The Scent of a Horse

The scent of a horse


I love the smell of my horse, her skin as it gets warm in the sun…right there on her neck behind her ears. We have developed a strong bond these days, it took awhile to get  there. My mare is sensitive and hates to be in a bind. She is better now, or at least tolerates in her ‘horse like’ way, when I circle my arms around her neck and take in her scent. I hope she likes how I smell to her, the blend of horse manure dust and hay mixed with a little wine. 

I love the smell of my cows too, especially when they are grazing on tall native grasses that flourish in the spring. In the Fall, the cows will smell of the earth, the acorns and the oak trees, when the oak trees drop their acorns and the grass is golden. Sometimes, when we are out checking on the cows they will hide from us, hoping we won't  disturb them or move them from their comfortable spots under the trees in the shade. They learn how to keep the clabbers on their bells from clanging. Often times I play a little game  with myself when I'm riding my mare, she actually loves to do it…hide and seek, which one of us can be first to pick up the sweet scent of the cows before they show themselves. A good cow horse enjoys games like that. A horse will become more sure of themselves and understand why it is that we ride hard in extreme terrain way out in the wild. We are looking for cows! That's a fun job. Soon as I mount up, my mare will trot right up to the gate, push it open, and off we go to  look for the cows. We start by following our noses…cows smell good….. My horse always smells good to me, and the cows smell good to her.


Karen Hagen

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© Karen Hagen 2014