Ponies, ponies, ponies


British Pony Books Home

Diana Pullein-Thompson


Augusta and Christina
I Wanted a Pony
A Pony to School
Three Ponies and Shannan

Only a Pony


Pony Seekers
The Pony Seekers
A Foal for Candy
A Pony Found


Sandy & Fergus
Ponies in Peril
Ponies in the Valley
Ponies on the Trail

I Wanted a Pony
Collins, London, 1946, illus Anne Bullen
Collins Junior Fontana, 1956

Collins, London, 1958

Collins Pony Library, 1973

Armada pb 1966, 1970s and 1980
Character list

This is Diana’s first solo book and
is the story of Augusta, who has no
pony. She goes to stay with her pot-hunting, insensitive cousins (they really are deliciously foul) who
patronise Augusta and are no help to her pony owning ambitions at all. At last, after a brave act,
Augusta can buy her own pony, and she buys the grey Daybreak at a sale. At first all seems fine, but
the moment she bridles him, he turns into a compulsive head shaker. Augusta does at last solve the

problem and the show scene at the end where she confounds her cousins’ expectations of her is

It Began with Picotee (with J and C Pullein-Thompson)
A & C Black, London, 1946, illus Rosemary Robertson

Character list

This is the first story the Pullein-Thompsons wrote. Olivia, Bridget and Griselda Douglas own
Picotee, and they are then lent Tony. Then they buy a chestnut foal they call Pengo, and then they
agree to school Colonel Selcombe’s half Shetland, and then they borrow Mrs Baxter’s two ponies....
And they end up with plenty of ponies.

Bibliography - pony books only

Three Ponies and Shannan
Collins, London, 1947, illus Anne Bullen
Collins, London, 1956

Collins Pony Library 1974

White Lion 1977,

Armada pb 1968 and 1970s
Character list

Christina has moved to the country
with her parents, her three ponies, and
numerous staff. The house they have
moved to was Charlie’s old house, and she and her friends are determined to loathe Christina. As Christina doesn’t know much about looking after her ponies, and her newly acquired wolfhound isn’t well trained, she has an uphill battle before she can start to make friends.

The Pennyfields
Collins,London, 1949, illus Richard Kennedy
Armada, 1964, cover Peter Archer - two cover variants
Character list
More a family than a pony story: the Pennyfields are poor, and want
a pony, a canoe and a shotgun. They can’t afford any of them, so
they set to work, doing all sorts of things so that they can afford their
heart’s desires.

A Pony to School
Collins, London, 1950, illus Anne Bullen

Armada, 1963,  early 1970s, 1978
Character list

Augusta and Christina are asked to take on Clown
and re-school him, but they very soon find out Clown
has a bad habit. He rears. They are determined to
break him of the habit and turn him round.

The Boy and the Donkey
Collins, London,1958, illus Shirley Hughes

Criterion, USA, 1958

As The Donkey Race, Armada, 1970
Character list

When Old Jock, the rag and bone man, becomes ill, Duggie finds
himself looking after Old Jock’s donkey, Tammy, and taking over his
round. When he hears about a Donkey Derby, he is determined to
enter with Tammy and win.

Janet Must Ride
Collins, London, 1953, illus Mary Gernat
Transworld, London, 1958

Collins, London, 1957

Armada 1960s and 1974

Character list

Janet is working as a girl groom, but she longs
to be more than just someone who works with the
horses. At last, when she meets the mare
Corrymeela, she gets her chance.

A Pony for Sale
Collins, London, 1951, illus Sheila Rose
Collins, London, 1962
Collins Pony Library 1973
Armada pb 1970s and 1980s

Character list

This is a story told in succession by all the people
who own Martini, from the boy who broke and
schooled her to her final owner.

Horses at Home & Friends Must Part
Collins, London, 1954, illus Sheila Rose

Collins Pony Library, 1973
Armada, 1969, 1970s
Character list
This is actually two long short stories. Horses at

Home is about Nicholas and Clare, who look after
their aunt’s showjumper.
Friends Must Part is a
about two friends whose ponies are great friends,
but the girls fight and fall out.

