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Kathy Helidoniotis was born in Sydney. Her two favourite things in childhood were reading and riding: by the time she was ten she had a horse of her own, called Clarrie. Writing was something she came to early, though one of her best remembered childhood stories was actually about a hen, Patch. Kathy Helidoniotis trained as a teacher, and still teaches. She has written numerous books for children, as well as the Horse Mad series. This series is about Ashleigh Miller, and takes her from having no horse to winning a scholarship to a well known riding school. The series has all the usual pony book elements: lovely horses, villains and plenty of competitions. The books are good, straightforward reads.


Finding the books: all the books are still in print, and are easy to find.


Links and sources
Kathy Helidoniotis’ website
Whitecap Books’ section on the Horse Mad series (Kathy Helidoniotis’ Canadian publishers)
Harper Collins on Kathy Helidoniotis






Kathy Helidoniotis


Horse Mad

Totally Horse Mad
Horse Mad Summer
Horse Mad Adademy
Horse Mad Heroes
Horse Mad Western
Horse Mad Heights
Horse Mad Whispers


Totally Horse Mad
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 2006. Cover art: Belinda Taylor (photographer)
Walrus Books, Canada, 2008


Ashleigh loves horses, but she can’t afford one, and there is nowhere to keep one even if
she could, as she and her parents live in the city. Then they say she can have a horse, but
only because they’re moving away from all Ashleigh knows, and her friends, to rural Australia.

Horse Mad Summer
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 2006. Cover art: Belinda Taylor (photographer)
Walrus Books, Canada, 2008


Ashleigh loves loving in the country, and has made a new friend - Becky.  She is delighted
when her friend from the city, Jenna, comes to stay, but Becky and Jenna do not get on, and
Ashleigh is stuck in the middle.


Horse Mad Academy
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 2006. Cover art: Belinda Taylor (photographer)
Walrus Books, Canada, 2009


Ashleigh is going to be spending the summer at camp at the Waratah Grove Riding Academy.
It seems like a dream, but she soon finds the people she meets there are not all she seems,
and then her horse Honey has a dangerous mental block about dressage. It looks as if
Ashleigh won’t manage to graduate unless she can work out what is wrong with Honey.

Horse Mad Heroes
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 2007. Cover art: Belinda Taylor (photographer)
Walrus Books, Canada, 2009


Ashleigh has a job at the new riding school which has opened in Shady Creek: the Shady
Trails Riding Ranch, but there is a rivalry between her Riding Club and the new school, and
there is the promise of disruption at home when the new baby is born.


Horse Mad Western
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 2008. Cover art: Belinda Taylor (photographer)
Walrus Books, Canada, 2009


Ashleigh is busy, busy, busy.  She has her job at the Riding Ranch, Riding Club, her horses,
her friends, her enemies, her parents’ B&B and a visit from her friend Jenna, as well as
learning a new style of riding: Western, so she can ride in the Western Riding Show.

Horse Mad Heights
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 2009. Cover art: Belinda Taylor (photographer)
Walrus Books, Canada, 2010


Ashleigh has won a scholarship to Linley Heights boarding school, which has horses as
well as everything else. Ashleigh finds it isn’t easy being the new one at school, and she
misses her friends.

Horse Mad Whispers
Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 2010. Cover art: Belinda Taylor (photographer)

Ashleigh is recovering from her accident. As she does so, she discovers horse whispering,
which she hopes will help her with Lightning, the horse who injured her.  

Bibliography - horse books only