- Orion Children's Books
- Publication date:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
The One Dollar Horse. by Lauren St John based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Casey Blue lives in a small flat in the bad part of London's East End and volunteers at a low end riding school—so of course she dreams of riding (and winning!) at Badminton. When she hears the scream of a terrified horse and sees the big, skin-and-bone gray racing down a busy street, she grabs his rope and the disgusted slaughterhouse owner sells her the horse for $1 after the horse injures several employees. So with a starved and weak rescue horse, no money, no trainer, and no experience, the stage is set. The good: the horse parts are well done, both the actions of the individual horses and the scenes at the barns and at the shows. The descriptions of the horse trailers (and of difficulties loading horses!) and things that happen during the different phases of the shows were especially good. I loved the horse himself, big brave boy. The story was interesting and the book held my attention throughout. And I loved that it was about eventing, a sport which isn't written about as much as it deserves. The bad: The plot is very typical: horse is rescued from slaughter, forms a bond with his rescuer and they become champions. Girl's friend and neighbor turns out to be skilled trainer. Anonymous benefactor provides money. Girl's love for her horse triumphs over other riders—they have more experience and fancy horses but Casey has LOVE for her horse, which trumps all. It was also unrealistic in the extreme that a 15 year old girl who's had ten riding lessons in her life could take an inexperienced horse to Badminton in two years. Most annoying, they go to their first event (at Novice level UK, which is Prelim level in the USA) without ever schooling a single cross country fence. In fact there is not a single mention of any training over fences in the book. Since they contstantly get rails in stadium, perhaps some schooling might have helped? Maybe? But I guess when your coach is a champion dressage rider you can just skip the jumping training...sigh. Overall I really enjoyed the book. Despite the unrealistic parts—and most horse fiction IS unrealistic, nobody'd read a book where the heroine and her horse never got anywhere—the story was fun and exciting. Looking forward to the second book in the series!