Ponies, ponies, ponies


C S Lewis - Narnia

The antithesis of many of the series on this page, C S Lewis wrote out of personal conviction.  An academic, who taught at Oxford for 30 years, and who became Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge, his Narnia series has not been out of print since it was written.  It consists of seven books, in which children from the normal everyday world stumble into the parallel world of Narnia, where they play a major part in what happens there.  It is a magical series, as often criticised as praised for its Christian allegory.  The series can be read perfectly easily without any idea of that Aslan represented Jesus:  when I first found the series in our local library, I was utterly enchanted, and completely thrilled to find there were six other books in the series to read.  What the series “meant” mattered to me not one jot at the time:  I simply loved it.  I entered its world and was happy there.  My favourite in the series is The Dawn Treader, but the talking horses in The Horse and His Boy do, I must admit, still have a special magic for me.  Shasta, the beaten son of a fisherman, meets the runaway Tarkan girl Aravis, and he and the talking horses Bree and Hwin go on a perilous journey to Narnia.


Further reading and sources

Into the Wardrobe - the C S Lewis website

Planet Narnia

The C S Lewis Institute

Wikipedia on C S Lewis


















Eileen Meyler - The Elwood Family

British author Eileen Meyler  wrote a series of seven books about the Elwood family, of which Adventure on Ponies is one.  None of the other books, as far as I know, have very much pony content:  Johnnie and Prue and their adventures are at the heart of the series.  

















Doris Schroeder/Barlow Meyers - Annette

The Annette series of five books used Annette Funicello’s name and likeness, and were based on the Disney films using her.  The six book series, in which Annette solves mysteries had 5 books written by Doris Schroeder, and one by Barlow Meyers (6 books, girl solves mysteries): Mystery at Medicine Wheel by Barlow Meyers; Mystery at Moonstone Bay by Doris Schroeder.  Gertrude Barlow Meyers wrote a few  horse books, and she contributed one of the horse-orientated titles to the Annette series:  Mystery at the Medicine Wheel.  Doris Schroeder was a prolific screenwriter.  As well as the Annette series, she wrote titles for the Patty Duke series.


Further reading and sources

Barlow Meyers

A review of the series

Doris Schroeder on wikipedia




























































































































































Annette:  Mystery at the Medicine Wheel

Whitman Publishing, Wisconsin, 1964, illus Robert L. Jenney & Maxine McCaffrey. 212 pp.

Rarity - easy to find

Part of the Annette series.  Annette is on her way to her visit her Aunt and Uncle at the  Circle Y Ranch via bus.

It doesn’t go to plan, as she and John Running, with whom she’s travelling, are involved in a kidnapping.

Adventure on Ponies

The Epworth Press, London, 1959, illus Ruth Scales,

reprinted Epworth Press, London (Koala Books), 1959, pb, 135pp.

Rarity:  easy to find

Johnnie and Prue are off to Corfe to their holiday cottage, but they have to take Amanda

Davenant with them, and this doesn’t go down at all well with Johnnie. Then Amanda turns

out to be frightened of the pony they keep at Corfe, Tom Tit, and Johnnie is thoughtless

and rude.  Then Tom Tit goes missing...

The Horse and His Boy

Geoffrey Bles, London, 1954

Puffin, pb, 1965, and many times since.  188 pp.

Early reprints have Pauline Baynes covers - later reprints vary

Rarity:  very good first editions with dustjackets are stratospherically expensive; reprints are very easy to find.


Shasta is the son of a brutal fisherman, who runs away when he overhears his father planning to sell him.  He steals the nobleman’s horse, only to find he is a talking horse of Narnia, called Bree.  Bree persuades Shasta that they should go to Narnia.  On the way, they meet Aravis, anxious not to be married against her will.  With her talking horse, Hwin, the four go on their perilous way to Narnia.

Annette and the Mystery at Moonstone Bay

Whitman Publishing, Wisconsin, 1962, illus Adam Szwejkowski. 210 pp.

Rarity - easy to find




Eunice Young Smith - the Jennifer series


Eunice Young Smith lived in Indiana, and was a full time writer.  She wrote a six book series about Jennifer, whose parents moved from the city to an American Mid West Farm.  The books are set during the early part of the 20th century, and were translated into many languages.  Just the last is a horse book, in which Jennifer helps her friend Camilla to train her filly, High Heels.  


Further reading and sources

Eunice Young Smith


High Heels for Jennifer

Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis, 1964, illus the author

Edmund Ward (Publishers) Ltd, London, 1966, illus the author (right)

Rarity:  can be difficult to find

Jennifer is 13, and the despair of her mother.  Jennifer is not interested in learning to be a lady:  she would

rather ride and draw the ponies, until she finds herself lday-dreaming about a friend of her brother.  Jennifer helps

to train her friend Camilla’s filly, High Heels, for the county horse show.




