Posts

Showing posts from October, 2009

Apethorpe 2

Image
Vista, oh bless it, has just decided that blogger is a malicious add on. I know several things I would describe as malicious add ons, but blogger isn't one of them. So, fingers crossed that Vista doesn't do the dirty on me again, and here is my second attempt at a second post on Apethorpe - more specifically, on the caretaker, George Kelley, and also in passing, because I was so intrigued when I read the Inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Order, Simon Karimzadeh.

George Kelly worked at Apethorpe from 1970 as a groundsman, when it was still St John's School. When Wanis Mohammed Burweila initially bought the house, Mr Kelley was kept on as a caretaker. Together with his colleague Peter Coxhead, he spent the next 20 years trying to stem the tide of decay. Knowing only too well just how wracking it can be to try and mend a small listed house when there are two of you and you have at least some cash, Mr Kelley's task, with no input from the owner, no money for repairs an…

Sue Bentley - Magic Ponies Series

Image
Sue Bentley - Magic Ponies 2: A Special Wish (Puffin, £4.99)
Sue Bentley - Magic Ponies 6: Riding Rescue (Puffin, £4.99)

Sue Bentley on Puffin Books
There is a particular school of cover design for children’s books which it’s almost impossible to escape at the moment. The covers of Sue Bentley’s new Magic Ponies series are of the twinkle, twinkle fairydust school which now seems to infest even quite serious non fantasy pony books, like Michelle Bates’ Sandy Lane Stables series, now re-badged with the obligatory sparkles. The animal on each and every cover has those deliberately huge appealing eyes meant to tug at their infant readers’ heartstrings. Worse even than the covers are the strap lines. The kittens series has a fairly inoffensive “... kitten needs a friend;” the puppy series moves on to “A little puppy, a sprinkling of magic, a forever friend” and ponies have “Could you be a little pony’s special friend?” slobbered on each and every cover. I hope whoever was responsible for t…

Move over Chestnut Hill

Stacy Gregg is writing a new series called Pony Club Rivals set in, you've guessed it, an American boarding school. Here's what's on her site:

"Gripping adventures and drama at an exclusive horsey boarding school in Lexington, Kentucky USA. The Blainford ‘All-Stars’ Academy is the most elite horse-riding school ever and it’s auditions time for next year’s new students! Tabby Parker is a talented British rider determined to ace the auditions. She’ll be competing against the best young riders in the world for a place at the Academy. It’s a different world full of danger and glamour for the young horsey girl from Herefordshire – but Tabby is determined to live the dream…"

I'll review one as soon as it's out - which I gather will be 2010.

Victoria Eveleigh: Midnight on Lundy

Image
Victoria Eveleigh: Midnight on Lundy Tortoise Publishing, £8.50 - published October 12, 2009 Tortoise Publishing's Website

Victoria Eveleigh is one of the very small band of authors writing pony books untinged by either fantasy or horse whispering. She’s set this book in 1960s Lundy, when Lundy was a much more isolated community than it is now. The only way of getting to the mainland was via boat, and if the weather was too bad, you were stuck.


Jenny, the book’s heroine, has lived on Lundy all her life. It is a very small community, and Jenny is facing a huge change in her life with the prospect of boarding school, rather than lessons with Mrs Hamilton on the island. Jenny’s passion in life is the Lundy ponies, particularly the stallion, Midnight. He has a rather mixed reputation, but Jenny has managed to tame him, and with the aid of filched sugar lumps, manages to tame him even more. Unfortunately this has taught Midnight that humans can have goodies, and he molests visitors and ma…

Tail not looking good?

Image
Never mind. If you're a Western Pleasure horse, or any other poor unfortunate American animal being displayed in the show classes on the lunatic fringe of American equestrianism, it doesn't matter if your own tail's a bit stringy. You too can get a custom made tail. Amazingly, this is perfectly acceptable in show classes.

Not only that, some breed associations even allow you to weight the tail extension to flatten the horse's tail carriage.

If your horse still isn't looking right, you can try a forelock extension.

It makes the diamanté browband look rather tame.