Within the framework of a pleasant story, an accomplished horsewoman has written a ""documentary"" on the art of pony care. Penny and Jane Brooke were thrilled to welcome Freckles into their family domain. In the course of learning to ride, the girls also learn to appreciate the importance of knowing every inch of their animal. As they become increasingly sensitive to Freckles' needs, the reader is given a lesson in rider-horse communication. There is the time Freckles loses a shoe and the girls observe the skills of a blacksmith, or when Freckles comes down with and the veterinarian cures him. As Jane and Penny prepare feverishly for the forthcoming horse show, they learn another important lesson- that the spoils of victory are not worth a sick and overworked pet. The detailed descriptions of learning to mount, trot, and jump round out a complete guide. Whether horses are on the immediate horizon or to be worshipped from afar, the interested reader will learn a great deal about what it means to own a pony. The story itself functions only as a vehicle to make this point.