Jem Tyler is thirteen years old when he arrives at Foxhow station on the Snowy River in the year 1880. He is illiterate. But he has ambitions.
Through a book that is read to him he sees a connection between a mare he owns and the ponies of the Mongolian steppes. But how could there be such a connection or how could he prove it?
At age seventeen he sets out for the town of Albury to learn to read and write. A chance meeting with a horseman riding in a different direction leads him into an adventure at the end of which the story of his horsemanship and mettle of his pony become a legend.