It was on March 18, 2022 that I first laid eyes on you.
And from the moment I rested my hands on your face, I knew you would be mine – and that somehow we would journey life together, along with your two older siblings.
The most serendipitous moment occurred when I welcomed you home for the first time.
Despite a few challenges that were sent throughout your journey to me, it was clear where you were meant to be.
I was not searching for a horse when you appeared into my life. You were not in my plans quite yet – but understood I needed to shift them at the moment you existed.
I knew I needed to shift my plans for you.
Your sibling, Winnie, may be my ‘heart horse’.
But you – you are the horse I dreamed of owning since childhood. The manifestation that slowly turned into reality.
I remember these dreams very clearly: owning a horse that I could groom and ride independently.
A horse that would learn to recognize my distinct love language towards them.
A horse that would learn to understand my movements, my spasms, my speech impediment.
A horse that would love my crip queer self in moments I could not care for them independently.
I knew that horse could be you, Remmington.
In the few weeks leading up to my accident, we were starting to build a relationship that I believe – at that time – could surmount anything.
Most aspects of my daily life were impacted during the first month following my accident.
I had fractured ribs, a punctured lung, stitches in my head.
For the greater part of my hospitalization, I felt drained, exhausted, and restless.
But none of that could amount to the feelings of confusion and unsettlement I experienced when I thought of you.
The horse that I adored and wished for was now the one I feared.
My accident was not related to you; and yet, that relationship we began fostering months earlier was impacted the most.
Whilst hospitalized, I longed to see you.
But I also dreaded it.
Because I was no longer simply a disabled horse owner – but became a disabled AND traumatized horse owner.
Because when I thought of you, I also thought of your movement, your size, your strength – and my lack of speed.
Because I feared you.
Upon closing my eyes at night, instead of drifting to sleep, I would play the same scene over and over in my mind.
It was a scene I had created, because any recollection of the accident I had was false.
I had no subconscious memory of it.
But my body remembered everything that happened.
Because when I saw you, even from a distance, I became petrified.
Because my accident stripped the joy of owning you, Remmie.
When I was in your presence, I could not retain information.
I could not absorb words when someone was speaking to me.
I could not catch a breath.
When I saw you, my horse, I became dissociated from my body.
And the only thing I could see was my fear of you – you, the horse I had longed for since childhood.
For the remainder of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, which I now call my post-accident season of life, the only way I could engage with you was with the stall door between us.
And even with that physical barrier, I did not feel safe.
I feared your movements.
My inability to move fast enough.
Upon coming back home from seeing you and your sibling, I would take a long shower as an attempt to wash away the effects of trauma until my next visit.
I would always feel exhausted.
The thought of rehoming you crossed my mind more than once, but it would always fade when my love for you resurfaced.
One day, that thought lingered in my mind for longer than usual.
And for the first time since my accident, I felt a sense of peace.
A sense of comfort.
A sense of longing for the best opportunities for you – a future without a traumatized owner.
On the day I took the decision to part ways with you, I cried for two hours – the longest cry of my adult life.
The thought of saying goodbye to you was unbearable.
But so was the thought of keeping you in my life.
I spent the next month and a half seeking your new home – and not only did I find a few possibilities.
I also found, through my search, a little glimpse of our short pre-accident journey together that would reappear in my thoughts.
Though there were a few individuals who reached out to me and had interest in meeting you, I was very selective and only one potential family was introduced to you.
That is all that it took for me to realize what was true in my heart.
When I gazed at you in the field after the potential family met you, my love for you came alive in every part of my body. And then, for a moment, I remembered my dreams for us I once had.
Rehoming you was not an option – at least not in this session of life.
Shortly after your return back home from a training facility, and mine from Europe, there was an evident shift in our relationship.
And it was throughout the months leading up to the one year anniversary of my accident that I began to share the same space as as you without much fear.
That I engaged with you in an open field.
That I entered your stall.
It was also when I discovered that my love for you was greater than any feelings of doubt and fear I experienced in my post-accident session.
The moments we spent together in the summer of 2023 fostered a new kind of relationship between us.
The happiness I felt when we gazed at each other for minutes without looking away.
The comfort I felt when you embraced me close to your body.
The validation I felt when you looked at me from afar when I called out your name.
I have confidence in the bond we are slowly building – and I trust us.
A year later, and my relationship with you is stronger than ever. My love for you is still growing. And I believe that, in your own way, you realized that you have found a space to call home – alongside a sibling you adore.
it is clear where you belong.
Our journey together, Remmie, is just beginning.