Why did you build the book database?
My friends find I'm frightfully predictable in a bookstore - if there's a book with a horse on the cover, it's guaranteed I'll pick it up. (I won't necessarily buy it, however.) While I love to read all sorts of books, I especially savor a good horse story, with intelligent writing, good character development, and accurate horse details. There's no way to search for that on Amazon.com. Juvenile fiction is classified by subject, but for some reason adult fiction is not.
Over the years, I've discovered a lot of super books via various internet web sites, mailing lists, and bulletin boards, but it's hard to keep track of it all. I hope this site is helpful to those of you looking for horse books, and I hope that I'll discover some great new titles from your input as well.
Can I add books to your database?
Please login to add a listing.
I surely hope I have not read every horse story there is already! This site thrives on contributions from people like you.
Before you add a book, please check the database and verify that it is not already listed.
Any book listed should be a narrative with some sort of notable horse content or theme. However, horses don't have to be the most important part of the story, and some novels that would not generally be considered 'horsey' are listed. It's okay if horses are background characters, as long as they at least have some character development - names, or attitudes - or if there's exposition related to care and interaction with the horses. Sometimes a tangential horse story is better than nothing. The separate horse content rating makes it easy to distinguish between good books with just a sprinkle of horse and good books that are thoroughly equestrian.
It's okay to list books that are terrible, or that have significant but quite irritating horse content. Just note that in your review and ratings.
Note: A change of policy on children's books. Some books marketed for children are well written and still great reads for adults. You may list a juvenile title here if you have read it as an adult and enjoyed it for its own sake. No picture books - they should still be in a novel or novella format. Books that may be classified as juvenile but that are aimed at or suitable for teenagers are okay.
Ponydom.com reserves the right to remove any listing deemed inappropriate for whatever reason.
What is an ISBN?
ISBN stands for "International Standard Book Number". ISBNs are unique to each edition of a book - for example, a hardcover and paperback edition of the same title will have different ISBNs. The ISBN is located on the inside front pages of the book, and also generally on the back cover above the bar code.
The ponydom database does not distinguish between editions. The ISBN listed for a book is arbitrarily based on whichever edition the contributor had at hand.
For more information about ISBNs, please visit isbn.org.
What do you mean by "horse connection"?
Please enter in this field a short description of how horses appear in the book. It can be one word ("transport") or it can be a longer setting description (such as "American "A" Hunter/Jumper circuit") or even a partial description of the book ("Valdemar's "Companions" are magical beings in equine form with wisdom and mental telepathy."). Try to save the plot description for the description field.
What do you mean by "discipline"?
By "discipline", we mean the type of riding style featured in the book. Many books don't have a discipline - for example, a story about wild horses, or about fantasy horses, or horses used for transportation. Other books provide a keen view of a particular horse sport or technique, like reining, or jumping, or natural horsemanship, or racing, or dressage. This field makes it easy to search for books that are focused on a particular type of riding.
How do I determine if a book is in print?
If you do not know whether a book is in print, please leave the field blank. Generally, a book that you have seen recently for sale in a bookstore is in print. If you can't even buy the book new at an online bookstore, it's probably out of print.
What if I find errors in a book listing?
Please contact ponydom via our feedback page - we appreciate the chance to correct errors.
Note that in particular page numbers may be wrong. The page number will be correct for some edition, but obviously not all editions. The point of the page count is to give an idea of whether it's a quick afternoon's reading or if it's a month-long endeavor.
Why do I have to register and login?
Don't worry - this is not all some big scam to gain email addresses of horsey readers for some insidious spam campaign. Ponydom will not sell your personal information.
Registration is used to ensure one vote per person, and one review per person. It allows you to edit your vote or review. You must also register to add books to the database. Your username will be printed with any reviews you write, so if you wish to be anonymous, choose something obscure.
Your email address may be used to contact you if ponydom.com has a question about any review or book submission. Your email address also allows you to retrieve your username and password if you forget it.
There's no need to register if all you want to do is browse the database.
What do the different ratings mean?
There are many excellent sources of book reviews on the web, but they hardly ever get to the meat of the question. Are there horses? Does the writer know anything about horses?
Accuracy: How accurate and detailed is the horse content? Is it painful, like a sappy story about a special filly that was crippled as a foal with a bowed tendon but grows up to win the Kentucky Derby thanks to the ministrations and faith of an 8-year-old girl? Or does it accurately describe a top rider's anguish as she watches the veterinarian ultrasound the leg she's been carefully tending for the last month? Is it mostly good but with the occasional stupid mistake (say a class for riders 18 & under instead of 17 & under, or a very atypical breed for a particular purpose).
- painfully inaccurate
- minimal detail - neither accurate nor inaccurate
- some detail, but neither accurate nor inaccurate
- accurate, with quibbles
- detailed and exquisitely accurate
Horse Content: How much horse content is in the book?
- minimal or background - example: horses are used as transport, but are presented with names and perhaps personalities.
- moderate - one or two important scenes, or a horse is a distinct though minor character
- horses are part of the setting and the actions of the characters, but not in a detailed fashion.
- substantial - horses are key to the story line.
- horsey - set firmly in the horse world.
Overall quality: Ignore the horse aspects for a moment (gasp) and rate the book's overall quality as a novel on a scale of 1-5. A great novel should get a 5 even if horses are mentioned only occasionally. A terrible novel should get a 1 even if the horses are detailed and prolific.
- A waste of time - if I finished it at all
- Better than a sharp stick in the eye
- Worth checking out of the library
- Terrific book, one I'm proud to have on my shelves
- A classic I'll read again and again - even if I have to search used bookstores around the world for a pricey dog-eared copy
Can I vote more than once?
Sure. Vote Early, Vote Often.
However, you must be logged in to vote, so that each vote in the system is from a distinct identity. You can vote a second time on a rating, but your previous vote will be removed at that time.
So, suppose you read a sultry romance that you thought was the best book ever when you were a teenager, and rated it 5. When you read it again in a few years and realize the plot was corny, the characters were idiots, and the writing was insipid, you can go back and change that rating to 1.
Can I reuse my reviews?
When you post a review here, you grant ponydom.com the right to use that review for whatever purpose in perpetuity. If you change your mind, you can contact us to delete your review. However, you retain the copyright and may use it again elsewhere as you wish.
Please note that reviews you've written for other sites (for example, Amazon.com) often legally belong to them after you submit them. Don't copy the same review here. You're welcome to write a new review of that book for ponydom.com.
What if I'm not ready to write a sophisticated review, but I want to comment?
The reviews on ponydom.com are meant mostly to help other readers like yourself decide whether to seek out the book. We don't care if it's a literary review or just a few words like "Great historical scenes from 19th century horse racing" or "Trashy, but fun" or "Insipid, don't bother." It's okay to comment on other reviews or on the description. You're also welcome to quote a few paragraphs from an especially representative passage.
You can edit your review whenever you like, so it's also okay to write a short comment initially and then later add more detail, or even change your opinion.
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