Gypsy, I have known him since he was 4 (and already a lesson horse in that barn), then I started leasing him last October (he was 5 then) and I bought him last December. It makes me his owner for 7 months, but it feels as a lifetime actually. :)
A peculiar thing - he used to be a slow and lazy plodder before I leased him. Always with his head low and eyes almost closed, as stubborn as a mule, but we had our moments together, and I just felt he's the right one for me. The morning I started my lease, I already knew I won't let him go anymore. Before I completed the paperworks, I went to him and told what I was going to do, and left him standing in the pastures as usual - head low, eyes closed. After 15 minutes or so, when the paperworks had been done, I went back to the pastures, and just in time to have the most Black Stallion moment in my life - suddenly Snickers was wide awake, head high, eyes open, and neighing his lungs out, cantering towards me. And he has stayed like that since that moment. :) I wouldn't believe it myself, if I hadn't experienced it first hand...
I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.