Heartland – Season 1

Heartland is a Canadian tv series loosely based on the Heartland books by Lauren Brooke. The TV series changes the setting from Virginia, USA (in the original novels) to the Alberta Rockies in Alberta, Canada. The series centers on the family who reside in their horse ranch called Heartland, just an hour or so outside of Calgary. Amy Flemming (Amber Marshall) is a precocious 15 year old girl who has the “ability” to heal abused or damaged horses, just like her late mother Marion Bartlett Fleming. This ability, although called miraculous horse whispering, is a deep love for horses and noticing things that make the animal either comfortable or distressed and then making it go through exercises and spending hours with it until she can heal the horse. Amy lives at the ranch with her grandfather Jack Bartlett (Shaun Johnston) and older sister Samantha Louise Flemming or Lou (Michelle Morgan), who returned from her plush marketing job in NYC on the death of their mother. Their estranged father Tim Flemming (Chris Potter) becomes their father, after he buys the ranch farm next to theirs and wants to become a part of his daughter’s life again after he left their mother many years ago. Also part of the cast is Mallory (Jessica Amilee) an extremely, talkative young girl who lives next door and is frequently at the Flemming house; Scott Cardinal (Nathaniel Arcand) a local vet and friend of the Bartlett/Fleming household who has had a lifelong crush on Lou; Cindy Busby plays Ashley Stanton the rich girl in town and Greta Onieogou as Soraya Duval, Amy’s best friend.

It was bringing home an abused horse named Spartan from a farm that Marion died, when in heavy rain, she crashed the vehicle in which she & Amy were riding in. When Amy wakes up, she’s in the hospital and discovers that her mother died in the accident. Lou comes home from New York to help. Refusing to put Spartan down, Grandpa Jack brings the horse back to Heartland hoping that Amy can help him. Before Amy can help Spartan she has to come to terms with what happened to her mom. A boy named Ty Borden (Graham Wardle) who was hired by Marion before she died comes to work at Heartland. He is on probation and Amy immediately dislikes him.Lou accidentally sends home Mrs. Roach’s horse, despite the fact that his fear of vehicles has yet to be cured. Val Stanton begins spreading rumors about Heartland and their skills without Marion. Ty’s probation officer comes to the ranch while he is off showing Amy the jumping course he made for her. Jack agrees to be Ty’s sponsor in the place of Marion. Heartland has its first “Open House” and Lou invites their estranged dad Tim and he accepts the invitation. Amy works with world famous horse breeder Lisa Stillman’s horse, Promise. Jack kicks Tim off of the property. Pegasus is depressed because of Marion’s death. When Amy and Lou empty their mother’s room, they find a letter dated seven years earlier from their father. A new guy, Ben, is sent to Heartland by his aunt, Lisa Stillman, and nobody likes him, especially Ty, who gets really angry when he pushes his horse too far. Amy gets knocked off her horse while trying to take Ben’s horse across the river. Ty is offered a job at Briar Ridge even after Amy accidentally tells Ashley that Ty is on probation. When Amy hears that Ty might take the job, she snaps at him.

Lou drives friends and family to distraction as she arranges to have a video made to promote Heartland. Lou’s New York boyfriend Carl comes for a visit, but his big city plans clash with the ranch’s more laid-back lifestyle. Amy is puzzled by why a new horse at Heartland called Pirate won’t obey commands. Heartland takes in a pregnant mare named Melody. Mallory gives Ty riding lessons. Ben competes in a horse show and refuses to talk to his aunt Lisa (Jessica Steen). Meanwhile, Jack and Ty go on a cattle round up and Tim is the trail boss. Ty finds out that Tim is Lou and Amy’s father. Lisa shows up to talk to Ben, Jack invites her to stay for breakfast. Amy tries to help a champion stallion and his depressed trainer, who were injured in a stable fire. In the process, she confronts her own unresolved feelings about her mother’s accident. Meanwhile, Jack grows increasingly attracted to Lisa. She asks him to come look at a horse with him. Jack declares that it’s not a date but it turns into one, until Lisa’s huband Dan shows up. Mallory dispenses relationship advice. Lisa explains that Dan is her Ex-husband. After elderly Mrs. Bell has a heart attack, Amy takes in her pony Sugarfoot, to whom Lou grows surprisingly attached. Ty’s old girlfriend from the juvenile group home shows up looking for him, having taken a job at Briar Ridge. Prize-winning rider Nick Harwell (Stephen Amell in a recurring role) stops by Heartland to train the uncooperative Ben and flirt with the interested Lou. Mallory takes steps to ensure that her favorite horse Copper won’t be sold, discovering in the process that an unscrupulous ranch hand has plans to sell a herd of wild mustangs to a slaughterhouse.

When Amy invites Tim up to the ranch, Lou tries to impress their estranged father, not wanting to admit to him her fear of horses which stems from having witnessed his long-ago accident at the Calgary Stampede. Jack escapes from the family reunion by going on a second date with Lisa. Ty practices his cattle skills. Lou blows up at Tim. A sudden yet deliberate barn fire puts Jack in hospital and Heartland in financial straits, just as Lou was preparing to return to her old life in New York. Looking to expand neighboring ranch Briar Ridge, Val makes an offer to buy some of Jack’s land but Tim isn’t so keen on the idea of Lisa owning his dude ranch. It’s time for Amy to compete with Spartan in the Fall Finale. But she has to compete against Ashley and her prize horse Apollo. Mr. Mallen, Spartan’s old owner, seeks to get Spartan back after receiving a tip from Val. Jack lets Tim in the house during Amy’s congratulation party. Amy and Ty kiss for the first time. After that Ty leaves because he got a letter from his dad, but he doesn’t tell Amy he just leaves her a note in his room.

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