Indy ( 3 yr old picture above) came to us as a three year old. We went out to Alberta to help a good friend with calving, I rode Indy the week we were there and needed a horse for a special needs student who was looking to move up from a pony. Indy seemed perfect. 3 yr old, pretty much dead broke with only 90 days on him, sensible, sane, quiet and a nice 15 hh. So I brought him home with us.
BOY did that horse grow a lot in 3 months!
Indy wound up growing a unusually large amount finishing out at over 16.1hh, much too large for the student I had picked him out for.
Surprise, surprise, he wound up becoming a permanent fixture.
I don't regret it one little bit. Indy became my horse and we did struggle with his size. He's a large built horse fitting not a single saddle we owned and it was a struggle many many days to keep him all together under saddle. His temperament more than made up for any conformation problems I had with him.
Indy became the first horse I did liberty work with.
He is the silent enforcer in the herd often quietly "schooling" the young ones. Redman (sorrel on the right) often pushed his limits but Indy always calmly and patiently put him back in his place.
Indy tolerated many beginner riders on poker rides, always tolerant of their mistakes and often known to wander over to me with a sigh as if to say "PLEASE get this person OFF me".
He was very very sick several years ago, contacting a strep virus and developing double pneumonia. For almost two months most every day I felt like we were going to loose him. He spent weeks down, with me forcing him to get up and move as to re distribute his bulk. A large horse being down for long time frames causes complications that made the pneumonia even more difficult to treat. The photo below shows the bed sores he was covered with less than 4 days into the illness. Several surgeries, a amazing veterinary team and more diligent doctoring hours than I ever though I had in me Indy did come through the other side of his illness healthy.
Indy is 13 this year. How time flies. Every time he snuffles the cat, opens a closed gate un assisted, eats my blooming dahlia's and lifts his nose to my face for a "chat" I remember how lucky I am to have had such a special animal choose me so many years ago.
And yes that's me riding Indy into my wedding. And yes he pooped on my dress before we even got out of the yard! I like to think of it as his blessing.