by Jean Slaughter Doty
I wanted this book because it\’s a sequel to Summer Pony– one I loved reading many times over as a child. I haven\’t written about the first book yet- last time I read it was long before I started blogging. Basically it\’s about a girl who gets her dream pony- which turns out to be an unkempt mare from a rundown pony-ride circle. Keeping Mokey is more hard work than she ever thought.
Winter Pony takes place after Ginny has learned more or less how to care for her pony through the summer, and made a small space for it in the backyard. She\’s looking forward to riding in the snow, especially when she finds out her friend\’s dad has an old (but well-kept) sleigh in storage. With the help and close tutelage of the stable hand (a guy who used to race in steeplechases, had to retire after an injury and now works in the stable- familiar character from other horse stories I think) she learns to harness Mokey to the sleigh and how to drive her pony. It is a very long process and Ginny often gets impatient. Finally they are able to ride in the sleigh, driving Mokey in circles around the property and across nearby fields.Then one day when they are unsupervised, the girls unwisely take the pony driving on a road and have a very close call with a snowplow.
That\’s the entire first half of the story. The second part is about Ginny\’s shock and delight when she finds out her pony is expecting a foal. She endures a long anxious time waiting for the foal to be born, and then is appalled when her pony doesn\’t react in a loving manner to the newborn. Once again the stable man teaches- coaxing the pony to accept her offspring, and instructing Ginny how to care for them both.
It\’s a nice horse story for kids, but somehow is rather lackluster compared to the first book. And mine seems to end abruptly, when Ginny happily goes to the house to get some carrots for her pony soon after the foaling. There are no endpapers, so I\’m not sure if my book is actually missing a few pages, or if it ends just so! I\’ll have to find a library copy and check.
Rating: 2/5 106 pages, 1975