A reflection from artist Mary Durnin Firth

The leather rein has a familiar feel when I grasp it. The sound of the horse’s hooves on the grass reminds me of my childhood riding horses in Arizona. I can smell the hay and envision the hoof-pick that I still have from days long gone.

But this day, the smell of dew on the wet grass brings me back to reality as I stare out at the beautiful green fields of England. The mane of my niece’s mare shines gold in the sunlight and I’m giddy with the joy of the ride. With a tug of the rein, we head back toward the noise of the stables.

I hand the reins to my niece as I swing my legs off the gentle giant and land in the mud below. Later, when the mares are turned out in the field, I watch as the two horses meet up and begin the ritualistic rubbing of noses.

There’s a deep connection between them. It makes me think about all the people that I profoundly love in my life and how important those relationships are. When you love somebody, you just want to be close to them.

As I depart from the field and take one final look at the mares rubbing noses, I know that when I return home, my paintbrush will be unstoppable.



Mary Durnin Firth grew up moving throughout the southwestern United States before settling in Missoula, Montana. She has always loved the outdoors and spends as much time as possible outside. Recently, she has been drawn to capturing the emotions she sees in animals. Mary thoroughly enjoys exploring this passion through the acrylic medium. She loves color, which is evidenced in her extremely colorful paintings. Please visit DurninFineArt.com or contact Mary directly at Mary@DurninFineArt.com for originals, prints, and commissions.


“My hope is that when people see my paintings, 

an emotional connection is created 

and it brings joy into their lives.”