Isn't it amazing that this great big creature exists simply so that I can enjoy a relationship with her, expressed through caring for her and going for rides.
I travelled to another country to meet her, took a liking to her, paid for her and brought her to my green hills. What a journey all that was!
And now her purpose is to bring me fulfilment. It's an odd life for a mare whose ancestors were bred to work. She's happy, of course, living in a herd. But she gallops across the field when I appear at the gate, and puts her head forward to receive a halter. She walks quietly beside me, accepts a saddle, and lets me get up.
The rides she appears to enjoy. There's a measure of compromise. Sometimes she wants to stop and stare at something, out of curiosity rather than alarm. Some days she is keener than others when it comes to fast work. That doesn't matter. A good gallop is fun. But a slow ride allows me to see more. And most rides include a pause to graze.
We don't go out to win things. Riding isn't a matter of trying to show that Brena and I are better than some other people and horses. I'm happy with a pleasant ride together. Enjoying ourselves is a success in itself, and getting around safely is a good thing. Exploring new places is nice when we're able to.
Actually I think that Brena brings out the best in me. Concern for her welfare. Discovering harmony in our activities together. Finding ways to interfere with her less, including no shoes or bit. Enjoying simple things, including that affectionate look in her eye. Coming to a realisation that I am very fortunate indeed to have her in my life. Gratitude for this.