Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fly-By-Night” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fly-By-Night (Ruth Hollis #1)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Ruth had always wanted a pony. When her family moved to the country and her father said that she could stable a pony in their backyard, Ruth took out all her savings and bought Fly-by-night. Hew was only a two-year-old and far from being trained. But Ruth loved him.
She had dreams of soon joining the local pony club and competing in the gymkhanas. But Fly-by-night had spiri
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fly-By-Night, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fly-By-Night

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Burgundy Rose
Jun 28, 2013 Burgundy Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a way I'm glad I read one of Peyton's books right at the start of my pony book discovery for she's by far the best author I've read in the genre and now I can focus on her back catalogue. Then again, it does set an impossible standard for all the authors I have yet to discover.

Fly-By-Night is special - in many pony books where the heroine starts pony-less, the journey is about winning a competition or earning a place at an equestrian school. Here, 90% of the book is about Ruth wanting to have
Jul 12, 2014 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses
All stars are given solely for the prose and the characters, which are brilliant and beautiful. Other than that this is utterly irresponsible horse novel writing.
Should not be published any more without carrying a severe warning: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, IT'S UTTER HORSE MANURE.
If this was a popular children's book in the 70s I now understand why there are so many people around me who think you can learn to ride a horse - and to back, break and train a wild pony successfully at that - from boo
Aug 19, 2009 Annes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Story of a young girl, Ruth, who desperately wants a pony of her own. She attends horse shows, hunter trials, pony club rallies, watching all the other riders, and becomes determined to find a way to afford a pony of her own. The drawback is, her family isn't the least bit horsey and are not financially able to help. What follows is how Ruth finds a cheap pony (cheap for many reasons) and the ensuing struggle to train, feed, shoe and look after him. Her only help are some text books and an aloof ...more
Cheyenne Blue
Another childhood pony book in the girl-from-poor-family-gets-pony-has-terrible-trouble-with-it-but-wins-in-the-end variety. Ruth buys the titular Fly-by-Night for 40 quid. Trouble is, Fly is unbroken, and she can't ride. As a departure from the norm in these kind of books, there's very little emphasis on the mechanics of breaking a pony and learning to ride. There are no lectures on horsemanship sprinkled within the pages a la Pullein-Thompsons, no earnest discussions on diagonal aids and caval ...more
Oct 30, 2008 Kiri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have this book of collected horse stories (The Puffin Book of Horses) that I've treasured since childhood, and this book by K.M. Peyton was excerpted in the collection. It's a beautifully written excerpt and made me yearn for more.

Now that I've read the whole thing I must say that, had I read this as a young girl it would have been dog-eared and worn with much love. There is a certain poetry to Peyton's writing, her descriptions of the English countryside and of the horses capture so much with
Dec 06, 2014 Yellowoasis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
It's a warm, bright day in early summer, New Zealand, but in between the pages of this book I'm 12 years old again, longing for a pony, back in a cold boggy field in an East Anglian winter. Bliss.

Love, love, love this story. Possibly as much as I did when I first read it a gazillion years ago. All the adolescent yearning is there, and Ruth is an appealing character, full of self-doubt but prepared to put in the effort to achieve her goals. Lovely storytelling, which has stood the test of time.
Hot Cup O'Monkey
Jun 20, 2008 Hot Cup O'Monkey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My all-time favorite childhood book. I loved it because the horse in this book behaved like a REAL horse (i.e., ornery, unruly, unmanageable at times), unlike those Stepford-wife type of perfect horses found in so many horse books.
L.A. Rikand
Jan 21, 2013 L.A. Rikand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book and its sequel, TEAM, were two of my very favorite books as a tween. K.M. Peyton's FLAMBARDS series too ranked up there in my estimation. No one "can't" love love love this story. The horsey details are accurate, the internal thoughts of a horse-crazy girl are right-on-the-money and in the hands of this skillful author, a very well-written book.

I lost my copy years ago and found this on Amazon for just a few dollars. Money well spent, and now going to find TEAM so that my daughters can
OMG, I absolutely loved this book as a child. It is perfect for any horse obsessed kids out there. Only thing is, it is a little out of date now, you'll get children trying to convince parents they can buy a pony for £50 and then keep it in the garden, I did!! (of course they said no!)
Anyway, I must read it again to see if it is as wonderful as I remember....
Rachel Piper
Jul 23, 2010 Rachel Piper marked it as to-read-own
Loved K.M. Peyton's Flambards and Snowfall, but had no idea she wrote horse books. Couldn't resist picking this one up at a used bookshop today. I wonder if I'll like it as much as I would have as a horse-crazed 10-year-old.
Jun 17, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read this and loved it. You complete root for Ruth from the first chapter, very engaging. As a child I loved this book - I also wanted a pony in my back garden! - and was in love with Fly. As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed it and full of admiration for Ruth's grit and determination.
Sep 12, 2008 Kami rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
My favorite horse book from my childhood. Loved it. I read it over and over again.
May 29, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-childhood
41 years old and I still love a good pony story now and then.
Apr 02, 2009 CLM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth is determined to own Fly-by-Night, a sturdy pony, now that she lives in the country, despite the objections of her less than affluent family.
Pamela Carroll
Jul 17, 2016 Pamela Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed rereading this book.
Tabitha Suzuma
Feb 03, 2013 Tabitha Suzuma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Favourite childhood author who read my first attempt at a book when I was 17, despite having never met me!
Oct 01, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is quite possibly my favorite horsey book. I can't say how often I've reread it since first discovering it when I was 9.
Catherine rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2015
Anna rated it really liked it
May 29, 2012
Lesley Arrowsmith
Lesley Arrowsmith rated it liked it
Nov 28, 2012
Stacia rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2014
Hannah rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2012
Nimbus rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2014
Annika Kostrubala
Annika Kostrubala rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2017
Nancy Lindley-gauthier
Nancy Lindley-gauthier rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2008
Jacqui rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2008
Lauren rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2014
Noelle rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2012
Sharon Hansen
Sharon Hansen rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gee Whiz (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #5)
  • For Love of a Horse (Jinny, #1)
  • Green Grass of Wyoming (Flicka, #3)
  • Jill's Gymkhana (Jill's Ponies, #1)
  • Eleanor McGraw, a Pony Named Mouse and a Boy Called Fire
  • Riding Star (Pony Club Rivals, #3)
  • The Winter of Enchantment
  • Melanie's Treasure (Thoroughbred, #25)
  • Keeping Secrets (Timber Ridge Riders, #1)
  • Silver Brumby Kingdom
  • Racing Hearts (Chestnut Hill, #10)
  • The Changes: A Trilogy
  • Sue Barton, Superintendent of Nurses (Sue Barton, #5)

Other Books in the Series

Ruth Hollis (5 books)
  • The Team
  • The Beethoven Medal (Pennington, #2)
  • Pennington's Heir
  • Falling Angels

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »