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The Story Stables

Meet Man Man! He’s a horse who loves to read. Man Man and his best friend Caitlin invite kids like you into The Story Stables to share a book with them, and learn a little bit about life on the farm for horses and people.

About The Show

The Story Stables is a podcast created for early readers by North Carolina Public Radio. The show celebrates words and stories, bringing books to life with the help of sounds, music and the voices of children who read to Man Man the miniature horse.

About Man Man

Man Man is a miniature horse who can’t resist a good story. Every day he finds a friend to read a book with him, and teaches them a little bit about what it’s like to live on a farm. In addition to books, Man Man loves carrots and horsing around with his bestie Caitlin. He does not love when people confuse him for a pony.

About Caitlin

Caitlin Gooch is the human host of The Story Stables. Caitlin is a cowgirl, mother, writer and the founder of Saddle Up And Read, a nonprofit program committed to encouraging youth literacy based in Wendell, NC. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from East Carolina University, where she was able to put academic context to the social cycle of systemic racial inequality. While working with youth in her community, Caitlin was exposed to the educational disparities plaguing communities of color and decided to take action, starting with the literacy gap. Leading with equestrian culture, her first passion, Caitlin uses her horses to incentivize reading, making it more fun!


Thanks to G Yamazawa, Nnenna Freelon, The Gooch Family, our community of kid readers and all of the incredible authors who allow us to share their work with young readers and listeners.

Interested in having your child or book be a part of The Story Stables? Email

Production Credits

Caitlin Gooch, host
Lindsay Foster Thomas, executive producer
Stacia Brown, producer
Charlie Shelton-Ormond, producer
Jenni Lawson, technical engineer
Sean Roux, recording engineer
Rissi Palmer, theme music composer
Charnel Hunter, logo artist

Latest Episodes
  • Our hair helps us stay warm in the winter, but when it gets hot, hair can be a lot! Caitlin shows us what she does to maintain Man Man’s mane in a way that will keep him cool in the sun and in the shade. Then our friends Isaiah and Taj stop back by to share a book called “A Beard Like My Dad.”
  • Man Man is not the kind of horse that is afraid of storms. In fact, he happily helps Caitlin with clean-up duty after a big one blows through the farm. Plus, our friend Ariel comes by to read the book “Rock On With Your Afro Puffs!”
  • Horses like Man Man love to nibble on grass, but so much of it grows on the farm that a little extra help is needed to keep it low. Mowing is a big job, but Caitlin makes sure that the reward includes some shade from the sun and a good story when the hard work is done. Good thing our friend Halleigh is nearby with a book called “Flying Free.”
  • Caitlin’s farm is home to a lot of bugs, but one she won’t tolerate is a litter bug! Trash can be harmful to horses if it’s left lying around, so she and Man Man get right to their daily cleanup chores. Their hard work is rewarded when our friend Taj stops by with the book “Smile Bright Chocolate Prince.”
  • Hoof-cleaning is a very necessary part of Man Man’s beauty regiment. Caitlin demonstrates how she uses a special tool to remove all kinds of stuff from the farm that can get trapped in her bestie’s hooves. Plus, our friend Zora drops by with the book “Your Own Kind of Beautiful!”
  • There are two things Man Man the miniature horse needs every day: fresh water and a good story. Caitlin cleans a bucket for drinking and our friend Faith reads from the book “More Than A Princess.”
  • Man Man’s mane is kept tangle-free thanks to a farm-approved maintenance routine. Caitlin demonstrates horse hair care and our friend Story (yes, that’s her real name!) reads from the book “Grandma’s Purse.”
  • There are so many things that have to be done on a farm. Caitlin explains how the work can be fun…and sometimes a little funky. Then, our friend Noah reads from the book “Saving The Day: Garrett Morgan’s Life-Changing Invention of the Traffic Signal.”
  • Horses have four legs – and they need to stretch them every day! Take a walk with Caitlin and Man Man and listen as our friend Grace reads from the book “Indigo Blume and the Garden City.”
  • Just like there are lots of different kinds of people, there are lots of different kinds of horses. Caitlin talks about the many animals found on the farm and our friend Isaiah reads from the book “André The Best Big Brother.”