I have been dreading writing this, and as I start, I already want to slam my laptop shut and cry. However, there are two reasons I need to do it tonight: #1) Today is probably the first day I’ve been able to feel somewhat normal and strong enough to put any of this out to the public. #2) I’ll be at the horse shows and I don’t think I would be able to stay composed every time someone asked me how Montaro is doing.

This past Monday I had to put my beloved stallion, Montaro down. This entire past month has been one of the hardest times in my life. I had exactly one month with him, from that initial temp. spike that lead us down that exhausting rabbit hole, to the discovery of his cancer. I’ve had my share of losses and pain from abusive relationships to suicides and saying good by to friends too young. Through all that pain and hurt Montaro was always there for me. He was kind of my rock even though I should have been that for him. He got dragged along on every move I made and I got us into some pretty crazy adventures sometimes. He was always my number one concern. I don’t have kids, nor do I want any… Montaro was my ‘child’. I hate telling people that I lost my horse because he was way more than just my horse. I can’t even fathom a way to describe how large and important he was in my life. I feel like I’ve been through every emotion this past month. I was so mad; I couldn’t be mad at anyone but I was so pissed off at the world. It’s not fair, he’s in his prime, strong, otherwise healthy… it made no since to me, I was jumping around courses just the weeks before. I was optimistic he seemed like he was doing well, that possibly they misdiagnosed him and I would be able to show him again, this time next year. There were days that I didn’t want to confront what was actually going on, I didn’t even want to be in the barn to have that confrontation of reality that he was sick. Every day I was sad though, that’s been a constant. I don’t think there has been one day that had gone by, where I didn’t shed a tear, for the fear of losing him. I was also very grateful that I was able to say goodbye to him. He wasn’t a horse that liked to be groomed on or messed with. I think he enjoyed being around everyone and right in the middle of the action in the barn. He was in the very first stall so he could look out and see what was going on in some of the pastures, he got to see every horse coming in or going out. His stall was also right in front of the cross ties and next to the feed room. We often left his window open so he could have his head out in the isle where he could keep a good watch over his herd. He got so many treats this past month, not just from me but everyone.

Over all I think Montaro was happy in the end. He had a couple bad days but seemed very resilient and bounced back with some meds. Sunday for the first time we struggled to manage his temp. I was the first person in the barn Monday morning. He was asleep when I turned the lights on, but immediately got up to great me. I could tell he wasn’t feeling much better, I knew Montaro so well by his facial expressions. I touched base with Dr. De Cillo that morning to get a plan of action. He hadn’t drunk much water at all which is unlike him. After his morning greeting, he just put his head in my chest. Anytime this horse didn’t feel well he would come and put his head in my chest, and it was always something. He was feeling weaker I could see it in his movements. He wasn’t interested in his breakfast and for the very first time in his life he wouldn’t eat a treat. He took it from me, but just held it in his mouth and didn’t eat it. Once all the other horses were fed, I turned the lights back off. Montaro laid back down, he wasn’t interested in anything I was offering him. I just sat there with him knowing exactly what he was telling me. I don’t think I can ever thank my father,

Richard, and Liza enough for helping me make my decision, because of those two people I know he didn’t suffer. I am also extremely grateful for Dr. De Cillo who changed his entire day to be there for Montaro that morning. I laid there with Montaro the rest of the morning until it was time. As exhausted and weak as he was when it was time and I asked him to get up, he unquestionably did. I can’t think of a time this horse has ever told me NO.

I would give anything to have one more ride on him. He truly was an amazing horse that had all the potential in the world and he LOVED his job. He made me a better horsewoman, I made so many mistakes and he was so forgiving of them. I was able to gallop on beaches with him, wind through trails, ride bareback, take him swimming in ponds, win a hunter class, jump 4’9” courses… he’s never told me no, he was always game for whatever I asked of him even if I was scared shitless half the time. I am extremely blessed to have had him his entire life from when we bought him inutero, he was to be my forever horse. I know he’s had a good life, there are no questions there.

Sharon Soderquist


Dutch Warmblood
Furioso II
Selle Français
Dame de Ranville
Gogo Moeve
Dutch Warmblood
Ramiro Z
Dutch Warmblood
Marco Polo
Coconut Grove
Dare to Pet
Dare to Command
Tenas Pet
Coral Gables
Cassini I
Capitol I

Contact Us

  • Please enter a number from 25 to 50.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.