Heat, and Humidity, and the Things That Make Us Glad

August has come to Florida, and I am exhausted.

I know, the time-stamp on this post is June 7th. To be fair,  it still feels like June 6th… the longest June 6th ever, and I’ve known a few. We spent the day packing and working horses and then, to add insult to injury, I had to go to work as well! While I was there I ate some delicious dinner my husband cooked me and watched a fireworks show… it was brutal.

The best way to graze is up against your friend.

Seriously, though, this is the blog post without a point, because at this point in my rapidly changing little atmosphere, I can barely draw breath.

The nicely consistent thing has been the horses: Upper West Side, finally realizing that she  can move her hind leg, despite the fact that she cut her hip a week ago (or was it two weeks ago?)… Sunset Park, chewing adorably on my pony tail and making voracious stallion noises at the old broodmare… and Final Call, shrugging off the heat and going out for an easy ride and popping over a fence to boot.

Consistency – even though I have never been able to give it, my horses give it to me. I might feed them at one o’clock in the morning or eight o’clock in the morning, but no matter when I do it, their mannerisms will remain unchanged. Final Call will go into every stall but his own, and have to be led in. The filly will go lightly into her stall, and wait silently. The colt will go into his stall and then shout. The broodmare will whicker in that old, breathy, high-pitched whinny of hers. And every morning when I walk outside, the whole farm neighs their good morning.

I’m looking forward to always walking into a barn in the morning and hearing the good morning whinnies. My life would not be complete without it. I may be a city girl, but that’s one country noise that is music to my ears. I’m not enamoured with roosters, I can happily live without cows, and I don’t mind buying my produce at a market. I will always prefer the sound of a siren to the sound of the neighbor’s peacock. (Who wouldn’t?) The one thing I must be able to count on, though, is the genuine pleasure in a horse’s nicker, when I come walking through the door. Hot and humid, cold and snowy, does it even matter? The horses remain the same.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Heat, and Humidity, and the Things That Make Us Glad

  1. Blob

    After moving to New York, it wasn’t the riding everyday that I missed like I thought I would. It was smelling the horses when I’d walk into the barn, knowing that one cranky old horse’s sweet spot, closing down the barn at night when all you could hear was hay munching and snorts, and just generally being around the horses.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      The barn life is easily the best bit of horses. Easily. I have been perfectly content as a groom, not riding anything for years at a time, just to be amongst horses, keeping them happy. The sweet sound of horses burrowing into a flake of hay. Happiness.

      I used to walk past Claremont Riding Academy when I lived on the Upper West Side. Just to smell the hay wafting down from the upper stories of the building. I wept no tears when they closed it, but the scent of hay would comfort me on lonely afternoons.

  2. Laurie

    When there is so much change happening it is good to have something constant in your life. There will always be horses. Lovely writing as usual.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Thank you, Laurie. The thing to remember this time around, is that I must have horses around. Seeing them in the park wasn’t enough. So I went all out and went back to the farm life. Which doesn’t suit me at all. City+horses. Yes it can be done.

  3. Pravina

    So funny how smells trigger these things in our brains. I have a trunk full of my big sporthorses belongings (he died of colic 2 years ago)It still smells like him. When I go to storage every once in awhile I open it up and remember him for a few moments.

    I totally agree barn life- and the associated smells- are some of the best parts! I love the quizzical looks I get when trying to explain how lovely and comforting the smell of horses is. The tack room smells wonderful, that saddlesoapy smell is great… hay, grain, leather…the best horse smells.
    Heck, even flyspray, and Absorbine are comforting “horsey” smells.
    I’ve even gotten quite a few decidedly non-horsey people to admit that horse poop really does not smell all that bad at all!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Funny horsey scent… I bought Repel-X a few weeks ago. I am ordinarily adamantly against pyrethrins, but the little flies were making them so crazy that I started to believe that hyperthyroidism would actually be preferable to the misery these horses were living.

      Just a whiff of Repel-X and I was back at the lesson barn I started at… maybe helping Jenn muck stalls? LOL Repel-X and Vetrolin were in daily use, in gallons there, but I’ve never really used either since.

  4. Barb

    One of my favorite things is just listening to the horses eating. It’s such a contented sound.

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