Category: Books

Racing The Black

… and now the rest of the story!

dad writing


b&w Rearing web
Thought you might like these questions and answers from some students in the Horse Tales Literacy Program.
Enjoy your Sunday Ride.
And stop at the Ranch on your way home:-}

Subject: 4th grade questions

Message Body:
Dear Mr. Farley,
My name is Mr. Dan Range and I co- teach 4th grade vocabulary with Mrs. Garcia
in the Gadsden Elementary school district. We are located in San Luis, Arizona.
During our class time for the last month Mrs. Garcia and I have been reading
your fathers book “The Black Stallion” to the students as a read aloud. We just
finished this morning and the students have some questions that they would like
to ask of you in regards to your father’s book.
1. How did your father develop the character of Alec. Was he based on people he
knew in school or was there a particular family member that resembled his
2. Is the “Black Stallion based on actual events”
3. What made you and you brother decide to continue your father’s legacy in
regards to writing and literacy?
The students enjoyed the story of the Black stallion, so much so that we are
going to show the movie on Friday. Thank you for your commitment to literacy and
for writing and preserving such great American literature. The students look
forward to hearing from you.
Mr. Range and Mrs. Garcia
Arizona Deserts 4th grade class.

Dear Mr. Range, Mrs Garcia and students,
My dad started writing” the Black Stallion” on his parent’s kitchen table when he was only a bit older than your students, sixteen. He had never owned a pony or a horse but had the opportunity to work with his Uncle Bill at a farm in upstate NY. There was plenty of work and many tall tales about horses of all kinds from his uncle. One that was repeated often was about Uncle Bill’s experience in World War 1;
Bill served as a veterinarian in the Army Equestrian Corps, there were many horses used in battles at that time. If you have seen the movie “War Horse” it shows the pain and tragedy of that war, and Uncle Bill’s job was to keep the horses sound and fit.
One evening a cry went up that the base camp was being attacked and Bill jumped out of his tent to see a lone man on a huge black horse charging toward him, bomb in hand!! Bill knew that if the solider managed to throw the bomb many of his friends would die and he had to do something NOW. He raised his pistol and fired without hesitation. The shot killed the rider instantly, before he had a moment to react, and he and his bomb fell to the ground harmlessly. Uncle Bill had saved the camp, his friends and officers, he was a hero!
The Captain of the base was so impressed by Bill’s swift action he asked him what he wanted as a reward. Uncle Bill knew exactly what he wanted – that Huge Black Stallion!
From then on the German horse and Bill were inseparable – traveling all over Europe as war raged and, like Alexander The Great’s horse Bucephalus, he saved Uncle Bill’s life more than once. Finally the war finished and it was time to go home. Like thousands of other soldiers Bill made his way to France where he was to board a ship back to America. When he arrived he soon learned there was no room for his most important possession, his horse. He had to make a painful decision – his family or his stallion.
Bill found a farmer in a nearby town who would take his beautiful black stallion and with tears in his eyes he left Black with the farmer, promising to return soon.
It was years later before Bill could get the money to go back but that big horse was a treasure he wasn’t going to lose! His big stallion became the sire of many fine race horses for Uncle Bill, who treated him with love and care for the rest of his life.
This is the way the story was told to me.

I believe this family tale and Dad’s wish to be an adventurer created Alec Ramsay. Often as my father would run on the beach, he was a track runner in school, and I would wonder who he was – Alec or the Black? He seemed to be both of them at different times but his fascination with horses of all types and that special feeling of connection between human and animal was a constant. Dad didn’t want sad stories about horses, books like “Black Beauty” and later “King of the Wind”, he wanted exciting adventure and wild horses! The Black Stallion gave him the ability to meet people in all walks of life from jockeys and trainers to presidents, kings and movie stars. He was able to ride the Black Stallion around the world doing what he like best – having adventures and writing about horses.
You never know where your dreams might take you!

I grew up with my dad’s closest friend, the Black Stallion, and he was a real part of the family. Dad was able to own a few horses later in life but that special mystery horse was the BIG brother of the family. When I was just out of college I started working on the Black Stallion films as a photographer (attached pix). That was an fantastic adventure that took me from the race tracks of California to the Sahara desert in Africa. I worked with many exciting people and saw magic come to life – like the rainbow scenes at the end of the Black Stallion film.
We started our literacy program with family friend Mark Miller and Al-Marah Arabians. Mark was best friends with my sister Pam and she is the inspiration for the books “Black Stallion and the Girl” and “Black Stallion Legend”.
Mark had a wonderful horse theater, Arabian Nights, in Orlando, Florida and I always hoped we could do something together. Horse Tales started as a small idea that used my dad’s books and his horses to tell a story that made reading fun. It was hard at the beginning but after the first year we knew we couldn’t stop – too many teachers and students enjoyed the program. We’ve now had over a million students participate in ten states and three countries.

You can read more about my dad’s life;
Don’t forget to join the forum – you never know who you might meet there;
We have contests and discussion about horses, writing, movies … all kinds of topics.
Join us on FaceBook
Check up on the happenings at the Florida farm on FaceBook;
And in Arizona;
Thanks for writing … and reading!
Tim & Pamela Farley


Writer? Take a look!


