Continuing on with working my way through my bookcase alphabetically, I picked up this children’s novel by James Aldridge to read next.
The Broken Saddle is a story about a young Australian boy who appreciates the simple things in life. Eric lives with his mother in a small country town in Australia. His days consist of school, saying hello to the locals and trying to be as friendly as possible to all he meets.
Eric works hard every Saturday morning to earn a little bit of money that he can take home to his mother to help pay overdue bills. Eric’s father is a drover and is rarely home. This leaves Eric and his mother working hard in order to just scrape by.
A surprise visit by his father leaves Eric with an unexpected gift in the form of a pony. Although she hides it, Eric’s mother is devastated by the gift that could result in her son being as lonesome a character as his father.
Eric is delighted. The pony is a young unbroken colt, hardly one you’d expect to be the perfect first horse for a beginner. In spite of these odds, Eric is determined to ride his pony. This starts a battle of wills between the pair as the pony is determined not to be ridden.
The Broken Saddle explores a young boy’s loneliness and describes how an unexpected friend can arrive in an unusual form. Soon Eric and his pony are inseparable, spending their hours away from the town members Eric used to seek out to talk with on a daily basis.
In time Eric is offered the opportunity to ride his pony with a saddle and here starts the young boy’s problems. Aldridge aptly describes how a mischievous pony can have its spirit broken by being forced under saddle.
As his pony’s demeanour changes, Eric struggles to determine how to get the old spark back.
A long ride in a dust storm and a broken saddle lead to trouble for both Eric and the pony. James Aldridge creates an interestingly woven story about how an unexpected gift can be a delight and also a burden. The Broken Saddle is an interesting read that should appeal to those around 10 years of age.
Author: James Aldridge
Fiction – Children
In my library? Indeed! The only piece I have by James Aldridge but I’ll be on the lookout for others.
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.
“There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humour and the other is patience.” – John Lyons