Oldham, Mary

About the author

Mary Oldham has written just the one pony book published in England: A Dream of Horses. I’m pretty sure The White Pony, published in the USA, is also by her. A Dream of Horses is one of those career-hits-the-horse-dream novels: in the end, the heroine has to decide between an equine career and a librarianship degree. The compromise she comes to, although thoroughly realistic, is probably one reason why the book is not more popular. It is also a good horse rescue story though, and it does have quite a reasonable cover!

Finding the books
A Dream of Horses is reasonably easy to find, and not too expensive. The White Pony is very easy to find in the USA, and copies do turn up in the UK occasionally. It isn’t generally expensive.


A Dream of Horses

Harrap 1968, illus Robert Hodgson
US:  A Horse for Her, Hastings House, New York, 1969

Diana Lynch has saved and saved for a horse. She buys Jade, a mare who has been raced too early and who is ill, to the horror of stable owner Felix de Vries. Jade is “a proper sick little horse”, but she does recover. Then Diana discovers the mare is in foal, and Jason is born. Diana wants to be a librarian, and has to decide whether to go for a horsy career with Felix de Vries, or train as a librarian. 

The White Pony

Hastings House, New York, 1981

Barbara moves next door to a riding school. There is a “special warmth” between her and Bianca, a blind pony. Bianca helps Barbara enter a dream world where she is thin and glamorous, and Bianca is not blind and a wonderful jumper. However, none of this is real, and Barbara’s parents want her to diet. Barbara isn’t sure in the end whose wishes matter – hers or her parents. She wants to write, and her friends encourage her: but Barbara needs to make her own choices, not someone else’s.

Many thanks to Konstanze Allsopp for the picture, and the blurb.