My grandfather picked up this book at a garage sale or flea market when I was in fourth grade--he was always doing that; he loved having bookworm grandkids--and I loved this book so much that I'd always borrow it again the week after I returned it, drawn by the brittle yellow paper cover with the girl in a red dress leading a horse down a hill. Grandpa noticed my re-borrowing and suggested I should just keep it.
Even though I only admired horses from afar, I couldn't resist this story set in the early 1900's of a girl who loves horses and desperately wants one of her own. One day, she sees a neighbor abusing his horse and intercedes. She, of course, ends up rescuing the horse and healing its wounded leg.
Part of what I found so interesting in the book was the discussion of horse-breeding. A big deal is made in the book about Star (the horse) being a thoroughbred, but without the papers to prove her lineage, Star is regarded as just another horse (beautiful though she is). I'd never considered breeds of animals before; a dog was a dog and a horse was a horse. Like people, they came in different sizes, shapes and colors.
Twenty years later, I'm very sorry I parted with this book. I'm pretty sure I let Mom sell it at a garage sale because I felt I'd outgrown it. Silly me. I must have been nineteen or so and filled with that nearly-no-longer-a-kid mindset.
Copies do come up on Ebay every now and then, and there are copies to be had from Amazon and localized auction sites. If you have a daughter of nine or ten who loves chapter books and/or horses--up close or from afar--I'd recommend trying to get your hands on this lovely story.