Bates, Michelle

The Sandy Lane Stables series has managed to survive several reprints, and has not been out of print since it came out in the mid 1990s. It is a classic pony book series, centred round a Riding Stables, and the adventures of the group of children who ride there. It’s free of the fantasy elements which infest so many pony books in the 21st century, and its latest set of covers features neither pink nor sparkles. The series is unusual in being openly written by two different authors.

Michelle Bates was in her twenties when she started writing the series, having had a passion for horses as a child. She has since worked as an editor. Susannah Leigh, besides contributing four titles in the Sandy Lane Stables series, has also written many other children’s books, most notably the Puzzle series for Usborne (adored by my children). She is listed as Editor of some of the Sandy Lane series. Who wrote which book isn’t always clear: Strangers at the Stables and The Midnight Horse have Michelle Bates listed as author in earlier editions, and Susannah Leigh in the latest printings.

Many thanks to Hannah Fleetwood for all her help with this section.

Finding the books
The series is still in print. Second hand copies are very easy to find, and very cheap.

A little snippet on Michelle Bates