About the author
Jack Steffan was a pseudonym used by Alice Jacqueline Kennedy Steffan (b.1907) to write historical stories for children.
Finding the book
Easy to find, and is still in print.
Links and sources
Alice Jacqueline Kennedy Steffan at NWDA (link no longer works)
Terri Wear: Horse Stories: An Annotated Bibliography
Thank you to Lisa Catz for the summary and photograph
Bibliography (horse books only)
Firm Hand On the Rein
Longmans Green & Co, New York, 1961, 182 pp, illus Paul Laune
Johnny King hates everything about his new ranch home in Idaho, and is humiliated to have to ride to school on Doll, barely taller than a Shetland. Then his father buys Chief, a big Appaloosa, on whom Johnny is as tall as anybody. After Chief bolts with Johnny, he is no longer allowed to ride him. Mr King still plans to ride Chief in the big community race, and the family’s future depends on the outcome. After an accident it is up to Johnny to do a man-sized job and master the unruly horse, so that he can still compete in the race.