Jill Enjoys Her Ponies
One of the things I like about Jill is that she’s not perfect. When it comes to Dinah, who is so desperate to ride she has a riding lesson she can’t pay for, Jill is dismissive, positively rude at times, and she’s more worried about what her friends think of what she’s doing than Dinah and her grim home life. Jill is utterly believable, and it is a testament to how well Ruby Ferguson writes Jill that her twinges of conscience towards Dinah are completely believable too.
In any other book, Dinah would be the heroine – and actually, now I come to think of it, I suppose in this book she is the heroine. It’s Dinah who rescues the ponies bought for slaughter, Dinah who plots how to keep them safe, and Dinah who pulls off the masterstroke at the end of the book where the ponies are saved for good. Everyone else just carries on doing the normal pony book stuff. Jill aids and abets, but she’s certainly not a prime mover.
I do wonder quite what Dinah would have done as an adult. I can quite see her being prime minister, or perhaps a foreign correspondent, daring to go to places no one else will.
Coming in 2022: Ruby Ferguson’s original Jill series.
Josephine Pullein-Thompson: A Job with Horses – 10 March 2022. Available now
Ruby Ferguson: Jill Has Two Ponies – 28 April 2022. Available now
Ruby Ferguson: Jill Enjoys Her Ponies – 26 May 2022. On pre-order now
Caroline Akrill: Courses for Horses: watch out for more details
Caroline Akrill: Eventer’s Dream, Ticket to Ride, A Hoof in the Door (paperbacks): watch out for more details
Most titles are also now available on Kobo.
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About Jane Badger
I’m a freelance writer, editor and proof reader. I’ve written Heroines on Horseback (2019), a gallop through the pony book in children’s fiction, and have written the world’s largest website on equine literature.
I've now started a publishing company to bring back the classics of pony fiction.