Speck is 13, and keen to prove he’s on the way to becoming a man. On a Texas ranch, the work is hard, as Speck learns when he tries to corral the stallion, Big Red, and accidentally lets the other horses get away. It becomes his job to bring them back himself. When his older brother is thrown from a horse and seriously hurt, Speck’s workload increases. But along with his new adventures comes the downside of learning to be a man - learning about mortgages, droughts, floods, and the other serious problems of the ranch that he had previously been sheltered from.