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Beautiful Horse Books by Robert Vavra

Updated on April 26, 2014

Robert Vavra Photographs Horses and Turns Them Into Art

If you're looking for a gift for a horse lover, they will adore a book from the Robert Vavra collection whether they are young or old, male or female, horse-owner or horse admirer. Vavra is a renowned horse photographer and his works are a gracious tribute to these beautiful animals. He takes magnificent photographs and adds to them a short poetic quote from sources as diverse as Shakespeare, Virgil, the Bible and Navaho prayers.

These beautiful horse books by Robert Vavra are also a good investment, with secondhand books in good condition bringing excellent prices as most are out-of-print.


And God took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it and created the horse.

Bedouin Legend

Equus: The Creation of a Horse - 160 pages of colour photographs and over 50 pages on the social behaviour of horses


This was my first Vavra book and one of the things I love about it are the horses are all completely unfettered - no saddles, bridles or halters. The photos capture the movement and essence of horses as they play , fight, run, graze and simply stand looking beautiful, like the cover photo of the white horse in a field of red poppies. The quotes add to the spiritual feeling of the work. After all the photos, which you can spend hours looking at, there are copious notes from Vavra about the horses in the photos and his own observations on the social behaviour of horses, and it all makes for wonderful reading. Although this book came out in 1976 it has not aged and will be relevant for as long as people have horses.

Such is the Real Nature of Horses

First published in 1979, this is one of Vavra's earlier works and is less an art book than the others are. It records the lives of several bands of horses living on the Carmargue in France and is formatted so that behaviours like play, aggression and vocalization are in chapters with photos and explanations. This was also made into a film available on DVD.

Such is the Real Nature of Horses on DVD

Stallion of a Dream

Published in 1980 this is perhaps the most quirky of Vavra’s horse books. It has stunning colour photographs and lyrical text about a wild gypsy boy who captures the stallion Majestad, and an introduction written by Peter Ustinov.

All Those Girls in Love With Horses

Girls and horses develop strong bonds. Robert Varva examines these mysterious relationships through over 500 photographs of eleven different young horsewomen from across the globe.

Equus Reined

Along the same lines as the original Equus this book captures the grace, power and freedom of horses living in the wild: grazing in fields of poppies, swimming by moonlight, fighting, frolicking, stampeding, courting and giving birth. There is a foreword by James A. Michener, and it was a Time-Life major book club selection.

Vavra's Horses: Ten of the World's Most Beautiful Equines

Vavra has selected ten exceptional horses including the Andalusian and the Morgan, to captures the essence of equine beauty. This book is over 200 pages nand was first published in 1989.

Review of Vavra's work

"...jewel-like photographs, paintings-by-camera rather than mere visual recordings...Unabashedly romantic - breathtakingly pure joy for those who admire horses."


Robert Vavra's Classic Book of Horses

This book was released in 1992 and contains some of Vavra's finest photographs followed by the stories of fascinating horses and the men, women, and children who love them. There is an introduction by James A. Michener and each horse has been sketched by internationally renowned artist John Fulton.

Horses of the Sun

This book was released in 1995 and profiles 18 stunning horses that span 6 different breeds. The photography shows Arabian, Andalusian, Morgan, American Saddlebred, Friesian, and Peruvian Paso horses running free in glorious natural settings. Following the photographs, with the accompanying snippets of poetry, is detailed text about the breeds in the book and their traits. Vavra also includes an essay on the romantic history of the Andalusian breed. The foreword was written by William Shatner.

Stallions of the Quest

This book recreates the voyage of horses to North America on Columbus' second voyage to the New World, in 1493. Horses had been absent from the continent for 8,000 to 10,000 years. It is a story told from the horses point of view as they were confined and suspended in slings for the 3 month journey until their arrival in the New World. There are 164 pages of photographs with horses gazing across watery expanses, emerging from pounding surf, galloping across dunes, rearing against Mayan pyramids and running against a sky cracked by lightning. This book was published in 2001 and has around 60 pages of text and a posthumous printing of an interview between James Michener and Vavra.

Vavra's Vision

Published in 2007, this is a retrospective of Vavra's 50 year career. This magnificent book of over 400 pages is a homage to his love of the horse and contains some of his most famous photographs plus a wealth of previously unpublished material.

Other Robert Vavra Books

Vavra has several photography books where horses are turned into unicorns with the addition of a horn. These books are just as lovely as the rest, with more of a fantasy element in the quotes attached. He has also published books on cats, African wildlife, Spanish bulls (although these are extremely rare now and hard to get hold of) and more. Use the Amazon search box at the bottom of the page to find more of Vavra’s beautiful works.

Robert Vavra's Unicorn Books

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Do you think Vavra's books make good gifts for horse lovers?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I was not familiar with Vavra - thanks for the introduction.

    • Michael Oksa profile image

      Michael Oksa 

      5 years ago

      I'm sure they would make great gifts for non-horse lovers, too! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These books would be fabulous for horse lovers!

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 

      6 years ago

      The books look super. Great gift ideas!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Back to bless this.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, absolutely

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      I do. Equus sounds particularly enticing.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Yes, these are great gifts for horse lovers. We owned horses when our daughters were growing up, and I know they would have loved these!

    • Isabellas-cabin profile image


      6 years ago

      Great works! The downside is I looked at this with my daughter sitting next to me and now she wants them all!

    • EpicFarms profile image


      6 years ago

      As a horse crazy grownup, I'd have to answer that question with a big - and very definitive - YES :o)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely samples on this lens! Wow.

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 

      6 years ago

      Definitely sounds like it. If I had a little more money to spend, I would be sorely tempted myself.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Neat! SquidAngel Blessed! ;-)


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