For an hour on Wednesday, 3-year-old Ivy Fondots was just like any other little girl who loves horses.
Dressed in pink cowboy boots and short overalls, the Oceanside toddler squealed with delight when the trail horse “Doc” took a carrot from her hand. Then she shouted “Giddyap!” as they ambled off on a trail ride with ranch owner Lou Roper.
It was a heartwarming moment for Ivy, who has spent two-thirds of her life battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Ivy’s mother, Kelly, said her daughter has had a challenging life but the opportunity to meet a horse had lifted her spirits tremendously that day.
Ivy and Doc’s meetup was organized by Warrior Horses for Warrior Kids, a foundation launched in May by Ryan Melendez, 19, who — like Ivy — has also spent the past two years battling ALL.