I just received a letter from an equestrian publisher looking for new writers. If you, or your friends, have a story outline or submission you might drop them a note. email

New Release From Lavender and White Publishing Supports Equine Rescue Centre

The fact that large quantities of horsemeat have been found in many ready meal products has horrified consumers around the world. What no one has emphasised is that much of this meat comes from huge over production in the thoroughbred industry. If they don’t have the necessary speed these beautiful animals are discarded, often travelling huge distances crammed into lorries meeting incongruous and cruel ends in slaughter houses.

Horses who don’t go for meat can end up with well meaning, but inexperienced owners often with devastating consequences, becoming difficult, unmanageable and in some cases quite frankly dangerous.

A new book, Phoenix Rising by N S Newsome, from equestrian e-book publishers Lavender and White Publishing charts the heart-breaking story of one such horse. After an auspicious beginning Phoenix is sold from home to home gradually becoming difficult to ride and handle until, barely alive she is taken in by an equine rescue centre and her life turned around.

Lavender and White Publishing is a new, innovative e-publishing company specialising in equestrian fiction and non-fiction. The company is currently looking for new and previously published authors with the aim of building an extensive range of titles for downloading to e-readers.
We are slowly getting the word out and of course are extremely grateful to the many magazines and bloggers who have given us much needed publicity in order to build up our stable of authors and books.

Publishing Director, Jacqueline Smalley is clearly passionate about equestrian fiction, “Books are the only thing we love more than our horses!” A writer and editor with over 15 years’ experience in the industry, Smalley explains the concept behind the new company, “Lavender and White came about from the combination of a passionate longing to share top quality equestrian content with a world-wide audience and also to help talented authors find a platform for their work.” Jacqueline continues, “While most publishers are turning away we are actively looking for talented equestrian authors, even new writers.”

Lavender and White Publishing will publish all genres of fiction all set in the equestrian world. “Our aim is to put together a superb collection of downloadable equestrian fiction and non-fiction. She continues, “We are also looking forward to nurturing the careers of talented authors and hopefully finding the J K Rowling or E L James of equestrian fiction.

Phoenix Rising is now available to download with a percentage of the £3.99 price going to
The Ray of Hope Rescue centre in France to help with the incredible work they do rehabilitating horses. email

Christmas Show Black Stallion Style! Christmas Show
Christmas Show






All the books and more!


A teacher writes;
I personally read The Black Stallion with my students this school year. I, myself, had never read it. In the beginning, I was worried because a few of my boys were disappointed that it wasn’t “action” packed like the back cover states. By chapter 3, they were in love with the book and so was I. They were eager to read it, and couldn’t wait for the next chapter. As a class, we fell in love with the relationship that Alec had with the Black Stallion. To be able to witness one today was exactly what they hoped for.

Read on!


End of the World Special! The Black Stallion Legend.

This is the book that ends at the end … so much so the publisher won’t print it anymore. It’s a GREAT read in these last days of 2012 and especially for me as it’s based in the Native American world of the beautiful high desert of NM.
These books are limited as they are no longer in print – so get them while you can!

Enjoy the ride- you never know how long it will last!

more story here ;  Legend excerpt

Lights,Camera … Gallop!!

A new book about movie horses!

Find this and More @ the Gift Shop!

Chapter One
Introducing….horses in film
The concept of a horse as a celebrity is easy enough to accept – because, after all, few celebrities become famous for actually doing much. But horses as actors? Isn’t their ‘acting’ all trickery and Computer Generated Imagery?
Well, one of the greatest film directors of all time, Steven Spielberg, who directed the moving film War Horse with some 280 horses, has said: ‘The horses were an extraordinary experience for me, because several members of my family ride. I was really amazed at how expressive horses are and how much they can show what they’re feeling.’ War Horse, released in 2012, tells the epic tale of how Albert, a young boy, and his beloved farm horse, Joey, are separated and undergo harrowing adventures in World War One. In the process of filming, yes, there were stunts, props, tricks and Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), but there was also great acting by the horse stars. The horse actors had make-up – and indeed their own make-up artist. But what shines through, what really impresses the audience, is the personality and inherent beauty of the horses. No amount of cinematic trickery or CGI can replace the genuine dramatic qualities of horses.
For example, horses provide a feast for the eyes. Throughout the history of cinema, audiences have fallen for the most glamorous screen stars. This is just as true for horse stars – especially the outstandingly beautiful ones with their gleaming coats of pure black or dazzling white, or the Palominos with a golden coat and flowing silver tail. Think of the well-toned bodies, with manes to die for, of horses such as Black Beauty, Gandalf’s horse Shadowfax or Roy Rogers’ Trigger. Lights! Camera! Gallop! will introduce you to all these and many more: the great stars and some lesser-known but still brilliant actors, from the beginning of film to the present time. You will learn about their film characters and their real off-screen personalities.
You’ll also find out about how some of the most awe-inspiring scenes involving horses were filmed and even how to spot some of the tricks of the trade. All the main genres of film featuring horses are covered: Westerns (great for stunts and exciting chase sequences), ‘wild horse’ movies (surviving against enormous odds), action films (even horses versus Nazis!) and comedies (horses on pianos, horses tricking humans – and a drunken horse).
A word on terminology: many of the great horse actors were stars in the days when – for example – Native Americans were routinely referred to as ‘Indians’ and frequently depicted as ‘the cowboys’ enemy.’

More of the book here –Lights,Camera ebook                                                                        Buy it here!

Enjoy the Ride!! —- tim