The Red Filly on Channillo

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!

Here’s the link to the series: The Red Filly

Writing in the Time of Covid

Timmy and Me

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:

https://channillo.com/series/timmy-tales-the-adventures-of-a-rescue-pony/

Sheila Varian-Dreamer and Doer

Sheila and Farlotta

Not too long ago a fellow horse loving friend loaned me the DVD, “The Legacy of Sheila Varian”. He said, “You’ll love this because it’s all about Arabians,” or something along those lines. I didn’t watch it right away because I figured it was a boring documentary about some rich lady and her horse farm. I finally popped it in a week or two later and found myself drawn in by this woman, who was the quintessential dreamer of dreams!

Sheila Varian did not come from a rich family. She fell in love with Arabians the same way I did, through reading the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. Her parents weren’t horse people but supported her dreams and at the age of eight she started riding her first horse, a Morgan/Percheron mix and because money was tight, learned to ride bareback. She didn’t acquire her first saddle until the age of twelve.

Horses were in Sheila’s blood, heart and soul from the start and while working as a high school physical education teacher, she worked toward her dream. Farlotta was her first Arabian and most beloved of all. When Farlotta passed on to the rainbow bridge at the young age of seven due to health problems, Sheila was holding her cherished mare’s head in her arms.

Sheila later acquired the mare Ronteza, who would set Sheila on her way toward creating her legacy. In 1961 Sheila and Ronteza won the Open Reined Cow Horse Championship at The Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. She was the first amateur, the first woman and had the first Arabian to take the title.

Through acquiring mares from Poland and careful breeding over the years, Sheila Varian created the dynasty that is now known as Varian Arabians. Her is a link for the video that tells the story of this great lady and her legacy:

The Legacy of Sheila Varian

At one point in the documentary Sheila talked about following your dreams. I can’t remember the exact quote, but what she said really made an impression on me. This woman was not rich, or beautiful (in the traditional sense), but she was driven. I’m sure she encountered pain and roadblocks along the way, but she didn’t let that stop her. She lived the life she wanted and that is inspiring!

Sheila and Ronteza

Marwari-The Desert Horse of India

The Marwari is a rare and ancient breed of horse that originated in the Marwar region of western India. The breed is easily recognizable due to its inwardly curved ears. The Marwari is believed to be descended from the warhorses of the Rajput warriors of the Marwar region.

The origins of the Marwari horse are uncertain, but the breed is likely to have been influenced by Turkoman type horses brought to the area by Mughul invaders, as well as the Arabian horse. There is an Indian legend that seven Arabian horses of good breeding were shipwrecked off the shore of the Kachchh District and were taken to the Marwar region to be used as foundation bloodstock for the Marwari. Like the Arabian, the Marwari is know for its hardiness and also like the Arabian they were bred as warhorses. They were renowned for their courage in battle and loyalty to their riders. It was said that a Marwari horse would only leave a battle under three conditions; victory, death, or carrying its master to safety.

Maharana Pratap on Chetak, Moti MagriUdaipur, by Ankur P

Chetak was a legendary Marwari horse. The grey stallion purportedly carried Maharana Pratap to safety after he slayed the last of the Moghuls in the battle of Haldighati. The courageous stallion was said to have been brave enough to take on an elephant and reared so that Pretap was able to kill the Moghul who sat atop the war elephant. Chetak was mortally wounded by the elephant’s tusks, but he carried his master to safety, traveling many miles before dying near a river.

The Marwari were almost eliminated during the British rule of India during the early 1900s. The British preferred their thoroughbreds and polo ponies and ridiculed the horses with the inward turning ears. Even after independence from Britain, the Marwari horse was still endangered because war horses were no longer needed and many of the Indian nobleman who bred them had lost their land.

The Marwari horse was on the verge of extinction until Maharaja Umaid Singhji stepped in to save them and his work was continued by his grandson, Maharaja Gaj Singh II.

Later in 1995 a British horsewoman named Francesca Kelly founded the group, Marwari Bloodlines. Then, along with her husband, Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod, they led a group in 1999 that founded the Indigenous Horse Society of India which helps promote and preserve the breed.

