Lisa Atwood As Mother Figure In The Saddle Club

Of the three adolescent girls that form The Saddle Club, it is Lisa Atwood who is the mother figure.  She is the one who is constantly looking out for others, even when they don’t want her to.  Lisa is guided by a strong love of horses and compassion for human beings. She attempts to gain the trust and love of an abused horse that everyone, including her own friends, consider hopeless, and succeeds!  She also has the courage and will to follow her maternal instinct no matter where it leads her, and it sometimes leads her into trouble!  Lisa asks people about their past so that she can learn how to help them.  She is acutely aware of people’s feelings and the members of the Pine Hollow family have deep affection for her.  When Lisa is lying in a coma in the hospital after suffering a severe concussion, her friends from Pine Hollow come to express their feelings, including the often cold, condescending, Veronica di Angelo.  When she does waken, she encourages Phil to discuss his problems with Stevie with her, even though she was near death!  The beautiful, understanding, and highly expressive eyes of actress Lara Jean Marshall add much to our perception of Lisa Atwood.  In her we can truly see the mother that is, and the mother that will be.

A Daily Dose Of Veronica di Angelo? It Just Might Work.

Veronica di Angelo, the overbearing, conceited, self-absorbed, and highly intelligent member of Pine Hollow, might offer the proper medicine for girls with low self-esteem.  A daily dose of Veronica’s qualities diluted in water could supply the necessary strength and polish to boost any girl’s self image.  Veronica is a doer, and never lets any doubts interfere with her goals.  She is confident that she understands life, and hence can master it.  She is conscious of her appearance, and knows how to look her best.  Low self-esteem in girls(and boys) is something which plagues our society.  Measuring self-esteem is as important as measuring blood pressure.  How wonderful it would be if every girl could be supplied with a daily dose of Veronica!  It just might work.

A Little Romance From The Saddle Club

A little romance from The Saddle Club occurs when the self- confident, arrogant Veronica di Angelo, played by Heli Simpson, meets Brian Mulcahy, “Scooter”, a waiter at JB’s cafe, and part- time assistant at Pine Hollow Stables, played by Alex Marriott.   Their relationship does not begin auspiciously;  the first time they meet, Veronica accuses him of stealing some items from Pine Hollow when he is innocent.  To Veronica the world is simple if you follow all the rules.  Immaturity for her is the lack of knowing and applying these rules.  The rules apply to relationships between males and females as well.  When her friend Kristi is distraught over her feelings for a boy, Veronica says, “It’s only hormones.  Get over it!”  Her advice about males:  “Men are like a jukebox.  You just have to know what buttons to push.”  However, the easy-going Irish lad doesn’t agree with Veronica’s assessment of the world and relationships.  He challenges her supposed security by saying, “I can see right through you, Veronica.”  The confused Veronica admits:  “You are a strange one, Scooter.”  Another time he asks her:  “What is it you really want, Veronica?”  He admits that he likes her, and says liking her is something automatic.  However, she considers herself above him, and says, “Scooter, I’m way out of your league.”  After Veronica has left,  a reflective Scooter replies, “Maybe.  Maybe not.”  When he invites Veronica to a party, she turns him down with an air of condescension: “Scooter, why don’t you join a library?”  Later at the party when Veronica sees Scooter without a date, she says:  “I guess you couldn’t find a date.”  He replies:  “One date, no.  I found two.  I took your advice.  They(his two dates) work at the library.”  Thus, Veronica learns that even though Scooter likes her, she cannot take him for granted.    Scooter sees the inherent goodness in Veronica while the others at Pine Hollow do not since to them she is conceited and overbearing.  Veronica’s concern for status and inheritance is deflated by Scooter:  ”  Isn’t it where are you now that’s important, and not where you’ve come from?   That’s why it’s called background.  It’s in the background.”  Although Scooter is not the poor boy he appears to be, he never discusses his own background until the end.  He wants Veronica to “take the time to smell the flowers”, and put money in its proper place, which is subordinate to the heart.  It is only after Veronica’s father loses his fortune that Veronica shows her desperate feelings to Scooter.  He again downplays the importance of money, and emphasizes the value of true friendship, causing her to say, “Thanks, Scooter.  You always make me feel better.”   When Scooter invites Veronica to a picnic by the water, Veronica finally lets her hair down literally.  After Veronica shows her true feelings and tells Scooter, “Kiss me, stupid!”  Scooter answers calmly, “I won’t kiss you, stupid, but I will kiss you.”  That kiss causes Veronica to realize what she really values after an intense debate with herself.  Scooter has already invited Veronica to see his family in Dublin, and there is little doubt that Veronica’s romantic relationship will continue to uncover new depths.  Veronica has learned another facet of maturity: the ability to perceive someone else’s sense of reality as well as her own.

Scooter’s knowledge of the internet and Veronica’s acuity and perseverance ultimately save Pine Hollow from financial ruin.  It is interesting to see how Veronica changes.  In the beginning, she does all she can to undermine The Saddle Club.  But, in the end, she becomes part of the Pine Hollow family, something she always desired, but could never admit to herself.