The Smell of Grass, Weeds, and Horses

Photographer treasures time spent riding and caring for horses

By the time I was sixteen, I owned my own horse, a beautiful mare named Slate. I worked to pay for feed, hay, boarding, and everything else that comes with horse ownership. I drove my truck a few miles from home, sometimes twice a day, to care for Slate where she boarded, in the pasture behind a retired couple’s old farmhouse. The barn and pasture were my paradise. I remember riding Slate through a field of summer weeds and wildflowers just like this, then riding back to the barn where I brushed and fed Slate under the trees, taking in the warmth of summer and listening to her crunch on oats. The earthy smell of grass and weeds and the sweet, musky smell of horse sweat remind me of a simpler and easier time.

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