Mom, haven't you ever wanted anything this much?"" Twelve-year-old Wendy Herstead has set her sights, her mind, her heart on competing in the Little Britches Rodeo barrel race--even though her sorrel gelding Kickapoo isn't cooperating. But Mom, once a champion barrel racer herself, wants better things for Wendy. Or, as Wendy sees it, ""to make me something I'm not""--just as Wendy's trying to do with Kickapoo. It's old Buckwheat, still a barrel-racer at heart, who shows both their mistake and carries Wendy to victory on rodeo day--a victory less important, all told, than the chance to compete. Pat as the situation may be (complete to world-traveling Aunt Sally who'd rather settle down), Wendy's yearning is totally persuasive, largely because it's couched in fluent, convincing Colorado range-and-rodeo terms. To learn what barrel racing is all about is to want to try it, further stimulated by the color photo of a likely mount on the jacket.