A Blessing from the Lord- Cascade... a good 'ole horse

When I was very young, running around the desert with my fringed vest, boots, cowgirl hat and Annie Oakley pop-gun, I longed for a horse like a lot of children do {it just seems natural}. My horse would be a beautiful white noble stead with a long flowing golden mane and tail! Well, there were a lot of other things that needed to come first before I would be able to own a horse. Years went by and I would ride and admire other horses owned by friends or neighbors and visit any horse barns I could, enjoying the smells of hay, brushing and saddling the horses and performing other skills that go with horsemanship. More years went by and life was very full with family, my own dear children, homeschooling and learning the skills of homesteading. My daughters were growing and we had moved to an old Amish homestead that had one of the most amazing 150 year old log barns we had ever seen. It was one that Eric Sloan would have drawn and written about and admired! Perfect for a horse {or 2, or 3 or more}! With more pasture land, this big barn and a new country lifestyle, a horse {of course!} was the next logical addition! So we put the word out, we were looking for a good, well trained family work horse.
   Mable was a very kind soul who still lived at home with her family {a few miles away from us} and she served her family and served different folks in the community who might need her help. We were happy to meet her. One day she asked the girls {Cecilia and Hannah- they were about 5 and 6 at that time} if they would like to see her horse, Cascade. And of course the girls were elated to get to see this horse! To them, Cascade was a giant! She was about 15 ½ hands high, a Standard Bred beauty, chestnut in color, in great health and form, and was only about 12-14 years in age. The girls were in awe as they enjoyed rubbing their little hands over this magnificent creature. Mable took good care of her and liked to hitch her up for a buggy ride or to use her for making rounds and doing errands in the community. And Cascade always seemed eager to go and trot down the dirt roads where there were other horses to see. We all noticed what a good horse Cascade was and how well she worked with children. One day Mable asked if we would like to keep Cascade and use her for awhile. Wow, we’re we excited- of course we would love to take care of her and use her!  It was on a beautiful warm sunny day when Mable drove up into our lane with Cascade pulling the little one-seated horse cart. Here at our farm, Cascade would have plenty of pasture, the Old Barn would once again have great purpose in housing Cascade and keeping sweet smelling hay in the great loft and, of course, 3 young children who would just love her and who would take good care of her. I was so grateful, it was a dream come true! Okay, she wasn’t the white noble stead with a long golden flowing mane and tail, but she was still a fine horse {even though I had quite a time getting up on this tall mare} and I did enjoy riding so much! We learned how to harness and hitch her up to the cart and enjoyed using her to get milk and to go visiting in the valley with friends. We also took turns riding her. She was an excellent riding horse, Cecilia and Hannah could both ride her at the same time. They had so much fun cantering around the farm and they even learned how to jump Cascade over old fallen logs which she preformed with graceful skill and agility. Then one day, Mable asked me if I wanted to buy Cascade. She was moving to a different home that wouldn’t have enough pasture for the horse. We didn’t have to consider it long before we knew this must be the horse that God had provided for us. At this time we had been keeping Cascade for about 1 year already and in the year we had gotten to know her quite well. She was gentle and very reliable with children and she was traffic safe, although we kept her to our small country dirt road that consisted mostly of other horse drawn vehicles and some cars. Along with Cascade when we bought her, we got a saddle and bridle, a small one seat, two-wheeled cart and a buggy harness. Cascade was so useful and versatile! When riding her, we found that she had a wonderful saddle gait that was smooth as glass and I loved it! The girls have so many fond memories and stories of riding and playing with Cascade. When friends would come over, they would take turns riding Cascade pretending they were scouts riding for the Confederate army! At one time in her life {before Mable or we owned her}, Cascade had been trained and prepped for a race horse. She could run very fast. When the girls were a lot older they would race her with other horses and even trucks! Cascade was always ready to race and she loved it. She could be so gentle and seemed even thoughtful at times, like if the girls ever fell off of her, she would always stop right away so that she would not step on them. One time Hannah flew right over Cascade’s head, slid down her neck and landed on the ground with a thud. Cascade immediately stopped, and waited until Hannah got up and jumped on her back again and off they rode. This horse was such a blessing to our family. Growing much of our food meant we would need to keep our large garden cultivated from the weeds.     Cascade pulled the walk behind cultivator just fine! Saving us lots of money we would have other wise spent on gas and the cost of a tractor or tiller. Our dear horse also hauled great loads of straw and dirt for our garden in the little cart. We would take out the seat, load ‘er up and Cascade would pull it over to the garden for us. I called her my “garden buddy”. Cascade had very important responsibilities for our family- she carried us for miles for many years! She was healthy as a horse and only got sick 2 or 3 times in all the years that she was with us.
      Over the years as Cascade got older she worked less for us and spent a lot more time in the pasture {with our other riding horses that we had gotten over time}.  We did use her to cultivate in the garden right up to 2 years ago and we were so grateful she took care of our garden for almost 15 years! Even in her older age we could  ride her here and there and she was still rearing to go!
  She lived a very productive and full happy life till she was up in her thirties, which is a good ’ole age for a horse. The day she died, we all had a hard time. I never thought I would cry about a horse dying, but my tears flowed like Niagra! Then it struck me when thinking of wonderful memories of her and our family, how thankful to God I was for the time she was here with us {17 years} and for giving so much joy to our family in her service that God blessed us with. We will miss Cascade so much and I’m sure there can’t be another horse like her, but our garden will need to be cultivated this summer, there’s an empty buggy needing to be pulled {especially with gas prices soaring} and we could always find time to go riding-
        so we put the word out, we’re looking for another family work horse…




