Today's pony story is from another writer who is a graduate from PONY Magazine: to be accurate, she's not a graduate, as she's still there, editing away, but author Janet Rising has been writing for PONY since her teens. It's seen her through a long and interesting relationship with her mule, Twoy, who featured often in the magazine, but who sadly died recently.
Janet, like Caroline Akrill, writes with wit and brio, two things often absent in a genre which can tend towards self-righteousness. Her Pony Whisperer series was a breath of fresh air when the first volume, The Word on the Yard, appeared in 2009. Heroine Pia comes from a broken family. Her father has cleared off with Skinny Linny, and Pia's been left with her mother, and her pony, Drummer, and has had to move. The book opens with Pia visiting the new livery yard she and Drummer have had to go to. Pia finds a statue of Epona, the horse goddess, while she's there, and it's that that makes her life charge off in a completely new direction. When Pia is touching the statue, she can understand what ponies are saying.
Unlike the many pony series of the 1990s, and if I'm honest, now, as they haven't exactly gone away, Pia has a special communication with horses and ponies. Of course as Pia's special contact only happens when she's touching the statue, there are all sorts of ways the whole thing can go horribly wrong. And it does.
|Hodder 1st edition, 2009|
In common with most modern books, although there have been reprints, there's been no new cover in the UK. The cover is the weakest part of the book, showing as it does a bay horse. Drummer's definitely a pony. The American version does a considerably better job, as someone's bothered to read the book.
|Sourcebooks, USA, 2010|
You can read more about Janet Rising here, and she's also contributed several guest pieces to this blog:
What Not to Wear, The Observation of Horses, Holidays on Horseback and The Vicious Recruitment Drive in Suburbia