As a lifelong horsewoman I’ve figured out how to remove gunk from my clothes. I can get Furacin off a sweatshirt and Thrush Buster off my jeans. I can even coax horse slobber from cashmere. But my cleaning talents are useless against rain soaked muck.
All of these pungent aromas combine to make a most unpleasant scent that permeates the very fibers of my clothes. When I finally peel the offensive garments from my waterlogged skin, I stand in front of my washing machine and try to decide if it’s worth the effort. Should I just chuck the jeans, the long-sleeved t-shirt and the socks? They’ll never be the same again. Like a magician armed with bottles of potions, I can get the muckity mud stains out. But I can’t seem to remove that smell. I fear that after all this rain none of my barn clothes will ever pass the Sniff Test again.
And now, just to illustrate a few hours of getting doused once again with both rain and the complementary odors of a wet stable and wet horses, here are some snapshots:
|During a brief break in the storm, I got Joey out of his stall and longed him in my paddock. But since he churned up the ground, I had to hurriedly rake it so the rain would run off and into the drain outside the fence. Don’t I look fetching in my Gore-Tex parka? Allegedly it’s waterproof. But it’s certainly not smell proof.|
|Because I only have one box stall, Wally is temporarily stabled in the barn at my parents’ place. For the short drive over there I dumped the parka and pulled on my rubber rain suit. Once there, I saw that my father had installed a rain gutter on the roof over Missy and April’s corrals. But hmmm…. My sister Jill and I pondered just what exactly we were supposed to do with the huge tub of rainwater that had accumulated under the downspout. I mean, it’s not like the grass needs to be watered.|
|Trust me, the horses living outside at my parents all have dry, cozy areas to sleep under their roofs. But they all got to bucking and playing around while Jill and I were trying to longe and clean corrals, so the mud turned into slop in some areas. I tried to dig a canal to drain off the water, but I gave up when the goop literally sucked my muck boots off my feet. Needless to say, I threw away that pair of socks.|
As you can see, horsekeeping is not very enjoyable this time of year. I long for a bright, sunny day before I forget what it’s like to wear a tank top and sunscreen. In fact, while Jill was taking that last photo, she noticed an odd reflection on the view screen of the camera. I took a look at it. There was a strange glare in the upper half of the frame. What the heck was causing that glint? Then I realized it was the sun, breaking through the clouds. Oh, grand orb, come back to us! Soon. Before we all grow slime and start to stink.
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