5 years from now…

I woke up this morning after a long weekend of driving, reflection, and hard work. Right away the mind goes to the tasks that are planned for the day and it was time to get to work. I busied myself with the usual, but my mind kept drifting off. I could not stay focused on what was in front of me. I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I reviewed past emails, messages, notes, anything that would spark a reminder of what was missing. Then, as I drove to town to run errands, it hit me: I missed our official 5 year anniversary yesterday! And right away, my memory rewound to that trying, exciting, scary, yet joyous time when Pony Tales was officially born: August 18, 2014.

I thought about every single equine that has passed through our gates since that time. From the first surrenders, Indy and Archie, to the most recent, and everyone in between. I can still remember where each and every one of them came from, when they came here, their condition upon arrival, their fear, their transformations, and where each and every one of them is now. Past sadness and loss came rushing back, but it was tempered with the thoughts of the happy endings. And I thought to myself, will I still remember them all 5 years from now? Will the memories fade? Will the feelings I had for each of them drift away? It’s been 5 years. I could never have imagined we would be where we are today 5 years ago. So, where will we be 5 years from now?

It’s a scary thought for me. Especially as we are growing by leaps and bounds as I type. Just this year alone, we are on pace to find homes for more horses than the last 4 years combined. We have a goal of helping 200 horses by May of next year. And I worry, will I remember them all? And what’s worse, I don’t think I will….

If we reach our goals, if we grow how we are planning, there will be so many that we are able to help. SO many. And while we are all excited and looking forward to changing the lives of so many horses and people as well, it seems as though the emotion will have to take a back seat. And that is scary for me. If the emotion is gone, what is left? Do I become a robot just going through the motions to get the job done? Do I distance myself from them to focus on the many other aspects and tasks that this growing organization is going to require of me? And if I do, will the emotion disappear? If it does, what will become of me….

I was told once that there is always that “one horse” that drives people like me into this. And in fact, there was that one horse that started this whole thing. Pony Tales was born on the back of one horse, but now that horse is gone. All that’s left are memories. And those memories will not fade, of that I am sure, unless my mind begins to fail me some day. So, while it is scary for me to think that one day I may not be able to remember each and every beautiful soul that has passed through our gates or the details of each of them, for me, the emotion will never fade. I may not have the one on one connection with them all as I have had in the past, but the connection I will have with them all is that one horse that started it all. Without him, none of us would be here, not the horses, not our volunteers, not our supporters, not me. He lives on in each and every horse we help and I will never forget him. Which means…I will never forget them.

But, I wonder, 5 years from now, will today be nothing more than a distant memory? Will we look back at this time and reminisce about the “good ole days” like we do now? When Pony Tales was just a whisper in the wind and the work was easier, the days were shorter, and the heartache was less. Possibly. But, the thought of how many are out there that need us, that we will now be able to help, makes it all worth while. Growing pains are hard. They are painful indeed. But, we will get past this and our wings will spread and envelop and lift as many as possible to safety. We will no longer be a whisper in the wind, but we will be the wind ourselves. Just imagine where we will be…5 years from now….