Summary of Chapters 1-12 of The Sureness of Horses
–Exiting a plane, Diana Buchanan asks Wade Middleton’s help with a heavy saddle. He throws his back out. Guilt overcomes her conservatism; she drives him home. The next morning his friend Jorge Calderon comes seeking help at work.
–When Diana asks Wade about his interest in poetry he reads her a poem about horses. She’s not free to date, but they agree to meet over coffee.
–Wade and Diana discuss their kids. Wade’s daughter Amelia is a photo major back east at Bard; Diana’s kids, Beth and Robbie, are transferring to local schools. Starting Palo Alto High School, Beth is feeling lost.
–Wade learns that Jorge has messed up with a customer and will be fired. Not only can he not save his friend, he can’t even warn him.
–Diana invites Wade to the ranch where she keeps her horse and introduces him to her friend’s horse, Artemis. Wade bonds with the horse.
–Diana still won’t date Wade, but, after he reads her one of his poems, she agrees to go to a poetry reading with him.
–At the reading, one of Wade’s friends reads a ribald poem that Diana considers so offensive that she walks out. Wade sadly writes her off.
–Diana talks to a friend in Dallas who likes poetry and convinces Diana she owes Wade an apology. Diana and Wade enter a new phase of their relationship.
–Diana is much warmer in her elegant condominium; they kiss for the first time. Between lessons and rides with Diana, Wade learns his way around horses.
–Wade comes into his office to find Jorge in his guest chair—he’s being fired that morning. Wade counsels and comforts Jorge as he’s walked out the door.
–When Diana goes to Texas for Christmas, Wade eats a lonely breakfast in San Francisco, rides a rented horse, and phones Diana and Amelia.
–Part II of the novel opens as Diana returns on New Year’s Day. She meets Wade at the ranch, where she unrolls a blanket in a secret place off the trail. For the first time, they make love.