The Horseshoe Trilogy

This is a brand new trilogy of stories about a boy called Joe who moves from Birmingham to a smallholding in the country because his dad has a new job as headmaster of the local primary school.

Joe, who’d been very happy in the city, hates the countryside at first. But then he finds an old horseshoe buried in a field, and his life begins to change…

Several boys who are keen on riding have asked me why there are so few horse and pony books with boys as the lead characters nowadays, so I hope these stories will help to redress the balance. While writing them I had to do quite a lot of research into farriery, horseshoes, the rehabilitation of lame horses, Romanies, aikido, heavy horses and Pony Club mounted games. Fascinating.

Rory Capel and his pony, Danny, in the year that his team (the Devon & Somerset branch of the Pony Club) won the Prince Philip Cup. Rory and his family were very helpful. (Which pony was I was thinking of when I imagined Lightning, I wonder?)

Oh, and in case any girls reading this think the Horseshoe Trilogy is for boys, the good news is it’s for everyone!

Chris driving Sherman, Crofter and Basil as a unicorn
For over twenty years we ran horse drawn tours from our farm on Exmoor. Here’s Chris driving Sherman (the leader) Crofter (left) and Basil (right) as a unicorn (one in front and two behind).

Bookshop

The three books are:

Joe and the Hidden HorseshoeJoe and the hidden horseshoe

(published May 2nd 2013)

Joe sat on his bed with the arc of rusty metal balanced in his hands . . . If horseshoes really were lucky, surely everyone would carry them around and nobody would have bad luck. No, it was just superstitious nonsense. And yet – it was daft, of course, but he couldn’t help wondering…

There are lots of things Joe would wish if he had the chance – that his family hadn’t moved house, that his mum hadn’t bought two ponies no one could ride, and that one day he might have a dog of his own. So when he finds a lucky horseshoe in his garden, he makes some wishes just for fun. After all, there’s always a chance they might come true.

Read the reviews on Bookbag, by  Jane Badger or on Amazon.


Joe and the Lightning PonyJoe and the lightning pony

(published July 4th 2013)

At the word go, Lightning leapt forward like a racehorse let out of a starting stall. It was all Joe could do to hang on as she galloped in and out of the poles . . .

Joe is delighted that his pony, Lightning, is brilliant at mounted games. The two of them make a great pair and Joe can’t wait for them to try out for the Prince Philip Cup team. There’s just one problem – Lightning seems quite small now that Joe is growing so fast. What will he do when he’s too big to ride her? And what will happen to Lightning if she’s sold?

Read the reviews on Bookbag, by  Jane Badger or on Amazon.


Joe and the Race to RescueJoe and the race to rescue

(Published March 6th 2014)

The Shires – at least Joe guessed that was what they were – came so close that the air trembled as they passed by, their harness clinking like armour . . .

Thanks to his wonderful pony, Lightning, Joe has already become a key member of his Pony Club mounted games team. But fresh challenges await him with his new mare, Fortune, and when he meets two majestic Shire horses called Velvet and Sherman he becomes fascinated by the very different world of heavy horses. Joe soon discovers how awesome Shires can be when a flood threatens the animals at The Hidden Horseshoe Sanctuary and he needs some serious horsepower to rescue them.

Read the reviews on Bookbag, by  Jane Badger or on Amazon.


Our farrier, Josh, made a Shire horse shoe for the Horseshoe trilogy. You can watch edited highlights here.