Like some other reviewers, I first read this as a pony mad child. Now I've been a horse mad adult for many years and it still makes me laugh. The stories are set in a post war rural England that today's children may need a little explanation to understand, but the situation of an enthusiastic kid learning to ride is timeless. Jill is a vibrant and likeable character at odds with her setting in life. She takes on the snooty rich, equestrian know-it-alls and kids who are more interested in winning prizes than good horsemanship. The values of putting one's pony's comfort first and practising the basics over and over have stayed with me. Ferguson's masterstroke is the character Martin who becomes Jill's riding mentor. A disabled war veteran, he finds new purpose in passing on his equestrian knowledge and gives some male balance in a girls' story. A classic for all generations.