About the author
Shirley Faulkner-Horne had her first book, Riding for Children, published by Country Life in 1936, when she was 15. Between then and 1954 she wrote 10 books concerned with horses; both fiction and non fiction (note: there may have been more. Not all her works are listed in the copyright libraries). Her work was mostly published by Witherby, and illustrated by Peter Biegel, with the exception of Pat and Her Polo Pony, which was published by Country Life. She has two books currently in print: Pathway of the Moon and Pegasus and the Pony, royalties of which go jointly to the Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy and Riding for the Disabled. She was a founding Trustee of the Fortune Centre.
She has written one series, featuring Ian and Veronica Paisley, and two sets of two titles. Her husband is an ex-Battle of Britain pilot and they have lived and farmed for many years in the New Forest. She has her own website here.
Finding the books
Most of her books are easy to find: Pat can be difficult, as its subject, polo, gives it an appeal to a slightly different market. Riding with the Kindles is harder to find, and Look Before You Leap can be expensive. Generally, her older books are becoming more expensive, but the two Pegasus books are available new.
Ian and Veronica
Look Before You Leap
Pathway of the Moon
Pegasus & The Pony
Bred in the Bone: A tale for Childen
HFG Witherby, London, 1938, 128pp, illus Peter Biegel
Our heroine Cherry is not allowed to ride after someone in her family was killed by a horse. Then her grandmother gives her a pony, Brownie. She is not allowed to jump, but she decides she wants to jump at Olympia. Fortunately the head gardener used to be in the Cavalry, and he teaches her, though she is often scared by his unexpectedly loud voice.
Pat and Her Polo Pony, The Power of a Charm
Country Life, London, 1939, 107pp, illus Peter Biegel
Reprinted as a Junior Country Life edition
Pat has been sent to England to live with her cousins: she can’t stay in India because of her poor health. Before she left, her ayah gave her a charm. At first Pat finds everything difficult, but then she nerves herself to look after her cousin’s pony. Nothing stops her after that, and she buys a pony, Nala, determined to train him to be a good polo pony so that her father can ride him.
Riding with the Kindles
Written with E Ess
HFG Witherby, London, 1941, illus Peter Biegel
Told in the form of letters going backwards and forwards between Corona Kindle and her brother Ken. Set in wartime, neither can go home from school during the holidays because London is being bombed. Corona will ride every day on ponies lent to her school, and Ken is going on a month’s equestrian course. Corona thinks she doesn’t need lessons, but soon learns the error of her ways. Ken too has a bit of learning to do.
Parachute Silk: A story for young riders
HFG Witherby, London, 1944, 170 pp, illus Peter Biegel and “Haz”
The story is set during the war, when Rufus the dog finds a piece of parachute silk. Ian and Veronica and their friends think there is a German spy about somewhere, but no one believes them.
The drawings of horses were done by Peter Biegel while he was on leave from the Army.
HFG Witherby, London, 1946, 182 pp, illus Peter Biegel
Another story about Ian and Veronica Paisley: in this one, the war is over, and Ian finds a Mexican saddle at a jumble sale. He pays 15/- for it, and finds it very comfortable to ride on, but then he is offered £5 for it by a stranger, and he is not the only person who is interested in Ian’s saddle. What the saddle actually contains is uranium, but nobody seems even remotely bothered about the radiation risks.
HFG Witherby, London, 1947, 189 pp, illus Peter Biegel
This is the last of the stories about Ian and Veronica Paisley. Their friend Michael sees something glinting: investigates, and finds a trail of glass leading into a cave. The trail of green glass leads to the children outwitting a gang of crooks.
HFG Witherby, London, 1954, 143pp, illus Peter Biegel
Jenny is given a pony by her grandmother for her birthday. Before she had this pony, she was only allowed to ride an elderly pony as someone in her family was killed in a hunting accident. It turns out the new pony can jump, and as the new cowman fortunately used to be in the cavalry, he teaches her, though he does scare her sometimes with his unexpectedly loud voice. Her ambition is to ride at the International Horse Show. Acute readers may notice a certain similarity between this and Bred in the Bone.
Look Before You Leap
Written with P E Blackmore
HFG Witherby, London, 1955, illus Peter Biegel. 244 pp, including two appendices
Jennifer Charrington has left school, and wants to train herself and her horse to three day event. She persuades her parents (eventually) to let her work with horses, and train. Now off the parental leash, she meets an amateur jockey and falls for him. Alas, Jennifer is convinced her parents will not approve of an amateur jockey. She’s right. They don’t.
Pathway of the Moon
Chameleon, London, 144 pp, 1988
Reprinted Pegasus 1999
Rebecca begins her voyage of discovery through time and space with the help of her guide Pegasus.
Pegasus and the Pony
Pegasus, 237 pp, 1999
Rebecca continues her adventures with the magical Pegasus. When Rebecca’s greatest wish comes true only to be taken from her again, it is Pegasus who teaches her not to give up hope but to believe in her dream.
Riding for Children
Country Life, 1936, illus J A Gavin
Horse-Lovers’ Anthology [Ed]
HFG Witherby, 1949