Marion Holland was born in Washington, D C, and settled in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She had five children (one of whom was Barbara Holland), who provided inspiration for her Billy and Fats stories. Their house was full of horse books, though she never thought she would write one herself. However, "I got to wondering if a couple of girls who just wanted a horse terribly could get one in a way I could believe myself - and I decided the simplest way would be to steal a horse. By the time I had worked this out, I was trapped, and the next thing I knew, I was writing a horse book, The Secret Horse."
Finding the books: neither of her horse books were published in the UK, but as long as you don’t mind ex-library editions, they are reasonably easy to find in the US. Non-library first editions will be expensive.
Links and sources Dustjacket of Secret Horse Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for providing the information and photographs in this section.
The Secret Horse
Little Brown & Company, Boston 1959, illus Marion Holland Scholastic, pb, 1975, illus Taylor Oughton
Scholastic, pb, 1988, illus Taylor Oughton, different cover art
Nickie and Gail find a starving horse, and Nickie talks Gail into helping her hide the horse to save its life.
Casey Jones Rides Vanity
Little Brown & Company, Boston, 1964, illus Marion and Rebecca Holland
Casey has outgrown Top Notch, her pony, but Casey’s younger sister is too scared of Top Notch to take him on. Casey can’t have Vanity Fair unless she does something with Top Notch.
Everygirls’ Horse Stories
Grossett & Dunlap, New York, 1956, illus Richard H Burhans