Girl on a Pony is the gritty, humorous, unflinchingly courageous story of five children growing up on a cattle ranch in the remote Valley of the Dry Cimarron in northeastern New Mexico near the little border town of Kenton, Oklahoma. Narrated years later by the oldest daughter, LaVerne, it is a vivid and authentic portrait of ranching life between the two world wars, from 1925, when the family moved to the Goodson Ranch from a half-dugout claim shack in Colorado, to 1936, when they began to disperse.
During those years, people in the region endured blizzards, sick and maddened animals, drought, the Dust Bowl, and the Great Depression-with stoic good humor. In Girl on a Pony, cowboys go about their daily tasks, teaching the children all they know. Women endure the hardships of life in an isolated area, coping with the brutal labor ranch life requires of them, and maintaining touches of beauty and civilization where they can-creating lawns from relentlessly rocky soil, holding dances for their children, and painstakingly tatting when all else fails.