Saturday, April 25, 2009
Aww the sweet smell of horse manure......
Yes, you read correctly, I like the smell of horse manure. Well "like" may be too strong a word. I don't exactly 'like' to smell manure in the same kind of way I 'like' to smell freshly baked bread or cooking onions, but I do associate all horse related smells with happy carefree times.
I was a horse loving girl all through high school. Even the barn cleaning moments were fun, just us girls driving the tractor around, chattering and goofing off as we cleaned the stalls and made the world a little nicer for our beloved 4 legged creatures.
We were so in love with the horses, nothing could distract us from them. We lived at the stables. For at least one or two seasons, we even slept in the hay shed all summer long, spending most every minute devoted to our equines, grooming them, cleaning tack, playing with them, training them, and just endlessly hanging out at the barns. It kept us out of trouble, our love for horses, because we did our rebellious staying out late at the riding club, far away from parties, boys, and sleezy places downtown.
My girlfriends were so much fun to be with, we came from all corners of the Lower Mainland, and we may never have crossed paths had it not been for riding at the same stable. They were some of my very best friends during that time of my life. Constantly it seemed, we laughed till we cried, and we were all so different, yet everybody was included. We went to horse shows, to the races, to other barns, out for lunch, to dinner, to the tack store,...... we just did everything, it was all horses all the time.
I lost touch with them about the time I got into music. Suddenly, late nights no longer mixed well with early mornings and my life at the farm faded away. I kept riding for a number of years as I travelled around the world, mostly as a random hobby. I never really got completely back into it again, never really made that connection with other barn members either, which was really a big part of the appeal.
One day, while riding in England, I think I was about 27, I fell off of a horse and got a concussion. It was quite scary, and I have not been on a horse since.
Enter facebook. One of my girlfriends found me through another old horse crazy pal, and she left me a message as well as her sisters phone number. I called the number the minute I read the message, as I had been wondering lately, where they both had gone, had wondered what they had been doing after all these years.
Suddenly, I was meeting them at one of my gigs, and we were laughing till we cried at the memories we had to share. Some of the stories they brought up, I am not so sure I really want to remember. For example, apparently, I used to wear curlers while I slept in the hayshed. ?????? Yeah, we got real good laugh out that one. I don't know. Don't ask. I was under 20, that is all I can think of to say in my defense.
As it turns out, one of them still has a horse and she is managing one of the stables in the flats where we used to ride, while the other boards her pony there, so we have plans to meet up for old times sake and go for lunch.
I have always imagined myself and my kids riding together, but I never really found an opportunity. Today I had that opportunity and I took my kids to see the stables to see where Leslie works. This is the video of their first introduction to horses.