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
A Stallion Called Midnight
- September: Patience McElwee
Match Pair, Dark Horse and The Merrythoughts
Sign up for my newsletter to keep up to date. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Sign up for my newsletter
If I Could Ride
The third in the Showing series, I first read this book in our local library about 40 years after it first came out, when it turned up in a library sale. At that point I hadn’t started researching pony books, so had no idea there were any Showing books at all, let alone three. In this book, Caroline has gone away to college to learn all about stud management. It is not how she thought it would be. She cannot ride. All the horses at the centre are either brood mares or foals, who cannot be ridden. In the middle of a lecture on parasite management, Caroline’s cousins ring up. They have their most spectacular plan yet in a career that has been big on spectacular plans, and they want Caroline to throw up her course and come and help. If she could ride, thinks Caroline, surely it will all be worth it …
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.