Getting Even Steven
You turn 26 years old today. I've known you for 12 years now and I've never taken the time to reflect on our relationship in writing, so this letter is clearly overdue.
You are the most sensitive, opinionated, human member of equine society I've ever known. You've been my crazy-best-friend-straight-out-of-a-sitcom-character-sidekick since you came to live with me.
You had your own fan club back in our lesson days. You've taught more lessons and taken more ribbons at horse shows for my students and myself than I could ever count.
You're the horse who everybody wanted to buy, but was never for sale. Partly because I knew you would eat them for lunch if I weren't there to translate. Partly because I knew we were meant to stay together.
You've earned yourself many nicknames, some flattering, some not-so-much. You've been an ongoing lesson in patience and picking my battles. You've taught that some things can never change.
You've made me laugh, even when you're terribly serious. You've made me cry with sadness and with joy. You've flattered me and made me look a fool - sometimes in the same breath! You've inspired me with pride and love. And there have been times I've been madder at you than any human I've ever known.
You broke my heart when your health became so poor, that I wasn't sure you were going to make it. And I know that when I decided to put in the extra effort to help you recover, you made the extra effort required to stay on the planet with me.
You've made me a better teacher, a better horse trainer, a better friend and a better person. You are an example of rising above the fray, of perserverance and of mind over matter.
Knowing you all these years, I know what it means to be misunderstood, underappreciated and devalued. But I see you. You're a treasure in my heart.
Steven, I'd say we're even.