The Red Filly-Chapter 1

Honey2018

 

Chelsea Resmon watched the flashy red filly galloping with tail held high, flipping her head as she floated across the green pasture, and Chelsea felt as if her heart would burst from her chest. She thought to herself, this must be what love at first sight feels like.  Chelsea memorized every inch of her as her mom drove their 1978 Ford F150 up the long, winding gravel road that led to the house and the main barn.  All the thoroughbreds were beautiful at Wisdom Racing Stables, but this filly had a smaller head than the rest, with a slightly dished face and delicate, curved ears.

“Mom, stop the truck!” Chelsea shouted.

Helene stopped the truck after pulling off into the grass to the side of the gravel driveway because another truck was approaching theirs as it was leaving the ranch.

“Mom!  Look!” Chelsea was still shouting.

Helene stuck her hand in Chelsea’s face flat and palm side down.  The signal that Chelsea was being too loud.  Chelsea’s eyebrows scrunched down for a second because she really hated when her mother did that.  But instead of getting in an argument, Chelsea placed her left hand on her mother’s chin and turned her head toward the filly.

Helene immediately dropped her hand because she was mesmerized by the beauty of this filly too. Chelsea knew that when her mom was young, she had spent time with horses.  Her mom often talked about one she loved with all her heart, a little bay with a star she had named, Starbuck after the character in Battlestar Galactica.

“You see her, Mom?” asked Chelsea.

“Yes…she’s beautiful…I’ve never seen anything like her,” Helene’s voice was breaking.

Chelsea saw tears in her mother’s eyes.  Her mother never cried.

“Are you okay, Mom?” Chelsea asked.

“I’m fine,” Helene laughed. “I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed having horses in my life.”

The other pickup pulled up alongside them.  The young man driving it lowered the passenger side window as his tires grinded to a stop in the gravel and a little dust floated out behind his truck; a sleek, black, Ram, at least a 2019 model.  He had to lower it for them to even see him through the tinted windows.  Their windows were already down because…no A/C and late Spring in Texas.

“Hi!” said the young man.  He looked to be about nineteen years old.  A couple of years older than Chelsea, Helene guessed.

“Hi,” responded Chelsea and Helene in unison.

“I’m Tyler.  I’m an assistant trainer here. Are you the new exercise rider?” he asked while looking at Chelsea.

“Yes,” said Chelsea.

“Are you excited?” he asked, smiling through perfect teeth.

“Yes,” Chelsea said again.

“She’s just nervous,” said Helene, “I’m Helene and this is my daughter, Chelsea.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you both,” Tyler said looking toward Helene.  But his attention reverted to Chelsea, which wasn’t surprising because men often took notice of her curves, and thick, wavy, long copper hair.  Chelsea was often oblivious though since she spent most of her time up in her own head.

“I’m looking forward to riding with you Chelsea,” Tyler continued, gaze still fixed on Chelsea.

Helene poked Chelsea and she responded, “Me too.” And smiled.

“It was nice to meet you both,” said Tyler.

“It was nice to meet you too,” Chelsea and Helene said in unison again.

Tyler raised the passenger window and pulled away.  Helene pulled their old truck back onto the gravel drive, so the air was full of the sound of the tires from two trucks grinding over gravel as dust misted about them both.

“Mom, you don’t need to make excuses for me. I didn’t say anything wrong,” said Chelsea.

“It’s just that you don’t seem friendly when you just give one-word answers,” said Helene.

“Mom, you worry too much about me.  My answers were just fine,”

“But Chelsea…”

“Mom, please just drop it. Please.  You always do this.  This is a good day. You just saw a beautiful red filly. Just enjoy it. Please,” said Chelsea.

“Okay, you’re right.  I just can’t help but worry.  You’re my only child and I love you,” said Helene.

“Mom, I love you too. Just relax,” Chelsea said with a smile.

When they pulled up to the house, a tall, tanned, man about Chelsea’s mom’s age was standing in the driveway talking to a young, Hispanic man, but when the older man saw their truck pull up, he turned from the younger one and waved at them.  Chelsea waved back.

“Mom, that’s Kirk Robertson! He’s the one who owns this place!” said Chelsea.

Helene slowed the truck to a stop and they both got out.  Chelsea ran straight to Kirk and gave him a hug.  Helene was startled since Chelsea rarely hugged anyone.  Helene was not prepared for how handsome Kirk Robertson was.  He had medium length blonde hair and exuded masculinity with tanned muscles and black eyebrows and sideburns.  Helene had a hard time looking at him and knew it would be even harder for her to talk to him because he reminded her of a childhood crush, Bo Duke from the seventy’s television show, The Dukes of Hazard.

She shook it off and walked toward him, feeling very conspicuous in her baggy, full length skirt and equally baggy top. Her stuck in the seventies look was complete with big gaudy earrings and necklace and un-pedicured toes in sandals.  Helene had never been secure with her looks, or lack thereof, especially since Chelsea’s father just up and abandoned them.

“Hello, Chelsea’s Mom,” said a cheerful and freakishly handsome, Kirk Robertson.

“Helene, and hello, nice to meet you,” Helene answered, meeting his eyes as she reached out her hand.

