Classic pony books
There are nine titles out now, and coming up are:
- June: Josephine Pullein-Thompson
Six Ponies, The Radney Riding Club and Pony Club Team
- September: Patience McElwee
Match Pair, Dark Horse and The Merrythoughts
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I'd Rather Not Gallop
I think this book is why I still have such a yen to ride sidesaddle. I’d Rather Not Gallop is my favourite of Caroline Akrill’s showing series. Its heroine finds out that her cousins, who run a stud breeding show ponies, have yet another plan for her. She is to ride their new horse sidesaddle. Heroine Caroline has never ridden sidesaddle before, and she’s quite sure she doesn’t want to. But with the aid of the eccentric (and a touch tragic) Mr Marmalade, she does.
Like her sisters, Diana Pullein-Thompson (1925–2015) was best known for her pony books. Her first solo pony book was I Wanted a Pony (1946), which followed It Began with Picotee, written with her sisters.
Patricia Leitch (1933–2015) had a varied career, before she settled down to writing. Thanks to her Jinny series, she is a must-read author if you want to do a serious study of how the pony book genre developed.
Pony book authors don’t tend to do humour: perhaps it’s the undercurrent of morality that underpins most of the genre (you must take proper care of your pony ), but the pony book that makes you laugh out loud is rare.
Marianne Mjelva is a Norwegian author, who learned to ride when she was right. When she was 10, she wrote in her diary: ‘When I grow up I’m going to be a dog owner, a horse owner and a writer.’ She’s done all of those.
Books, Mud and Compost. And Horses. Read my blog here.
About Jane Badger
I’m a freelance writer, editor and proof reader. I’ve written Heroines on Horseback (2013), a gallop through the pony book in children’s fiction, and have written the world’s largest website on equine literature.
- My earliest horse memory is being bitten on the arm by a piebald who lived in the field at the end of our garden. It did not put me off.