Ashwarya aka Rae Rae

Ashwarya who is named after a Bollywood actress is currently residing at The Kentucky Horse Park and she was donated to the park by Francesca Kelly. She’s the only Marwari horse in the U.S. presently as far as I can tell due to the fact that India does not allow the export of the breed at this time. According to my research, Francesca Kelly has since moved the rest of her Marwari brood to the UK. If anyone is aware of others in the U.S. I’d love to hear from you.

The Red Filly-Chapter 2

ApolloMarwariPic

“So how was it? Did you have fun?” asked Helene as she pulled their old pickup onto the two-lane country road at the end of the long gravel driveway.

“Yes, I had fun,” answered Chelsea.

“How about some details?” Helene again prodded.

“Mom, I had fun. I wish you wouldn’t interrogate me.”

Helene sighed and then said, “My new boss, Mr. Singh, invited us for dinner tonight.”

“Mom, I just want to go home. I don’t want to go anywhere,” Chelsea whined.

“Chelsea please, this is important to me. I really love my new job. You’ll like him. I promise.”

“Okay. I don’t have a choice, do I?” said Chelsea.

Helene laughed, “Not really.”

Chelsea didn’t respond and just looked out the window as they drove down the country road into town.  Her view consisted of field after field of mostly cows, occasionally horses and wood frame houses.  Many of the houses needed repairs and a new coat of paint.  There wasn’t a lot of money in Dale City. Most people lived off the land or paycheck to paycheck, except for the lucky ones that worked at James Corp, the best employer in the small town.

As they pulled into town, some of that prosperity could be seen.  There were better houses, even brick, ranch style types, which were popular among the rural, middle class.   Over the years several businesses had cropped up in town, including several chains like McDonalds, Burger King, and such.  Helene slowed the rambling truck to 35 mph as she pulled into the old downtown.  She pulled into one of the angled parking spots in front of a shop which bore the sign, Singh’s Antiques and Curiosities.  At first Helene had been a little worried about coming to work for a “foreigner”, not because she was xenophobic, but because there were rumors of white supremacist groups still operating in the small, Texas town.   Helene was well read and had dreamed of traveling the world, so she welcomed the chance to get to know Amir Singh. But she had been working at the shop for a month now, working on the daily operations and helping with the books and had seen no sign of racism from the townspeople who frequented the shop.  Maybe the fact that James Corp was owned by a black family had had a positive impact on the town.

Amir stepped out onto the walkway in front of his shop to greet them as they exited the truck, the heavy metal doors of the old truck screeching as they slammed them both shut.  Amir Singh was Helene’s age, but unlike her, he was fit. His black hair was cropped short, but was full and a bit wavy, complimenting his olive skin.

“Helene, so happy you and Chelsea could make it for dinner,” he greeted them with a smile.

“Hello Amir, this is Chelsea,” Helene said as she waived an arm toward her daughter as they both stepped onto the sidewalk.

“You call your boss by his first name?” Chelsea blurted out.

“We’re informal around here,” said Amir with a smile as he extended his right hand toward her.

Chelsea looked at his hand for a moment, then reached out and took it. She shook it firmly as her Dad had taught her before he left them. It was the only thing she ever learned from him.

Helene sighed as her body relaxed from her tense posture, which did not go unnoticed by Amir. He smiled toward Helene as if to say, “See, I told you everything would be fine.” She smiled back and the three of them headed inside.

They walked through the shop, which was full of the standard antiques found in any small, Texas town. There were old wooden dressers with chips and scratches, ancient looking garden gnomes, decorative plates on little metal stands depicting women with big, old fashioned dresses, and ceramic figurines in the shapes of cats and roosters and the like.

“Everything is so old in here!” said Chelsea.

“Chelsea!” Helene admonished.

“It’s ok Helene. She’s right, everything is old,” said Amir.

“Well why would people want to buy old things? Asked Chelsea.

“That’s an excellent question, Chelsea. I think sometimes old things, comfort people. They remind them of a simpler time, I assume,” Amir answered.

