugh at a time you need it most by Victoria Brant, better known as popular Diary of the Wimpy Eventer.

This equestrian book series is for those that are at the end of their confidence tether, lacking motivation or just in need of an excellent holiday read, then these hilarious books are for you. Ever wondered what it takes to over-come fear? To grab hold of something with both hands and never let go? Then follow Vic’s equine confidence journey laughing, crying and with a little bit of wine all the way. £20

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

When Black Beauty was born one sweet spring day, he could not have imagined the life ahead of him. Following his mother’s advice to always try his best, he enjoys the adventures of country and city life, makes new friends and suffers from the cruelty and greed of his human masters. Beauty faces each challenge with bravery and kindness, and then a chance encounter with an old friend brings him the greatest joy of all.

Anna Sewell’s spirited story of the life of a horse has captivated generations of readers and Beauty’s 19th Century world is gorgeously brought to life by Christian Birmingham’s vibrant artwork making this a wonderful gift for any horse lover. £11.89 Amazon

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and even turned into tattoos. In Charlie’s first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too. Read our review on Haynet of this wonderful book which makes the most gorgeous Christmas gift too. £10.76 Amazon

The Riders Balance by Sylvia Loch

This book is designed for all riders from the very novice to the most advanced. Sylvia Loch teaches through illustrations and photos how each tiny shift of the rider’s weight will affect the horse’s balance.
The weight aids are generally taught only to higher level students especially those learning the more advanced skills. Yet, by including them from the beginning, novice riders will develop a much greater understanding of their own bodies and abilities and those of the horse from day one. A great gift for the horse rider in your life! Read the Haynet review here. £20 Quiller Publishing

Red Rag To A Bull: Rural Life In An Urban Age by Jamie Blackett

Author Jamie Blackett arrives home from the Army to take over a small family estate on the Solway Firth in Dumfries and Galloway and finds a rapidly changing countryside. Set over the first two decades of the 21st century, through the Scottish independence referendum, Brexit and the hunting ban, the result is an enlightened review of the challenges threatening a vulnerable way of life and an emerging rural philosophy about the directions Scotland, farming and the countryside might take in the brave new world of Brexit. £20 Quiller Publishing

The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland by John Lewis-Stempel

Traditional ploughland is disappearing. And the hare is running for its life. Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland that exists just down the village lane.

But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of a man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe. £7.20 Amazon

From Nags to Numbnuts: A Skint Daddy’s Guide to Horses, Horse People & Horse Sports by Daniel Skinner

Horses are wonderful, intelligent creatures that give a lifetime of love, companionship and the potential for incredible competitive sports. On the other hand, if you’re the fool that foots the bills, they’re dreadful, needy creatures that can suck a bank account dry quicker than you can say “I think we need to buy a lorry”.

Follow one man’s journey into misery, mild alcohol dependence and, ultimately, probable financial ruin as he hilariously explains everything you need to know about the world of horses and horse sports. This book is a must for horse owners and their long suffering partners at the same time. Read our Haynet review of this book too. £6.99 Amazon

These are just a few books that we love and we know would make wonderful Christmas gifts. Please gift a book this year as there is nothing better than a book in the hand! This is the last of our Christmas gift guides for 2019. Please take a look at our Countryside and Equestrian Gift Guides for ideas to finish your Christmas shopping this year.


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About Haynet

Haynet is a leading equestrian, countryside and canine blogging directory, telling your stories from the stables, kennels and to the fields. If you love living in the countryside, riding your horse, farming the fields or walking your dogs through the woods – then you will feel right at home here!

Samantha is joint judge of the Equestrian Blogger/Vlogger of the Year Award recognising talent within the industry. We are the founder of the #HorseBloggers channel, dedicated networks to share countryside related content, engaging with the blogging community. Being passionate about rural business, we work and support equestrian and countryside companies too. Haynet brings you all the views, news, podcasts and latest products from the stables to the fields which we know you will find of interest!

So grab a cuppa, kick off your wellies and enjoy reading from the countryside!


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