While going through the possessions left behind by her recently deceased father, a prominent and well-respected judge, High-powered attorney Natalie Jones (Melissa Gilbert) is shocked to come across a worn, yellowed snapshot showing her father in a warm embrace with famed rodeo trick rider Maggie Mae Jarrat. It soon develops that, unbeknownst to Natalie, Maggie and her dad had once been married. Hoping to get the full story, Natalie leaves her cosmopolitan surrounding and heads to wild horse country in Longmont, California, where she meets the late Maggie's gritty, tough-minded daughter Jess (Lindsay Wagner). The bond that slowly but surely develops between the two women leads Natalie to champion Jess' cause when greedy rancher Tom Grove (Grainger Hines) and his cronies begin killing off Jess' free-roaming horses so as not to "mongrelize" their own purebred stock. And, as a bonus, Natalie falls in love with dedicated local veterinarian Sam Nelson (Brian Wimmer). Made for cable, Thicker Than Water debuted March 12, 2005 on the Hallmark channel.