What happens when an ordinary, non-"horseperson" enters a horse barn:
"Phew, it stinks in here. How come I can't pat that one? She's cute!" (This about the resident stallion)
"What? Watch where I'm step - OH, CRAP, what was that? It was crap? Dammit, these are my good shoes!"
"Here, I'll just give this one a carrot. OWWW! It tried to bite me!"
"Move? Where? *Excited neighing*Thundering hooves* Sorry... I didn't see you coming with that horse. I'm really sorry it got away...."
"Maybe I should just go wait in the car."
What happens when a horseperson enters a barn:
You are at home.
Seriously, I've always marveled at the differing reactions to horse barns. Since I was a little kid, I am struck anew at how happy I am to be there every time I walk in (As long as it's a nice barn, of course! I've also gone in a couple where my reaction was "Oh, no..."). It's so many little things but they add up to the whole "barn experience," for those of us who like them...
Dust motes swirling in the sunlight glancing through the doorway. Birds flying about, or preening and cooing on the rafters or stall tops. Alert equines peering over stall doors, looking for their owner or a treat. The sweet smell of hay, overlaid with eau de horse. The delicious aromas of well cared-for leather and saddle soap. The sharp tang of liniment. Soft nickers, throaty rumbles, irritated squeals, whinnies and neighs. The occasional thud of a hoof meeting a wall or floor, and the soft swish of tails lazily shooing flies. The rhythmic chewing of hay. Buckets and feed tubs being flung against the wall as hungry muzzles dig into dinner. Hooves moving around in shavings. Laughter and giggles from humans grooming contented horses.
There are few places I'd rather be on a warm, sunny day, filled with the anticipation of a good ride. I know you all feel the same way, too! Happy (almost) Spring!
[I will casting back my mind to childhood days again for my next post, but just had to share how I feel about horse barns in general. :-)]