Friday, November 11, 2011

Girls and Ponies

I was one of those annoying girls that grew up with my own pony.  In fact, I used to ride my pony around our ‘neighborhood’ (I use that term loosely, since I’m not sure five houses randomly plunked down along a dirt road really comprises suburbia), and sell wrapping paper, or cookies, or whatever we had to hawk for our school fundraiser.

When my sister and I weren’t racing our ponies around, we were playing with our horse figurines, or thumbing through the Dover Saddlery catalog, earmarking our favorite bridles (I wish I was exaggerating.  We were fairly boring kids).  Besides being a horse-crazy kid, I was also a voracious early reader, and had every copy of The Saddle Club and Thoroughbred series (my mom thought The Babysitter’s Club books were too racy).  


I was pretty excited to discover upon my arrival at Peachtree that author Chris Platt, former Thoroughbred series contributor, was one of Peachtree’s esteemed authors.  I love to think that there’s a whole new generation of girls growing up reading her books and running around their backyards pretending to be horses (yes, we did that too). 

In Star Gazer, new kid in town Jordan McKenzie has just moved to rural Michigan.  Despite her limited experience with horses, she is enamored with the big farm animals, and dreams of having one of her own.  However, her newly single mother is adamant that the expense is more than they can afford.  But when Jordan sees a beautiful draft mare headed to slaughter, she can’t help but bid at the local auction…

My experience with horses has always been more of the proper English side of things, so this book was a learning experience for me.  I’m not as familiar with log-skidding competitions or wagon-pulling, but Chris Platt is a knowledgeable horsewoman as well as an excellent author, and there is plenty of detail and instruction to be found.
I’ve included a little video here so you can see what log-skidding is all about:


I’d say it’s not as easy as it looks, but it doesn’t look that easy to me! 

For more info on Star Gazer, head over here.  Happy Trails!

3 comments:

  1. While I did *not* grow up with a pony of my own, I still did all those things ;o) My mum grew up with horses, and I 'inherited' (read: took over) all her horse books - and added my own. Still am adding them...Walter Farley, Margeurite Henry...Oh man, happiness :o)

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  2. Oh Walter Farley and Margeurite Henry are wonderful! I collect horse books from the 40's and 50's with those wonderful illustrated cardboard covers. Still haven't grown out of the horse phase I guess :)

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  3. I circled the pictures of horse blankets and saddle pads in the saddle catalogs with red ink-I was so busy dreaming of what I would save my money up for! I was so busy that I forgot that there was life outside of horses until 8th grade. It is nice to hear that there were other kids pretending they were horses, spending hours and hours in the barn with their horse or pony!

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