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  • Amy Shannon

Featured Book: The adventures of Bella & Emily in Devon by Michelle Holland

Books can be purchased from Amazon in both digital and paperback formats. Click on the book cover to go to the buy site.

Book Description:

Another delightful story in Emily's own words. This is the second book in the series of The Adventures of Bella & Emily. This time they are in Devon staying with Aunty Pam at her home, a place where she takes in rescue ponies and other animals. Emily and Bella make many new friends along the way, both animal and human and Emily is thrilled to assist in her very first rescue mission. Will another of Emily's dreams come true on Bella's birthday? If so, can you guess what it is? Emily will certainly have some life changing experiences.


“COME ON THEN LET’S GO and meet some of my rescue ponies and we can check on Bella at the same time”, she says as she fills up the dogs’ water bowls.

I cannot wait and trot closely behind her. We walk towards the back of the stable block. Two beautiful horses have their heads out over their stable door looking directly at us. One is a beautiful grey and the other a liver chestnut in colour.

“Aunty isn’t that Crystal and Amber, your two dressage horses?”, I ask her.

“Yes, they are my two adorable girls. You can meet them properly later. Maybe you could give me a hand mucking them out, that is if you don’t mind of course. I need to turn them out into their field this evening. I know it is only eighteen degrees today, but the flies have started to be a bit of a nuisance to them, so I thought it was better to bring them in during the daytime. Their stables are cool and very spacious”, she continues.

In the distance, I can see three wooden field shelters sitting at the back of a field in at least three acres of idyllic grazing.

“I only have seven rescues ponies here at present Ems. To date I have rescued fifty-two in total and I have managed to rehome forty-five”, she informs me.

“Wow, that is just truly awesome. I didn’t realise you had rescued so many. How do you manage to find homes for them all?” I ask eagerly.

“Well, a good friend of mine called Bev who I used to compete with offered to be my voluntary welfare officer. This means she looks at potential homes to check if she feels they are going to be suitable. She visits each one to check their home, land, and what facilities are available. All applicants are required to sign a two-page contract. They sign to agree to many terms and conditions. The most important condition is number eighteen. This states the pony concerned can never be sold on or be rehomed. If for any reason they don’t want to keep their pony anymore, he or she must be returned to me. They must also agree to take out adequate insurance to cover any veterinary costs. All vaccinations must be kept up to date alongside a regular worming programme. Once an applicant has passed the home visit, they need to spend at least three weeks getting to know their pony here under my supervision, until I am one hundred per cent happy they are a perfect match. Bev also arranges to do an after visit around one month on from when they have left here to check all is going well. She fills in an after-visit report and always takes plenty of photographs to show me how well they have settled in. This is probably one of the best moments for me Ems, when I see how happy they are in their new home. It makes it all worthwhile”, she smiles.

I can feel the hairs on my arms rising. What a wonderful Aunty I have.

“These days with all the technology we have, it is very easy to keep in touch. I have a private Facebook Page, Pam’s Pony Rescue, and all adopters must agree to join. I ask them to post photographs of their adopted pony regularly, as this way we can all keep in touch. I will add you to my page Ems, I think you will love seeing how they all progress”, Aunty continues.

“Oh, yes please”, I blurt out.

“Bev also does a six-monthly check on each, and every pony. She absolutely loves being our welfare officer and I couldn’t manage without her. She is a real gem”, she beams.

Aunty opens the gate into the field and we slowly walk towards the shelters.

“I have two grey mares who live here permanently, called Whisper and Speckle. They were doomed for the horse meat trade. They had lived all their lives wild on the Forest. Julie a good friend of mine was at a horse sale around two years ago. She saw the pair of them, and her heart instantly started breaking. She told me how terrified they’d looked. Their eyes were wide open in fright as they tried their hardest to escape through the wrought iron bars in the sales ring. She couldn’t leave them there, if she had, she said there was no way she would ever have been able to sleep properly again. The picture of the two of them, scared and panic stricken was firmly imprinted in her brain. She bought them on the spur of the moment and paid twenty guineas for Whisper and eighteen guineas for Speckle.”

“Horse meat trade? I don’t understand”, I half cry out.

“Sadly Ems, it goes on all the time. Once a mare gets older and the owners feel she is no longer able to produce quality foals, they send them off to the sales. The younger mares then take over producing a new line of foals. Unfortunately, not many people are prepared to take on older wild mares like these


“4 Stars

Remarkable sequel

I read the first adventure of Bella and Emily and enjoyed it. I was honored to also read this one, with Bella and Emily in Devon. Emily tells the story of her adventure as she and Bella are staying in Devon with a relative. It's a great story that combines a journey as well as making friends of humans and animals. The love of the animals brings them on a path of rescue. I like this story. Holland pens great story and is a great storyteller.” – Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Above and Beyond!

Holland donated £1568.68 to 5 animal rescues from the profits of the sales The Adventures of Bella & Emily this year. Half the profits from this book go to the animal rescues and organizations of the author’s choice!

Michelle Holland:

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