For Horse-Crazy Girls Only: Everything You Want to Know About Horses

For Horse-Crazy Girls Only: Everything You Want to Know About Horses


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Is your first and second favorite animal a horse? Is your bedroom covered with horse posters on your walls and horse models on your shelves? Would you rather muck out a stall than clean your room? Then you are absolutely, undeniably horse crazy, and For Horse-Crazy Girls Only is the book for you! This is the only comprehensive book about everything a horse-crazy girl needs to know about horses. You'll learn everything from the different breeds of horses, to how a horse's body works, to the quirky little things that make the horse the BEST animal ever. Author Christina Wilsdon even shares ideas for horse-themed parties, and suggestions for the best horse movies to watch with your friends. And that's just the beginning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312603236
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 38,548
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 7 - 12 Years

About the Author

CHRISTINA WILSDON is a horse-crazy mom with an even horse-crazier twelve-year-old. She lives with her family in Seattle.

ALECIA UNDERHILL grew up riding horses. Now she lives in Connecticut with her husband and son, as well as a Morgan mare, an English shepherd dog, and a flock of chickens.

Read an Excerpt

For Horse-Crazy Girls Only

Everything You Want to Know About Horses

By Christina Wilsdon, Susan Bishansky, Alecia Underhill

Feiwel and Friends

Copyright © 2010 Reeves International, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-12032-8



(and being a horse-crazy girl)?

If you're reading this book, you're probably a horse-crazy girl.

And if you are horse crazy, you know just why horses are so great! They're beautiful. And fast. And lovely to watch, whether they're grazing peacefully or galloping with manes and tails flying.

Horses can become your friends, too. They're social animals, so they like hanging around with their pals — other horses as well as you! And because they're social, they pick up on how other horses feel, and they can also sense your mood.

Horses are smart, and their memory is excellent. If you win the friendship of a horse, you've got a friend for life! That's a big responsibility. Both humbling and empowering. But if you click with the horse, you'll just feel right together.

Riding horses is an experience in itself. But being horse crazy isn't just about riding horses. That wouldn't explain why horse-crazy girls draw them, hang around them, read about them, and muck out their stalls. It's a life-long adventure.

Being horse crazy will surely lead you down some bridle trails, but it can also take you on many other paths, too. It took me on a path to being a writer, and to writing this book.

You can read For Horse-Crazy Girls Only in any order. Just open the book and jump to whatever topic grabs your interest first.

I hope this book inspires you to follow your own horse-filled dreams, and to become the best you that you can be.

From one horse-crazy gal (now all grown up and still horse crazy!) to another,

Christina Wilsdon

P.S. I thought that this book wouldn't be complete without a little input from an actual horse-crazy girl still growing up! So you'll see comments from my young teenage daughter, Sophie, throughout the book. She didn't share my enthusiasm for horses right out of the starting gate (when she was two and I urged her to hop aboard a little pony named Rhubarb, she gave me a Look and said, "YOU ride the pony"). But it wasn't long before she chose to be enchanted by horses after all. She started riding when she was six, and she now volunteers as a groom and helper at the stable where she takes lessons.

are you horse crazy?

Lots of girls like horses. Lots of girls may even say they love horses. But how do you know if you've gone off the edge into "horse crazy"? Simple: Just take this quiz and find out! Query your horsey friends, too.

1. Your first favorite animal is a horse. Your second is

a. a dog

b. a cat

c. a horse

2. The last three books you read for fun were about

a. romance

b. vampires

c. horses

3. Your bedroom walls are covered with posters. Most of them are pictures of

a. celebrities

b. kittens

c. horses

4. It drives you crazy when

a. you can't find matching socks

b. your favorite breakfast cereal is all gone

c. you see a picture in a horse book that has the bridle straps in all the wrong places: What's up with that?

5. Which of the following statements is true about you?

a. "I'd rather vacuum than muck out a stall."

b. "I'd rather clean the cat's litter box than muck out a stall."

c. "I'd rather muck out a stall than clean my room."

