Sep 17, 2008

The Saddle Club: In which horse theft is an acceptable problem solver.

Saddle Club S.1.02 “Work Horses”

Ok, the relative normality of episode one goes out the window in two seconds. This episode opens up with Carole exercise riding racehorses. What? Racehorses? Yep. Apparently she has a job exercise riding racehorses. Actual in training to race racehorses. Let me say racehorses a few more times. Racehorses. Seriously. Racehorses…

Sorry, anyway, she’s exercise riding a racehorse (GAH!) named Prancer, who for no obvious reason suddenly goes lame mid-ride. Cut to Pine Hollow where Lisa mentions needing her mom’s permission to go on the Mountain Trail Overnight (MTO) and Stevie needing to get the seventy-five dollars to go.

Carole takes Prancer back to her owner, who talks a lot like I’d imagine a child molester would. Prancer has a strained tendon for the third time. Her owner isn’t calling the vet because she’s uninsured. Instead she’s being sent to the slaughterhouse.

After this news we get the bright and happy theme song. Yay!

Back at Pine Hollow, Veronica’s bitching that Carole hasn’t groomed Cobalt yet. Stevie offers to do it for five bucks a job, and Veronica agrees. Carole arrives and tries to get Max’s help to save Prancer. Max reasonably tells her that, heartbreaking though it may be, it’s part of the business. They argue that one of the school horses, Pepper, is ready to retire and Prancer could be the replacement, but Max says no. Apparently Max thinks kids shouldn’t ride high strung ex-racehorses. Pff…

Mrs. Reg has an awesome line here. When she see the girls moping she asks, “This isn’t the onset of teenaged angst, is it?” See, awesome. At least as far as dialogue on this show goes.

Anyway, the girls try to figure out a way to buy Prancer. When that obviously won’t happen they decide on the next best thing, kidnapping. Have they been reading Cindy’s Runaway Colt? They plan to take her, hide her until her leg is better, then show Max that she would make a great lesson horse. Fantastic.

Dose of reality. Since Stevie is now Veronica’s bitch we get to watch her scoop Cobalt’s poop for five bucks. Wish I got five bucks for every stall I clean. She does several other more demeaning tasks as well. Mrs. Reg, wise to what’s going on, tells Veronica that the real bonding with a horse comes from taking care of it. Veronica is unimpressed. I really hate people like that, and I’ve known plenty. Anyway…

We are now treated to night at Lisa’s house. You may remember me mentioning that Lisa’s mom is a bitch. That continues. We also get to meet Lisa’s younger sister Melanie. Melanie’s the bratty tattletale sister that everyone’s encountered at least once. Lisa’s mom gets crappy with her about spending all her time at Pine Hollow before telling her to go to bed. She promptly sneaks out for some horse stealing shenanigans.

The girls stealth their way into the barn where they find Prancer colicking. They walk her to an old barn at Pine Hollow. There they discover that she’s burning hot and they decide to call the vet, even if they’ll be in trouble.

Back at the stable Mrs. Reg’s giving Max hell for not doing something to help Prancer. May I say again that I think Max is a sweetheart. He’s all “I’m trying to be practical” and she’s all “Screw that.”

The vet shows up and prescribes some drugs, and then, because vets tend to be smart, starts getting suspicious and asks some questions the girls have a hard time answering. She then informs them the bill will be two hundred dollars. Stevie gives up her MTO money as a down payment for the vet.

Back at the stable Max is still being all, “I don’t wanna be a big softy.” Nah, he’s not buying Prancer, no way… As the girls spend hours walking Prancer, we also see Max visiting a school horse named Barq and looking thoughtful… Yeah, he’s not gonna buy Prancer.

In the morning, Prancer’s creepy child molester owner catches the girls with Prancer. The vet called him and now he’s gonna call the cops for grand theft horse and cruelty to animals. Say what? But who should show up on a white horse (that’s Barq, BTW) but Max. And, oh look, he’s going to buy Prancer. Yay.

Max kinda sorta scolds the girls before telling them that Barq’s owner had planned on putting him down until Mrs. Reg bought him for Max, and he turned out to be a great lesson horse, so Prancer should have a chance too. I’d marry Max, he’s that sweet. Or maybe it’s just the accent. I dunno, but he’s so darn cute.

Anyway to wrap it up, Prancer’s safe, Lisa’s mom will let her go to the MTO, Stevie tells Veronica to piss off because her parents were impressed with her selflessness and gave her the money for the MTO, and Mrs. Reg returns the Saddle Club’s vet money since Prancer now belongs to Pine Hollow. Hugs and smiles are exchanged before we get the crappy end credits.

This episode obviously had ups and downs. On a scale of one to ten, one being perfectly acceptable and ten actually lowering my IQ as I watch it, I’d rate it a six. It’d be higher if it weren’t for Mrs. Reg’s awesome teen angst comment and Max’s gosh darn sweetness. Next episode: the Mountain Trail Overnight, YAY! It’s a two-parter, so prepare for suspense, or… something…


Monique said...

Nice job, Heather! More! More! And I have to agree that Max is pretty cute... it IS the accent. You must see him in McLeod's Daughters... :P

Molly said...

Was it really that hard to find a passel of bays and chestnuts for the Pine Hollow horses? EVERYONE but Pepper, Patch and Delilah are incredibly common colors! Yet the horses on the show...sigh. That bugs me more than it should.

Also...this is at least three books from the series, nowhere near each other in the timeline, all smushed together. God, and I complained about the Baby-Sitters Club TV series.