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Allison Estes

Allison Estes wrote the ten book Short Stirrup Club series, and also wrote some titles for the lengthy Thoroughbred series. The Thoroughbred series, nominally by Joanna Campbell, had relatively few titles by its creator, with the majority being contributed by other authors.


The Short Stirrup Club series is about twins Megan and Max Morrison and their horses, and their adventures at Thistle Ridge Farm.


Allison Estes “grew up playing on Faulkner's grave”, but now teaches writing through the New York Writers Workshop in New York and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. When not writing, she plays softball and trains horses.


Finding the books: all her horse titles are easily found in the USA. Not published in the UK, they are nevertheless mostly easy to obtain here.


Links and sources

Allison Estes’ website

A little biographical information on the author

National Library of Congress

Thank you to Lisa Catz for the pictures.




Bibliography - horse books only

The Ghost of Thistle Ridge

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1996, 129 pp

A review of the book


Megan finds a grave, which belongs to a girl of exactly Megan’s age. 100 years ago, she lived
at Thistle Ridge Farm. She is supposed to haunt the farm, and Megan is more scared than she
would like to admit.

The Great Gymkhana Gamble

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1996, 130 pp

A review - she doesn’t like it, so be warned!


Max Morrison is not having a good summer. Megan, Chloe and Keith are practising for the
Thistle Ridge Gymkhana. Max is just not as keen on riding as he was: he’s been having
nightmares about falling off.

Winner's Circle

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1996, 135 pp



Megan and Pixie have been doing well with their Olympic rider trainer, Sharon Wyndham. Then
Megan’s grandmother comes for a visit. She thinks Megan can be a champion, but she doesn’t
think Pixie can. Megan then has to choose between impressing her grandmother, or sticking with
her own beloved horse.

Gold Medal Mystery

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1996



Max and Megan are going to the Olympic Games with their best friends Chloe and Keith. The
twins’ trainer, Sharon Wyndham is competing in the Olympics on her dressage horse Quasar,
but horses are vanishing from the Olympic Stables. Then Quasar disappears, and the four friends
decide to try and find them themselves.

Friends to the Finish

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1996, 129 pp



Chloe’s horse has at last recovered from his injury, and now she can train on her own horse, just
as her friends can. However, all is not going well in Chloe’s world, as her best friend Megan has
been spending all her time with Amanda Sloane - not a nice girl.

Legend of the Zuni Stallion

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1996


Keith Hill goes to a Native American campsite, and takes a little carved horse away with him as
a souvenir - that will bring him luck, he thinks. However, as soon as he has the horse, everything
seems to go wrong. His horse becomes ill, and Keith is convinced it is all to do with the little
carved horse. A mysterious visitor comes to the farm, who knows the legend of the carving, but
will Keith be able to solve the mystery in time to save his horse?

Victory Ride

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1997, 127 pp



There is a visitor to Thistle Ridge: Perry O’Neil. She needs experimental surgery, and refuses to
join the riding programmes despite the fact she wants to ride. The Short Stirrup Club can’t make
up their minds about her.

Playing for Keeps

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1997



Amanda is horrified when her father puts her horse out on loan instead of letting her take part in
the costume contest. A careless rider endangers Prince Charming, Amanda’s horse, and she has
to stand up to her parents.

Pony Express

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1997, 132 pp



The Short Stirrup Club are trying to raise money by re-creating a Pony Express ride through an old

Tennessee trail.

The Horse of Her Dreams (Thoroughbred Series)

Harper Collins, Pennsylvania, 1998

A review

Another review

Christina has outgrown her pony Trib. She owns Wonder’s last colt, so can’t get another horse,
until, that is, she sees abused Sterling Dream in a claiming race. Convinced the mare can jump,
she persuades her parents to claim the horse, but someone else has got there first. Christina
trades something else for the horse.

Melanie's Treasure (Thoroughbred Series)

Harper Collins, Pennsylvania, 1998

A review of the book


Melanie doesn’t get along with her cousin Christina; she falls for the powerful and unpredictable
stallion Black Treasure, and life goes wrong for the horse when he is retired, and basically gives
up hope. Can Melanie bring him round?


Sterling's Second Chance (Thoroughbred Series)

Harper Collins, Pennsylvania, 1998

A review of the book


Christina loses her nerve when she falls from her horse, Sterling Dream. Cassidy Smith gets
the ride instead, and claims both Christina and her horse are quitters. Can Christina prove them
wrong?

Cassidy's Secret (Thoroughbred Series)

Harper Collins, Pennsylvania, 1998

A review of the book


Cassidy Smith’s filly, Lady T, is running against a champion racehorse, Pizzazz. Cassidy's family
needs to win the race so they have the money to keep Lady T. However, Pizzazz’s owner is planning
to run him despite the horse’s injury, and Cassidy finds this out. She is then torn: if she gets the race
stopped, there’s no way she can keep her horse, but how can she let Pizzazz run w hen he’s hurt?

Blue Ribbon Friends

Minstrel/Pocket Books, New York, 1996, 135 pp

A review of the book


Megan Morrison and her twin Max, and their horses, Pixie and Popsicle, have just arrived at
Thistle Ridge Farm. Megan meets Chloe, who dreams of getting a horse of her own. Megan and
Chloe click instantly, but there’s trouble in the show ring when Megan decides to turn Chloe into a
champion and make her dreams come true.


The Short Stirrup Club

Blue Ribbon Friends

The Ghost of Thistle Ridge

The Great Gymkhana Gamble

Winner's Circle

Gold Medal Mystery

Friends to the Finish

Legend of the Zuni Stallion

Victory Ride

Playing for Keeps

Pony Express