Everything changes when a handsome stranger rides off into the night on Dusty's horse
There's no way around it: Dusty's horse Tazz needs to be put down. Once a champion jumper, Tazz can barely walk now due to hoof pain. And that's not the only thing that's wrong in Dusty's life. Since her mother's death, Dusty's dad hasn't stopped drinkingeven after his drunk driving put Dusty in the hospital with a now-chronic back injury. Why don't they just put me down too? she wonders.
While Dusty is giving Tazz one last grooming, his ears suddenly prick up as a stranger approaches: a young boy with an otherworldly beauty. He offers to take Tazz with him, and the two race off into the distance as though Tazz were in perfect health, with the boy perched on his back. Who could this person be? And what is he doing here?
It's only when Dusty returns to school the next day that she hears about the boy who was killed. When she sees his photo in the newspaper, she knows that he's the mysterious guy who rode off on Tazz. What she doesn't know is that he will soon return.