Our Five Ring Circus: The Love Of A Horse and a Heartbreaking Goodbye

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Love Of A Horse and a Heartbreaking Goodbye

"The love of a horse knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."


Cherokee Song
1985-November 15, 2016 

Our family experienced a monumental loss this evening. Although I have been preparing myself for this moment, I wasn't expecting it to happen so quickly or for it to be this painful. It's even more difficult because my children are completely devastated. One day in the near future I will share a worthy post in honor of the horse who came into my life when I was a child, grew up with me and stood loyally by my side for 23 years. 

Today isn't that day. Today, I mourn the loss of a best friend and words escape me.

   "In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart."

Saying a final goodbye was unbelievably difficult. I may not have the perfect words to describe this loss right now, so I'm just going to share these words from last night:

Around 7:40 PM this evening, my best friend left this world. I knew it was coming and I tried so hard to prepare myself for the moment but I simply wasn't ready. The pain is numbing. 

I had 23 amazing years with him and it wasn't enough. I can't even imagine my life without him in it and I can't find the words to explain just how much I loved him. We grew up together and have a lifetime of memories. 

Cherokee had the most amazing spirit and was never still before and it hurt so much to see him like that. He tried so hard to get up but just couldn't muster the strength. All I can say is that when your horse is on the ground and unable to get up, you just get right down there with him and hold him until he's gone. 


I will be forever thankful for the two peaceful hours I spent holding him under the starry, moonlit sky, and even more thankful that Dylan decided to document one of our last moments together. I'm so grateful we got to spend his last hours in this world together. 

Cherokee lived a long life and we spent it together. It was time to let go and as much as I wanted to scream and plead for more time and hope for a miracle, I knew I had to let him go. It was his time. He was supposed to die in my arms, from old age, and I was supposed to be there as he passed. We got the chance to say our final goodbye.

Although it was heartbreaking, it was exactly how I always hoped it would happen. With Dylan and the vet by my side, and all of the ladies from the stable surrounding us, Cherokee Song took his last breath in my arms. With my arms wrapped around his head and my forehead pressed against his, he left this world to the sound of my voice telling him how much I loved him.


Run free, my beautiful friend. I will love you forever. I will listen for the sound of your hoofbeats in the thunder, feel your spirit in the wind, and when the sun hits my face, I will think of you and all the amazing moments we had together. Until we meet again...



  1. I am so very sorry for your loss, Stefanie. It sounds like Cherokee had a long, amazing life with you growing up by his side. Wishing you peace and solace at this time. Until you meet again...

  2. I'm so sorry Stefanie. Such a loss but I'm so glad you had those few hours to be with him especially when he took his last breath. Lots of love!

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. He's a lucky horse to have had you as his friend.

  4. Oh Stefanie, I'm deeply sorry for your loss. Furry friends become such major parts of our lives, and it's always so hard saying goodbye. I hope that you and your family are able to find some peace soon. Hugs.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear this, prayers to your family.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. At the same time, I'm so glad that you were able to spend those last hours with him. Sending big hugs your way.

  7. Oh Stefanie! Prayers of comfort going up. What a sad sad evening. However one night will never tarnish the 23 years of love, memories and companionship you had with him.

  8. This breaks my heart friend but I'm so happy you were able to spend those last hours with your beloved friend. ❤️ Sending hugs and love.

  9. My heart hurts for y'all. I am so sorry for your loss.

  10. My heart hurts for y'all. I am so sorry for your loss.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and your family!

  12. Im so sorry, Stefanie. Fur family is beyond special. Praying for you. The picture of you holding him is so sad but beautiful, Cherokee is totally looking at you with love in his eyes.

  13. Ah Stefanie, I am in tears over here reading about Cherokee. What a beautiful horse and best friend. I am so glad you got to spend the time with him before he went. That picture of you two needs to be framed. Thinking of you.


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