Caroline Akrill: I’d Rather Not Gallop

Side-saddle isn’t easy …

Caroline’s cousins have several surprises for her. They have a plan. It involves a horse. And a side-saddle. And someone who will ride the horse side-saddle to glory in the showring. All they need to do now is get Caroline to be that person, but Caroline is not keen; not keen at all. Even the eccentric but eminently practical help of Mr Marmalade the side-saddle expert does not seem as if it will be enough.

I’d Rather Not Gallop also includes a short story about the showing family: The Lamentable Leading Rein. Caroline wrote three short stories about the family, all of which were published in the Pony Magazine Annual. They are tricky for the collector to track down, so I’m delighted to be able to include one each in these republished books.

I’d Rather Not Gallop is the second of Caroline Akrill’s Showing series about Caroline and her cousins, and was first published in 1975.


Funny and heartwarming and one of Akrill’s best. (Tulipsaki)

This second book in the showing trilogy doesn’t disappoint: we already know the characters who are a little more fleshed out here – and of course we are reunited with the unforgettable Benjamin. There is a bonus reprint of a short story featuring the same characters at the end of each of these books, and it is a pleasure to re-read them again after all these years. The ending had my heart in my mouth – but you’ll have to read it and find out for yourself …. (Nogginthenog)

Click here to buy the book.

Publishing history
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1975, illus Elizabeth Grant
Knight, 1979
eBook, Jane Badger Books, 2019

Earlier editions



Author: Caroline Akrill