6. Most of the shelf space in your room that isn't devoted to books is given over to

a. your collection of nail-polish colors

b. your doll collection

c. your model-horse collection

7. Every year, your holiday gift wish list has this in the number-one position:

a. new clothes

b. a Wii

c. a horse

8. The margins of your notebooks are filled with doodled drawings of

a. poodles

b. flowers

c. horses

9. You think horses smell

a. horrible

b. kind of musty

c. great

10. Why might somebody say you have a "good seat"?

a. because they're being rude

b. because they like your chair

c. because you ride well

11. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a halter is

a. a kind of skimpy shirt

b. someone who tells you not to run in the hall

c. headgear for a horse

12. If a friend borrowed one of your T-shirts, chances are that it would sport a picture of

a. a daisy

b. a naughty monkey

c. a horse

Are most (if not all) of your answers "c"? If so, you are certifiably, undeniably, irrefutably, positively, emphatically, definitely, absolutely, unquestionably, totally hopelessly horse crazy!

Your Dream Horse

There isn't a horse-crazy girl anywhere who doesn't dream about the horse she'll have someday.

What does your dream horse look like? Have you ever drawn or painted a picture of it, or written about it? What would you name it? Give your dream horse a personality — with its individual likes and dislikes. Imagine a "back story" for your horse — the story of its life before it met you.

Then, just for fun, check out These horses are actually for sale, so don't go writing to their owners! Only those who are really going to buy a horse should do that. But a girl can dream — and you can study the horses online as much as you wish to see if one is your dream come true!

* * *

are you crazy about ... Caballos?

Picture this: you're a horse-crazy girl, and you're in a country where people speak a language other than English. How are you going to find a horse? Well, you could follow a set of hoof prints, but there's an easier way: Learn how to say "horse" in different languages! Here are a few of the words used around the world to name your favorite four-legged friend.

• Chinese: ma ("ma-ah")

• French: cheval ("shef-ahl")

• German: Pferd ("Pff-aired")

• Irish: capall ("KAH-puhl")

• Italian: cavallo ("CA-vahl-o")

• Japanese: uma ("oo-ma")

• Lakota Sioux: sunka wakan ("shoo-ka-wa-KAH")

• Portuguese: cavalo ("CA-vahl-o")

• Spanish: caballo ("ca-VAHL-yo")

• Swedish: häst ("hest")

* * *

How Many Horses Are There?

The world's total horse population numbers about 58,370,000, according to a recent study by the United Nations. The United States leads the world in number of horses with about 9.5 million. China comes in second with about 7.4 million. Canada is home to about 453,900 horses.


Happiness Is ... Horses!

Top Ten Horse Breeds

Listed here in A-to-Z order are ten of the most popular horse breeds in North America.

A breed's popularity is based on how many horses are registered with an official breed organization. Of these breeds, the quarter horse has the largest breed registry.

Popular pony breeds include Shetland, Welsh, and Pony of the Americas.

You can find out more about each breed in any great horse-breed book. You can also learn more online by doing a search using the breed's name plus the words "registry" or "association."

Is your favorite horse missing from the top-ten list? Get together with your horse-crazy friends and make up your own.

A Foal Is Born

A mare in foal carries her baby for about 340 days, or 11 months. The foal is usually born in spring, when new grass is growing and the days are getting warmer. It stands up on its long, wobbly legs and totters to its mother's side before it's even one hour old. Within a day, it can walk, and run, fast enough to keep up with its mom.

At first, the foal drinks only its mother's milk. It starts nibbling grass when it's about six weeks old. When the foal is six months old, it's ready to be "weaned," or separated from its mom. By this time, a broodmare is pregnant with her next foal — so her current foal needs to be on its own before the new one arrives.

When the foal is a year old, it's called a yearling. A yearling foal knows how to behave when it's led by a person on foot or riding a horse. It also learns "good manners" so that it can be tied up, groomed, and handled all over without fussing about being touched.

Training a horse to carry a rider is a long process, which actually begins when the foal is born! A foal should be "gentled" (handled by people) from the beginning and "halter broke" as a weanling. It's important to gradually introduce it to new situations to create positive experiences and build trust. Depending on the breed, real training begins between the time the horse is a yearling and two years old, when it's introduced to the bridle and saddle. Once comfortable with that, the two-year-old is "backed" (that is, introduced to the concept of carrying a rider). It may carry its first rider when it's about two years old, depending on the breed. If not, it will learn to do that as a three-year-old. (Thoroughbred racehorses are taught at a faster pace so they can be raced as two-year-olds.)