“Helene, what a lovely name,” said incredibly handsome man.

Kirk turned toward Chelsea and the guy he had been talking to when they pulled up.

“Chelsea this is Strider, our trainer, Pablo Castillo’s son.  He’ll show you around the place.  He’s about the same age as you, Chelsea. He’s taking classes at community college right now,” said Kirk with a smile.  “I’m going to take the lovely, Helene inside to sign some paperwork, Chelsea, you two enjoy yourselves.”

The two of them watched as the adults walked toward the house.  Chelsea turned toward Strider and said, “Your name is Strider, like in The Lord of the Rings?”

“Yes, my dad loves those books,” said Strider.

“So, he went with Strider instead of Aragorn?”

“He thought Aragorn would be too weird,” said Strider.

Chelsea laughed, “Well because Strider is so normal, right?”

“Yeah, he didn’t think it through,” Strider laughed too.

Chelsea opened her mouth to respond, but Strider interrupted and said, “Hey, I know you. I thought you looked familiar.  You go to Dale City High School, right?”

“Yes, but I don’t remember you…wait, you’re the gay guy the jocks used to beat up,” said Chelsea.

Strider laughed, “ Wow, you really are blunt, aren’t you?”

“What do you mean? It’s true isn’t it.  I haven’t seen you in a while though.”

“That’s because I graduated last year,” Strider laughed again.

“Oh,” said Chelsea.

Strider put his arm on Chelsea’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s take the truck to the training track.  My dad is working one of Robertson’s colts.  They say he’s a Derby contender.”

“Derby, like Kentucky Derby?!” asked Chelsea.  She had been watching the Triple Crown every year as far back as she could remember.  The series of races that the top three-year-old horses in the country started training for at the age of two.  The Kentucky Derby was the first of the three.

“Of course,” said Strider. When they got to the truck, Strider removed his arm from Chelsea’s shoulder and beckoned toward the passenger door. “Get in.”

Chelsea obeyed and could hardly sit still in the passenger side she was so excited.  Strider didn’t notice that she flapped her hands a couple of times outside the truck before getting in. When Chelsea was excited or angry, she flapped her hands to help shake off the extreme emotions.  She managed to force herself to stay calm once in the truck.  She was very aware that most people did not do such things.

Strider backed the truck out of the garage and then turned in the opposite direction from the way Helene and Chelsea had driven toward the house.  There was another gravel road heading in the opposite direction from the house and they took that one.  They rode in silence and arrived at the training track in ten minutes, but it had seemed like much longer to Chelsea.

Strider pulled up near the track and stopped the truck.  They both stepped out and Chelsea was frozen in place watching the magnificent, bay stallion gallop past them on the track.  Strider had moved alongside her and they both watched the colt cross the finish line and then relax into an easy slow gallop with ears pricked as his rider stood up in the stirrups.  It was a small track, only a half mile round. The bay slowed to a canter as the rider brought him back around.  This time as rider and horse neared them, the colt was now just walking.  The exercise rider saw them and waved.  He walked the colt for a bit longer and then headed to where Strider and Chelsea were standing.

“Hola hijo mío,” said the rider, “¿Quién es la chica?”

“Dad, English, please. This is Chelsea Resmon, the new exercise rider,” said Strider, and then to Chelsea, “This is my dad, Pablo Castillo.”

“Hello Mr. Castillo.  I don’t mind if you speak Spanish.  Well as long as you don’t start laughing and pointing at me,” said Chelsea.

Mr. Castillo laughed, “Me gusta ella,” he said to Strider.

“Great,” said Strider rolling his eyes.

Chelsea was awestruck by the beauty of the colt.  He’s a perfect bay, a blood bay even, Chelsea thought to herself.  She was mesmerized by his glistening auburn coat and four perfect black legs which ended in four black hooves. His thick black mane and tail rounded out his perfection.

“He is beautiful, isn’t he?” said Mr. Castillo in a thick accent.

“Yes! Will I get to ride him?” asked Chelsea.

Mr. Castillo laughed again, “Maybe one day,” he said. “You want to pet him?”

“Yes!”

Mr. Castillo dismounted in one quick leap and then led the colt over to the rail.  The colt was bright eyed and curious and reached over and nuzzled Chelsea.

A small gasp of glee escaped her mouth and she reached up to rub his soft nose.

“His name is Giovanni. His sire is Bernardini, one of the greats,” said Mr. Castillo.

“I remember him! I watched him race on tv when I was little.  I cried when he lost to Invasor in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic,” said Chelsea.

“His jockey moved too soon.  The stretch run is longer at Churchill Downs than at other racetracks. But Invasor was a great horse too,” said Mr. Castillo.

“So, if I can’t ride Giovanni, can I ride the red filly out front?” asked Chelsea as she continued to pet the colt.

“What filly out front?” asked Strider.

“The one with the beautiful dished face,” said Chelsea.

Giovanni grew impatient and stomped his foot because he knew it was time for his evening feed.  The colt still let Chelsea rub his nose though. Animals were always drawn to her.

“Oh, she is talking about Fyrestorm,” said Mr. Castillo laughing.

