Freedom might not have been the Black Stallion but she had a heart of gold. She gave me a good foundation that almost prepared me for Frisky and Hidalgo and all the horses I met over the years. I'm not just saying that. The stupid things I did with her. I always made it out alive and unharmed. She never took advantage of my ignorance. A lot of the stuff she let me get away with. A lot of what Freedom did was so mundane. I was actually just so clueless and I would overreact and psyche myself out because I knew she was so much stronger than I.
Before I even attempted to ride Freedom. I wanted us to be friends, we made a lot of good memories together. I remember she liked mangoes especially the skin. I would gather the fallen mangoes and she would tail behind me. I remember reaching back offering her one not understanding why she wouldn't just take the damn thing. I looked over and saw I was shoving it up her nostril. She didn't bat an eye. She also was so proper when she drank water. She would sip and lift her head up and sip some more like a princess at tea time. I thought all horses drank like that. Boy was I wrong. *Looks at every other horse ever*. She had a bit of a limp in one of her back legs. I can't remember which but she might have been born with it. She had one other thing in common with Black Beauty. The white star on her forehead. She loved music. Even karaoke night (karaoke is in every household in the Philippines) she would come up to the house and stay by a window. How she was able to listen to all the out-of-tune extremely loud singing going on at times. I'll never know.
We would go to the river and explore places around our farm together with the rope just around her neck. Side by side. We would run back to the house. I remember the time I realized how strong she really was. She started pulling ahead of me. She was making me run so fast as she was pulling me off my feet. You ever run downhill really fast, faster than you should have? Yeah, it felt like that but 10x more "OH SHIT!"
I got a bit scared as I started to fumble. I was worried. A.) I would eat dirt coz I'm not that coordinated and I was barefoot (shhhh don't judge) B.) She would run off to the nearest cornfield if I lost hold of her and nooo one would be happy with me.
She turned her head bent her neck toward me and slowed down back to my pace. I stopped to catch my breath and she stopped in sync with me, facing me as if to say. You ok two legs?
I knew nothing about groundwork. I never did any groundwork with her unless brushing and bathing her counts? I think what saved me was I spent so much time interacting with her in other ways that anything new we did she just trusted me enough to just let it happen. I don't have many pictures of us but here is one of us running home side by side. Note: she didn't have a halter on just the rope around her neck and she didn't drag or pull away once. Yes, she is letting me win.