The Horses in Culture Project is Seeking Lesser-Known Horse Stories


The Horses in Culture Project focuses on less publicized horse storiesKnow of a good horse story? Then the Horses in Culture Project would like to hear from you! Supported by a Carnegie-Whitney Grant from the American Library Association, the Horses in Culture Project seeks to build a searchable database of horse stories that represent different cultures and ethnicities. Dr. Gail M. Staines, Assistant Vice President for University Libraries at Saint Louis University and a longtime equestrienne, established this project so that young adults would have a wide selection of stories where the horse is essential to the plot.

“Horse story literature tends to be based in the U.S. or the U.K. where characters are teenage girls and the plot is usually saving a horse and/or learning a life lesson,” says Gail Staines. “The goal of this project is to identify published horse stories from different cultures and ethnicities, making them accessible to generations of young readers worldwide.” Young adults need to see themselves in stories. This brand new work will provide readers with powerful, life-affirming stories that appear to be not well-known and/or not widely publicized, and then make them accessible to a wide audience.

So, if you are aware of a published fiction book, written in or translated into English, that a young adult (ages 11 – 15) would enjoy reading; one where the storyline focuses on a horse(s); and that is set in or has characters from other cultures and ethnicities, such as (but not limited to) Native American, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, African American, German, etc., please submit your suggestion(s) by visiting /redirect.php?

Selected as one of Library Journal’s “Movers & Shakers”, Gail Staines has a distinguished career as a librarian, administrator, leader, and author. She is also an avid equestrienne, having been the captain of the Morrisville College Equestrian Team. Gail has retrained several Thoroughbreds for careers as show hunters. She is the proud owner of a Hanoverian jumper and trains at Pierce Stables, LLC. located in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Established by Andrew Carnegie in 1902, the Carnegie-Whitney Grant supports the creation, compilation, and publication of information aids, such as bibliographies. Merged with the James Lyman Whitney Fund in 1910, the grant funds the development of such finding aids in both print and electronic format. More information about the Carnegie Whitney Grant is available at /redirect.php? 



  1. This project sounds like a great idea. I love most horse stories, but they seem cliche and cheesy. This will be a good project to spark interest in horses in people that may normally not be interested.

  2. Dear Readers: I continue to receive much positive feedback on my Horses in Culture project. Please visit the website and submit your titles! I am so very encouraged by everyone’s responses. Warmest regards, Gail Staines


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