The Balloon Collector

The Balloon Collector

My Encounters with Horses

Read an excerpt ….. meet the illustrator

Sarah’s love for everything equine – and camelid too – shines through her honest account. Her curious encounters with horses and their owners leave us with a better understanding of both. Another fascinating read. You won’t be able to put it down.

ALL proceeds shared between three horse charities: The Moorland Mousie Trust, HorseWorld and Shy Lowen Horse and Pony Sanctuary. One gift, two presents!

“ The best yet! Through her brilliant story-telling, Sarah imparts a great deal of knowledge about horse behaviour and psychology. A wonderful read. Highly recommended”

Gill Dixon, owner of The Backfield Gang

moving, insightful, emotional and funny in parts! Your dedication and compassion just shines through.

The Balloon Collector cover


Excerpt from “The Balloon Collector” …

One year I noticed that Nelly needed a wider gap in order to fit in between the cows, and it was obvious from her expanded waistline that she was pregnant again. Somehow, she had managed to escape white-Blue’s affectionate but watchful eye to enjoy a secret tryst with the local Forest-run stallion. There was no apparent rift between Nelly and her cuckolded partner concerning this infidelity, but I did wonder whether I might receive my own divorce papers in light of David’s earlier warning about extra horses. Luckily, when I told him, he just shrugged his shoulders helplessly.

Nelly herself looked less than enthusiastic about her condition as she began to balloon in the early summer heat. She stood listlessly beside the other ponies with her head down and her ears at ten to three. She looked as if she thought that the discomfort would never end and as May turned to June, Tracey and I wondered if she might be expecting a baby elephant. We seemed to be the only ones that were excited about the impending arrival, and every day we would scour the ponies’ widening haunt to see whether she had given birth. Given how late the foal was, there was the awful prospect that she might be pregnant by some rag-tag colt or, worse still, one of the jack donkeys, because the registered stallions were only turned out for a defined period.

One Tuesday afternoon, following a pleasant lunch at the Royal Oak, Tracey and I decided to take one more tour of the local area even though we had been round three times already. As it had rained, the ponies were often to be found at an area of lush grazing by the stream at Howen Bottom. Tracey and I walked up to a number of likely looking herds with the requisite number of white, blue roan, and shades of mahogany ponies, but were disappointed each time. Suddenly we came across a group out in the open and there, lying at Nelly’s feet, was a pinky-orange foal which was only a few hours old. At last!

Meet the Illustrator: Claire Martin

“The first time Claire painted a portrait for me, I was astonished that she has managed not only to capture the image of my horse but of her soul too. I feel very blessed to have Claire’s image running through my last two books. She is extremely talented.”Sarah Weston