The only thing that Robin Gibson wants for her sixteenth birthday is a 1968 Presidential Blue Mustang. Following their family tradition, what her parents promise her is a horse of her own, one with four legs, not four wheels. Mom competes in endurance riding, Dad does calf roping, her older brother games and her older sister loves three-day eventing, but Robin proudly says that she doesn’t do horses. She’ll teach her controlling family a lesson by bringing home the worst horse she can find, a starved, abused two-year-old named Twazeim.
Robin figures she’ll nurse him back to health, sell him and have the money for her car. Rescuing and rehabilitating the Morab gelding might be a bigger challenge than what she planned. He comes between her and her family. He upsets her friends when she looks after his needs first. Is he just an investment or is he part of her future? And if she lets him into her heart will she win or will she lose?
Sixteen-year-old Vicky Miller feels overloaded since her parents filed for divorce. Her mother got the house and a new job. Her step-dad has the new car and a new girlfriend. Vicky has the five kids, her younger half-brothers and sisters who range from 18 months to 10 years old to look after and her own life now comes second to their needs and wants.
It’s been six months of house-cleaning, baby-sitting, cooking, non-stop laundry and Vicky is through waiting for her life to improve. She has plans for her sophomore year at Lincoln High and they don’t include being an unpaid servant. If it takes a constant battle to attend her riding classes and complete her internship at Shamrock Stable, she’s ready to fight for her goal to be the best natural horse trainer around.
Her parents may not have time for her to be with horses, but she has dreams no one can steal. Why should she give them away? But will keeping them mean she loses her family?
All Sierra McElroy wants for Christmas is a guarantee that the beloved horses who live at Shamrock Stable will be home for the holidays. Watering, feeding and mucking are part of her daily responsibilities and she’s good with that. However, when her mother decides they can’t keep every horse in the barn and should sell a few to some of their lesson students, Sierra definitely has issues.
Family shouldn’t be for sale, especially when the would-be buyers won’t take care of her four-legged kin appropriately. She needs to come up with a plan to keep everyone home where they belong. A stall-decorating contest may prove to be the answer until an unexpected snow storm shuts down the barn.
Now, what can she do to save her friends and Christmas for her two-legged family too?
If the going gets tough, wanta-be cowboys exit stage left, according to Sierra McElroy. Before her life was nothing but horses. Now, Sierra has a new car (new to her), a new puppy, a new school, a new coach, and a new basketball team. However, she's brought her same old patterns into this new life.
She still doesn't have any patience for stupid people who are a waste of time, space and oxygen. In order to take over Shamrock Stable someday, Sierra needs to learn how to deal with the same people who make her crazy.
Why does it have to be so difficult?
Champion show rider, Dani Wilkerson loves her Quarter Horse mare, Lady and wants to ride Western or ‘cowgirl’ style with her friends at Shamrock Stable. However, her glory-seeking parents have other plans for Dani that include three-day eventing and an eventual career in Olympic competition. They think all her riding activities should support this goal. While she wishes they understood her need to express her individuality, she also hates to disappoint them.
Then she discovers their plans to enroll her in an elite boarding school, sell Lady, and buy her an award-winning, event horse. Stunned by the betrayal, Dani knows she must stop them somehow. She isn’t a mere extension of their egos. When she fights back, she learns just how far they will go to achieve their ends, but how can she possibly defeat them?
Sixteen-year-old Cicely Ellis ‘knows’ her parents never wanted her. They abandoned her at the age of four, going off to new lives without a kid like her. They didn’t leave her homeless. They passed her on to aunts and uncles like a pet or a toy when they were done with it – and her. Cicely ‘knows’ she should be grateful to have a roof over her head; she certainly hears it often enough.
Nobody understands the passion she has for horses, or the dream to be a world-famous, international equestrian star. So, Cicely works at Salmon Pond Stable after school and on weekends, watering, mucking, cleaning tack, grooming, saddling – performing any horsey chore just to have the chance to ‘catch’ a ride on the horses. This makes her a ‘catch rider’ and causes some of the regular students to consider her their personal groom or servant or lackey. When the woman who owns Pallas Athena, the ‘horse of Cicely’s heart’ moves the Paint mare to Shamrock Stable, she goes too.
Now, Cicely has new things to learn. They don’t all have to do with horses or riding, but also the secret of the parents who left her behind years ago. Everything comes with a price, and no one rides for “free” in this world, but will the cost she pays be too high?