3 November 2000

Buy this owners manual before you choose pony

NEW car owners usually get their owners manuals after they get their cars, but potential new pony owners should consider buying the owners manual* Jenny Morgan has written well in advance of their equine purchases.

For a start it may help them make up their minds about the pony that would suit them best. The author describes each of the nine native pony breeds – Shetland, Highland, Dartmoor, Exmoor, New Forest, Conne-mara, Welsh, Fell and Dales – and in her introduction writes: "What else besides a native pony can live on very little; if properly supervised can live out all year round; can work unshod unless he does much road work; is usually healthy, hardy and easy to keep well? What amazing value for money he is!"

Anyone trying to persuade a farmer to buy a pony for Christmas might find her words worth quoting…

But whatever pony the newcomer chooses, her practical chapters on caring for a pony and keeping it fit and healthy would be extremely useful. She also includes sections on breeding and showing and advice on the special care of older ponies.

This is a most attractive book. It is well laid out so that essential information is easily found and absorbed, and it is illustrated with many outstanding pony pictures. AC

*The Care and Management of Native Ponies: An Owners Manual by Jenny Morgan. J A Allen (£19.99). Available from bookshops or credit card hotline (01797-369966).