Alan Stone - The Tollivers

Alan Stone was another synonym used by Andrew ESvenson.  He was a contributor to other series in this section:  as Jerry West he wrote the Happy Hollisters series, and he also wrote titles for the Hardy Boys series.  The Tollivers series was a relatively short one of 3 books, in which a family solve mysteries.  


Further reading and sources

Andrew Esvenson




The Tollivers and the Mystery of the Lost Pony

World Publishing Company, Cleveland, 1967, illus Mel Bolden

Rarity:  reasonably priced, but not as many of them about as you’d think.





Alison’s Pony Adventure

Blackie, London, 1953, illus Gilbert Dunlop.  256 pp.

Reprinted Blackie, 1965, cover Harry Green.  256 pp.

Rarity:  the original hardbacks can be tricky to track down, but the orange reprints are usually easy to find.





Alison’s Riding Adventure

Blackie, London, 1958, illus Gilbert Dunlop, 238 pp.

Reprinted Blackie, 1966, cover Harry Green, 238 pp.

Rarity:  the original hardbacks can be tricky to track down, but the orange reprints are usually easy to find.






Jerry West - The Happy Hollisters

The Happy Hollisters series by Jerry West involves another mystery solving family. 33 books long, the series included a couple of titles with horse content.  The five strong family lived with their father, who owned a general store called The Trading Post, and their mother, who was an ever present help in solving the mysteries the family found to solve.  The Happy Hollisters was another Stratemeyer Syndicate creation, and one of their most successful.  The author, Andrew E Svenson, became a partner in the syndicate.



Further reading and sources

A fansite on the Happy Hollisters

Andrew E Svenson


The Happy Hollisters at Pony Hill Farm

Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1956, 184 pp.

Rarity:  easy to find

The Hollisters buy an antique hobby horse at an auction.  This plunges them into a mystery involving the Stone treasure and a stolen Appaloosa horse.



The Happy Hollisters and the Ghost Horse Mystery

Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1965, illus Helen S Hamilton, 180 pp.

Rarity:  easy to find

The Hollister family are returnin gfrom New Mexico to the airport, and stop off to buy cowboy suits.  There they meet two children, Helen and Jack Moore.  They are holidaying nearby at a dude ranch, and have a map which shows the location of the cave of the ancient doll makers.  


Mildred A Wirt - Penny Parker

Mildred A Wirt wrote the early Nancy Drew series for Stratemeyer, and also wrote the 17 book strong Penny Parker series.  Its impulsive heroine, Penny, is an investigative reporter who seems perennially short of money.


Further reading and sources

The Penny Parker series

An interview with Mildred Wirt Benson

Mildred A Wirt Benson’s books


Hoofbeats on the Turnpike

Cupples & Leon, New York, 1944, 211 pp.

Rarity:  good copies can be expensive

A man shows Penny a clipping offering a reward for any information which leads to the capture of a Headless Horseman.  Penny and her friend Louise go off to search, but after a dam breaks, they find themselves trapped by the resulting flood.


Lee Wyndham - Susie

Lee Wyndham wrote a five book series about a ballet student, Susie.  Susie and the Ballet Horse





Susie and the Ballet Horse

Dodd, Mead, New York, 1961, illus Jean Macdonald Porter, 126 pp.

Rarity:  hard to find, and generally expensive.

Ballet student Susie wins a scholarship to a summer dance camp, but she becomes homesick.  What helps is her friendship with Ballerina the Lipizzaner, and her owner.



Sheila Stuart - Alison

Sheila Stuart  worked as a VAD during the First World War, but most of her career was spent writing.  She worked as a journalist, and wrote short stories and serials for periodicals such as Scottish Field and The People’s Friend.  The Alison series, about Alison and her brother Niall, is set in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland, an area Sheila Stuart knew well.  Out of the fifteen titles in the Alison series, two of them involve ponies; the other books mention them occasionally, but the books are more concerned with defeating members of “The Gang” and fishing.  


Further reading and sources

Sheila Stuart

Fidra Books on Sheila Stuart


Evelyn Smith


Evelyn Smith (1885-1928 )was a fine writer of school stories.  She was educated at Leamington High School, which was was probably the model for the schools which featured in her stories. She went on to gain a scholarship for three years at Royal Holloway College, and after graduating with a first in English, taught.  Her school stories are excellent and fine reads in their own right.  One, Terry’s Best Term, does feature a horse.


Further reading and sources

Hilary Clare on Evelyn Smith, Folly Magazine


Terry’s Best Term

Blackie & Son Ltd, London, 1926, frontis Francis E Hiley, 208 pp.

Republished by Blackie several times

Rarity - later reprints are reasonably easy to find