By Robyn Thompson
Owner Of The Royal Gypsy Vanner Ranch

The Love Of A Lifetime

Life can change on a dime! I was rolling down the highway on I-75 bright and early on my way to the Orlando International airport for a flight to the west coast.  The chickens weren’t even up yet, so I decided to stop off at the Dunkin Donuts for a quick coffee to go. As I was waiting for the traffic light to change, I noticed this big magnificent billboard that would change my life forever!  It had the most beautiful picture of a gorgeous black and white horse with a long flowing mane and hairy feet.  At the bottom of the billboard was the strange phrase, “Our gold does not kink & glitter it nays in the night” :Gypsy Gold.


I sat there starring at this amazing picture of the most gorgeous creature I had ever seen until long after the light turned green and the cars behind me started to honk loudly for me to move.

That billboard of that magnificent animal stirred something deep inside my soul that I could not explain.  See, I got thrown off a horse when I was ten years old and I got hurt real bad!  I swore I would never ride again! That fear was still in the front of my mind 35 years later!

Every week I travel from Ocala to Orlando and back and I found myself stopping at that Dunkin Donuts just to get out of the car to stare at that billboard of that gorgeous horse.

So after 4 months of my crazy work schedule, I finally got a weekend off and I found myself googling the website and there was the magnificent stallion: Latcho Drom.  I was glued to my computer screen, like a ten year old to her video games.  I read every word at least twice.  Especially the part about how gentle, smart, and loving the Gypsy Vanner breed is.

To my surprise the last name of the owner was the same as mine, Thompson.  Was it fate?  I instantly called Dennis Thompson for a farm tour that afternoon and he graciously agreed.

I had no idea that that sunny day would change my life forever and I would find the one true love of my life!

Upon arriving at Gypsy Gold, Dennis and I began a tour of the horses and I told Dennis of my fear to ride.  Dennis informed me that he had a premium Gypsy King mare for sale that was the kindest, intelligent sweetheart that even a beginner could ride.

I told Dennis I was not interested because all I wanted was to see the magnificent animal on the billboard.  Dennis so ok and he took me into the round pen and told me to wait for him.  Two minutes later he brought in this big black and white 10 year old mare who walked right up to me and stuck her nose in my coat pocket.  She startled me and Dennis told me she was looking for treats.

The next thing I knew he pulled out a set of stairs and said climb on her bareback!  I was so scared I couldn’t speak.  He said just climb on, she can’t go but 10 feet in here!

With every ounce of courage I had, I climbed on her back and Harley just calmly stood there. Then out of nowhere this screaming red macaw parrot dropped out of a tree screaming it’s lungs out and flew two inches right past Harley’s head.  I panicked and Harley, with her excellent wisdom, took two steps to the side, pinned her ears back, and tried to bite the obnoxious bird in the tail feathers then jerked her head around to make sure I was still on her back and doing ok!

I quickly jumped off and Dennis chuckled.  He said to me, I told you she would not hurt you.  She laid those ears flat back and told that parrot to get the heck out of here.

Any other breed of horse would have spooked and ran through a fence, not giving a darn about the dumb human on its back.  Harley showed more unconditional love for me that day, than any human had in my 45 years.

On my way to the car, Dennis said one sentence that changed my life forever.  He said, “Robyn, you can love a horse way more on the ground than you ever can on their back.” He also said that if a horse ever chooses you as the special one, you can have a deeper love affair with a horse then you will ever have with another human being.  The words that Dennis spoke echoed in my heart and soul and I bought Harley the next day!

HarleyFL (17)

I have a deep love for Harley that words cannot describe.  Harley has chosen me to be her best friend for life! She is brilliant, smarter than any human I know, a leader, a fighter to live, and the greatest gift to my life.

If you have ever thought of owning a Gypsy Vanner, the only warning I will give you is you will lose your heart forever!

It is truly amazing how a pit stop at a Dunkin Donuts can give you the love of a lifetime!

My Gypsy Vanner herd has grown to 4 gorgeous stallions, 10 fantastic mares & 2 geldings!