Without any sense of restraint, Miss Dickens picks at the heartstrings relentlessly. A tarnished sentimentalism roams at large on every page; there are old horses who have been tortured and beaten in various cruel ways-- upon which the author elaborates at what seems unnecessary length. A young boy who loves the Cobbler (a horse who has been blinded by a blow on the head) so much that he can ""(feel) the high back teeth inside his own head when the pony (is) grinding his grain"", a girl who is all horse-sized, horse-dedicated heart, and a bachelor who runs a home of rest for horses, form a bizarre kind of boots-and-saddle trinity. It seems unfair to subject young readers to this extreme form of calculated sob story; the horse lovers may fall for it, but hopefully they will find more realistic, worthwhile stories to read. In attempting vivid descriptions, Miss Dickens has over-written- e.g. ""...his ramshackle life had grown round the chestnut pony like a man in love"", and ""...her eyes flaming like brandied plums with the joy of rescue"".