“Why are you laughing?” asked Chelsea.

“Nobody has ridden her yet.  We can’t race her, so we haven’t started training her,” said Strider.

“What do you mean you can’t race her? I saw her running in the front pasture. She barely touches the ground, as if she has wings,” said Chelsea.

“She’s half Arabian, Chelsea. That’s why her head is more distinct than the other horses. The Jockey Club only allows full-blooded Thoroughbreds to race in the U.S.,” said Strider.

“But I thought Wisdom Racing Stables only bred Thoroughbreds?” asked Chelsea as she summoned all her strength to remain calm.  When she had seen that red filly, it had immediately become her dream to ride her. She felt determined to do so.

Mr. Castillo laughed again, “The filly’s momma decided she wanted to jump the fence and make love to the black, Arabian stallion next door,”

“But I’ve studied the history of the Thoroughbred breed and all three foundation stallions were Arabians. The Darley Arabian, The Byerley Turk and the Godolphin Arabian. So, they have Arabian blood…” said Chelsea.

“That was a long time ago, Chelsea.  Most horse breeds have Arabian blood if you go far enough back because Arabians are considered the oldest breed of horse. They’re in the Bible even,” said Strider.

Chelsea dropped her hand from Giovanni’s nose and her eyes filled with tears.  Giovanni snorted and stretched his muzzle out toward the crying girl.  She reached up and petted him again and smiled through her tears.

“Don’t cry chica.  See, Giovanni doesn’t even want you to cry. Maybe we can train the filly to be a stable pony. You will have to gain her trust first though.  She doesn’t come near anyone,” said Mr. Castillo.

“I can do it! I can gain her trust! Thank you, Mr. Castillo!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red Filly-Chapter 1 Outline

Honeyglamorshot2
Fyrestorm

Write Your First Novel, Week 2, Assignment Two: Outline Chapter One

Logline: An ostracized teenage girl captures the love and trust of wild red filly who she hungers to ride to victory before the naysayers can vanquish her dreams.

The chapter beginning:

Chelsea Resmon and her mom arrive at Wisdom Racing Stables and as they go up the drive to the main house, they see a beautiful, shiny red filly…Chelsea asks her mom to stop the car…Chelsea gets very excited and her Mom does that thing with her hand which usually angers Chelsea, but she just ignores it this time…young trainer is leaving and stops by their truck…Chelsea is short with him because she is obsessed with filly…

 

The chapter middle:

Chelsea meets Strider Castillo, who she remembers later in the chapter as being the “gay kid who the jocks made fun of” in her high school, which he no longer attends because he graduated and is now in community college.  Strider takes Chelsea out to the training track while Chelsea’s mom, Helene discusses Chelsea’s new job as an exercise rider with Kirk Robertson, the owner of Wisdom Racing Stables.  Strider and Chelsea arrive at the training track to see Strider’s dad, Pablo Castillo working a magnificent blood bay colt. Chelsea is thrilled when Mr. Castillo brings the colt over to the rail after trotting him out to cool him down and the colt lets Chelsea pet his nose.

 

The chapter end:

Chelsea asks about the red filly and is told that the filly can’t be raced because she’s not pure Thoroughbred, but half Arabian.  Chelsea becomes very upset because her heart was set on riding the filly.  Mr. Castillo is touched by her tears and promises her that she can ride the filly, Fyrestorm, if Chelsea can gain the trust of the wild filly.

Chelsea Resmon-Character Profile #TheRedFilly

Honeyglamorshot

Write Your First Novel, Week 2, Assignment One: Character Profile

Logline: An ostracized teenage girl captures the love and trust of wild red filly who she hungers to ride to victory before the naysayers can vanquish her dreams.

Character Profile:

 

Name: Chelsea Resmon (Protagonist)

Sex/Age: Female/17yo

Description: thick, wavy, copper hair and curvy figure, green eyes

Personal History: Chelsea is being raised by a single mom.  Her dad left when she was a baby, so she doesn’t remember him.  She is very close with her mom.  She has always been drawn to animals, especially horses.

Distinctive Personality Traits: Chelsea is a loner at her high school because the other students consider her “weird” and she knows it. She sometimes has strong emotional outbursts and flaps her hands when excited or angry.  Over the years she has learned to control some of those tendencies with her mother’s help and by mostly avoiding other people.  She lacks confidence and has low self-esteem, except when she’s around horses.

 

The Red Filly-a Novel in the Making

FyrestormRunning

So I started the Coursera course, Write Your First Novel, to hopefully guide me through completing a novel.  Like most writers, I’ve started many and never finished one.  Anyway, since I’m working quite a bit right now (I’m a pharmacist), I’m plugging away at it on my off days.

First assignment was to create the idea for your novel. I already had the idea, but the course helped me write a better synopsis I think:

The first time Chelsea Resmon sees the red filly, Fyrestorm, galloping in the green pastures of Wisdom Ranch and Racing Stables, it’s love at first sight.  But Fyrestorm is an outcast at the ranch because of her bad bloodlines.  Half-Arabians aren’t suitable for horse racing Chelsea is informed.  Chelsea is an outcast at her high school, because she too is different. She can’t help but be drawn to Fyrestorm. Chelsea forms a bond with the filly  and begins to ride the magnificent filly in secret.  For the first time in her life, Chelsea feels empowered and like her life has meaning, but then an accident threatens to separate Chelsea and Fyrestorm forever.

