Illness/Disability

A listing of horse and pony books where The Horse helps to overcome, or cope with, illness and disability.

Looking at what ails the horse and pony mad child is instructive: before the Salk vaccine, polio was a real and present threat, and its after effects left many children permanently affected. These problems could be helped by riding, and there are many stories where a child is helped overcome the physical and mental affects of polio through horses. Not all children are cured: there are some who gain mobility and confidence, but remain disabled. Some novels deal with mental disabilities: Monica Edwards’ Rennie Goes Riding is an example of a girl who is physically affected by mental trauma.

Recovering from Illness (Equine)


C W Anderson: Salute – racehorse breaks down and is nursed back to health
C W Anderson: The Crooked Colt
Diana Tuke: Long Road to Harringey – traumatic tale of recovery from a car accident
Vian Smith: King Sam/Tall and Proud – horse and human recovery

Recovering from Illness (Human)

Hilda Boden: Little Grey Pony – a wheelchair-bound girl finds freedom through driving a little grey pony
Nancy Caffrey: Pony Duet  a calm mare helps Cathy regain her confidence
Sheila Chapman: Pony From Fire – a girl traumatised after an accident fights back
Primrose Cumming: Flying Horseman – Morgan has to forget being a pilot after suffering polio, but learning to ride helps
Maggie Dana: Best Friends/Timber Range Riders series – one of the heroines uses a wheelchair
Monica Dickens: World’s End in Winter – Carrie and Lester help a girl learn to walk again
Wendy Douthwaite: All Because of Polly – Jess is helped by her friend Beckie, who is in a wheelchair
Monica Edwards: Summer of the Great Secret  Lesley Frampton is helped to overcome her accident
Monica Edwards: Rennie Goes Riding – Rennie, traumatised after an accident, slowly overcomes her problems
Patsey Gray: Show Ring Rogue – a girl left lame by polio is helped by horses
Myrtle Green: A Pony, Doctor’s Orders – Mick is lame, and is helped by horses
Lynn Hall: Half The Battle  the hero is legally blind
Nancy Hartwell: A “Blue” For Illi (republished as Blue Ribbon Winner) – a war refugee is a companion for a girl with polio
Beth Kincaid: Back in the Saddle – Sharon is recovering from an accident, and resents the other girls’ pity
Ann Knowles: The Stirrup and the Ground – Cathy’s neighbour Mark is a permanent invalid, and immensely difficult to get on with
Dorothy Lyons: Dark Sunshine  Blythe needs to ride to strengthen the leg left weak through polio, but she doesn’t want to
Alan Marshall: I Can Jump Puddles – autobiographical story of a boy left lame through polio
Kathleen Mackenzie: Pony and Trap – a boy left very weak after polio gains mobility through driving
Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Show Jumping Secret – Charles, left lame by polio, manages to learn to ride and show jump
Hope Ryden: Wild Horse Summer – blindness
Vian Smith: King Sam (US Tall and Proud) – Vian Smith (polio)
Joyce Stranger: Stranger Than Fiction – the biography of Elspeth Bryce-Smith – who suffered from polio
Sharon Wagner: Gypsy from Nowhere
Diane Lee Wilson: I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade 


Riding for the Disabled/Coping with Disability

Fern B Brown: You’re Somebody Special on a Horse  Marni pleads to keep her horse so she can do a disabled riding programme
Audrey Constant: Hidden Prizes – Paula wants to organise disabled riding sessions
Monica Dickens: World’s End in Winter – Carrie and Lester help a wheelchair-bound girl to ride
Marsha Hubler: The winning Summer – blindness
Nancy Wright Grossman: A Leg up for Lucinda – Lucinda wants to join Pegasus, a riding programme for disabled children
Alden Hatch: Bridle-Wise  a boy with a paralysed leg learns to ride
Toy Martin: A Bird in the Hand – amongst other events, Elizabeth teaches a disabled boy to ride
Mary May: Carol Lane series – a girl left disabled experiences horses again through driving
Frances Murray: White Hope – Chas Bentinck wants to be a jockey, despite his disability
Reginald Ottley: Black Sorrow
Vian Smith: Martin Rides the Moor – Martin has become deaf, and his parents buy him a pony to help him
Nancy Springer: Colt – Colt has spina bifida and until enrolled in a riding for the disabled programme, his response to everything is no

 

Horse Coping with Illness/Disability

C W Anderson: The Blind Connemara
Jeanne Betancourt: The Blind Pony
Fern G Brown: Hard Luck Horse – horse is disabled, plus girl’s father uses a wheelchair
Kathryn Cocquyt: Little Freddie’s Legacy – blindness
Terri Farley: Free Again  blindness
Mary Oldham: The White Pony – the pony is nearly blind
K M Peyton: Blind Beauty – a blind horse
Glen Rounds: Blind Outlaw
Glen Rounds: The Blind Colt
Glen Rounds: Stolen Pony – blindness
Virginia Vail: Gift Horse  a horse is nearly blind due to cataracts
Frances Wilbur: A Horse Called Holiday – the horse is deaf