“That makes sense,” said Chelsea as they reached a door in the back that Amir opened and led them through.

“It smells funny in here,” said Chelsea.

“That’s because you’ve never smelled Indian spices before. I’ve made us some butter chicken and some naan,” said Amir.

“Just chicken with butter? And what’s nahn?” asked Chelsea.

“Come I’ll show you,” said Amir as they followed him to the back of the apartment to the kitchen. On the stove there was a large silver, metal pot that Amir walk toward and then lifted the lid. “Come look,” he invited.

Chelsea and Helene obliged, and they could see chicken covered in a brownish sauce inside the pot as they peered into it. “Oh, I like chicken and gravy,” said Chelsea.

“And here is the naan,” said Amir as he lifted a thin, white cloth from a plate on the counter.

“Oh, it’s just flatbread. I love bread!” said Chelsea.

Amir placed the cloth back over the bread and as he did that, Chelsea was distracted by a photograph on the wall just past the stove and near the kitchen table. It was a picture of Amir, although younger, smiling and standing next to a beautiful golden colored horse, with a blaze running down the length of its face. Chelsea walked closer to the photo and said, “What’s wrong with that horse’s ears?”

“There’s nothing wrong with Apollo’s ears. He’s a Marwari horse, their ears are supposed to curve inward.”

“Mahr-wahr-ee? How do you spell that?” asked Chelsea.

“M-a-r-w-a-r-i,” Amir answered.

“Marwari,” said Chelsea softly to herself. “Apollo was beautiful, he was your horse?” asked Chelsea.

“It’s a long story. Let’s discuss it while we eat supper,” said Amir as he began to scoop the butter chicken onto three plates. He handed one of the plates to Chelsea and he carried the other two to the table. “Helene, could you get the water pitcher from the fridge and fill three glasses for us?”

Helene retrieved the Britta water pitcher from the fridge and poured water into the three glasses that Amir had already placed on the table. Amir placed the plate of naan on the table after having microwaved it for a few seconds to warm it.

The three of them sat down at the table, which had already been set with forks and napkins. Amir reached for the plate of naan and removed one of the flat breads before passing the plate onto Helene. He then ripped off a small piece of naan and used it to pick up some of the chicken and then began eating.

Chelsea asked, “You’re not going to use a fork?”

“I’m eating in the traditional Indian way, but sometimes I use a fork too. I set the table with forks because I know that’s what you are used to.”

Chelsea copied his technique and used a piece of bread to eat the butter chicken. “I like eating this way,” she said.

“Well, I hope you two won’t be offended if I use a fork,” said Helene, smiling.

“Suit yourself, mom,” said Chelsea.

Amir smiled at Helene and then turned his attention to Chelsea. “Your mother tells me, that you got a job riding horses. I used to work on a horse ranch in India,” said Amir.

“You did? Is that where you met Apollo?” asked Chelsea.

“Yes, he was a prized Marwari stallion in those days. I miss him very much.”

“What happened to him?”

“He left this world some time ago. That picture was from another time, many years before you were born. Tell me about your job,” finished Amir.

“Oh, I’m going to exercise racehorses for Wisdom Racing Stable. But I’m most excited about the beautiful filly, my mom and I saw running in the pasture today! No one has ridden her because they said she can’t race because she’s half Arabian. But Mr. Castillo said if I can win her trust, they’ll let me ride her one day!”

“Why can’t she race because she’s half Arabian?” asked Helene.

“Mr. Castillo says that the Jockey Club won’t allow horses that aren’t full Thoroughbred to race,” Chelsea answered.

“That’s too bad because Arabians are excellent racehorses. They possess both speed and stamina. Marwari horses were infused with Arabian blood early in their history. According to legend, an Arabian ship containing seven Arabian stallions wrecked off the coast of India and were taken to the Marwar region to be used as bloodstock for the Marwari breed. The Marwari and Arabian horses are the most ancient breeds in the world, and both carried warriors into battle,” said Amir.

“Warriors! That’s so cool!” said Chelsea.