The next assignment was to create a logline, which is only one sentence and has specific elements to it’s structure. I always struggle with these one sentence descriptions, but here goes:

An ostracized teenage girl captures the love and trust of wild red filly who she hungers to ride to victory before the naysayers can vanquish her dreams.

And the last assignment for week 1 was to create a dramatic question. I first came up with this, which is too vague:

Will Chelsea and Fyrestorm achieve victory despite all the obstacles in their way?

So I changed it to this:

Will Chelsea and Fyrestorm achieve victory despite her mom and best friend forbidding Chelsea to ride the filly after a disastrous accident?

The course is 26 weeks long, I hope to have a rough draft of a novel when finished and I’m going to blog about my journey as I go.

For those who want to join the course here’s the link:

Write Your First Novel

For those who want to join my little writing group, here’s the link:

Scribbling Dreamers

Timmy and the Red Stallion

Timmyinthepasture (2)

Gina and Flame galloped around the inside edge of the arena as if they were one.  It had taken several months for Gina to gain the confidence to even ride the magnificent red stallion, but Renata had insisted.  At first Gina would only ride Flame if Renata were present.  Renata would stay on the ground in the arena and instruct Gina.  Eventually Gina gained the confidence to take Flame out on the trails and Renata would ride her trusty gelding Blaze, so Flame would stay calm.  Flame and Blaze had a close bond because they were born within a month of each other at their original home in Dubai.  The half brothers were a gift given to Renata by a sheikh she had met during her time in Paris working for Louis Vuitton.

Gina slowed Flame to a canter and reached down to pet his neck.  The summer sun reached through the open sides of the arena and caressed the crimson stallion’s coat, making his neck almost sparkle in its brilliance.  Gina had been so enchanted by Flame that she hadn’t noticed Renata escort a man and teenaged boy into the barn.  She looked over to see the gate open on the barn side of the arena as she slowed Flame to a trot on the opposite side.  She tensed up when she saw the teenager was her classmate, Chet.  He followed along behind Renata as she led Patriot, the gray son of Spirit, their resident black stallion, into the arena, while the man leaned on the outside of the red pipe fencing and watched.  Chet saw her at the same time and smiled.  Not a friendly smile, but more like a sneer.  He held is phone up and the sun reflected off it.  Flame was already tense because he reacted to the tense signals coming from Gina’ body.  Gina wasn’t prepared when Flame bolted, so when Flame ended up on the other end of the arena, she was left in the dust in their last location together.

Chet started laughing.  Laughing at her, the way they always did at Dale City High…

 

A week had gone by and during that time the video had gone viral, well, viral among Dale City High students anyway.  Gina found herself where she often did after being subjected to the almost daily humiliation that was Dale City High.  She was crying into Timmy, the golden pony’s, neck while he silently consoled her.  She felt something press into her back and turned to find Flame offering his muzzle for a kiss.  His best friend, Blaze, watched the trio from a short distance away.

Timmy was in the paddock with the two chestnut Arabians recuperating from an eye infection.  The brothers loved the pony because he had been their caretaker when they first arrived at the ranch to help them get adjusted.  Timmy had a knack for calming other horses and was often utilized for his “nursemaid” capabilities.

“Gina!”

Gina looked toward the paddock gate to see her friend, Strider Castillo. She wiped her tears with the back of her hand and waved as she headed for the gate.

Strider hugged her when she turned toward him after closing the gate.  Then he stepped back and looked at her face.

“You’ve been crying.  Are you okay?” he asked.

“I’m fine,” Gina lied.

Strider wasn’t fooled.   He had known Gina all through high school.

“It’s those bullies isn’t it?  That video going around Facebook?” he asked.

Gina started crying again.  He held her again and said, “You have to stop this Gina.  When you let them get to you, they win.”

Gina took a deep breath, stepped back and looked Strider in the eye and said, “That’s easy for you to say.  You’re starting college this year, so you don’t have to deal with them anymore.”

“Exactly my point.  They’re nobody to us.  You just have one more year to deal with those losers,” said Strider.

“I thought at least I’d get a break from them in the summer, but it seems like they’ll always be in my life.”

“They won’t,” said Strider. “Trust me.”

Strider and Gina walked into the barn to find Jalissa and Renata feeding the horses.

Gina’s entire demeanor changed, and she called out, “Jalissa!” as she ran to her and swept her up in a big hug.

The expression of pure joy on Gina’s face at seeing Jalissa was not lost on Strider.

“Gina, why don’t you and Jalissa take the wheelbarrow and get some hay.  I’ll finish graining the horses,” said Renata.

Gina practically skipped off with Jalissa.

 

The next morning Gina and Strider took Flame and Blaze out on the trails at the ranch.  They had been enjoying the clear, crisp morning trotting and loping the two brothers along the flat parts of the trails.  Now they rode side by side, talking as they headed back to the barn.

“Gina, I’ve noticed the way you look at Jalissa,” said Strider.

