Monday, April 29, 2013

"I love the smell of manure in the morning."

"I love the smell of manure in the morning!" Crazy, I know, and a poor paraphrase of Duvall in Apocalypse Now.  However, I have a reason for loving the smell of manure.

My father trained thoroughbred race horses, and when I was young, my father owned a horse stable at the Lakefront.  My childhood was filled with the wonder of horses. I loved them, feared them, and respected them.  Daddy was practically a horse whisperer.  Stallions who reared and bucked when others placed a bridle on them were like lambs with my father. I loved stroking a horse's nose and offering him or her carrots and sugar.  I also was my father's little helper.  I watched him brush a horse down and soon learned how.  I cleaned hooves and mucked out stalls. My father, sam,  let me haul shavings in a small wheelbarrow.  I mucked out stalls with a rake then spread the shavings.  Sam was with me at those times, and we bonded over horses.

Sam loved the racetrack.  Even after he'd had a stroke, my father reapplied for his trainer's license and worked again. It was at the racetrack he died, tending his horses. Therefore--when I smell manure at the track, I'm home again, watching Sam train his horses. 

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