Updated: Mar 2
As time went on. Which was not much, I was trotting around on her. I didn't look great. I probably didn't feel great to Freedom bouncing around on her back like a small sack of potatoes but we were doing it, this sitting trot thing.
We also had a new playmate. My uncle's horse had a little colt. He was the most curious thing. He came up to me the day he was born unafraid. Because there was no way I was getting close to him if he was near his mom. I never saw a horse that young so I was pretty smitten by him and he loved to gum my hands to death. As he got old her he discovered Freedom and was sooo in love. He would follow us around pretty far from his mother. Jump on Freedom. Nom nom on her tail. His love was unrequited. Freedom tolerated his presence but at times was annoyed with his pestering her haha. He followed us into the river one time but then did not enjoy the water and ran back to his mom.
There was also another little horse born in October. I would see her on the side of the road on the way to our farm from the city. Unfortunately, we did not live on the farm all the time. Summer was over and during the week we would live in the city where I would go to school. I enjoyed seeing the little filly run around when we would pass by.
I cannot for the life of me remember if Freedom and I ever got to the point of cantering. I have a faint memory but can't tell if it is that or a wishful dream. I believe we did not get to that point but we were close because I remember being very happy and felt very safe riding her at a trot and was less likely to lose my balance trotting around.
We got a call late one night from my aunt. Freedom had somehow slipped under the fence and got caught in it. I remember thinking. Don't worry we are coming to help you as I grabbed my stuffed animal horse blaze for comfort which I never really did. I was very worried. When we arrived she had already been freed by my cousin but was wandering in between my grandparent's house and my aunt's.
Note: Back then there were no vets to help especially for big animals. Which I am so glad is not the case nowadays.
She had cuts all over her body, but none of them seemed deep or horrible. Just so many. She also would not eat. Even the forbidden banana leaves I went and got for her that were her favorite. She would put it in her mouth but spit it out. She kept neighing. She was never a loud horse so it was weird hearing her in distress. We got my uncle's horse to keep her company but that mare was aggressive and Freedom seemed more confused and disinterested. I got her to follow me back home. She just was not herself. Like she couldn't really see us. She was constantly moving, lying down, standing up, pacing.
My dad suggested we put her back in the field for the night and maybe all the attention and commotion was stressing her out. She did keep neighing for a while but seemed to settle.
It was late into the night and I was told to get some rest. I was the first to wake up as soon as any amount of light was showing.
I went to the pasture.
It felt empty.
I called for her. Nothing. I looked out and saw nothing. But notice our family dog was at the far-end corner of our pasture. I ran over and saw Freedom lying down. I got closer and then I knew why everything felt so empty. She was gone.
It was hard. I didn't know what to do but I was young and kind of in shock, it felt like it wasn't actually happening. She was buried in the far corner. I remember some relatives asked my mom if they could eat her. At the time I was like, Oh hell no! I think my mom knew the answer but I was so upset people would even think that. My uncles buried her and I remember my uncle holding her feet and telling her what a good horse she was.
Time does heal. It was my first big loss. I lost my friend. She was an amazing horse. She really built my confidence up and showed me how great horses could be. How she got under the fence is a question I still wonder about from time to time. She did have a bit of a limp. My cousin said she was playing music on her radio and then she heard all this commotion. Was Freedom lonely and trying to get closer to the music but slipped? Was she bitten by a snake (most likely a cobra) as that would explain why she panicked and got worse because was never the type to panic like that?
I don't dwell on it too much, if it didn't happen I wouldn't have met all the other horses that came after. This was a bit of a sad end to her very short story but Freedom was just the first of many stories. My childhood was never boring. She really started it all and not too long after I was wanting a horse again really bad as I missed her and all that we did. I wanted to fill the void that she left behind.
Remember those two baby horses I mentioned earlier? Oh they filled that void alright and not always in a warm fuzzy feel-good way. Speaking of fuzzy. I don't have many pictures of Freedom. We had a nice camera (for its time) but limited space. I mean it used a floppy disc to record pictures if you get what I am trying to say. I plan to paint her. Just deciding digital or watercolor.
I attach songs to memories and feelings. The song that always brings me back to Freedom and literally makes me cry at times is "The Call" by Regina Spektor. The song is calm and reassuring like Freedom was but also very sad. Lol and the lyrics segway into Frisky and I. 🤣 The funny thing is this song was released years after Freedom was gone but when I heard it just all the emotions came rushing to me. The year it was released was when I really started feeling that strong bond again with Frisky and Hidalgo and my skills in horsemanship we getting confident again.