“What do you mean?” asked Gina.

“I mean, it’s obvious you’re attracted to her.”

“She’s beautiful.  Anyone would be attracted to her,” said Gina.

“You know what I mean,” said Strider.

“Look Strider, I’m happy for you. You know…that you’re out of the closet and all, but believe it or not some, no, most of the world is straight,” said Gina.

Flame took a couple of high steps because he sensed Gina’s tenseness.  She relaxed a little, “Sorry boy,” she said to Flame as she reached down and rubbed the stallion’s neck.

“Yeah, most of the world is straight, I guess.  But not you,”

“Strider, just because I notice someone is pretty…well, it doesn’t mean anything.  And besides, I don’t want to go to Hell.”

“So you think I’m going to Hell?” Strider laughed.

“No, of course not.  You’re too nice, but I would…”

“Now you listen Gina. I know you’ve been raised in this holy roller religious bullshit, but this is what I think.  God made me this way, and God doesn’t make mistakes.”

Gina sighed and said quietly, “That’s beautiful.”

They rode the rest of the way to the barn in silence.  When they reached the outer, arena gate, they stopped and watched as Chet cantered Patriot around the arena.  Patriot rounded the far end and was then heading toward them.  When the graceful, gray gelding drew near their position and saw them, he slammed on the brakes.  Chet wasn’t ready for that, so he was launched in the air over the front of Patriot’s lowered head and landed on the floor of the arena hard.  He started crying.  Then he shouted, “Shut off that camera, faggot!”

Gina looked over at Strider and saw his hand raised with phone in hand, obviously videoing the incident with a broad smile spread across the width of his chiseled brown face.

For a moment Gina smiled too.  But then she reached over and pulled Strider’s arm down.

“I don’t want to be like them, Strider,” said Gina.

“But…,”

Strider saw the sincerity in Gina’s eyes.  He put the phone in his pocket.

“I love you, Gina,” said Strider.

“I love you too,” said Gina.

 

 

 

BlazeandFlamePaddock
Blaze and Flame
Patriot Headshot
Patriot

 

 

Timmy and the Filly-A Timmy Tale

Timmy7.7.19

 

When Renata and her friend, Jalissa, had first spotted the black Arabian stallion, Spirit in his ten-acre paddock, his head was down as he sipped water from the scenic pond near its center.  He was standing beneath a willow tree with his faithful gelding, Ambush, by his side.  It was like a scene from a movie…so beautiful, so serene. Jalissa felt the moisture in her eyes and cleared her throat, just as Renata whistled to the stallion.

Spirit’s head shot up at the sound of Renata’s whistle.  He was every bit as stunning as the black stallion from the movie the young women both loved so much.  Spirit turned on his heel and galloped toward the two women standing at the fence.  Ambush ran behind him.  Spirit slowed to a trot and the bay gelding managed to catch up staying at the gallop, and then he too slowed to a trot.

As they both watched Spirit trot toward them with tail held high, Jalissa cleared her throat again and said, “He’s magnificent, Renata.”

“Thank you, Jalissa,” said Renata.

“I won’t lie, Renata.  I’m a little jealous,” laughed Jalissa.

“Jalissa, I love you and I would never want you to feel jealous.  I want you to share in my joy. I was so happy when my best friend called from New York and told me she was coming to Dallas to start her own law firm,” said Renata.

“Best friend? Oh, you mean me,” laughed Jalissa.

The two women hugged, both laughing.  Spirit snorted, reached over the fence and pressed his lips to Renata’s head and then Jalissa’s.  They broke apart laughing once more and Spirit drew back his head, snorting again.

“See Jalissa, Spirit approves,” said Renata.

Now Ambush wanted to be part of the celebration too, so he softly nickered and shoved his head toward the women.  Spirit stepped aside, ever respectful of the older gelding.  Renata placed both hands on Ambush’s cheeks and kissed him on the nose, “Oh sweet, Ambush, we would never forget you,” she said.

“C’mon Jalissa, let’s go to the house, I want you to meet my protégé, Gina Targoff. And then I have a surprise for you,” said Renata.   She then whistled three short bursts in the direction of the stallion barn and two Anatolian Shepherds appeared from deep inside it.  They must have been napping because they stretched their legs for a couple of steps and then came running with tails wagging.

“Meet Ralph and Lauren,” said Renata.

“Jalissa laughed, “Of course that’s what you named them.  Still missing your days in Paris, at Louis Vuitton?” asked Jalissa.

“Those were good days, Jalissa, but this place is my destiny,” answered Jalissa in a serious tone, but still smiling.

The two women looked at each other for a moment and then Renata, turned and headed toward the house with Ralph, Lauren and Jalissa falling into step beside her.

 

“Gina,” Renata called out as she opened the back door leading to the kitchen and she with her entourage in tow stepped in.

“I’m here,” said Gina, stepping around the corner hopping as she pulled on her other boot.

