By Bonnie Bryant. Published 1989.
One day after class, Stevie goes to Max’s office to ask if they can start drill classes again. But she overhears him on the phone, and it’s something about not being able to pay something off and hurting the stable and students. Stevie tells Carole and Lisa about it as soon as they get to their ice cream place. After a scene with Veronica, they start worrying her father, who is a banker, may be taking over Pine Hollow. That’s a pretty big conclusion to jump to girls, but ok. They decide it’s their job to get more students to the stable and to raise money for it.
So they go around the shopping center, harassing people, trying to get them interested in riding lessons. They also snark on an overweight woman, and it bothers me. They do seem to get a scout leader interested, though.
The scout group shows up for lessons. The Saddle Club hightails it out of there, calling the girls brats, unnecessarily. They’re just being little kids. The girls are really not endearing themselves to me in this book.
Later, Carole comes up with the idea that they need to put on some sort show for the public, to call their attention to the stables. They think if they can get the drill lessons started again, it would be a great show.
All three of them go to see Max about starting drill again. He considers it, and tells them yes they can practice, but he won’t be able to teach them very much. He’s got too many new students right now. Good going, Stevie. But he gives them a book to learn from.
The girls make up posters and flyers for their show. They take them to Mrs. Reg to go out with an upcoming mailing. She gets really annoyed with them though, and I don’t blame her. The girls never even asked anyone if they could do their show at the stables. That’s assuming an awful lot, girls. Mrs. Reg finally gives in, but she’s not happy about it.
Max straight up gets pissed. When he learns about it, he tells them they can’t do it. First, because they didn’t ask him. Secondly, he says something else is going on at the stables that day. The girls are crushed, they’ve worked really hard, but they really brought it on themselves.
Max calls them in to see him the next time they’re at the stables. He seems to be in a better mood. He explains that he talked to Mrs. Reg, and she told him she approved the girls’ show. But Max hadn’t told Mrs. Reg about his event, because he wanted to keep it a surprise. So it’s all a big misunderstanding. Now, he realizes they can combine the two events. His is that he is having Dorothy DeSoto, an Olympic rider who got her start at Pine Hollow, come and give a demonstration. The girls are very excited.
Then Stevie lets her mouth get away from her, and the whole story of the girls trying to help comes tumbling out. Including thinking Max is going to have to sell to Mr. diAngelo. Max laughs at this, and tells them the real story. He was talking to a horse seller. Max wants some new horses, but they don’t have the room, they’d have to expand the stables. And now is not the right time for that. But the seller was very insistent. Max didn’t like him at all. But Max lost out on the horse, so it’s all over now.
Max tells the girls if they really want to help, they can. They can help him teach some classes for all the new students. They’re excited at first, especially Carole, until they hear they’ll be working with the scouts. Ha!
It’s the day of the show, and the Saddle Club Drill Team’s first two routines go well. They do a clover and spirals, if that means anything to you. Then they go to do a three-person pinwheel, and Stevie and Lisa’s horses start acting up. But they get it under control, and complete their show. But when Carole and Lisa leave the ring, they realize Stevie’s still out there. Stevie had earlier figured out that if she scratches Comanche’s chin just right, it makes him move his mouth so it looks like he’s talking. So she has a whole “ventriloquist” routine, and it’s a hit.
Dorothy DeSoto loved their entire show, and the Saddle Club loves hers, as well. She does thirty-two different dressage exercises. The girls and Dorothy meet up after the show, give each other all sorts of compliments, and bond over being students of Max.
During this time, the Saddle Club has been having odd tricks played on them, and not by Stevie for once. Their boots get switched, and their horses’ bridles and things get all mixed up. One day while Stevie’s working late by herself, she hears someone in the locker room. She sees Veronica putting glue on the undersides of all their boots, and setting them back on the ground. Stevie fixes it after she’s gone, but tells the others, and they figure out a way to get back at her. Lisa’s old jodhpur boots look just like Veronica’s, but a size smaller, so they switch them. They later see Veronica hobbling around. And then…that’s it. There’s no real resolution to this.
Also, Lisa’s mother has been being a major pain in her ass. Constantly hovering. Lisa worries she might be pregnant, but actually asks her dad, and he tells her she’s not. Later, Lisa’s mom informs her she got a job, working as a model for stores in the mall. She’s really excited about it, but Lisa gets all bummed, because this means neither of her parents can make it to her show. You can’t have it both ways, Lisa. And that’s pretty much what Carole and Stevie tell her, too. They also set her straight on just what it’s like to have working parents.
o It feels like it’s been summer for FOREVER at Pine Hollow. It’s been five books so far.
o Stevie bitches about having to do a book report. I realized that’s pretty much what all of us book bloggers do, all the time. But I suppose being able to be snarky and swear makes it a lot more fun.