Lotsa Cotton was born in Lithia, Florida on March 30, 1984, the son
of Cottoneye 2 and a grade TB type mare. He was 42" high and weighed 135
I got him as a gangly yearling from his breeders Ray
& Marilyn Spell as a Christmas gift for working with their horses.
He was very easy to "break" and was very laid-back. I started his
dressage training in 1988, and he tried really hard to be what I wanted.
Over the years, he was my lesson horse and competed in jumping, trail, halter
classes, open shows, dressage and was the lead horse on a drill team.
He worked cows and helped me pony the youngsters. When we went to a
show, he carried himself like a king and we had several dressage judges call
him His Royal Highness & His Majesty. He was 16.1 HH and about 1300 lbs.
and was a gorgeous stallion. I kept him a stallion because he was so
well-mannered, and his presence was powerful. We were invited to ride
in a parade in Lansing, Michigan and he was the only horse there not afraid
of the camels! I was proud of him every time we went somewhere, and I never
took him for granted.
He was euthanized due to colic complications on July
17, 1998 and watching my confidant and partner die will haunt
me forever. He has a beautiful grave in Michigan, but I'm back
in Florida. He had nine foals, eight of them carbon copy duns - one a dark
bay, like my stallion's full brother. I haven't been able to talk about
him since he left me that starry night.
I picked the parade photo because he looks so statuesque and it was the last
time we appeared in public - I lost him 2 months after the parade. Seven
years later, I still cry when I hear his name. I got another horse that
I trained and show at 1st level dressage this year, and although we
have a close bond, I still miss my stallion.
I had a mother's ring made with his birthstone, the aquamarine - same
as mine - and his name and birthdate. I never take it off, as
a reminder that we are still together in some way. I haven't been able
to say his barn name since that fateful night in 1998.
L.C., you were a once-in-a-lifetime horse. You loved me as I loved you (and
still do). What you taught me has made me a better rider and trainer, and
I'm glad that we made the most of our time together. You made me proud every
day and you'll live on in me.