Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Calm, and Good and Bad Smells

It's a nice winter day - the high's supposed to reach about 25F, and there's only a little bit of wind. Every horse walked calmly away from the gate at turnout - it's that kind of day.

I somehow started thinking about the good and bad smells I encounter at the barn, and around horses. My favorite smells would have to be:

Good, fresh hay

The subtle grassy smells of the pastures in high summer - the smell of a freshly mown pasture is wonderful too and more intense

Sun-warmed horse fur

Some grains

Leather

Manure - I think I like the smell because it's associated with horses.

My least favorite smells are:

That funky, too-ripe-cheese smell of thrush

Ammonia - we're lucky the pelleted bedding we use eliminates most of this odor. I believe, although I can't prove it, that the stall of a horse that has a metabolic disorder smells different, and not good.

Moldy hay - just plain nasty even if there's only a little bit of mold

Some supplements smell really bad to me.

Chemical fly and mosquito repellents - they smell as toxic as they are.

The smell of blood - but if you have enough blood around to smell it you've got other problems. I also hate the taste of blood, but fortunately that isn't (usually) a barn experience - I wouldn't make a good vampire!

* * * * * *

Breathe over at HorseCentric has a nice post that links to a number of her favorite posts from the past by a number of horse bloggers (I'm partial because she lists one of mine that I had almost forgotten about).

Enjoy your day, and may it include horses!

9 comments:

  1. my sister and i swear that arabian horses smell different from others. this is from our working at the stables where baasha was born, in comparison to any other barn we visited.

    now i know that a pasture kept horse smells different than a stall kept one.

    but we still insist there is a particular smell to an arabian: )

    have you smelled silage/haylage. oh my! that is quite the stank.

    ~lytha

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  2. I'm with you. I don't mind the smell of horse manure at all, but I hate the smell of urine. Go figure.

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  3. Love the barn smells--except for the ammonia--but sometimes they make me sneeze. I am allergic to something in some of the best hay, I guess, as freshly mown grass can have the same effect. And yet....I love the smell of both. They smell like warm summer days.

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  4. other good smells - rain on the sagebrush, sagebrush in manes!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

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  5. I would have to add horse sweat to your list of good smells. I LOVE the way a sweaty horse smells. :o)

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  6. I love the smell coming out of a horse's nose. I guess that is called horse breath, but whatever it is called, it is the greatest smell on earth.

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  7. love the barn and horse smells, and I'd add to the stinky list : cooler that did not have a chance to dry up properly and was stored away...I found one just like that in the barn the other day and when I took the container lid off I almost passed out...

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  8. I can't figure out why the horse smells so good (even--or especially--a sweaty horse!) but a horse blanket smells so nasty?! The winter cover-me-up blanket, I mean--saddle blankets smell nice.

    One of the great mysteries of life.

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  9. One of my favorite sensual memories is of sitting in the barn loft in the middle of a Montana winter, with the hay we had cut, baled and stacked ourselves: I could SMELL SUMMER, while I listened to 17 head of dude horses munching away outside.

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