Patricia Leitch (1933–2015) had a varied career, working as a teacher, librarian, riding instructor and maid before she settled down to writing. She is, thanks to her Jinny series, a must-read author if you want to do a serious study of how the pony book genre developed.
Before she wrote about Jinny, Patricia Leitch produced a solid range of good pony stories. Patricia didn’t feel she had to follow pony book conventions. Most pony book heroines end up with a pony at the end of the book. That wasn't how Patricia worked.
Patricia also had a knack of getting into the soul of a pony. Augustus, equine hero of Pony Surprise, is recognisable to anyone who's battled with a pony with its own ideas.
Picture credit: estate of Patricia Leitch