It turns out that this story is really about a horse-loving girl and a kind, honest show trainer who together fall into the orbit of less scrupulous horse people who are drugging their horses to enhance their performance. Some of the methods described: cutting back a pony's hooves to get it to measure into a class, using bute and/or nerve blocks to mask lameness, drugging a too-high horse to quiet it for a show.
Jean Slaughter Doty is the best writer of horse books I've found thus far; I wish she'd written more. This is a poignant story which delves into the dark side of the horse world and yet never turns preachy or demonizes anyone.
eBook The Crumb