It turns out that the person who was caring for him (as part of a free lease/trial to own) knowingly sold Dreamer when that person did not legally own him herself. He was on a trial, and legal ownership was never signed over. If it had been, the contract would have included a right of first refusal. She, along with the people associated with her, shot themselves in the foot repeatedly, changing their story and lying to the police, who unfortunately had to be involved when she refused to tell Dreamer's owner where she had taken him. It took a few days, but Dreamer was located and contact with the person who bought him was established. Luckily, the people whom Dreamer was sold to have provided him with a suitable home and he will be staying there.
The person who sold Dreamer was upset that she had been caught red-handed and made a big stink about it, and I was given less than 24 hours to leave my barn and move Lucy. I had a place lined up to take her to, and a friend who could trailer her for me, within ten minutes of receiving that phone call. Lucy was moved in less than 8 hours. It's amazing that in a time of need, when someone you consider a friend and whom you have gone out of your way to help turns and does their best to make your life hell, how many people show you their best side. I had so many offers of somewhere to take Lucy, I had three people say they could trailer her for me at the drop of a hat, and the outpouring of support was amazing and just what I needed to get through this without losing it. Not one single person thought I had done the wrong thing; it seems the only person who thinks that is the one who tried to sell a horse she didn't own.
I am aware that the person who sold Dreamer has been trying to figure out where we went, and honestly I have no idea why she'd care. I left the barn when they asked, cleaned out all of my things and left my spaces in better shape than I found them (even gutted my stall for them!), and was nothing but polite and cordial to everyone, even when they were being very hurtful and rude to me. I try to find a silver lining in every situation, no matter how upsetting it is initially, and the best part about this new barn is the awesome trail system that starts right off the back of the property. We will get a lot of trail riding in until the weather warms up enough that I'm motivated to do ring work :)
I am also aware that this person is trying to ruin my reputation. I'm not really worried about it, because they don't have a particularly good reputation themselves (and especially not after this stunt with Dreamer) and anyone with questions about the incident can approach me and I will be more than willing to tell them the story.
There is no need for me to trash this individual or "out" her. Dreamer is safe, Lucy is fine, and life goes on. I was initially very hurt by what happened but I learned a good lesson, and I'd make that phone call to his owners again, even knowing what the outcome would be. Dreamer is a special pony who is dearly loved by myself, his owners, and many other kids whom he has shown the ropes. It would have been SO easy for him to fall through the cracks, and in this day and age when there are so many trailers going up to Canada, horses disappear at the drop of a hat and by the time you figure out what is going on, they're already on someone's plate at a fancy overseas restaurant.
|Dreamer and I, about ten years ago|