When you were 12 and I was 24, and this whole adventure began in earnest, I did not - could not - imagine what our partnership would become. I didn't know what real trust felt like yet, how I would clamber onto your warm, strong back time and time again and we would walk away from the world together, each trusting the other to keep us safe. I didn't anticipate how well we'd come to know each other - minds connected like two vines inextricably intertwined, for better or for worse. I didn't yet understand the pain of staying up all night when you colicked, sobbing in the lonely darkness and telling you how much I loved you, and if it got to be too much then I'd help you out of your body. (Praise God, it didn't.) I didn't know what utter joy was waiting for us - catching the gleam in your eye and the spark of energy that ran through your body when you were ready to let loose, and going with you as we ripped through the woods and across fields and over fences. And who knew we'd feel the power and delight of getting strong enough to do dressage and do it well! We two backyard nobodies, learning the double bridle together.
Today, you are 24 and I am 12 years older. Our life is a little quieter, but the partnership is still deep. We still belong to each other, and you are happy. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Happy Birthday, Dino. I love the ride you've taken me on.