Issy was born on February 10, 2003 at Woodswitch Farm in Navasota, Texas. Isla Carroll carried Issy full term and delivered the bright bay colt with two white pasterns at 2 AM with no complications. Issy was independent from the start not wanting to have any help getting to his first meal and Isla obliged by positioning herself where Issy had to only pick his head up to suckle. Days passed into weeks and Issy lost no time growing strong and confident under Isla Carroll's mothering but Issy resisted human interference and would promptly warn all of us with flattened ears that he was something. Although Issy never followed through, he did keep the entire farm workforce on their toes! Once weaned, Issy exercised his dominance in the weanling field with 10 other Thoroughbred colts. There was never any question as to who the boss of the field was!  This determined behavior made all of us think we had a Kentucky Derby winner and we kept our fingers crossed as we dropped  2 year old Issy off to be trained for racing by Mike McEachern at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas. Having a good early birth date, we felt Issy would excel in the structured atmosphere of the track which would show him a whole new world and keep him busy with lots of attention and exercise.  Issy would race in his registered name of Is A Fire after his sire Fire Maker and his mother Isla Carroll, but time would show that Issy's strong personality was not accompanied with speed. Issy seemed to thrive at the track and took to the starting gates, roar of the crowds and general commotion without any fear but his efforts at racing led all the jockeys to believe he was the pony horse and not a prospective race horse. Finally, after months of working with him Mike decided that Issy wouldn't make the grade but that he was an exceptional horse and we would just have to find a career better suited to him.  When Issy arrived back at the farm he looked like a Sumu wrestler and had matured into a grand looking fellow but he now was destined to be a riding horse. Since the farm already had several other taller, fancier horses who didn't make the grade Issy was last to be worked with and since his personalty was not the same loving temperment as the others he didnt' attract any attention. Most of the others moved on to new owners but Issy continued to be overlooked.  During the relaxed summer months I would ride some of the national forests and often wished I had a pack horse so I could get into more remote areas. Issy was just lulling around the farm getting fat so I thought why not!  His first pack trip after months being indignant was to the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico. We were about 15 miles up and somehow on a rocky ledge with barely enough room to creep along Issy's entire pack started to roll.  My heart sank as I realized that I may be about to witness the loss of my pack horse and pack right off the ledge. But, Issy never flinched even as the pack listed farther down his side. He just adjusted his weight to compensate for the pull and continued right up the mountain! I could hardly believe what I saw and this proved to be just the beginning of many remarkable things Issy has done to keep going forward on the many  trails he traveled.





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