Ayres, Jane

About the author

Jane Ayres, born in 1962, had her first pony story published at the age of 14. A Gothic tale about a psychopathic pony, Dream Pony, appeared in Pony World magazine. She wrote The Great Horse Rescue for J A Allen’s Equestrian Fiction series. Featuring a local livery yard, threatened with demolition, it is one of the earlier books to reflect the change in how horses were kept and the expansion of horse and pony keeping, with most owners having no choice but to use a livery yard. She has written short stories for many magazines and journals, and is contributed the Milly and Magpie serial to the Pony Tales Club magazine.

Most of Jane’s full-length books have been published by Stabenfeldt, the USA/Scandinavian publisher who until recently was the major producer of traditional pony stories. She has written the Matty series for them, featuring Matty and her Pony Mad Girl Gang. Jane has now released this series in ebook format, and all profits from it will go to the Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which “provides safe and secure homes for over 1200 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, many of whom have been rescued from neglect or cruelty.” Her story about a girl and her Norwegian Forest cats, Coming Home, was released in English in ebook format to raise funds for the Cats’ Protection League.

Besides writing, Jane is keen on Egyptian dancing, and teaches music and English. She has a cat called Biggles.

Finding the books
All the books are easy to find and shouldn’t be too expensive. You might, though, have to try American sites for the Stabenfeldt titles. The Matty series is available in ebook format. Her latest titles are all in ebook format.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Jane Ayres’ Blog
Jane Ayres writes about writing pony books on Equestrian Ink
A short interview with Jane Ayres


Matty and the Moonlight Horse
Matty and the Problem Ponies
Matty and the Racehorse Rescue

Jenni and Holly
The Horse on the Balcony
Dark Horses
The Runaway Horse

Gemma and the Pony Club Dance
Gemma and the Tattooed Horses
Gemma and the Black Colt
Gemma and the Disappearing Showjumpers

Bibliography (pony books only)

Horses in the Gallery

Armada, London, 1990

Many thanks to Dawn Harrison for the photo.

The exhibition of holographic art didn’t look very exciting from outside, but Mo and Mark had a few hours to kill. As they looked round, something very strange began to happen: the holograms seemed to be coming to life. This is a collection of twenty short horse stories.

The Great Horse Rescue

J A Allen, London, 1996

The local livery yard is demolished to make way for a new DIY centre, and Moya and Sue have to search for a new home for their ponies. They meet a squatter who is occupying the Grange, and their ponies become squatters too. Then more and more unwanted horses and ponies find their way to the Grange, and to top it all the former tenants of the Grange, who left under a cloud, arrive to collect their ill-gotten gains.


Stabenfeldt, 2004, 125 pp.
Republished as The Horse in My Heart
Ebook format, 2013

Annie meets Elizabeth and her horse, Rocket. They are no ordinary pony-mad girl andpony: Elizabeth is seriously ill, and thinks Annie is the best person to take on her horse.

Matty and the Moonlight Horse

Stabenfeldt, 2005, pb
Slow Gallop Press, Ebook format, 2012

Matty and her best mates, pony mad girl-gang Ronnie, Spike and Gina, work hard at the local stables, hoping for rides. Matty sneaks a ride on a new pony, to the fury of the pony’s owner. The girls decide to club together to buy a pony of their own, but adventure results when they find a mysterious bay horse in a graveyard.

Matty and the Problem Ponies

Stabenfeldt, 2006, pb, 124 pp.
Slow Gallop Press, Ebook format, 2012

Matty and her friends have a pony to share, and new excitement now that Matty’s penfriend, Silke, is coming to stay. Unfortunately Silke’s more interested in Matty’s boyfriend than ponies. Not only is Silke a problem, the gang’s pony, Comfort, isn’t quite living up to her name.

The Horse on the Balcony

Stabenfeldt, 2009, pb, 127 pp.

Jenni has an accident on her beautiful horse Smokey which makes her withdraw from life. Holly has an accident too, and it alienates her from her family. When a mysterious horse appears on the balcony of a block of flats, the girls are drawn together by a common goal.

Dark Horses

Stabenfeldt, 2009, 124 pp.

Jenni takes on two rescue horses, Firebrand and Laser. She thinks they’re perfect, though her friends Ella andHolly are not so sure. Then one of the horses hurts Ella, and the girls try and find out why the mysterious Thoroughbred behaves as he does. Through a diary, Holly learns of a terrible tragedy, and dark secrets. She finds out that her friends are in terrible danger – and she has to race against time to save them.

Zephyr of Wild Horse Island

Stabenfeldt, 2009, 127 pp.

The story of a wild stallion, trying to find his way home, and the lives of those he meets. There is an old man, who finds solace in horses; a boy who misses a parent’s love and finds a wonderful treasure. A shy, disabled artist finds an animal in need which in turn helps her to rediscover love, and a young girl who dreams of horsey competitions happens across something that brings her new hope.

