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Jane Badger Books

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Show Jumping Secret (eBook)

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Show Jumping Secret (eBook)

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson's classic story of a boy overcoming disability, and his cousins' insistence on teaching him the wrong way to ride.

Patience, Prudence and Jackie know how to ride. At least, that's what they think. They may not have as much success as they think they should have at shows, but that's the judges' fault. Not theirs.

Although he's only had a few lessons himself, Charles is sure there's a better way. Fortunately, Charles finds a riding school which teaches him that better way, and at the riding school he finds the grey mare, Secret. Can Charles and Secret overcome their problems and enter the Foxhunter show jumping classes?

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“THE IMPROVEMENT has been remarkable, quite remarkable,” said the specialist, “but I’m afraid that we can’t expect much more; I’m afraid that you must resign yourselves to the limp.”

I moved over to the window; I wanted to keep my thoughts to myself. Looking down on the narrow street I reminded myself that once I had vowed I would never grumble again if only I could leave my invalid chair and walk; but those days and those feelings had passed, now I wanted to be perfectly well; I wanted to be able to do all the things I had before I was struck down with poliomyelitis.

Why should I be tied to a dragging leg for ever? No more games, no more running. Everyone waiting for me, pitying me...

My parents were saying good-bye to Sir Dermott, so I turned back into the room. My mother cast me an anxious look, but I avoided her eyes and shook hands with Sir Dermott, who wished me luck in hearty tones.

We climbed down the thickly carpeted stairs, my parents walking slowly so that I shouldn’t be left behind, and down the steep white steps into the grey street, which was brightened by pale, cold shafts of winter sunshine.

“Charles, it’ll be a very distinguished limp,” said my mother as I climbed into the car.

“Yes, it’s not too bad, really,” added my father. “ It’s all a question of adjusting oneself. You’ll be able to ride and row and play golf, in fact Sir Dermott says that the more you attempt, within reason, the better.”

“And somehow,” said Mummy, “ it’s not nearly so bad for a boy to limp as a girl.”

All the way home we discussed my future. Sir Dermott had advised that I should take up a sport or activity of some sort at once, especially as I was to spend the whole summer at home before returning to school for my last year.

It was I who decided on riding, but from my parents’ rather obvious efforts not to push me into it, I gathered that they had hoped I would. It was certainly much the easiest choice, for I had ridden, I had even won a bending race in a very small gymkhana at the age of ten and my’ cousins, who live only two miles from Hampden End, have always been horsy. In fact, I think it was they who put me off riding and I think my parents had realised this, for Mummy said, “There’s no need to ride with Patience and Prudence, there’s that riding school in Eastbridge and the girl who runs it is supposed to be very nice.”

“And once you’ve learned you can always have your own horse,” suggested my father.

“I’ll try Patience first,” I said. I felt that I was older now and that my once violent dislike of my cousins had faded. Besides, it would be rather an ordeal to try out my wretched leg at a strange riding school. My cousins knew all about my illness; they would know what to expect.

“Well, I’m going shopping in Eastbridge to-morrow, so I could drop you at Underhill on the way there and collect you on the way back,” offered my mother.

“I’ll ring up Patience to-night,” I said, “and then perhaps I can begin to-morrow.”

Page length: 150

Original publication date: 1955

Who's in the book?

Human: Charles, Patience, Prudence, Jacky, Aunt Una, Uncle David, Claire Wentworth
Equine: Secret, Hat Trick, Copper Count, Golden Oriole, Bruce, Merlin

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