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  •  I am a horse book fan (15+ / 0-)

    There was a time when I had devoured most of the horse books in the Los Angeles County library system.

    Some of my all time favorites that probably no one here has read are Fly-By-Night and The Team written by KM Peyton. (Actually, everything by KM Peyton is pretty fantastic, and she's prolific.)

    It's also why I started reading Mercedes Lackey, sucked in by horses on the cover. :-)

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 05:45:00 PM PDT

    •  The Lackey covers are beautiful (7+ / 0-)

      I will write Peyton down, thanks!!!

      I am always looking for a new series.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 06:05:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  KM Peyton is a young adult/coming of age (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, RiveroftheWest, Brecht

        author. Horses figure into many but not all of her stories. She also writes intensively about sailing and has a series that ties to the horse series about a talented young musician.

        One that I think is especially compelling and interesting and unusual is The Right Hand Man.

        Ned Rowlands is the fastest livery coach driver on Harwich road when he catches the attention of Lord Ironminister, a wealthy young man in love with coaches and fast horses who can no longer drive himself after the loss of his right arm in a tragic accident. As Ironminister's coachman, Rowlands becomes a curiously symbiotic mixture of confidant and tool, allowing Ironminister to vicariously engage in the activities his frail body no longer permits.
        I also quite like Who Sir? Me Sir? as another quite different novel.
        The lives of four students at Hawkwood Comprehensive are dramatically changed when their teacher bets the teacher of rival school Greycoats Independent that his students can beat the polished Greycoats tetrathalon team. Of course, the doomed students don't even know what a tetrathalon is - a one day competition combining the sports of shooting, swimming, running, and riding for an overall score. None of them have shot a pistol or ridden a horse, one can barely swim, and certainly none are model athletes or enthusiastic about the idea. The Parents Association, however, is, and purchases 4 knacker-bound horses for the students to ride. When the riding teacher pronounces the situation hopeless, the adults are ready to give up the idea -- but when they realize it means that the horses will go back to the knacker if they quit, it's up to them to decide whether to continue the challenge.
        Peyton is most famous for her Flambards series, set during WWI. But still, the ponies Fly and Toad from Fly-By-Night and The Team are among my favorites. This is a passage from Fly-By-Night:
        Mr. McNair was smiling, but she didn't notice. She was beginning to think that Mr. McNair's ponies might cost more than forty pounds. Everything was so new and expensive, from Mr. McNair's trousers to the first shining bolt that he was pulling back on stall 12. There was no rust at Mr. McNair's, no chipped paint, no dirty straw blowing in the breeze. Only perfection. Ruth remembered Peter holding Toadhill Flax on a quivering rein while he dropped the string. Perfection. "This isn't my sort of place," Ruth thought, and in her imagination she saw a stable yard, slightly untidy, with dipping tiled roofs and pigeons, and stables converted from an old carriage house, with cobbles, and cats, and a faithful head looking over the half-door ... the sort in books. She swallowed desperately.
        And this from The Team, which is the sequel finding Ruth a bit older:
        "I've bought a pony."
        "What with, may I ask? Your pocket money? Give me your boots. And your socks."
        "We bought it with Ted's motor-bike money," Ruth persisted doggedly, wanting to get it over. "It's in the stable."
        Her mother looked at her acidly. "This is a joke? You aren't serious?"
        "I am serious. You can go and have a look."
        Her mother straightened and stared at her.
        "I shall sell Fly straight away," Ruth got in quickly, desperately. "I shall get the money back as soon as he's sold, and it will all be the same, just the same. Only the pony's a bit bigger. It's Peter's old pony, you remember -- that chestnut called Toad. It's a bargain -- I just had to --"

        Ruth froze. She hadn't expected it to be any different; only it was hard to take. Her mother wasn't one of those noble, understanding, sympathetic mothers that one came across in books: she thought horses a great waste of money anyway, even Fly-sized ones, and the time Ruth spent on them wasted, when she could have been doing something "useful" (unstipulated). Ruth sat down and tried not to listen, but it was very pointed and bitter, and quite a lot of it was true. She started to cry, overwhelmed with weariness and emotion, and at the height of it, her sobs increasing and her mother's invective scaling fresh pinnacles of invention (or was it truth?), the door opened again, and Ted came in.

        "Evening all."

        His mother rounded on him instantly. "You're to blame, of course! We all know Ruth has absolutely no sense of responsibility at all but you--you're old enough to know better! You--"

        "Look, it was my money, not yours." Ted's voice was very firm. "You're losing nothing. We all know she's a lunatic, but sometimes she has to be humored. She'll sell Fly, and everything will be the same as before."

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:03:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you are truly pony-mad (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, RiveroftheWest, Brecht, frosti

        I suggest looking up the author Patricia Leitch. Her series with Jinny and the chestnut Arabian mare Shantih, set in the Scottish Highlands ("Finnmory House") is one of the most vivid novels I've ever read - and I've read it over and over since I was maybe 10. There's a whole series starting with For Love of a Horse, but sadly the later ones are hard to find in the US.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:06:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am trying to remember (7+ / 0-)

      the name of a book I read in the 60s; it was about Spaniards in Southern California (many Arabic/Moorish names like Alhambra). The hero was Don Roscoe and there was also a Don Ramon (maybe that was a horse, I'm not sure anymore).

      Anyway, since 9/11/2001 brought the middle east into focus for us, it's interesting to me that fifty years ago I was reading fiction with Arab names. Weird!  

      •  There's a part in Don Quixote (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, Emmet, RiveroftheWest, LinSea, Brecht

        about Christians fighting Muslims.  Things haven't changed much in 500 years.  ;-)

      •  Spaniards or Californios? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, RiveroftheWest, Brecht

        The Californios were very polished horsemen who owned and ran most of the land grant ranchos before the Americans arrived.

        One fairly common book set in that time is Carlota by Scott O'Dell, which is based in part on a real person.

        Sixteen year old Carlota de Zubarán is the apple of her father's eye, growing up in southern California in the 1800s. Her Spanish father owns an enormous ranch, and so there is much to be done: gathering cattle, riding to town for supplies, defending against theft. Carlota, against the wishes of her grandmother, Doña Dolores, rides a black stallion, Tiburón, and astride at that. She loves her horses, and she loves riding.
        Of course, today, Alhambra is a suburb between Los Angeles and Pasadena. :-)

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 11:15:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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