Riding with the Lyntons
Collins, London, 1956, illus Sheila Rose
Collins Pony Library, 1973

Armada, 1963 and 1982
Character list
Lesley moves to the country with her parents, and is
friendless until she meets the Lynton family. They get
on well until there is a terrible disaster with one of the
Lynton’s ponies. They blame Lesley, and for a while
everything looks very bleak indeed.

The Hermit’s Horse
Armada, 1974
Severn House, London, 1985
Character list

Matthew and his sister Sophie are not supposed to go near the hermit’s house, but
after a large bay horse arrives, they do. They find he is not what they thought, and
slowly he and the hermit seem as if they are mending, but this is not a book with an
easy ending.

Black Princess
Knight, Leicester, 1975

Reprinted in pb 1978, 1981

As part of Black Beauty’s Clan, 1975

Character list

Princess is a direct descendant of Black Beauty. Princess is owned by Lady Angela, but when
World War I erupts, she leaves to nurse the wounded at the Front, and Princess is sold. She then
goes to the Front herself with her new master.

Ponies in the Valley
Armada, 1976, and 1980
Severn House, 1979

Character list

Sandy and Fergus move to the country with their parents, and Sandy hopes that she
can at last realise her dream and have a pony. However, Mimosa, the mare she buys
at the sales, proves not to be a dream horse: but she’s certainly unexpected!

Black Romany
As far as I know, this wasn’t published separately, but appeared in:
Black Beauty’s Family, Hodder & Stoughton, 1978 and in
Black Beauty’s Family, Chancellor 1996

Reprinted in More From Black Beauty’s Family, Red Fox 2001

Character list

Black Romany is an ancestor of Black Beauty: an early Victorian horse. Romany
has an epic journey across country, and experiences a visit from Prince Albert
and Queen Victoria before settling down as a much loved hunter.

Ponies on the Trail
Armada, 1979
Severn House, 1980
Character list

Sandy and Fergus have been asked to help with a week long pony trek. When the
trekkers arrive, however, they turn out to be a very mixed bunch indeed.

Cassidy in Danger
Dent, London, 1979

Armada, 1981
As This Pony is Dangerous,  J A Allen, 1990

Character list

Katy is sent to stay with her godmother. Katy finds a pony in a field
to make friends with, but he is supposed to be dangerous. She also
makes friends with a boy who lives nearby, and his rat, and together
they fight for Cassidy, and try and help Katy with her own problems.

Ponies in Peril
Armada, 1979, 126 pp
Severn House, 1980
Character list

Another Pullein-Thompson book with six ponies, these are destined for slaughter
unless Sandy and Fergus can raise enough to save them. They do, and then break
them in, but there isn’t quite the conventional pony book ending you might expect.

A Foal for Candy
Sparrow, 1981
Severn House, 1982
Character list

The dealing stables is slowly recovering from illness, but Candy, Lynn’s pony, proves
to have a surprise in store - what that is you can probably work out from the title!  

Only a Pony
Armada 1980
Severn House, 1986
Character list
This is the fourth in the Augusta and Christina series: oddly it’s set in the 1980s, but
the two heroines are still teenagers. Both sets of parents have gone away, leaving
Mignon the French au-pair to look after them, but she leaves. They find Nico and his
pony Rainbow. Nico’s father is threatening to sell the unschooled Rainbow so
Augusta and Christina offer to help.

The Pony Seekers
Sparrow, 1981
Severn House, 1981

Character list

Lynn and David are desperate: their parents can no longer afford their ponies,
and they will have to be sold. After their elder sister Briony gives up her jumping
career after a tragic accident, they all found The Pony Seekers: a dealing
business with a difference, but when they don’t get a new pony checked by the
vet disaster strikes.

Black Piper
In Black Beauty’s Family 2
Beaver, 1982
As far as I know, this wasn’t published separately.

Character list

Black Piper was born in Ireland in the mid nineteenth century, though travelled to England, and was
saved from death by an Irishman.

A Pony Found
Sparrow, 1983
Severn House, 1983

Character list

After their dealing business was offered a home by a wealthy local man, The Pony
Seekers thought their problems might be over, but the offer of a yard comes with a
problem: their benefactor’s daughter, Mirabelle.

