Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "Pie in the Sky" by Jane Smiley
Free jumping horses so that horses see work as a fun game. Teaching a horse to trailer by spoiling a veteran who gets carrots and oats for walking onto the trailer quietly. Dealing with True Blue's fear of the fences and Pie in the Sky's pride. It's a day in the life of ninth grader Abby Lovitt, whose family owns Oak Valley Ranch, a training facility in the 1960s.
Abby has a sweet group of friends. Twins Barbie and Alexis go away to boarding school to practice their art and horsemanship skills. Leslie goes away to camp after eighth grade chubby and self-conscious; she metamorphoses into a head-turning tall beauty for high school. Sophia gets help from the group with her dietary choices, an effort which Leslie spearheads.
Abby has plenty of horses to ride, but Sophia's father approaches her and wants to pay her to ride Pie in the Sky in area shows so that he can sell the chestnut at a handsome profit. Teaching lessons to the girls, training her horses, and finding teachers of her own keeps Abby plenty busy. This is, of course, in addition to school and homework, but Abby's focus is on horses, training and learning the business.
I learned much about horse behavior and training from this book. Not surprisingly, the author has horses. I like the illustrations of horse equipment that precede each chapter.