This tackroom fantasy-come-true of a middle-aged practical nurse is well-nigh swamped by enough horse-talk to choke same. Tough-minded Maude Sage--noted for a mean back rub and generous knowledge of equine bloodlines--is left a small fortune by an admiring patient and moves to bluegrass country to build her dream stable. Gradually she fills the stalls with the thump of well-turned hooves. It's mostly a succession of purchases with attention to the ""nick""--a happy union of affinities in horse potential. Among the crowning glories: the birth of a great foal, Maude's final acceptance into the breeding establishment, and her own nick with her devoted manager. Even if Maude's the sort who vibrates less to ""neat little men"" than to deep-chested stallions.