So the Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant was perhaps one of the first lot of horse books that I was introduced to as a child. I’ve been pondering the idea of writing a christian horse series for pre teens and this seemed the perfect opportunity to read some books that are written for this demographic!
Horse Crazy is the first title in the Bonnie Bryant series about three young girls who are mad about horses. Carole Hanson, Stevie Lake and Lisa Atwood are very different people, but they have one thing in common: their love of horses.
Pine Hollow, the riding school that they all take lessons at, is planning a Mountain Trail Overnight for it’s riders and the girls are all keen to go. Lisa is new to horse riding, and has to overcome the obstacle of convincing her mum that it’ll be good for her; Stevie isn’t focused enough on her schoolwork and has to pick up her math grade to be able to go.
Although the odds seem stacked against them, the girls work together to ensure that all three of them will be able to enjoy the MTO.
Horse Crazy is a great introduction to the 3 main characters of the Saddle Club series. There were a couple of points that I felt were a bit beyond the reach of the reading demographic however:
- there is one point where Carole is riding with her horse riding instructor and she follows him in a lead change at the canter – I am unsure if this means that a 12 year old is competently carrying out flying changes, which seems an incredible feat to me!
- the horse that Carole is riding is owned by another 12 year old girl. He is a thoroughbred stallion – again, not something I would expect for such a young girl to be doing.
Aside from this, the book is great at focusing on horses, learning about them and showing how friendship can help people work through problems. A recommended read for young horse enthusiasts.
“How to ride a horse: step One – mount the horse, step two – stay mounted…” – Author unknown.