Gina stopped in mid boot pull when Jalissa stepped from behind Renata.  Gina had always thought Renata was beautiful, but Jalissa was breathtaking and at least ten years younger than Renata.  Her black hair tumbled down past her shoulders in loose waves.  Her skin was the color of mahogany and her eyes were emeralds. Her tiny t-shirt which bore the name of Renata’s fashion label, bigshotcowgirl, exposed the slightest midriff. She wore jeans that accented her hips and a very fit, gluteus maximus.  A pair of red leather boots engulfed the lower part of her jeans to finish out the ensemble.

“Hello, Gina.  I’m Jalissa Green,” said Jalissa.

Gina managed to regain control of her jaw and said, “Hello, nice to meet you.”

Suddenly, they heard a shrill whinny.  Ralph and Lauren ran to the back door, whining and scratching at it.  Renata opened it and the dogs blasted out the door toward the sound.  The whinnying continued…more frantic.  It was coming from the paddock nearest the front pasture, northwest of the house.

“That’s one of the broodmares!” said Renata as she bolted toward the gunrack in the hall and grabbed her shotgun.  “Let’s go Gina!” she said as she headed out the side door to the garage.

“I’m coming too!” said Jalissa, running out the door behind them and jumping into the back of Renata’s jeep.

“Gina, you drive!” commanded Renata as she jumped into the passenger side, shotgun in hand.

The key was already in the ignition, so Gina started the jeep and shot out the back of the open garage.

The tires squealed a little as she put the jeep in drive and peeled out of the driveway.  They sped over the cattle guard and then Gina wheeled the jeep a sharp right toward the commotion in the front pasture.

They all gasped.  “My god!” said Jalissa.

At the top of the hill, they saw a baby black horse surrounded by three coyotes and her frantic mother, a chestnut, Arabian mare, running along the other side of the paddock fence, screaming. The baby was crying too, but could barely be heard over the mother’s frantic cries.  As they sped toward the calamity, they saw Timmy, the golden pony, gallop up and start kicking one of the coyotes and then as if on cue, Ralph and Lauren burst onto the scene.  Those coyotes didn’t have a chance.  They were outgunned and they knew it.  So as if they were connected telepathically, all three of them sped off at once.  Ralph and Lauren took off after them, but Timmy was standing with the baby as they arrived at the scene.  Renata jumped from the jeep, shotgun at the ready before Gina brought it to a complete stop.  She strode toward Timmy who stood protecting the trembling filly.  Mom was still running the fence line whinnying frantically.

Gina and Jalissa were now by Renata’s side. Gina put her arms around Timmy’s neck, and he nuzzled her while Renata ran her fingers over the baby, checking for injuries.  Finding no injuries, Renata stroked the baby’s neck and said, “You’re okay, little Sapphire.  That was a close call.” Then Renata called out to the mare, “Rose, your little girl is okay.”

The chestnut mare, continued to trot along the fence, upset that her filly was not by her side.

Gina and Jalissa were now consoling the filly too, as Timmy sauntered off into the pasture, grazing again as if this had all been a normal day in the life of a plucky, little pony.

Renata stood up and said, “Okay guys, help me herd this little girl back into the paddock and reunite her with mom. There’s a small gate just a little down the fence row, we’ll get her back in through there.  Renata began to coax the filly toward the gate, while Gina and Jalissa brought up the rear, tapping the filly’s rump from time to time.  The process wasn’t too difficult because the filly was drawn to her mother’s cries.

As they watched the filly trot toward her mother’s side after encouraging her through the gate, Jalissa said, “She’s beautiful, Renata.”

“I’m happy you think so, Jalissa. She’s yours.  She’s the surprise I was talking about,” said Renata.

The filly trotted back toward the fence as if to thank them. Jalissa bent down to touch her face and as she was tracing the star on Sapphire’s forehead with her finger she said, “Renata, this is too much.  I can’t accept this gift.”

“She’s not a gift,” laughed Renata.  “You have to work for her.   You have to help Gina and me at the ranch, when you’re not too busy with your law firm, of course,” Renata winked as she said it.

Jalissa stood up, tears in her eyes, and faced Renata.  The two women embraced as Gina looked on. “I love you, Renata,” said Jalissa.

“I know,” said Renata.

“Gina, come join this love fest,” said Jalissa, reaching out to her with one arm.

Gina joined their embrace.  She shed tears too because she had never felt such love before in her life.

“We three are a team,” said Renata.  “Team Olympic Spirit, in honor of the legacy of our beloved black stallion!”

AV Olympic Spirit
AV Olympic Spirit-The Black Stallion
Ambush
Ambush
Rose
Rose
Ralph and Lauren
Ralph and Lauren

“Good Writing is Hard Work”

good-writing-3Snoopy Comic

I think I have like twelve loyal followers and I love you all, so I wanted to let you know that I haven’t stopped writing, just been redirecting a bit. I am currently working on the third Timmy Tale, which will be titled “Timmy and the Filly” and I’ve officially started writing my novel which was originally going to be called, Fyrestorm, but I’ve now decided on, The Red Filly, to pay homage to the original Arabian horse everyone fell in love with, The Black Stallion. Here is a picture of my copy from the 1968 printing, complete with Half Price Books sticker (that I can’t get off without ripping the cover):

IMG_5026

So before I get back to work, here’s the revised synopsis for The Red Filly:

The first time Chelsea Resmon sees the red filly, Fyrestorm, galloping in the green pastures of Wisdom Ranch and Racing Stables, it’s love at first sight.  But Fyrestorm is an outcast at the ranch because of her bad bloodlines.  Half-Arabians aren’t suitable for horse racing Chelsea is informed.  Chelsea is an outcast at her high school, because she too is different. She can’t help but be drawn to Fyrestorm. Chelsea forms a bond with the filly  and begins to ride the magnificent filly in secret.  For the first time in her life, Chelsea feels empowered and like her life has meaning, but then an accident threatens to separate Chelsea and Fyrestorm forever.

