The field on which the herd of young horses frolics.
Among them is the old piebald gelding, Strider. Young horses scoff at the old gelding. In response, Strider tells the herd a story of his life.
He was born on the famous stud farm General. In his pedigree there was no horse better than him. Strider was good: strong and hardwork- ing. He got his nickname for a sweeping and frisky move. Due to the fact that Strider was born a piebald, he became an outcast among the rest of the horses. When Strider grew up and fell in love with a Young Filly, his owners turned him into a gelding.
On a visit to the General comes his friend – Prince Serpukhovsky. The owner demonstrates his horses. The groom Taras offers to experience Strider in horse racing. Pied gelding bypassed the best stallion named Swan. The enraged General expels the stableman, but the prince gladly buys Strider along with Taras.
Act I I
The years that Strider spent in the house of Prince Serpukhovsky were the best in his life. Merin was proud of the Prince’s love for him and appreciated the care of Taras.
Almost every day they went to Serpuhovsky's mistress, whose name was Mathieu. Once during the carnival, at a time when the Prince was celebrating Strider’s next victory in horse racing, Mathieu ran off with a young military man. Serpukhovsky saddled the gelding and rushed in pursuit of the traitress. After this chase, Strider weakened. Sick gelding no longer needed the Prince. A few years later Strider again falls to the General.
The Prince again comes to visit the General. The General boasts of his stud, and both of them recall their happy past. Suddenly, Serpukhovsky sees the piebald gelding, but he does not recognize his old and faithful friend.
The groom tells the General that Strider is sick, and he orders him to be slaughtered. Flayer comes: this is Taras. He recognized Strider as opposed to the Prince. Taras mourns the miserable, ruined life of the piebald gelding. Ironically, the one who loved Strider most of all becomes his executioner.