“You smell like barn,” my family wrinkles their nose, mumbling their mantra, if I don’t shower after I return from riding.
Me, I love the barn, the smell, the horses, the quiet, the sometimes chaos, the time away from the day-to-day. It is my space, my place to unwind, to mingle, to learn, to love, to cry, to stretch my brain and my body, to exercise. to sweat, to be solely focused.
The rhythm of grooming, brushing, petting, tacking, cleaning ,riding, untacking, washing,cleaning, thanking. It is comforting, familiar, but it is always a different experience, changing emotions, unexpected challenges, elated successes and physically painful failures. It is a space away from my job, my family, my everyday–though I strive to visit everyday, my yearning on days I cannot go, my wish for warmer days to ride outside.
So I might smell like barn to you, but I smell like me to me. And memories, and always challenges, and freedom. C