At the age of four, the young horse is fully grown. With good care, it may live to be twenty-five years old or even older.

Dreaming Up a Horse's Name

Many horse-crazy girls like to keep lists of names they could use for their future horses (or model horses, or to name their horses online).

Where to start? You probably already have thought up some great names, but here are a few ideas just in case your imagination could use some giddy-up:

Books and Myths: Name your horse after a famous steed in literature or mythology. Examples: Misty, Black Beauty, Flicka, Snowfire, Firefoot.

Foods: Even the grocery store can provide inspiring names.

• Spices and Herbs Angelica, Nutmeg, Sassafras.

• Beverages Coffee, Chicory, Soda Pop, Cocoa.

• Treats and Sweets Cookie, Lollipop, Chocolate Chip, Tutti-Frutti.

Colors: Your choice will likely be inspired by your horse's actual color. Examples: Honey, Amber, Copper, Ember.

Stars, Moons, Constellations, and Planets: You'll find all kinds of beautiful names in a star guide or a book about astronomy. Examples: Vega, Triton, Lyra, Jupiter.

Field Guides: Flip through the pages of a field guide to rocks, birds, fish, butterflies, and the like to find some amazing names. Examples: Agate, Chickadee, Raven, Coho, Red Admiral, Whirlabout.

Gemstones: Stones used for jewelry inspire many a horse's name. Examples: Topaz, Opal, Zircon, Jasper, Ruby.

Towns and Cities: Pore over a map of North America and you'll find many perfect names for horses. (You can "travel" farther and look at world maps, also.) Examples: Mystic, Plymouth, Eureka, Starbuck.

Days and Months: The calendar can inspire, too. Examples: Saturday, June.

Personality Traits: Is your horse a mischief maker? Is she gentle and kind, or fiery? Your horse's temperament can inspire a name. Examples: Pixie, Mischief, Thunder, Flame, Sweetie.

Two Words: Sometimes two words are better than one. Examples: April Showers, Golden Starlight, Silver Sparkle, Stormy Sky.

Plants: Daffodil, Larkspur, Zinnia, Juniper, Sparkleberry, Willow, Lilac.

Why Racehorses Have Weird Names

Would you ever name your horse Poopydoodle, Snooty Patooty, or Fuzzyheadedlizard? These strange names were all given to real racehorses.

Why do people give odd names to these beautiful animals? One reason is that no two racehorses can share a name, or even have names that sound too much alike. This helps prevent mistaking one horse for another.

Every North American racehorse must have its name approved by the Jockey Club, which has a list of rules that owners must follow. One rule limits a name to 18 letters (this 18-character limit includes spaces between words).

With about 450,000 active names on the books, and thousands of Thoroughbred foals needing new names every year, you can see why you have to think hard to come up with a name that will be one of a kind.

Every year, the Jockey Club prints a list of old names that are available to be used again — so most names do eventually get recycled. You can check out those recently released names online at the Jockey Club's website: Click on the link that takes you to their Registry, then look for "Recently Released Names." But some names may be off-limits even after a horse retires.

For example, the Jockey Club keeps a list of permanent names that can never be used again because they belonged to champions who won big races or awards. So you can't name your racer "Man o' War" or "Curlin," for example.

* * *

Top Ten Popular Horse Names In North America

Listed here from A to Z are ten popular names for horses, based on Internet searches and an informal survey of riders and riding instructors. Do you know any horses with these names?


Top Ten Popular Pony Names in Great Britain



Horse Talk

Every subject in the world has its own special vocabulary, and the topic "horse" is no exception.

For starters, there are about four hundred horse breeds and dozens of ways to describe those horses' colors. Add to that the many different kinds of bridles, bits, saddles, and harnesses, as well as riding terms and body parts — and you've got enough words to print a horse dictionary!

But don't bother — it's already been done! Look up one of the 6,600-plus words in The Horse Dictionary by Vivienne M. Eby, or go for The Visual Dictionary of the Horse by DK Publishing. Online, you can check out an equine dictionary at

Since we can't include 6,600 horse words here, we'll just start you off with some of the most common and useful horse terms you'll come across in this book. Being a horse-crazy girl, you may already know some of them!

