Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

For Love of Romeo

In July 2001, we returned to the States after eleven years in France, leaving behind two wonderful horses, Tsar and Vanille.  Herb promised Kara and me that we could have horses in the States, and we didn't wait long to take him up on that!  I found my Angel in November.  The lady who ran the horse farm where I boarded Angel promised to look for a horse that Kara could use for jumping.

On December 1, 2001, Kara saddled up Just Romeo, a five-year old registered Quarter Horse who had been in the University of Georgia equine program, both English and Western.  Kara was allowed to try Romeo out for a week before deciding to buy him, and it just so happened that a jumping competition was taking place that day at the horse farm.

Kara and Romeo hit it off immediately and began collecting ribbons.
Six ribbons out of seven competitions was not bad for a first ride!  Two weeks later we took Kara back to the horse farm to meet her 13th birthday present.  It wasn't much . . . it was "Just Romeo!"
I was usually riding Angel at the same time Kara was riding Romeo, so I don't have too many photos of them, but I did get some when they did a Ride-a-Test at a local polo venue, Bendabout Farm, in April 2003. 

Although the jumps were low, Romeo performed beautifully as always.  Jumping was his and Kara's real love.

Neither Romeo nor Kara cared much for dressage, which was (unfortunately) what the lady who ran the farm preferred.  She tried her hardest to extend Romeo's trot, which was very comfortable trot, but tended to resemble a Western jog.

Romeo made a reliable trail horse and a fun family horse, too.  For Hallowe'en that year, my daughter-in-law Monique dressed up as "Juliet" and rode her "Romeo" in the farm Hallowe'en parade.

No matter who was riding him, Romeo was, pure and simple, a "love."
In July 2004, we trailered Romeo, Angel and our two dogs all the way out to far West Texas--a long-time dream of Kara's and mine.

My brother- and sister-in-law always generously provided horses for us to ride when we visited, but having our own horses with us made that trip very special.

They both adapted to the rough west Texas country as if they'd been born there . . .

. . . although they both also found a new affinity for every tank and water hole to cool off in.

Romeo was alert to whatever he heard moving through the brush nearby, but as steady as always.

When we decided to move Angel and Romeo from the first farm, the place we found to board did not have a riding ring for jumping.  Along with Kara's changing interests as she grew older and found new friends, this meant that she wasn't riding much any more.  We thought about selling Romeo, but we hated to part with such a good horse.

That was how, in March 2005, Romeo headed out to west Texas to live on a family ranch.  It wasn't so much a "goodbye" as a "see you later."  We did see Romeo several more times when we were out there, and Kara got to enjoy riding him.  But then we all got older and life got in the way, and for seven years we didn't make it to Texas.  

When we finally did, Kara had a poignant reunion with Romeo.  It was clear that we weren't the only ones that had aged.  Romeo wasn't a five-year old youngster any more, but an eighteen-year old senior horse.  He was fine and healthy, but Kara realized that sooner or later he would die on the range and be eaten by buzzards and coyotes, because that's the way things happen out there.  She realized that she wanted him to come Home. 

And that is how, at 2 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 8, Romeo came home.  The commercial hauler had a pretty adventurous time getting his semi-horse trailer down our lower drive and up a hill in the pasture to turn around, but everyone made it safely.  The driver and I walked Romeo up to the barn and got him settled for the night.  (Kara was still in West Texas, having had to delay her flight to allow her to be there to get Romeo loaded.)  The next morning Romeo's new "harem" was waiting as close to his stall as they could get, his old friend Angel (the black mare) eager to greet him.

Romeo isn't the best traveler, although he does much better in an air-ride commercial trailer, so we'll be feeding him up a bit as he settles in and gets used to his new life.  He probably thinks we dragged him from Heaven to Hell, it's been so horribly humid here compared to what he's used to!

On the advice of our equine vet, Dr. White, Romeo will be in quarantine for three weeks until any danger of shipping fever is past.  He's already gotten his immunizations to protect him against Georgia's illnesses.

Meanwhile, Julie, Angel and Brandy are waiting impatiently--for love of Romeo.


  1. Glad he's home and hope the days til he is out with the girls go fast :-)

    1. Thanks, Elnini! You know what a joy and relief it is to have your animals come home safely, don't you? :)

  2. What a great story Susan, glad to see such a pretty horse being taken care of so well and having come back home for his final years.

    1. Thanks, Gordon! He's such a sweet old boy, and when he reunites with Angel it's going to be like Ginger and Black Beauty!


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