A VERY YOUNG RIDER by Jill Krementz


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The star of Krementz' A Very Young Dancer (1976) also enjoyed riding, but this is about another privileged ten-year-old who has an exurban lifestyle and a pony of her own. Vivi Malloy started riding at three and now shows in the medium pony hunter division; her older sister has two horses, and one brother also rides and shows. (Mom used to, and ""still goes fox hunting,"" but now mostly helps with the kids' riding.) Again Krementz tells the story ""as if"" in the little girl's words--and in photos that show her mucking out Penny's stall, ""practicing my equitation,"" attending her weekly lesson, posing with her Pony Club (""one thing I'm very involved with""), observing the vet and the farrier, shopping at The Saddler (where Mom ""gets presents for our birthdays""), and, of course--""what I love most,"" competing in horse shows (about fifteen major ones a year). Vivi's frilly bedroom is festooned with winning ribbons from these events--where Mom braids Vivi's hair and a professional braider does Penny's as they prepare for that ""moment in the ring when you have to give it your all."" The last scenes are of Christmas morning when Vivi, having outgrown Penny, is presented with a show halter and blanket in her canopy bed, then greets her new mount, Fresh Paint, in the barn. ""She's fourteen hands, which means I'll show her in the large pony division."" Like its predecessor, but more natural in tone--the closest most readers will come to a glimpse of what it's like to live the dream.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1977
Publisher: Knopf