In 1957, when Carrie Young and her husband Witt bought a 50-acre Ohio farm--trading away their suburban dream house in the deal--Witt was confident that they'd quickly turn a nice profit from the breeding and sale of Welsh ponies; their all-around ignorance, however, kept business at a low ebb for years. And though the pony business improved during the two decades covered here, the chronicle never does pull itself together and go anywhere. (Indicatively, perhaps, Witt and son Stoyer generally pitch in--as long as it doesn't involve touching the ponies.) Along with the news of the growing pony business, there are extended accounts of painting the house and repairing the fences; of the usual complement of quaint neighbors and comical hired-help. (Pearl the painter, who starts work before dawn and ends after dark, manages to use up ""forty-two gannets on that yere barn. . . not countin' that doty ol' can of earl base. . ."") Over the years, too, abandoned strays find their way to the Young farm--each one of them pregnant and starving, each one of them nursed back to health by the family. It does get to sounding precious: all the cats the Youngs take in--Raggle Taggle, Pumpernickel, Gingersnap, etc.--are dubbed with the surname Williams, for respectability. Pleasing in a homey way--but not for the horsey set and not all that distinctive.