“Very cool, indeed. My ancestors were Rajput warriors, so I believe I was born with a love for the Marwari horse,” said Amir.

“So, what is the filly’s name and why did a Thoroughbred ranch breed a half-Arabian in the first place?” asked Helene.

“Her name is Fyrestorm and Mr. Castillo said her mom jumped the fence and got bred by the black Arabian stallion next door,” answered Chelsea.

“So, it was fate, that she was born and that you came into her life. I believe great things are on the horizon for you and Fyrestorm,” said Amir.

Timmy’s Best Friend

TimmyinfrontoftheRedBarn

“Of course, I’ll help your little sister, Lucas,” said Renata.

“Thank you, Renata. 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 Renata face raised, looking into his hazel eyes. “I’ll expect some work out of her though,” Renata continued, still smiling.

“Of course,” said Lucas looking down at her and smiling too.

Renata 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. Renata 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 Renata.

“He’s a thoroughbred. He apparently has a minor injury and was therefore deemed no longer useful by your neighbor, Kirk Robertson,” answered Lucas.

Renata frowned and said, “Horses are a lifelong responsibility. Just because they can’t be ridden anymore is no excuse to betray and abandon them.” Renata’s fists tightened as she said it.

“I knew you felt that way Renata. 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 Renata as they watched the truck pull the trailer up the long drive.

“Let’s meet them at the small barn,” said Renata 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.

Renata 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.  Renata 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 Gina, hey Renata,” said Strider as the new girl looked on. “This is Kobi Remington, Lucas Remington’s younger sister.”

“Nice to meet you, Kobi,” said Renata 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,” said Gina. “I haven’t seen you at Dale City High. Do you go there?”

“You haven’t seen her because she’s in eighth grade,” laughed Strider.

Kobi smiled at Gina, but then turned toward Timmy, “What a cute pony.”

“That’s Timmy, he’s the head of the welcoming committee at Kuhaylah Arabians,” laughed Renata.

As if on cue, Timmy walked straight up to Kobi and nuzzled her neck as she giggled.

“He likes you,” said Renata, “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 Renata.

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 Renata.

“He has a suspensory ligament injury,” said Strider.

Renata 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 Renata.

“Like I said, too slow. Wisdom Racing Stables has no room for a slow racehorse,” said Strider.

Renata’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 Renata.

“Paris, Texas?” asked Kobi.

Renata laughed, “Paris, France.”

“Paris, France?! Wow! Could you teach me dressage?” asked Kobi.

“I can,” said Renata, 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.

Timmy and Charlie Playing Video

Pictures of Timmy and Charlie Brown:

 

 

 

Hard at Work on the Next #TimmyTale

WritingaTimmyTale

On the surface, writing seems like it would be easy. I mean, you just sit there in front of a computer or relax in a chair while you write in a spiral notebook… How hard could that be? It’s not like laying concrete in 90 degree heat after all.  Yet so many of us writers seem to find it so hard to do.

When I was in my twenties, I couldn’t understand where writers got their ideas. But now in “middle age” (I’m 54), I have more ideas than I can possibly put into book form in one lifetime, so that shuts me down.

too-many-choices-paralyzes-progress

Too many choices paralyses progress.  Here’s a good article on the subject:

Too Many Choices: Problems With Searching for an Extraordinary Life

And for me, it’s not just writing, but being interested in so many things (like I think a lot or writers are), such as; astronomy, artificial intelligence, physics, it goes on and on…

Unlike the guy in the article, I didn’t have a childhood with choices or support, in fact, I mostly just had to survive my childhood.  But now, I do have choices, which has become a problem.  So because I can’t choose, for now, I’m going to keep writing Timmy Tales or other horse related short stories and horse related articles, because one constant in my life has always been horses.  Not that I had them growing up, but I read everything I could get my hands on about them, fiction or non-fiction and I watched every movie and tv show that had horses whether or not I liked the show itself.

So for now, I choose horses (and all my other 4-legged loves).

Joey and Chandler approve of this post:

JoeyandChandlerwriterhelpers

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

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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

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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.