Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Advent Calendar 8 - Gillian Baxter: The Perfect Horse

Today's book has been chosen by Sabrina Ferguson, and it's The Perfect Horse, by Gillian Baxter. It's the third in the Bracken Stables trilogy, which starts with Jump to the Stars, in which heroine Bobby battles with an unsympathetic school, and a worse than unsympathetic aunt to achieve her dream of working for stable owner Guy Matthews, and riding the chestnut mare, Shelta.

The Difficult Summer had what I would call a bit more than difficulties - an aeroplane crashes onto the stables and causes a fire.  Horses die, Guy ends up in hospital, and buildings are destroyed. All that has been overcome by the time of the The Perfect Horse.


Gillian's cousin, Ellen, reappears, asking Bobby and Guy to find her a horse she can event on - rather a surprising request for a girl who we feel rides because it's socially acceptable. The horse they find is called Minos, and he never puts a foot wrong. Ever.


Minos is the perfect, push button horse. Point him at a fence and he'll work out what to do and jump it. Minos is supremely confident, because nothing in his life has ever gone wrong. And then it does, and Bobby is faced, out on the course at Badminton, with a horse having a major and catastrophic collapse of confidence.


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3 comments:

Anne Rogers said...

Oh that sounds fascinating!

Jane Badger said...

Well worth reading if you can find a copy! The hardbacks are the best bet as most (if not all) of the paperback editions are abridged.

Goldielover said...

Anne Rogers, suggest reading the first two in the trilogy first (Jump to the Stars and The Difficult Summer). While the books can be read alone, you will understand the background of the characters much better if you read the others first.

And yes, I fully agree with Jane regarding finding a hard cover copy. Dragon really did cut a lot out of the paperback editions. I didn't realize just how much until I got the hardcovers. It was realizing just how much had been cut from The Difficult Summer that made me start getting rid of my paperbacks and replacing them with hardcovers, not only for Gillian Baxter, but many other pony book authors as well.