Here's a clip of Dick Sparrow driving 40 horses. It's an amazing sight, particularly when the shot changes to show the team from the rear and you get the great incongruity of modern American corporate architecture as a background to the wagon and horses. I love the anticipation in the video: the sense of something amazing being just round the corner is palpable.
Thanks to Christina Wilsdon for telling me about this world record 46 Percheron hitch (alas just stills) but you get the idea.
I do love this trilogy: Susan Ketchen’s Born that Way books first came my way last year when I read the
first of the series, Born That Way. Sylvia, Susan Ketchen’s heroine, is a brilliant creation.
She’s funny, observant, and absolutely devoid of self pity about her condition,
Turner’s Syndrome. It means she’s very small for her age, and she hasn’t hit
puberty yet, and won’t either unless she gets hormone treatment. The fact she
looks different makes her a target for the school bullies, but Sylvia tackles
this in the same way she does everything else: with a quirky resolve.
In many ways, she’s far more sorted out than her parents,
and quite a few of the other adults she comes across. As an adult, it’s quite
easy to forget that relationships are two-way: that your view of a child isn’t
all that matters. They have their own view, and oh goodness, does Sylvia have
her own views. I love the fact that we see where she doesn’t understand things,
and see how she works them out. I love her a…
Gillian Baxter doesn't need much of an introduction from me: she's written some of the best-regarded pony books out there. She's the author of Jump for the Stars, The Difficult Summer, Tan and Tarmac, The Stables at Hampton, and the Pantomime Ponies series, to name just a few. She's now writing again, with With Vacant Possession?, the story of a woman who moves to a remote Welsh farm with her horses, and gets a lot more than she bargained for.
So I'm really excited to be able to hand over to Gillian to tell you about what books she would (and wouldn't) take away on a desert island with her.
*** What books would I like to have beside me on my desert island? First, a book that will transport me home to the scents and sounds and weather of the British countryside, and the thrills and struggles of a brilliant but difficult pony.
The Team by K M Peyton For this I would choose KM Peyton’s The Team, the story of Ruth, who is inexperienced but driven by her dream of owni…