It is with great sadness that I tell you about a very special horse who is no longer with us. His registered name was Winsdown Iron Ore. Breed at Winsdown Farms by Louise Gilliland. We called him Ivan, although he has had many barn names starting with Ugly Spud! Although he came into this world as an ugly duckling, as you can see, he matured into a swan. He stood a giant 17 hh and he knew how big he was. Although he did not have a mean bone in his body, he could be as stubborn as a mule but he slowly mellowed out to become one of my life changing horses. Those barn names went from Ivan the Terrible, Ivan - Hooooo, Big Red and then to Baby Huey.
As I overcame my fear of Ivan, my confidence soared and my riding skills improved with the help of trainer Kelli Lowery. When we were at our best, everyone would stop at Kelli's to watch Ivan. He could trot WAY above level, and loved to show off at the barn, but not always at horse shows!..LOL
At the end of a show, I noticed that Ivan was favoring one of his front feet and the vet diagnosed founder. After a year long treatment with special shoes and limited turn out (Ivan HATED that), we got him sound again. I continued to ride him, but no longer took him to shows.
Ivan was a bit of a pasture bully too and the only horse I had who could put him in his place was an old nag mare named Lacy I adopted from a woman who had cancer.. she would and could put Ivan in his place and make him behave!
Many years ago, I came on rough times and made one of the hardest decisions in my life - to give Ivan away along with his pal Lacy. Many people wanted Ivan - but few were willing to take his best friend. One very special person rose to the top of the list though. Mona Lucas I will never be able to repay you for all you did for Ivan the last part of his life. I know you and your family dearly loved him as did I.
The picture is of Janie L. Hamilton riding him as I believe a 3 year old (maybe 4) and I saw the video.... HE SHOULD HAVE WON THAT CLASS HANDS DOWN!!!
Thank you God for giving me Ivan and thank you for all the wonderful people in is life who loved him as dearly as I.