When Emma Dean’s parents buy a plain sorrel mare with slightly crooked knees at a prestigious horse sale, Emma isn’t sure whether to be elated or disappointed. Cranky and irascible, the mare refuses to warm up to people or other horses. After she dumps Emma in the dirt on her first ride, Emma’s dad loads the mare in a trailer and takes her to a trainer to protect his daughter from the bumps, bruises and broken bones that can result from riding a cantankerous 2 year-old.
At first the mare seems like an outlaw, but beneath her plain red coat and independent attitude, the trainer slowly uncovers a surprising streak of hidden talent and an unexpected natural balance and athletic ability. When a well-known cutting horse trainer approaches Emma’s parents about training the mare for the NCHA Futurity, the family must make a difficult decision. Should they stretch their already strained budget to pay for training and futurity nomination fees? Could such a hardheaded little mare become a champion cutting horse?