Joy said...

This brought tears to my eyes, thinking of losing your beloved horse!

For several years we had a pasture full of horses living at our house, and the pasture went around three sides of our house. So, it was horses in the front yard, horses in the back, and horses on the side! They would walk up to the fence every time we went out the front or back door. They always seemed to be hoping we would come and give them some attention.

They are such beautiful creatures that I can see how you could fall in love with one, especially if it had become part of your family. I hope you're able to find another horse that you'll all just love!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

What a sweet story and what sweet memories you have of Cascade! What a blessing she was to your family. I hope that you can find another horse that will be able to "fill the shoes" that Cascade wore. ♥

Renata said...

What a wonderful horse you had. She sure was a blessing to you all. I hope you're able to find another to fill the gap she's left!
Have a wonderful day

Isaac said...

What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing.

- Isaac

Mrs.Rabe said...

What a wonderful horse Cascade was for you!

That is a sweet story. We have two horses that are just pleasure horses but my daughters love them dearly. We are blessed to have them here on our property.

The Lord bless you all!

Marnita said...

I also lost a dear horse this winter she would have ben 27 two days after she passed. I had her for about fifteen years. I am thankful for the time They were mine.

happy momma said...

I understand the tears completely. We had a big stallion that we loved dearly. He had such a personalitly, sometimes he seemed almost human. He also had a pouting streak, that just made him loveable. He twisted his gut and the vet said there was nothing to do for him but put him down. It was a very sad day for our family, we all cried from dad down to smallest child. God places such wonderful blessings in our lives and I think he understands the tears when it's time to say goodbye. Praying you find another great horse. God Bless

Rebecca said...

I am new to your blog, but I LOVE it! I am so glad I found it!
I love horses, and I have my own horse named Pearl.
Do you girls always ride in dresses?
What is it like?
Sorry if that sounds rude, but I am really curious!
In Christ,
My blog:

Sarah said...

I am really glad i found this blog!
I love it!
I am sorry about your horse.
I like the pictures you post!
It's wounderful to see how you live!
In Christ

Jen said...

This post took me back to my childhood. We had many horses on our farm. We had to put one down when I was about 11 years of age. I still miss her to this day. So sorry for your loss. You are all a blessing to my family and I.

Don and Shelly said...

Our favorite part were the pics you posted. Thank you for giving us a further "sneek-peek" into your lives!

Homemaking and Then said...

What a beautiful story and a beautiful horse. Praise God!:)

Deja said...

17 years! you sure had a while to get attached. cascade was a very sweet horse, and a lot of fun, too! she was old, but it still made me a little sad to hear that she died. i love the photos.

Eve said...

My sons both want a horse. I never saw the value before I read your post. I think I'm sold now :)

sandryplainandsimple@yahoo.com said...

Is that Jason Lee in your January post about helping neighbors harvest in Alabama? The next to the last picture in the post?
I truly beleive it is! I just read about him on another blog! How very strange. My prayers are with him and his family in the loss of their father during the recent horrific tornado.


Jeff and Tamara said...

Awe that is so special.. it's very understandable to cry.. your horse was a faithful friend.Thank you for sharing..Wonderful photos.. Blessings.


Anonymous said...

Ladies, Love the Blog and the videos! Does anyone know the title of the music playing on the blog? It is beautiful.

Mikailah said...

Awe! Cascade sounded like a sweet horse. I would have cried too! Thanks so much for sharing your memories and pics!

Anonymous said...

Nice and thanks!

Anonymous said...

Really good post!

Tracy said...

I so love the post, when I was a little girl, I spent summers with my grandparents. My papa had two ole mules that he used to plow the garden. He use to get so mad at them because one would just stop and sit down on the job. I can still hear him yelling, "Gettie Up Maud! HUYA!!! It brings back memories.

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