Friday, April 17, 2009

Pat Rides The Trail (1946)

Pat Rides The Trail
Genevieve Torrey Eames, il. Dan Noonan
1946, Julian Messner, Inc.

After moving from Boston to her uncle's Vermont farm, Pat Carey buys the little bay mare West Wind at auction and enters her in the 100-Mile Trail Ride. Can Pat overcome bad luck, nerves and a malicious competitor to finish the ride?

West Wind was sailing along at a hand gallop. It was near the end of a fifteen-mile trip and she seemed as fresh and eager as when she had started out that morning.

An unusual topic - an endurance ride - and an unusual heroine in that 14-year-old Pat is oblivious to romance and unusually sensitive to her little brother. The story is quick and energetic, and the details are sublimely horsey.

She felt lost and small; then the familiar sounds of horses stamping in their stalls and munching hay reassured her. Owners hurried about, carrying pails of water, rubbing down gleaming satin coats, cleaning 'tack' and stopping to chat with each other.

But the best part is the ride itself, when Pat finds herself alone with her mare on a rainy, boggy trail.

Pat was on her own now, on her own and facing the hardest part of the ride. She followed the blue arrow and found herself in a narrow, overgrown road that was hardly more than a trail. Branches loaded with water hung down and showered Pat's face and head no matter how low she ducked... The trail climbed and twisted and West Wind had to dig her toes into the soft earth and scramble up as best she could. At long intervals Pat saw blue arrows pointing the way; if it had not been for them, she would have thought she was lost.

Clearly a dated book, with her uncle's workhorses and her ability to ride through town safely, but a good one.

West Wind - bay mare
Janie - Shetland pony
Russet - mare

Other books by the author
A Horse To Remember (1946) il. Paul Brown
The Good Luck Colt (1953) il. Paul Brown
Flying Roundup (1957) il. Lorence J. Bjorklund
Ghost Town Cowboy (1951) il Paul Brown
Handy Of The Triple S (1949) il. Paul Brown

Short Stories by Author
"Jarvis Discovers Gold" appears in the anthology Horses, Horses, Horses: Palominos And Pintos, Polo Ponies And Plow Horses, Morgans And Mustangs edited by Phyllis Fenner

About the Illustrator
Also illustrated Good Housekeeping's Best Book of Horse Stories (1958)
I'm not 100% sure this is the same man, but an artist named Dan Noonan worked on comics for Western Publishing 1942-1951. He later went on to work on Disney animation films.

No comments: