The Red Filly is a novel about a high school aged girl named, Bethany Resmon. She struggles with fitting in socially and makes many mistakes along the way during the story, even to the point of possibly losing her best friend. The main story arc involves her falling in love with a beautiful half-Arabian filly named, Fyrestorm, that she first lays eyes on as she arrives at Orion Racing Stables to take on her new job as an exercise rider of the racehorses that are raised and trained there. Bethany dreams of riding Fyrestorm one day and even becoming her owner, even though she knows her mom can’t afford the flashy filly.
The cost for a Channillo membership is 4.99/month and the first month is a free trial period, so if you don’t like it you can cancel. With a membership you have full access to the works of hundreds of writers. All proceeds from my series The Red Filly as well as my series, Timmy Tales, will be donated to Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue.
I recently added the second chapter of The Red Filly, on Channillo.com. Remember all proceeds from subscriptions to the series benefit Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue.
I’m having a lot of fun writing this story, which is inspired by a favorite book from my childhood, The Black Stallion. Although, my goal is not only to write about a girl and her horse, but address social issues as well. I hope to entertain with my writing as well as have a positive impact on society. I am very open to constructive criticism, as I continue to grow and learn as a writer. Thank you guys!
A quote from Gina Targoff’s best friend Strider Castillo (He is openly gay while Gina struggles to admit her true sexual orientation because of her overbearing, religious mother.):
“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.” This is a quote from “Timmy and the Red Stallion”.
I hope to explore humanity and the pain and suffering people from different walks of life endure and hopefully overcome through my stories. I don’t live in a white, straight, world and my stories reflect that.
Here’s my Channillo bio:
I am a pharmacist and thus an essential worker during this time of Covid. My staff and I were nervous like everyone else when it all started, but because pharmacies had to stay open, we had no choice but to continue working during lockdown. We’re less anxious now as we work behind sheets of plastic and faceshields and it seems that we’ve even become accustomed to this new way of life. Writing stories has always been a dream of mine. A dream I first fully realized in seventh grade when my home room teacher asked me what I’d like to be when I grow up. I answered, writer, without hesitation. Even though in my area in north Texas, restaurants and such are open again, I don’t feel comfortable going out yet. At first that led to depression, but then I realized I could use the opportunity to write.
Timmy Tales is the first of many series I plan for Channillo. I came late to owning horses too. When I was growing up in an apartment in California, with no horses in sight, I read The Black Stallion series and any other horse books I could get my hands on and dreamed of one day living on a farm and owning my own horses.
I now live in north Texas in the suburbs. I didn’t make it to farm life, but I did finally realize my dream of horse ownership. My horses live 45 minutes away from me on a 200+ acre ranch. I love all animals, so I have many.
I board 4 horses at the ranch affectionately known as The Franch (Frances’s ranch). Two of them are rescues (one of which is Timmy) and the other two are Arabians. I live in the burbs with my daughter, four cats and 3 dogs, all of which are rescues. Well, except for my daughter. 🙂
I placed my Timmy Tales series on Channillo and plan to add The Red Filly once it’s accepted. All proceeds from both series will benefit Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue. Here’s the link to the series:
The sweet Tennessee Walker in the picture above is a horse that I’m currently sponsoring at Becky’s Hope and her name is Mary.
Like many people, I became fully aware of the impact Becky’s Hope has had in the animal rescue world when I heard about, Bubbles, The Rescue Horse:
His story is inspiring and full of hope. He was obviously a horse who had led a rough life, but he was still brimming with love and hope when Becky’s Hope found him. This is the short version of what led to his rescue, “Bubbles, a smart old horse with frostbit ears, escaped a kill lot by hiding with a group of mini donks being rescued from slaughter and hopping a ride on the Freedom Trailer bound for Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue!”
Sweet Bubbles has since passed away, but he found great joy and happiness in his final years at Becky’s Hope, even falling in love with a mare named, Muffit:
Check out his Facebook page, which is now run by another sweet rescue horse named, Pops:
Here is Pops with Bubbles and Muffit:
Horse rescue is dear to my heart, in fact all animal rescue is important to me. It’s only 50 dollars a month to sponsor a horse at Becky’s Hope and any donation is welcome. Thousands of people view the FB and Twitter posts for Becky’s Hope as well as the FB page for Bubbles The Rescue Horse, so if everyone just donated one dollar that would make an enormous impact.
For more info about Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue, Inc and Bubbles The Rescue Horse, check out the following FB pages, Twitter and their website:
“Of course, I’ll help your little sister, Lucas,” said Antonia.
“Thank you, Antonia. I knew I could count on you. Kobi will be so happy! She’s already in love with this horse. I know you’re not running a boarding facility, but I’ll pay any monthly fees you require.”
“Lucas, you’ve helped me on so many occasions, I owe you,” said a smiling Antonia face raised, looking into his hazel eyes. “I’ll expect some work out of her though,” Antonia continued, still smiling.
“Of course,” said Lucas looking down at her and smiling too.
Antonia reached out and took Lucas’s right hand in hers. There was a strong bond between the athletic, bronze-skinned deputy and the lovely dark-haired lady from Brazil. Antonia broke the moment by stepping back and asked, “So when can I expect my new border?”
Lucas cleared his throat and said, “I’ll call Strider and let him know you agreed, and they can go pick up the horse. They purchased him at the auction last night to save him from the “killer buyers.”
“What breed is the horse?” asked Antonia.
“He’s a thoroughbred. He apparently has a minor injury and was therefore deemed no longer useful by your neighbor, Kirk Robertson,” answered Lucas.
Antonia frowned and said, “Horses are a lifelong responsibility. Just because they can’t be ridden anymore is no excuse to betray and abandon them.” Antonia’s fists tightened as she said it.
“I knew you felt that way Antonia. You keep old Ambush around and even Timmy, who’s never been ridden. It’s one of the many things I admire about you,” he said smiling.
It was late evening when the truck and trailer pulled into Kuhaylah Arabians. School was out for the day, so Gina was at the ranch and standing next to Antonia as they watched the truck pull the trailer up the long drive.
“Let’s meet them at the small barn,” said Antonia as she started walking toward the small red barn on the corner of the property. There were no horses in it at the moment. They had just been using it to store hay.
Antonia and Gina arrived at the front of the barn just as the truck was reaching the bend in the driveway right in front of it. Antonia signaled to Strider to stop the truck. Strider had been driving the rig at a snail’s pace, but it was very dry and there was a slight breeze on this cool, crisp, autumn evening, so a little cloud of white dust wafted over them. Strider stepped out of the truck and was immediately joined by a slim, brown-skinned girl with black hair in braids as she slid out right behind him on the driver’s side, shutting the door behind her.
“Hey Antonia,” said Strider as the new girl looked on. “This is Kobi Remington, Lucas Remington’s younger sister.”
“Nice to meet you, Kobi,” said Antonia smiling.
Timmy, the ever-curious golden pony, came trotting up from the big pasture to check out the new arrival.
“Nice to meet you too,” answered Kobi. “And thank you so much for doing this. I really love this horse!”
“I’m always willing to help a fellow horse lover! We are kindred spirits.”
“Hi Kobi, nice to see you. How’s your friend, Bethany?” asked Gina.
“She’s fine, I guess, I’m not really speaking to her right now, but I don’t want to talk about it,” said Kobi looking toward Gina, but she then turned toward Timmy, “What a cute pony.”
“That’s Timmy, he’s the head of the welcoming committee at Kuhaylah Arabians,” laughed Antonia.
As if on cue, Timmy walked straight up to Kobi and nuzzled her neck as she giggled.
“He likes you,” said Antonia, “and he seems to like your charge too. Let’s get him out of the trailer.”
The trailer was a small, white, two-horse affair. The horse was on the left, so Kobi opened the right rear door after lowering the ramp and stepped inside. “It’s okay Charlie Brown, you’re safe now,” she said to the horse. He softly nickered to her as if he understood.
Strider opened the left rear door after she reached the head of the horse.
It was obvious Kobi had a bond with the horse because she just tugged back on the lead rope a little while lightly tapping on his chest and he began to slowly back out as she talked softly to him.
He was a sight to see as he stepped out of the trailer into the evening sunlight. He was a well built, bay thoroughbred with a blaze running down his entire face. Kobi turned him around to face the group and said, “His name is Charlie Brown.”
“Charlie Brown? What a weird name for a horse,” said Gina.
“His sire is Big Brown, the 2008 Kentucky Derby winner,” said Kobi.
“But unfortunately for him, he didn’t take after his sire. Too slow,” said Strider.
Timmy walked up to Charlie Brown and they touched noses. They immediately bonded, no squealing or pawing at each other.
“Looks like Timmy found himself a best friend. Let’s take him into the small barn and check him over,” said Antonia.
Kobi began to lead Charlie Brown toward the barn and he limped a little on his front right leg.
“Stop a moment, Kobi, so I can check out his leg,” said Antonia.
“He has a suspensory ligament injury,” said Strider.
Antonia walked up to the horse, bent down and placed her hand on his leg. “His leg does feel warm and there is a little swelling. It’s a common injury in horse racing, but it seems minor. Just a little stall rest, anti-inflammatories, and support bandages and he should be fine. Why was he sentenced to certain death?” asked Antonia.
“Like I said, too slow. Orion Racing Stables has no room for a slow racehorse,” said Strider.
Antonia’s body tensed with anger as she straightened back up. “Ridiculous! This horse would make an excellent dressage prospect. He’s young and healthy. Besides, animal ownership is a lifelong commitment!”
“We knew you would feel that way,” said Strider with a smile.
“What’s dressage?” asked Kobi.
“It’s an elegant style of riding that this beauty would be well suited for. I used to compete on horses like this when I lived in Paris,” said Antonia.
“Paris, Texas?” asked Kobi.
Antonia laughed, “Paris, France.”
“Paris, France?! Wow! Could you teach me dressage?” asked Kobi.
“I can,” said Antonia, smiling and continued, “Let’s take Charlie Brown into the barn and get him settled for the evening.”
Gina opened the white, metal gate to let Charlie and his entourage through to the small paddock area in front of the little, red barn. Timmy tried to bring up the rear, but Gina gently pushed him back and closed the gate. “Sorry buddy. You can see your new friend later,” she said as she rubbed his nose.
Timmy stood guard at the gate as they all went inside the barn to help their new resident settle into his forever home.
I’ve been following Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue on Facebook for some time and when they posted that they needed a sponsor for the beautiful, Mary, I couldn’t resist. She’s a Tennessee Walker and here is her bio:
Animal rescue is important to me and I’d like to dedicate my life to it through my writing. As I’ve mentioned on my home page I have several rescues of my own. I wish I could save all of them!
Becky’s Hope has saved countless lives and continues to do so. If you sponsor a horse (which is only 50 dollars a month), you get this cool certificate (and the above bio and thank you card):
Joey is the biography of a horse, but not a famous horse like Man O’ War or Seabiscuit, just a regular horse that was saved from bad circumstances and in return rescued his rescuers. Everyone who ever meets Joey can’t help but fall in love. Joey had been a show horse early on, but after an injury ended his show career he was passed from owner to owner and eventually ended up in a neglectful situation, which often happens to horses who are considered no longer “useful”. At some point during this time he went completely blind, which was probably due to malnutrition.
Along comes Kim Tschirret who has a dream to unite troubled horses with troubled kids and Hope Reins is born. Joey along with another Appaloosa, named Speckles, arrive together at the fledgling therapy horse ranch to be among the first group of horses to help troubled kids. The volunteers at the ranch, along with Kim, learn as they go and have to face special challenges brought on by a blind horse like Joey. The book is inspiring because they learn and adapt to Joey’s needs as well as the needs of the children entrusted to their care.
There is a strong Christian theme to this book, which I thought might be off-putting for me because I am not particularly religious; although I do believe in a higher power. But, it’s actually heartwarming following the main players and how each of them addresses their individual faiths and hope in God and the miracle that is Hope Reins.
Warning; tears will be shed in the reading of this book. Sometimes the tears will be because of sadness, but mostly because the book is heartwarming. Reading this book strengthened my belief in the something more that all of us can have faith in and the ability of some people to truly access the goodness with themselves. I highly recommend this book for horse lovers and anyone who wants further evidence that there is true kindness to be found amongst the humans.
This book was a gift from my beloved Franch horses:
Pretty sure my dear friend, Julz, helped them pick it out! 😉
When Antonia 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 Antonia whistled to the stallion.
Spirit’s head shot up at the sound of Antonia’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, Antonia.”
“Thank you, Jalissa,” said Antonia.
“I won’t lie, Antonia. 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 Antonia.
“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 Antonia’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 Antonia.
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. Antonia 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 Antonia. 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 Antonia.
“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 Antonia, turned and headed toward the house with Ralph, Lauren and Jalissa falling into step beside her.
“Gina,” Antonia 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 Antonia. Gina had always thought Antonia was beautiful, but Jalissa was breathtaking and at least ten years younger than Antonia. 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 Antonia’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. Antonia 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 Antonia 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 Antonia’s jeep.
“Gina, you drive!” commanded Antonia 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. Antonia 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 Antonia’s side. Gina put her arms around Timmy’s neck, and he nuzzled her while Antonia ran her fingers over the baby, checking for injuries. Finding no injuries, Antonia stroked the baby’s neck and said, “You’re okay, little Sapphire. That was a close call.” Then Antonia 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.
Antonia 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. Antonia 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, Antonia.”
“I’m happy you think so, Jalissa. She’s yours. She’s the surprise I was talking about,” said Antonia.
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, “Antonia, this is too much. I can’t accept this gift.”
“She’s not a gift,” laughed Antonia. “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,” Antonia winked as she said it.
Jalissa stood up, tears in her eyes, and faced Antonia. The two women embraced as Gina looked on. “I love you, Antonia,” said Jalissa.
“I know,” said Antonia.
“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 Antonia. “Team Olympic Spirit, in honor of the legacy of our beloved black stallion!”
“PMU is used to produce estrogen and hormone-replacement drugs such as Premarin, PremPro and PremPhase and DUAVEE, a “PremPro-Lite” which contains Premarin. PMU drugs are made by keeping mares constantly pregnant and collecting their estrogen-rich urine.“-equineadvocates.org
Several years ago when I volunteered at Hope for Horses, a horse rescue which was formerly located in Blue Ridge, Texas, I learned about the details of the PMU industry. As a pharmacist, I already knew that the Premarin stood for “Pregnant mares’ urine”, but I had no idea as to the extent of the cruelty in the industry. I was inspired by what I learned to write the following short story from a Premarin mare’s point of view. The story is sad, but there is hope for the mare, because Hope for Horses and many other rescues throughout the U.S. and Canada have saved thousands of these mares and their foals and continue to do so. Please consider the multitude of alternatives for hormone replacement therapy. Estrace, for example, is one of the many alternatives available and is plant based and it has a very inexpensive generic, estradiol.
Author note: I took some poetic license with this story because I have never actually visited a PMU farm.
The Premarin Mare
The man was leading me through the large, cold building. I could see the heads of the other mares above their stalls. But worst of all I could hear their mournful cries. I had lived among other horses before, but I had never encountered such an intense smell of manure and urine before in my life. There were too many horses in this building.
I nickered softly to the man who led me through this hellish nightmare. I hoped that he would have sympathy for me and take me away from this place. He refused to turn and look at me. I stretched out my head and nuzzled his neck. He turned and struck me so viciously with his fist that I was stunned. I had never been treated roughly by a human before.
It seemed ages ago that two other men had come to my home and had taken me away. I can still remember the sound of my little girl sobbing and calling my name after I was loaded into the trailer. Up until that moment I hadn’t been worried because I thought I might just be going to see the man who would look in my mouth. I could see my little girl through the panels on the side of the trailer. She was running toward me, her long blonde hair streaming out behind her. She was screaming my name between her wrenching sobs. I answered her screams. I whinnied frantically.
The last thing I saw as the trailer began to drive away was the big man who lived in the house running toward my girl. He swept up my sweet little girl into his arms and held her tight. She was struggling. She had pounded her fists into his chest as she screamed my name.
Now, the man was leading me into one of the tiny stalls. I stopped and refused to move forward. He reached out and pinched my nostrils together with his huge hand. The pain was excruciating, especially since he had just punched me there, but I still stood my ground. He called to someone else. Another man walked up behind me and pressed something against my flanks. Incredible pain surged through my body and I bolted forward.
I was immediately chained to the stall. I tried to rear and buck, but the chains were too strong. Once my energy was exhausted the men hooked tubes to my lower body. The tubes were uncomfortable and rubbed between my inner rear legs, but there was nothing I could do.
I awoke to the sound of the other mares whining horribly and struggling against their chains. It may have been morning, but I couldn’t tell. My stall was too far into the depths of this large dismal building for me to see outdoors. My legs ached from standing all night on the concrete.
Then I realized why the other mares were struggling so hard. Men were bringing around buckets of water. I had never been so thirsty in all my life and so I began to struggle too. The mares on either side of me tried to bite me as the man came closer. I snapped back at them. We had become like vicious animals. No longer did there exist a herd mentality among these mares. We were struggling violently to take care of our own needs.
The man stopped in front of my stall with the water bucket and I quickly sank my muzzle into it. But before I had taken three gulps, he ripped the bucket away from me and continued to the next mare. I whined after him pitiably. I was so thirsty. Surely more water would come around soon. As the men with the water buckets passed through the rows and rows of mares, I could hear them whining and struggling to get to the water.
Weeks or maybe months went by and nothing improved. My body ached. I would often dream of my little girl. She would be riding me across the pasture on a beautiful sunny day. She was as light as a feather and I cantered happily about the pasture listening to the sound of her laughter drifting above my head.
Maybe someday I will see her again and I will answer her laughter with a carefree whinny.