Mum and a friend's horse, Beauty, with a red rosette.
Ponymadbooklovers have a good information page on Golden Gorse, as does Jane Badger. The only pony I ever got to Christmas was an Exmoor “adopted” from the Moorland Mousie Trust in Devon, who work to preserve what is now sadly a rare breed. They have commissioned a hardback re-issue of the novel, complete with original illustrations by Lionel Dunning: impossibly good value at £11.99.
The Pony Club has a downloadable history available on their home site, as well as a collection of classic old photos of many generations in Pony Clubbers in action. Health and safety fanatics look away now!
For other pony book authors like the Pullein-Thompsons, Primrose Cumming (Silver Snaffles), Joanna Cannan and Ruby Ferguson (the Jill books), there’s Jane Badger’s comprehensive site.
This post relates to a chapter of the book If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of an Equine Obsession. If you have any questions to ask about the content, please fire away in the comments. The main online index for the book is here.
The classic Western, True Grit, has been re-made. Here’s a byte about Cowboy, Cimarron and Apollo, the equine stars.
An interesting new study compares the British equine economy and structure to that of Sweden and the Netherlands and makes suggestions for improvements. Dr Georgina Crossman found that “models within the other two countries show that alignment with government objectives and better awareness of the socio-economic contribution of the horse lead to a more rapid progression of industry priorities.”
A Spindles’ Farm survivor has been re-homed with the Horse Rangers.
I got a voucher for a side-saddle lesson for Christmas and am totally overexcited!
Diddy Do, a shetland pony who for years hoofed with the best of them on the stage in Scunthorpe pantos, has hit the ripe old age of 38. You can see Diddy here, enjoying being handfed apple mush in her retirement. Jane Badger has a full set of covers of Gillian Baxter’s “Pantomime Ponies” series, featuring the creamy palominos Magic and Moonshine and their human friends, Ian and Angela, here. I wish I’d known as a child that there were four more books to read, as I dearly loved Pantomime Ponies. I have a 1982 edition with wonderful illustrations by Elisabeth Grant.
“The orchestra struck up a rumba, and Buttons dropped his hand to his side, moving so that he could touch Magic’s flank. Magic pricked his ears, and as Buttons began to dance a rumba the pony began to swing his hind quarters from side to side as though he, too, was dancing. The tune changed to a waltz, and Magic and Buttons circled the stage, twirling round in circles to the music.
The fairy story enchantment of the stage worked on Magic as well, and Angela found it easy to imagine that he really was a fairy pony, part of the mysterious forest, and not one of Uncle Arthur’s pantomime ponies at all.”