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The Wilson Sisters, Vicki, Kelly and Amanda are well known in equestrian circles having also appeared on a television programme about capturing and training the wild Kaimanawas horses.
Dandy, The Mountain Pony is Vicki Wilson’s story. Vicki was nine years old when the owner of her lease pony Cardiff, decided to sell him. She was broken hearted but was realistic that her parents didn’t have the money to buy him.
A month after Cardiff had been sold Vicki was still without a pony. All the pony’s advertised for sale were far too expensive – her parents had managed to scrape together a couple of hundred dollars which was just not enough. Her parents surprised her one day with a visit to some wild ponies. There had been an advertisement in the local paper for a herd that runs wild on a mountain just fifteen minutes from where the Wilsons live. Vicki had always dreamed of taming wild horses. It appeared that perhaps her dream was about to come true.
The Welsh ponies had been bred on the mountain for generations but of recent years the lady and her family had been unable to keep up with training them so the herd was running wild with some of them never having been touched.
The Wilsons ended up buying three of the ponies. They had budgeted for $200 so at $50 each they could afford to buy all three, but with proviso that one be trained and then sold to offset the costs of feed and training.
Vicki starts training her pony Dandy. Gaining Dandy’s trust is the first hurdle she has to overcome. This proved to be a difficult and challenging project. After many months she is able to enter into competitions with him but not without a lot of challenges along the way.
I came to the conclusion after reading this book aloud to 6-year-old Abby that you don’t necessarily have to be a horsy person to enjoy it. Abby loved it asking lots of questions as I read it to her. There are lots of training tips at the back of this book for the serious owner.
The Wilson sisters also run Showtym Camps for young riders, which is hugely popular, helping them get the most from their ponies while having a lot of fun and adventures along the way.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
Showtym Adventures: Dandy, the Mountain Pony
by Kelly Wilson
Published by Puffin