When I first met Remi, I wondered how such a young horse ended up at an ‘end of the line’ auction. He was only 5 years old and had a complete look of despair. Some of the horses at the auction have a plea in their eyes for help. He was past that; utter hopelessness. I knew he was the one I had to save that day. When he arrived at Nalani, we had him evaluated, and learned that he had suffered a catastrophic injury to his hind leg that was beyond repair, and he would never be rideable. He had been passed from auction to auction until he ended up at New Holland. As he grew accustomed to kindness which he had never known in his previous life, his eyes grew soft and he became a little character who soaked up love and attention.
Soon after he arrived, a new volunteer named Lauren joined our team, and she immediately fell in love with him. She and her family had recently moved to a property with the potential to house horses, and she dreamed of one day having her own horses. When she met Remi, she thought, “that’s my horse”. She just knew he was the one. She talked to me about this dream of hers and even asked me to come out and see her property and let her know what would need to be done to make it horse ready.
In the meantime, a family came along, who seemed to be the perfect match for Remi. Lauren and I talked, and although she was heartbroken, she was a few years away from being able to build a barn and adopt a horse. She said goodbye to Remi wishing him nothing but happiness in his new home. A year after Remi left, his new owner reached out to me and asked if we would take him back. She loved Remi, but taking care of horses is a big commitment and with four kids, she had made the tough decision that it wasn’t going to work out.
I called Lauren right away, and let her know we would be welcoming Remi back to Nalani. It still wasn’t the right timing for her family, but she had hope that somehow it would work out for her. I told her that I needed to go ahead and put him up for adoption, but not to worry; there aren’t too many people who want to adopt a young horse who can’t be ridden. Well, within a few weeks, a young woman reached out to me who wanted him and her references all checked out; it was going to be a good home. It was just all happening so fast. I called Lauren again, and once again, had to break her heart. She still hoped that one day they would build their barn and be ready, but there was no set date, and she understood that if he had a good home offer, we had to let him go. I was so torn. I asked four different people to pray for the right thing to happen. And then the potential adopter went silent.
I texted Lauren and told her what happened. I said I strongly believe there is a plan at work here, and maybe that plan is for Lauren to have him. She spent the next several months coming out to visit and there were no more calls from potential adopters. We started talking about logistics and then everything fell into place. Construction was started on her barn, and she found the cutest mini donkey to be a companion for Remi. Yesterday, Remi and Finn arrived at Lauren’s home within hours of each other to a beautiful new barn and a family full of smiles.
I have been thinking a lot recently about my life and my future...about how the plans I had made are no longer in place, and there is so much uncertainty ahead. I have dreams for what I want my future to look like, but the path to get there is unknown. Every day I work hard to live in the present and not waste energy worrying about the future, but it’s sooo much easier said than done. Lauren’s dream took 3 years to become a reality, and a couple of times, the door was closed, seemingly forever. And yet, tonight she is going to sleep with Remi tucked into a stall in her barn just outside her front door. I’m going to sleep tonight thankful that Remi is finally in his forever home. And, as I think about my own hopes and dreams, I have faith that “what’s meant to be will always find its way.”