Grit Blogs > Journeys of Cactus Jack Splash

On His Own Terms

Cactus Jack Splash the Appaloosa HorseI had no idea what that day would hold. I didn't know that the horse that has amazed us all with his tenacity would be leaving us. I never wanted to make the choice to help him cross the rainbow bridge. I wanted his passing to be his own choice and on his own terms. Yesterday he made it – it was his choice and it was going to be on his terms. Freedom had always given us his best, did everything we asked him to do, and loved us deeply. Yesterday he asked me to listen to him and give him his request, help him cross the rainbow bridge … to give him my best and not question his choice.

Freedom and Mushboy play soccer

This picture was taken in August of this year. Freedom and Mushboy were playing soccer with several other horses – Freedom is 48 years old in this photo. Freedom came to us so very thin and in such bad shape we wondered if he would survive. Not only did he survive, he thrived! He and I herded cows once – he did better once I just let him do what he knew how to do and just went along for the ride. He packed The Support Crew Chief down a trail and left the youngsters in his dust. He delighted in carrying Mushboy around the pasture. After he was fully retired he would take the ranch cats for pony rides. Freedom adopted a chicken named Trudy and would share his mush with her. He was quite the character: stealing calves, jumping fences when his pasture was changed, teaching young horses manners, and keeping watch over the ranch and its herd.

He taught me that age is a state of mind, that there are no excuses not to live your life to the fullest, and to suck it up when things are tough.

Several times I thought we might loose him. Yesterday morning it looked as though he would live forever. I am thankful he didn't waste away, that he never really was ill, that he was mobile and happy, and that he chose his time. Even at the end he was telling us where he wanted to lay down for the final time, he was opinionated and pushy until the end.

He was laid to rest beside Ginger. Freedom will now get to be with Freedom's Lady in spirit. I am sure his spirit will visit her and enjoy following her in the mountains.

Freedom was an amazing horse and he will be missed so very much.

Thank you for blessing our lives, Freedom. Keep watch over the calves in heaven, I am sure that God will let you keep all of them that you want. Eat all the grass you can find with your new set of teeth. Find Hank and Scooby, they will be glad to see you. Tell Grandfather hi.

Rest in peace my friend.

Freedom wants you all to remember "Life is soooo good!"

Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR.

nebraska dave
2/8/2011 7:30:42 PM

I'm so sorry to hear about Freedom's death. I can tell that he was loved and cared for by how you blog about him. They never seem to live long enough do they? That's why I don't have any animals in this season of life. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of emotional stress. May your grieving turn to smiles as future thoughts come to mind.