A ""keeping horse"" was Brad's father's term for ""the kind knowing ranchers never sold if they could help it,"" an extremely capable horse that could always be counted on to respond correctly to the necessities of ranch work. Captain Jack, the handsome young gelding Brad Jackson talked his father into buying, wasn't turning out to be a keeping horse. In fact he looked like a goner after he threw Brad and ran off. Then Billie started giving him the woman's touch. She was Brad's dude cousin from the East, and she kept exasperating Brad with her ignorance about how horses are ridden and used on a western ranch. Captain Jack did respond to her handling however, and at the same time Billie started listening conscientiously to Brad's advice on riding. The two children work together at preparing Captain Jack for an important horse show. Billie breaks her ankle at the last minute, but Brad and horse do themselves proud. The text is simply written with as much description on the handling of horses as actual plot. There isn't enough to it to make this a really keeping horse story, but the matter-of-fact, non-frivolous approach, and the easy to read prose should merit it stableroom in horse story collections.