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In Memory of Freedom and Frisky

I have always loved horses, well, once I knew there were such creatures. Blame it on my 2nd or was it, 3rd-grade teacher. She let our class watch the Black Stallion. Something inside me literally clicked. And loud. I knew that they would be a part of my life one way or another. My parents had no clue what they were about to be hit by. Nor did my husband.

My parents did show me a picture of me when I was a few months old on a relative's horse with the biggest smile. My father said, "I should have known then".

I think I discovered them when I was 9? Not long before we moved to the Philippines. Every coin toss into a well, every shooting star that was probably just a satellite, every dandelion that I ripped from the ground and I blew on and pissed off people for spreading weeds, was all in the hopes of having my own horse.

When we moved to the Philippines and got settled they said I could have one. I spent many Filipino language classes writing in my notebooks, not notes, but names I would potentially use. This is the real reason my Filipino is so bad.

My parents got a small about 8-month-old horse with a white star on her forehead. I admit I was slightly disappointed that she was not 16 hh and black. She was small and brown and wanted nothing to do with me. And all she came with was a rope. No instructions, no guidance from anyone, no training. Here is your horse Cristina!

I named her Freedom. Who's nickname became DEEDUM! because my little cousin said it as such.

I will admit. I knew ZERO about horses but I got lucky that Freedom was my first horse. Heart of gold that one. Infinite patience. She was head shy but she was very easygoing. I had 2 years with her until she, unfortunately, got in an accident and passed away. I remember thinking how could something so big and strong be so fragile. She was my friend, especially at a confusing time. Being a "foreigner" in the Philippines was never easy. The clearest memory I have of her is us running side by side (intentionally mind you) from the river to home and her slowing down and staying at my pace because my human legs were no match for hers. She then pulled me slightly which was made running faster and easier until I almost tripped to which she came to a halt.

I guess I was more resilient back then because I wanted a new horse right away. Now, there was this baby dun horse we use to drive by on the way to our farm where Freedom was. She was born a month before Freedom passed away. I could not stop looking at her every time we passed by. Nor could I keep my mouth shut. Sorry and thank you, Mom and Dad.

They gave in and we got her. I don't know what possessed me to name her Frisky but I did. She was the meanest littlest thing you have ever met. Maybe she thought she had to live up to her name? I got kicked once and bitten many times by her. I'm sorry for my language but for honesty's sake, she was a b*tch. I mean she is a Scorpio like me so I get it. Out of all my horses, I think Frisky and I were the most alike we had very similar personalities...and trust issues.

I was very disheartened because I really missed Freedom. It was rough at first. We HATED each other. My parents were like. Welp, you asked for this...A LOT.

As time went on we got closer and closer. I learned a lot from her and she helped me gain my confidence back after a fall off Hidalgo (well get to him eventually later). She never did actually grow or ever kick me again haha she was smaller than Freedom but her heart was just as big for people she liked which was very few.

Many things happened in the 17 years she was alive. Sadly she passed away this year. I did get to see her in 2016 and 2019. She always greeted me as if I never left. I was and am very sad I won't get to see her again but she had a very long good life. I am very grateful to my relative, who I gave her ownership of, for taking such good care of her.

I painted a picture of her to remember her. I listened to Ecstasy (Instrumental Edit) by Crooked Still on repeat which was a song I discovered by accident around that week. I have not painted in a good while. It was hard but as Frisky does she always pushes me to do things I don't want to do. *Cough* I mean, be a better person.

A watercolor painting of a dun horse and bamboo
Frisky October 2004 -2021


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