Guest Author: Amy Brown, author of the Pony Tales series

The first pony I rode was called Johnny.  The size of a St Bernard dog, and brownish black, Johnny was a Timor pony, who belonged, I think, to a family that lived a few baches down from ours. I don’t remember exactly, because I was four years old at the time. This memory comes mostly from a photo of myself in a sundress, sitting on Johnny’s back, my jandals dangling next to his sides as Dad leads him along Ocean Beach[1].  I do remember being enchanted by Johnny’s kind, dark eyes with the sun-bleached lashes, and his sweet, horsy smell.

This, Mum tells me, was the beginning of the obsession.  Dad bought himself a dapple-grey gelding called Poncho.  He kept his horse at Mahara Riding School, run by a man called Mr Green. Mr Green ate molasses (a black syrup) on bread and slept in the tack room.  He lived with his horses and knew, I thought, everything about them.  Soon, Dad wanted to go to shows, sports days and one-day events.  He needed a horse float and a vehicle heavy enough to tow a horse float. Edward, our yellow sedan, would not do.

When a farmer called Mr White advertised a horse float and Ford Falcon in the Classifieds section of the newspaper, my father called him.  At the inspection, we decided the car should be named The Shark, as it was great and white.  Before we left, Mr White asked my father, ‘Would your daughter like a pony, to go with the float?’ Dad looked at me. It had been agreed that I would not have a pony of my own until I was at least eight. I was five. But, a little bay gelding called Twinks was being offered for free! He was sixteen years old and needed a retirement home, so we took him to Mahara Riding School to live with Poncho and Mr Green’s many horses.

Like Jade, the heroine of Pony Tales, I acquired my first pony unexpectedly. The only other things I have in common with Jade are being an only child and loving pony books, especially old English ones like Jill’s Gymkhana, National Velvet and Pony Club Cup.  As a ten-year-old I read a range of books; I enjoyed Roald Dahl, Margaret Mahy, Maurice Gee and Jack Lasenby.  But, when I’d had my tonsils out and needed comfort, I reached for an old favourite with a horse on the cover.  I wrote four books about Jade’s adventures with her ponies Pip and Taniwha because when I was younger this was the kind of book I most enjoyed reading.

We have all of Amy’s Pony Tales books in the library, including Jade at the Champs, Jade and the Hunters and her latest book, Jade’s Summer of Horses.


[1] Ocean Beach is the setting of Jade’s Summer of Horses, the latest book in the Pony Tales series.

3 Responses so far

  1. 1

    caitlin jeffries said,

    is there any more books after Jade’s Summer of horses?

    • 2

      zackids said,

      Hi Caitlin. There are no more books in the series yet, but I’m sure there will be more coming soon. We’ll let you know if we see them in the library.

  2. 3

    Anne Bishop said,

    OMG I so remember your Dads horse Poncho, we rode together as pairs in the HB A & P show, Poncho was playing up and your dad sorted him out just like he did with Manuel off Fawlty Towers, I will never forget that horse or your Dad that was so funny Cheers Anne Bishop


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