Smarty Pants Podcast

All the Pretty Horses

What is it about the relationship between girls and their ponies?

By Stephanie Bastek | August 20, 2021

Black Beauty, Flicka, Secretariat, National Velvet, Misty of Chincoteague, and all the rest—horse books are a genre unto themselves, occupying an entire shelf (or more, should you add the 112 books in The Saddle Club series) of girls’ bedrooms everywhere. For all of the girls who lived and breathed horses (on the page or in the barn), the infatuation meant something that is difficult—or even embarrassing—to explain outside of the stable. Horse Girls, edited by Halimah Marcus, the executive director of Electric Literature, smashes all the stereotypes you might hold about riders and the way they relate to their horses, with diverse essays from the literary likes of horsewoman Jane Smiley and aspiring horse girl Carmen Maria Machado.

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