I enjoyed the story as well as the character development and descriptions of rural life.
The Red Pony is the story of a boy who dreamed great dreams, of the sorrel colt that was the focus of those dreams, of the land that nourished them, of the mountains that hid their fulfillment. Steinbeck's early masterpiece reveals his profound love of many things - children and their wondrous imaginings, mountains, animals, people - and the land. The Red Pony is one of Steinbeck's most beloved works. It will be treasured by generations.
In fairness I'm rating this book a four although I had hated it. After someone explained the point of it to me, now it's just 'oh, I get it' but that doesn't really translate into stars as easily. I'll explain why I'm rating it four stars anyway, though. The book started out beautifully, because, at that point, it was fulfilling all of my expectations and more. I figured this would, after all, be about a boy and his red pony. Then, not halfway the book, that all ends but the book keeps going--only to end in what appears to be the middle of nowhere. The point of the book isn't the pony, but that the pony is the beginning of the boy's journey into adulthood and the understanding of how the world really works. At this, the book does succeed and does very well in doing so (deserving it's four stars)--in hindsight. It doesn't do much, however, if you think THE RED PONY is simply about the red pony. Darn those slippery classics.