Judith M. Berrisford has a name that many recognise as synonymous with horse stories for younger readers. Although I have a few by this author in my library collection, this is the first novel by her that I’ve taken the time to read.
Timber the Story of a Horse is a delightful read about a young boy John Lambert who acquires a horse in exchange for a loan of money that his Rector father had given. John’s father is very sceptical about taking on such a young, tall and green colt. John falls in love with Timber immediately.
Although the Lambert family have a place to keep a horse on their land, John is inexperienced and doesn’t have someone to teach him about horses. And so starts a long run of trial and error and a lot of learning!
Berrisford aptly writes about the keenness of a young man, inspired by the acquisition of a horse. John works hard to read all he can, ask questions and seek advice about how to improve himself as a rider and in doing so, improve his new horse.
It’s nice to read a story where a rider recognises their faults and how their riding can so greatly affect – and even hinder – a horse’s way of going. As John learns more about what he should be doing, his riding improves dramatically and he is lucky to be given many opportunities to show and improve himself as a capable horseperson.
An out of control ride on an unplanned fox hunt sparks a passion for jumping, leading John to consider the value of the mount he’s been kindly given. Aware that he knows nothing about jumping on a horse, John is advised to get his horse trained by fellow young horseman Anthony Montagu. The trouble is, John doesn’t like Anthony’s heavy handed way of riding.
Rather then have his new treasure ruined by another’s harsh ways, John opts to learn as much as he can and progress by himself. A chance meeting with a young established horsewoman soon gives John hope that he can indeed improve himself as a rider and not hinder his horse’s obvious potential.
Timber the Story of a Horse easily details the joys of owning and caring for horses, as well as how much fun horse riding can be socially. John’s knowledge and growth as a horse rider is well explored and the story ends in a delightful and realistic way. A great read to inspire the younger horse rider.
Author: Judith M. Berrisford
Fiction – Children
In my library? It is! A delightful and realistic read about a first horse.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.
“No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.” – from a pony book written by Anne Bullen (1960’s)