Bargain Table Horse Books and Arabians

IMG_4353

It seems that every horse coffee table book I’ve ever picked up from a book store bargain table always includes Arabian horses.  I started thinking about this because I was disappointed that the book pictured above doesn’t contain one of my favorite breeds, Marwari.  But then I thought, well, I guess it would be pretty impossible to include every breed of horse in every coffee table book.  But then I thought further and realized they always include Arabians.  (At least the ones I’ve seen.)

This book even has one section completely devoted to them:

IMG_4354

While the rest of the breeds are grouped into categories:

IMG_4355

A quote from the book: “With his tiny curved ears, large liquid eyes, extravagantly dished face and luxurious mane and tail, the Arabian is the horse of dreams.”

Another quote: “This beautiful ancient breed is thought to go as far back as 3000BC and has strongly influenced many of today’s more modern breeds of horse.”

I’ve been aware for some time that the Arabian horse influenced many other breeds, most notably the thoroughbred through the three foundation stallions;

The Byerley Turk:

270px-Byerly_Turk
The Byerley Turk by John Wootton

The Darley Arabian:

Darley_Arabian
The Darley Arabian stallion painting by John Wootton

And the Godolphin Arabian (my personal favorite):

Godolphin_Arabian
The Godolphin Arabian, by George Stubbs

(I’ll write more about these three Arabians in another post.)  I was surprised to learn that Arabians also directly influenced the American Quarter Horse.  Growing up in Texas, it always seemed that Quarter Horse owners and Arabian owners are of different mindsets.  It still seems that way actually. So other than a little Arabian blood coming through to the American Quarter Horse via early Thoroughbred foundation stallions, I had no idea that there were full blooded Arabians among the early Quarter Horses until I read an article in the December 2018 issue of Equus that mentioned two Crabbet-bred Arabians who were direct sire-line descendants of Mesaoud, one of the foundation sires of the Crabbet Arabian Stud in England.

Mesaoud
Mesaoud at Crabbet Park

The stallions were Astraled and Ribal:

Astraled

ribal2

I never tire of learning about Arabian horses and their influence on other breeds and their appearance throughout human history.  I have much more to learn about the Arabian horse, but as in everything I love, I am a life-long learner.  I welcome comments and additional information as I know this blogpost just barely scratches the surface. I’m learning as I write!

Timmy and the Girl-A Timmy Tale

Just for fun I’m going to write a series of short stories centered around my little rescue horse, Timmy. Here’s the first one! Timmy is just so cute I felt compelled to write stories about him! Hope you guys like it!

CuteTimmyatcar
Timmy

Gina shimmied under a low spot beneath the white, pipe fence separating the front pasture of Kuhaylah Arabians from the road, and the pony trotted right up to her as always.  She pulled the carrot from her pocket and, not wasting any time, he took the entire treat in his mouth before the rest of the herd noticed.  The pony was the smallest of the bunch and not a purebred, like the rest of them. He was a cutie though, a beautiful coppery, golden color, with a dishwater blonde mane and tail and a jagged, white, blaze running the full length of his face to the tip of his nose.  And on this lovely Spring day, his slick coat glistened in the sun.  The pony didn’t leave after he finished the carrot, but stayed with Gina.  She was drawn to him because she was an outsider in her circles too.  And, like him, she had dishwater blonde hair, although it was cuter on him in her opinion. Gina felt less than cute with her skinny body, flat chest and long, stringy, often tangled, hair.

Gina spoke softly to the pony, rubbing his neck and scratching his cheek, the way he liked. “I love you little boy, I wish I could stay here with you,” she said as she started to cry.  She hugged his neck as the events of the previous day came crashing back into her brain.

“We have to add Gina Targoff to the list,” Chet whispered.

“Of course! She should be at the top!” responded Cassie, in a louder whisper. Chet, Cassie, and their minions all giggled.

Gina was keeping her head down, pretending to read whatever textbook she had opened in front of her.  She refused to cry; she would not show them weakness.  Even though Gina knew they were whispering loud enough for her to hear on purpose.  Dale City High School was almost a daily exercise in humiliation.  She fought back the tears though…

“Yeah Gina is definitely the ugliest girl in the school,” said Chet.

They all laughed again.

The golden pony put his head on Gina’s shoulder as if he was trying to comfort her.  She hugged him tighter and just let the tears flow until there were no more, but she continued to hug him, just taking in his horsey scent and allowing it and the quiet to calm her mind.

“Timmy has really taken to you,” said a voice behind Gina. One with the slightest hint of an accent, an accent from another country though, not rural Texan as Gina had grown accustomed to.

Gina straightened and jumped back a step from the pony in one quick move.

“I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be here,” said Gina looking up at the woman astride a black, Arabian stallion, solid black save a small white star on his forehead.

“Come closer girl,” said the woman.

Gina walked toward her and saw that she was probably around her mother’s age. She was attractive, with an exotic look about her.  She had her long brown hair pulled back with a black velvet scrunchy.  But then Gina’s eyes were drawn back to the horse.  So much like the black stallion she had read about, except the one in the books was solid black. But this stallion before her had the same wild look of the one in the books; thick black mane, forelock blowing in the breeze about his face, and a thick, flowing tail.  He pranced about a bit and snorted a couple of times.  The woman said something to him that Gina couldn’t quite hear, and he settled down.

“What is your name?” asked the woman.

“Gina…Gina Targoff,” Gina answered. “Please don’t have me arrested. I’ll never come on your property again.”

The woman laughed. But in a lilting way, not in a, you’re darn right you’re going to jail, kinda way.

“I was actually thinking of offering you a job. I’ve watched you with Timmy. You two have formed quite a bond.”

“Timmy, a cute name, for a cute little boy!” said Gina.

The woman laughed again.  “My name is Renata Silva and I am the owner of this ranch.  So, what about the job?” Renata asked.

“I don’t know anything about horses or ranches,” Gina answered.

“Do you know how to drag a water hose or carry buckets?”

“Umm, yes…” answered Gina.

“Okay, good.  We’ll start with that,” Renata smiled.

Gina smiled back and then jumped when something firm and soft rubbed the small of her back. She spun around and little Timmy nuzzled her chest.   Gina reached out and stroked his face.

“He loves you and trusts you.  You’re a natural with horses,” said Renata.

“He’s so sweet. May I ask how he came to be here among…” began Gina.

“…among all these purebred Arabians?” said Renata finishing her sentence.

“Well…yes.  Is it rude to ask?” said Gina.

Renata laughed again. A sound like music to Gina. “No, it’s not rude, Gina.  He was my horse, when I was a young girl in Brazil. The story of how he and I came to be here in this small north Texas town is a long one,” Renata said with a smile on her face.  “Spend a little more time with Timmy and then head up to the big house and I’ll show you around,” said Renata as she wheeled her black stallion around and galloped up the hill toward the house.

Gina watched the beautiful woman in control of such a magnificent animal and couldn’t help wishing that could be her one day.  She turned back to Timmy and gave him a hug. “Did you hear that boy? Now I can see more of you and no more sneaking around!” One of the chestnut Arabian mares had come closer, curious about this skinny, young girl in the big pasture.  Timmy laid back his ears and turning on a dime chased her off as if to say, “This is my girl!”

Gina laughed, for the first time since she could remember. It had been a long, emotional journey from Dallas to Dale City. Even though they were only an hour apart, they were years apart in cultures, and the students of Dale City High did not respond well to a newcomer.  For the very first time in a long time, Gina felt like she was where she belonged.

 

Stallion Spotlight-Affirmativ

Affirmativ (Andreanov x Cedaridge Folaura) 1984-2009

Affirmativ is the sire of AV Olympic Spirit, resident black stallion at The Franch and he is grandsire to my two loves, Flame and Fyrestorm. He was owned by Jim and Renee Boeshans of Springfield, Oregon and Renee calls him their “miracle horse”.

Renee had taken her friend to Twin Fir Farms in Sisters, Oregon to look for a colt, when a sweet, little, black, one-month old colt decided to start following Renee around. She says, that while they were choosing a different colt for her friend, Affirmativ chose her.

He is their miracle horse because at the age of 18 months he broke his leg and they were devastated. Affirmativ was sent to Oregon State Veterinary Hospital for surgery and had a pin put in the leg, but was rejecting the pin and was sent home for the Boeshans to treat it. Miracle of miracles happened and it healed. They had not been expecting to be able to show or ride him, but the plucky young stallion made a full recovery. Affirmativ would go on to become a winner in country English pleasure and halter. He was Scottsdale’s Most Classic Arabian and Champion Native Costume horse in 1994. And later at the age of nineteen, he was shown in hunt seat, western and native costume by their granddaughter, Cortney Boeshans.

Affirmativ has over 100 foals in the U.S., Canada and Germany. The ones that have been shown have done very well, winning national, regional and Class A championships. One of which being, AV Olympic Spirit aka Spirit, who was 2004 Top 10 US National Champion Arabian Working Cow Jr Horse.

AV Olympic Spirit (Affirmativ x Raylee Asasi)

Affirmativ has the true, classic Arabian look with chiseled head, large eyes and long “hooky” neck that breeders strive for and it is passed on through his bloodlines as can be seen in his grandson, NH Fyrecracker aka Flame:

NH Fyrecracker (AV Olympic Spirit x Fyrelite Bynite)

The Arabian horse world is both large and small at the same time. Renee and I became friends on Facebook through the connection between our beloved horses and we both have a mutual love of the breed. I couldn’t be happier that Affirmativ chose Renee and became her “miracle horse”.

Affirmativ