Former inmate gets life on track; credits horses

Posted at: 03/26/2013 1:10 PM
Updated at: 03/26/2013 2:31 PM
By: Jim Kambrich

GREENFIELD CENTER - A former inmate at the Walkill Correctional Facility says his life is finally on the right track, and he has horses to thank for it.

Steven Emery says horses changed him forever.

“You can learn from a horse. You can learn a lot from a horse. I learned a lot from a horse,” Emery says.

When NewsChannel 13 talked to him 3 years ago, he was serving his 'second' prison sentence at the Walkill Correctional Facility for attempted burglary.

He was also in a rehabilitation program that paired inmates with abused and neglected horses to learn about 'responsibility'--for the horse, and themselves.

“I clean her. I feed her. I water her. Make sure she has hay,” he said.

But, did it stick?

Steven has now been out for 2 years now, and has been steadily employed ever since.  He says horses taught him a life-long lesson.

‘But I been around these guys. And they made me listen. One way or another, they made me listen. I can't bully him. I can't just run around and do what I want to him. 'Cause he's going to let me know, he's not having it.”

Steven told NewsChannel 13 that his new attitude has also made it possible for him to reconnect with his family.

“Does your family notice a difference in you?” asked NewsChannel 13’s Jim Kambrich.

“Oh yes, yes. Oh, yes. They support my change. They've seen it. Steven you are a different person now than you were. Oh, totally does and they remind me about that.” Emery said.

He's especially proud of re-establishing his relationship with his sister.

“And just to hear her say the only reason she came back is because I changed. So, I try to keep it that way,” he says.

Steven says the horses are family too.

“And these horses...every time I look at that, I say wow, these horses helped me be the man that I am today.”

Steven also wants horses to remain in his future. He's looking toward a career in equine veterinary medicine.

But for now, Steven says he would be happy with a job where he could work with horses full time in any capacity.

He says horses put him on the right track, and he is determined to stay there.