Transformation Tuesday: Romeo
I met Romeo in 2008 when I was a sophomore in high school, and I had just lost another horse I was leasing. I started to lease Romeo, 3 months off the track, and continuted to do so until 2010 when I graduated high school. His owner then decided to try him back on the track since my parents decided it was not the best time for me to own a horse, going away to college and all. I was heartbroken as Romeo was and still is my heart horse. Romeo went back and raced another 4 times. He then came off the track and went through an organization called TRRAC, the thoroughbred retirement, rehabilitation and careers organization. He was up for sale another two times while I was in college, both times my parents said it was not the right time. My Senior year my parents finally agreed it was an okay time, since when I graduate the horse would become my responsibility. I was home one weekend in the fall looking at horses, actually out at TRRAC, and we talked about Romeo but the horse I tried was not for me. Later that day I looked online again, and per usual I would put in Romeo’s traits and what his name may be (Zach, as his track name was Zach At The Rack); 16.1 h, left hind white hoof and sock, star, grey, born 2004. Somehow, by some grace of God, there was a horse that matched and it was actually Romeo. I had a mild panic attack, emailed the person on the ad. When they did not answer within 10 minutes I called, of course, and set up to go see him the next day. It was him. We did a trial ride, Cassandra Orr came with me, and it was settled. My parents were not getting out of it this time. 2 weeks later he was mine, November 2014 is our anniversary month lol. There is more to the story as he was a little changed when I found him again, but he is so much better and just needed some re-assurance that he can trust me and he has found his forever home.
Since then I have moved around a lot and he has come with me. We have been to 3 different states, 7 barns but I think we are settled for awhile. The story that caught your attention took place in Kentucky. I had moved him down to Kentucky with me (again) in the summer of 2016. I moved to a barn that my roommate kept her horse at, finding boarding in Lexington, KY is not as easy as you would think. It was full board only, and so we settled for that. I worked 6 days a week at one of the farms near by and I made it out maybe 2-3x a week, not always riding, especially during the winter but it worked. He arrived in July and after working the November sale at Keeneland I went to see Romeo after being gone for about 2 weeks (it was around 10-12 hour days) and I took off his blanket to just groom him and found he had lost around 100-150 lbs. I am not sure how it happened, but needless to say I was mad. I searched for another barn, found one, and a month later I moved Romeo in January 2017 (I think, could be February). Romeo would now be on field board, a 30 acre field with 12-13 other geldings. He loved it needless to say. He got fed twice a day, Hallway, and I put him Smartpak’s SmartGain and MSM. He started to shed out his coat and it slowly got its shine back.
I was working night shift and I felt bad riding him as he did not have much to his back. So I would lunge him a couple times a week and just waited through the rest of winter and for the spring grass to come back. Spring came, and he blossomed at the new barn, West Wind Stables. The owner and manager did a wonderful job. We took lessons and he really turned back into the horse I knew and loved. He even started to get some MagnaWave treatments every other month because he was feeling so good and trying too hard. He managed to choke twice in a week at the new barn and they did an amazing job taking care of him for me. We switched his feed to Hallway’s sweet feed and they worked with him to make sure it didn’t happen again.
Since then, we moved back to the northeast as I am in law school at Widener University. Romeo has done wonderfully through this winter here and we had our first rides this week. He is nice and chubby and barely fitting into his 52” girth. I am just happy Romeo is now thriving and it is thanks to West Wind Stables.
He is now on SmartDigest (he can be colicky), SmartComfort and Smartlytes. I love Smartpak and their supplements. I am hoping to get him fit and doing some 2’3-2’6 courses by the end of the summer. That would be amazing. The goal is the Thoroughbred benefit horse show coming next fall at Fair Hill. We will see!
I've Been Spotted aka Freckles the came from a ranch down in Eugene in March of 2016. I was told he was a schooling horse, but he needed a single owner. He had not been in consistent work for months, but had a background of both western and english disciplines. Needless to say I was shocked when first seeing him, unlike his pictures, a skinny, under muscled, and unkempt horse. His eyes showed very little light and personality. He had almost no mane and tail, he looked more like a feed lot horse than a former schooling horse. Though after one short ride I knew he had potential. His former name was Gambler, but when riding him I decided it didn't fit him, after a few days at Cantera I went with Freckles after a couple of baths revealed a body full of adorable freckles and spots.
He got all the food and work he could ever want. Both my trainers and I soon learned he loved to work and especially jumping. He had a long way to go, he was still very stiff and needed more muscle, but time and patience was worth it. After about 6 months he stopped eating like it was the last time he was gonna see food and we finally saw his full personality. When bringing him home he was very quiet and when riding he was difficult only because he needed to be brought back to work. Now he's a very sweet, sassy and protective horse who is always down for an adventure, as long as there is food involved he doesn't care. He went to his very first busy hunter/jumper show in July of 2016, he was as excited and nervous as I was, after a few more shows he started to enjoy the extra attention and showing off in the ring. Thanks to Freckles, I can now compete in jumpers or hunters with more confidence. than I ever had before.
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