Horsey Words

Breed: a kind of horse

Broodmare: a female horse used for breeding

Colt: a male horse under the age of four

Dam: the mother of a horse

Draft horse: a tall, heavy-boned horse with strong hindquarters that is often used for pulling plows or heavy loads; the Shire, Clydesdale, and Percheron are examples of draft breeds

Filly: a female horse under the age of four

Foal: a baby horse

Gait: the way a horse moves; walk, trot, and gallop are examples of gaits

Gelding: a neutered male horse. (Stallions can be gelded at any age.)

Harness: equipment worn by a horse pulling a plow, wagon, or carriage

Mare: a female horse four years old or older

Near side: a horse's left side

Off side: a horse's right side

Points: the horse's mane, tail, nose, and lower legs

Pony: a horse that is at most 14.2 hands (58 inches/145 cm) tall at the withers

Shying: what it's called when a horse jumps away from something that frightens it; more commonly called "spooking"

Sire: the father of a horse

Stallion: a male horse four years old or older

Tack: the saddle, bridle, and other equipment worn by a riding horse

Weanling: a foal that is old enough to eat grass and no longer drinks its mother's milk

Withers: the bony bump in between the horse's back and its mane; it's the top of a horse's shoulder

Yearling: a one-year-old horse

* * *

Mix and Maxim!

A "maxim" is a saying that sums up a basic rule about how the world works. You've used maxims if you've ever said something like "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" or "you can't teach an old dog new tricks."

The horse, of course, has nuzzled its way into maxims, too. Here are a few that you're likely to hear, even from people who aren't horse crazy. See if you can match them up with their meanings! (Answers are upside down at the bottom of the page.)

1. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

2. Don't put the cart before the horse.

3. Don't switch horses in midstream.

4. That's a horse of a different color!

5. Don't lock the barn door after the horse has run away.

6. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

7. If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

a. It's better to prepare ahead of time instead of trying to fix things after the damage has been done.

b. Don't change your plans or your leader in the middle of doing something.

c. Don't pry and try to find out how much a present is worth — just accept it graciously.

d. That's something completely different.

e. Everybody could have what they want — if they could get it just by wishing for it!

f. You can show people how to do something, but you can't force them to do it that way.

g. Do things in the right order.

Answers: 1-f, 2-g, 3-b, 4-d, 5-a, 6-c, 7-e

* * *

A Horse by Any Other Name

Even in English, there's more than one way to say "horse." You can also call it one of the names listed below. Though you better think twice before using some of these terms to describe somebody else's horse — as you'll see, not all the names are flattering and many have faded from common use(*)!

Charger: A warhorse used for "charging," or running toward another army.*

Courser: A strong, fast horse.*

Dobbin: This word for "horse" may have sprung from its use as a common name for an individual horse more than 500 years ago, just as "Rover" has long been a favorite name for a dog.*


Excerpted from For Horse-Crazy Girls Only by Christina Wilsdon, Susan Bishansky, Alecia Underhill. Copyright © 2010 Reeves International, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
What's So Great about Horses (and being a horse-crazy girl)?,
Happiness Is ... Horses!,
Horse Talk,
A Horse from Head to Hoof,
A Horse of a Different Color: Coats, Manes, and Tails,
Quick! Tie This Knot!,
Horse-tory: An Equine Timeline,
Running Free,
Clothes-Horses II,
Creativity at Play,
Horse Sports,
That's (Horse) Entertainment,
Horse, Drawn,
Horses Coast-to-Coast,
Wah! I Want a Horse!,
When I Grow Up, I Want to Be ...,
About the Authors,

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For Horse-Crazy Girls Only: Everything You Want to Know About Horses 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
aj06 More than 1 year ago
So cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love horses so i love it!
Anonymous 10 months ago
Amazing! Im a barrel racer and i think this book is good for people wanting to start rodeo!!
MStevenson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This amazing collection of equine information and illustrations was compiled for girls who are obsessed with horses and everything about them. The author discusses different breeds of horses, how a horse's body works from head to hoof, equestrian sports, horses in entertainment, horse-girl lingo, gear to wear when riding, as well as horse fiction and lore in this comprehensive guide for horse-lovers. This volume can be read in any order by opening the book and jumping to whatever grabs the reader's interest, but also includes an extensive bibliography and index. The engaging facts, side-bars and diagrams will inspire girls to follow their horse-filled dreams on a life-long adventure.