The Runaway Horse

Stabenfeldt, 2010

Heroine Holly is staying with her unfriendly cousins at her aunt’s seaside B&B for the summer. She pursues a runaway horse and is thrown into danger, ending up in a creepy old mansion on the cliff top and finding herself attracted to a brooding, secretive boy named Jordan. But why do her cousins mistrust him so much? And what is Holly prepared to risk to keep the runaway horse safe?

Last Chance Horse

Stabenfeldt, 2010, 128 pp.

Kat is a rebellious teenager whose parents are just about ready to give up on her bad behaviour. Pagan is an unhappy horse with a tragic and mysterious past who has been branded as trouble. When girl and horse meet it seems they are made for each other. But when Pagan is unfairly blamed for an accident, Kat soon finds herself in a dangerous life or death situation.

Matty and the Racehorse Rescue

Slow Gallop Press, Ebook format, 2012,

Matty’s parents have gone off travelling, and her strict aunt, Julia, has come to look after her. To Aunt Julia, it’s school work that’s important, and not ponies, which means Matty is going to struggle practising for the race she’s entered.

Gemma and the Pony Club Dance

Slow Gallop Press, 2013 (ebook), 68 pp

Gemma Carlton has a new pony, Fireworks. Gemma’s friends, Callie, Fizz and Kath, and her boyfriend Steve want to raise funds for the new horse rescue sanctuary by organising a Pony Club Dance at the community centre but then a gang of vandals cause trouble and put the horses in danger. Fireworks goes missing – and to make matters worse, Gemma soon suspects her best friend, Callie, is secretly going out with the ring leader of the gang.

Gemma and the Tattooed Horses

Slow Gallop Press, 2013 (ebook), 84 pp

There’s trouble for Gemma and her friends when they come across stolen treasure, a runaway thief and a pair of beautiful and mysterious Arabian horses called Sahara and Delphi, who happen to have peculiar symbols tattooedon them. What can it all mean?

Gemma and the Black Colt

Slow Gallop Press, 2013 (ebook), 91 pp.

Gemma’s looking forward to spending summer with Fireworks and the new colt Starchaser. However, things aren’t going well with Steve, who blames Gemma for a bad fall. And then Gemma meets the mysterious Kyle, to complicate matters further. Then after disaster strikes Gemma has to try and raise enough money to stop her losing Starchaser. Her friends come to the rescue, trying everything to get the money – even agreeing to spend the night in a haunted house for a big reward! After another catastrophe, Gemma wonders if things can get any worse – and when Kyle’s true identity is revealed she feels betrayed. Has she jeopardised her relationship with Steve for nothing? And how will she ever get Starchaser back?

Gemma and the Disappearing Showjumpers

Slow Gallop Press, 2013 (ebook), 81 pp.

Gemma finds herself without her friends for the summer – and looking after a handful of ponies, including her beloved Fireworks and Starchaser. But a visit to a castle leads to a chance encounter with horse-loving Sam and her gorgeous bay mare, Aura. Sam has problems of her own, but will she let Gemma help? When they both get mixed up with horse thieves while trying to rescue Gemma’s boyfriend, a dangerous moonlight chase ensues – and soon they are galloping for their lives.

Beware of the Horse

Slow Gallop Press, 2013 (ebook), 59 pp.

Fifteen year old Jan Bryant is haunted by memories of a tragic riding accident. Consumed by guilt, she struggles to cope and becomes increasingly withdrawn, much to the concern of her Mum, Irene, a single parent trying to make a new life for both of them. Disowned by his parents, eighteen year old Richard has been in trouble with the police, but is taken in by his older brother, Chris. Together, they run a livery stable and give riding lessons to pay the bills. When their paths cross, Richard becomes intrigued by the shy, enigmatic Jan, who has a rare gift with horses but seems determined to keep her distance. Both teenagers are trapped by a past that make it difficult to move on. Like Cassius, the beautiful, damaged and dangerous bay horse that brings them together.


Slow Gallop Press, 2013 (ebook), 64 pp.

Fourteen year old Linzi has it all. Or so it seems. She’s bright, pretty, popular, lives in a glamorous cliff top apartment and has her own perfect horse – a stunning copper chestnut gelding called Ambrose. But appearances can be very deceptive….On the other side of the sleepy seaside town, teenager Bex lives in a tiny flat with her widowed mum above the café they both run. She’s prickly, moody, and a loner, trying to escape from her tragic past. She doesn’t want friends – especially not girls like Linzi. Linzi suspects her rival, Sheldon, who resents her for beating him to a place in the jumping team, is the mystery joyrider – someone who takes other people’s horses at night and rides them – and she is furious when her beloved Ambrose is targeted. However, afterwards, Ambrose seems different, and Linzi is baffled to discover that his behaviour is much better than before. Can the joyrider have a magic touch?


Scared Stiff
Dolphin, London,1997
Sophie’s Jacket

Au Galop!
Gallimard-Jeunesse, 2004

Ride like the Wind
Dolphin, London, 1997
Riding for a Red

Why We Ride
Seal Press, USA, 2010