Based on a Dream: Flame was inspired by a dream the author had under anaesthetic. Within the novel, it becomes the dream of Steve, the young man who eventually finds and tames Flame.
Dyeing for Your Art: In the film, the production team needed a solid black Arabian stallion. Instead, they found Cass Ole, who had a star and socks. Therefore, out came the dye.
No Stunt Double: Kelly Reno was cast as Alec because of his riding ability, and he does virtually everything, falls included; the only real exception is the final race, and even then he's still doing many of the shots.
Ironically, averted with Cass Ole, who was a valuable show horse and therefore did nothing that could cause injury, including the sinking ship effects, jumping, or moving faster than a trot.