The Long Ride Home
Cavalier, pb 1996

Character list

This is Diana’s last pony book, and is about Carey and her pony Sandpiper. Since she had meningitis,
she has not been well, and when her mother goes on a journey, leaving Carey to be looked after by
Hannah, Hannah exploits Carey’s weaknesses. To get away, she and Sandpiper set off to ride from
the Scottish island where they live to Yorkshire, where Carey’s grandmother lives.

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury of Horse and Pony Stories

Award, 1995, illus Eric Rowe

Award, London, 2015, 480 pp, illus Eric Rowe

Contains stories by all three sisters. For a full listing, see below.


Classic Horse and Pony Stories

Dorling Kinderseley, London, 1999
Chosen by Diana Pullein-Thompson, illus Neal Puddephatt, 96 pp

True Horse and Pony Stories
Compiled by Diana Pullein-Thompson
Armada, London, 1976

Severn House, 1974


Shandy, Tarragona, Lost on the Moors

Children’s Books - non Pony

The Secret Dog
Collins, London, 1959, 160 pp, illus Geraldine Spence

Armada, London, 1972

The Boy Who Came To Stay
Faith Press, London, 1960, 112 pp, illus Alan Breese

The Battle of Clapham Common
Max Parrish, London, 1962, 158 pp

Bindi Must Go
George G Harrap & Co, London, 1962, 91 pp, illus Sheila Rose

The Hidden River
Hamish Hamilton, London, 1960, 117 pp, illus Sheila Rose
Reprinted 1966

Adult Fiction and Non Fiction

Dear Pup: Letters to a Young Dog
Barrie & Jenkins, 1988


Fair Girls on Grey Horses (written with Josephine and Christine Pullein-Thompson)
Allison & Busby, 1996

Riding for Children
W&G Foyle, London, 1957

Adult Fiction and Non Fiction as Diana Farr

Gilbert Cannan: a Georgian Prodigy
Chatto & Windus, London, 1978

Five at 10: Prime Ministers’ Consorts since 1957
Deutsch, London, 1985
ISIS, 1986

Bodley Head, London, 1988


Cocktail Capitulates

Riding Magazine, January, 1941, written with Diana and Christine

A ruined pony is rehabilitated.

The Road to Ruin

Riding Magazine, Summer, 1942, written with Diana and Christine

A pony goes to the bad.

From a Trainer’s Casebook

Pony Magazine 1951-1952

A series of pieces on horses and ponies Diana trained.

Nearly an Expert

Collins Magazine Annual Volume 5 1952, illus Anne Bullen

Reprinted in Pony Stories, selected by Ian Woodward, Corgi, 1983
“Marjorie and Conker are ready for the Meet, smart, eager, confident.  Then comes a bitter disappointment.”

Looking After Jenny

Pony Club Book 7, 1956, illus William Stobbs

Even the best people make mistakes sometimes...

Lost in the Hills of Scotland

Pony Club Book 8 1957
Non fiction piece on DPT’s long distance ride on her mare, Favorita. This was possibly (though I haven’t a copy
to hand to prove it) the piece that appeared as Lost on the Moors in True Horse and Pony Stories.

Lettie Lonsdale

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury, Award, 1995

An extract from A Pony for Sale, 1951

Please Tame Him

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury, Award, 1995
The story of Jason and Jane, who live at an animal sanctuary. For the first time, they take on a pony.


The Ponies Must Go

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury, Award, 1995

The mine closes, Megan’s father loses his job, and the ponies must be sold.


Life and Death

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury, Award, 1995

A girl’s pony is stolen by gypsies, but all is not as it seems. A story where the gypsies are not, as they are in
nearly all pony books, the villains.

A Sixth Sense

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury, Award, 1995

Thunderbird jibs and refuses to go on, but it turns out he had a very good reason.


The Gentle Giants

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury, Award, 1995

Two working horses, now redundant from the farm, are sold by their arrogant boss, who soon has cause to be
grateful to the creatures he dismissed as out of date.