Amber's Pony Tales inspire a young reader to develop her riding for the benefit of her pony
Ten-year-old Vivien Williams got her copy of Little Pearl, the first book in the Amber’s Pony Tales series, after she won a writing competition I organised during lockdown. Not only was she the winner of the ten-and-under category, PONY magazine (which has just won Children's Magazine of the Year in the Newspaper and Magazine Awards 2020) chose her ‘Shetland Shake’ story as the overall winner. Read Viv's story here
The Amber's Pony Tales series is written about my own ponies that I had during my childhood. Back then I was just starting out and knew nothing. I wish I’d known some of the things I know now at the time! I thought the stories would be a good opportunity to share some of the lessons I’ve learned over the last 30 years with the young readers and riders of today. As I’m writing about my own memories, I devised a writing competition during lockdown to ask people to write about a memory of their own, associated with horses and ponies. The entries were fabulous. Some were very deep and spiritual, while others were more light hearted.
Vivien’s entry was chosen as the overall winner out of the three age categories as it was such a funny little story about how the application of a little too much shine spray on her Shetland pony resulted in a show day disaster. PONY magazine featured Viv’s story on their website and she also received an Amber’s Pony Tales book bundle, which included the first book in the series.
During lockdown, Viv has enjoyed time at home with her new pony Cadlanvalley Seren. As soon as she can, she wants to rejoin the Pony Club as a centre member to learn from a more experienced pony than Seren, who is still young. She’s been inspired by reading Little Pearl to develop her riding for the benefit of her pony. Her mum, Seona told me, “Little Pearl really struck a chord with Viv. She loves stories but hasn't always been a confident independent reader. The combination of story and information has just grabbed her in these books. She isn't particularly competitive, so the focus of the stories appeals to her a lot - she said that after reading Little Pearl, she thinks she should go back to Pony Club and learn more so she can help Seren. She read me her favourite part, when Amber asks if she can join the Pony Club, again recently, and said that's how she feels!”