When Heather travels to Oklahoma to visit family friends, she is introduced to barrel racing. Falling in love with this quick-paced sport, Heather is thrilled when she returns home and discovers Rimfire, a fabulous Morgan barrel racer who just happens to be for sale. When her parents refuse to buy yet another horse, Heather convinces her friend Nicholas to purchase Rimfire. Everything is going well until Heather decides to take Rimfire to a competition without Nicholas's permission. What will happen to the horse as he makes that final turn around the last barrel and more importantly, has Heather jeopardized her friendship all for the sake of a ribbon?
As Heather’s name was called to run her pattern, Laura came dashing in from the outskirts of the farm. Nicholas had been confused at first as to why Laura had called, but the two friends quickly figured out what Heather had done. Nicholas was upset that Heather had betrayed his friendship, while Laura was incredibly angry at the way Heather had used her to get Rimfire to the show. Laura apologized profusely to Nicholas, even though it wasn’t her fault, and promised to keep Heather from competing.
“Heather,” she called out, but it was too late.
Heather charged into the ring, her whole body tense, her mind on her problems instead of her horse, and her trembling hands clutching the reins tightly. Rimfire tossed his head as he neared the first barrel, trying to release the pressure on his mouth. The reins were too short and pulled the bit back against the bars of Rimfire’s mouth, forcing his head close to his chest. He needed to stretch his head out to help balance his body, but Heather refused to loosen the reins.
Rimfire managed to clear the first barrel, and as he aimed for the second one, Laura reached the ring. The instant she saw the pair in the ring, she noticed that Rimfire didn’t have his overreach boots on. “Heather!” she screamed, “Stop! Stop! Rimfire doesn’t have his boots on!” but her voice was drowned out by all the other people screaming, cheering, and yelling, “Pocket! Pocket!”
Coming around the second barrel, Heather’s preoccupation with Nicholas’s finding out what she’d done destroyed what little concentration she had left. She couldn’t hear Laura, nor did she notice all the screaming. Heather clenched the reins, and as Rimfire tried to curve his body around the barrel, his constrained body position forced him to stumble. He fell toward the barrel, and Heather’s shin slammed into the metal rim. The barrel moved and tilted and almost rolled over but then wiggled back into place.
Meanwhile, pain tore up Heather’s leg as a small trickle of blood oozed out onto her sock. At the same time, Rimfire’s back leg overreached and tore at the bulb of his front heel. He too, felt pain shoot up his leg, but the proud Morgan was in full race mode, and his competitiveness would not allow him to stop.
Rimfire took several tumbling steps forward, and the entire audience cringed. Would he fall?
The horse refused to succumb to defeat and fought the urge to go down. He wanted to run! Rimfire struggled to regain his balance and somehow, in mere seconds, he was back on his feet, charging to the final barrel.
“Pull up! Pull up!” shouted several people who could see blood seeping out of the back section of the horse’s front hoof. With the roar of the crowd once again at thunderous levels, Heather couldn’t hear what they were saying. She continued onward, still clutching the reins.
Rimfire raced around the last barrel, but the pain in his heel was too much, and he stumbled a second time. However, this time...
Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar
Ellen Feld's expert storytelling makes you feel like you're in the saddle, taking part in the adventure. Kids will love every page of this exciting and heartwarming story as it unfolds, while parents will appreciate the emphasis on safety, barn etiquette, and compassion for all animals. Ellen Feld has done it again!
Rimfire brings the exciting world of barrel racing to life in a fun and delightful way! A great book for our youth and a valuable reminder that quitters never win and winners never quit." - Martha Josey, AQHA, WPRA, NBHA World Champion, Olympic Medalist, Hall of Fame
"This book is wonderfully adventurous. I love how Heather and Nicholas develop a relationship with Rimfire. This book was fun to read and review and it’s definitely a keeper! My favorite things about this book are the skillfully named chapters and the great storyline! I learned a lot about barrel racing and horses! “Rimfire: The Barrel Racing Morgan Horse” by Ellen F. Feld is highly recommended and I won’t be exaggerating when I say that this book is spectacular!" - Sara McGinn (age 9) for Reader Views