The smell of horses

_hippologic_orenThere is something special about horses. There is not an animal in the world that smells as good as a horse! I think the best spot to smell a horses’ scent is right behind their ears. Unless you have that special grey that uses his pile of poop as a cushion while he sleeps.

That spot behind the ears is really, really soft and it feels almost like fur, did you know that? I discovered that every horse has an individual smell, but they all smell good. If you haven’t been around horses for a while and you enter a barn you know what the aroma of horses, horse sweat, manure and hay is and how that smell wakes up your memory.  To me the odour of a horse is like a perfume. I wouldn’t wear it, but I it is sure one of my favourite smells.

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Photo by Fred Fokkelman

Two other scents I really love and associate with horses are the smell of baled hay in the field and freshly cut grass. These take me right back to my childhood when me and my friend used to help on a hobby farm in exchange for riding the pony’s. We could sit for hours in the field next to the grazing pony’s. Everyone knows the smell of a mowed lawn and if horses eat, you can smell the same smell if you are really close by.

The sound of a horse eating is also very special and is very relaxing to me. I love to sit next to my horse to watch and listen to her while she is grazing. I love it when I enter a barn early in the morning or late at night and I hear all the horses munching away their hay. The horses look so peaceful and happy in that moment. Then there is that crunchy sound if they eat apples or carrots or eat their pellets and grains.

__hippologic_grazing_horseAnother sound I really enjoy and can hear from kilometres away is the sound of hoof beats. On the hobby farm the owner often took us on carriage tours on  Saturday. That was the highlight of the week. Later, when we were teenagers, he allowed us to go together. We drove around town in traffic, because we didn’t live near trails. It gave us an unbelievable feeling of freedom and responsibility.

The last sound that wakes up my memory is the sound of leather. You know the crackling sound of old leather saddles in the riding school. Some horses have really ‘loud’ saddles. Sometimes it was really annoying, but now, when I sit behind my computer writing this, it brings me back to my youth.

What triggers your memory?

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Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
I help horse owners get the results in training they really, really want with joy and easy for both horse and human. I always aim for win-win!
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0 thoughts on “The smell of horses”

  1. Hmm, horses smell so good. It’s amazing how you can recognise different horses by their smell! And of course, baled hay is the ultimate stable-smell. For me, dusty forest paths in summer are also one of those reminders of horse riding.

  2. I love the smell of horses in the morning. 😉
    The smell of freshly cleaned leather is something I really like.
    When I was reading your article I just smelled them again. 🙂

    1. O, I forgot about the leather cleaning smell. Thank you for reminding me. I had the same experience: when I was looking for a nice picture of baling hay, I could smell the scent of fresh hay!

  3. My best friend always comes up to me and the first thing she will say is ‘I missed your smell, the smell of horses you always have on you’

    I always look up when I hear the sound of hoofs. And hay has the best smell ever of course.

    Nice blog post 🙂 it’s a fun read.

  4. I love how horses smell too. It’s beautiful how all animals have a distinct smell. My cat smells so good my nose could get lost in his fur! And puppy breath too.

    My relatives have horses so I grew up around them a bit. I experienced riding English, Western and bare-back as a young girl. I haven’t rode in many years, but I do remember what great exercise it is and how you have to soak in a tub if you don’t ride regularly because your muscles just scream at you! (Ha-ha!)

  5. Another spot that I love the smell of horses is after an hour of riding in the saddle in a nice summer weather, take off that saddle, and there’s a big spot of the horse’s sweat. May favorite thing to do is put my head on that sweat spot and smell the horse. I know that sounds weird but it’s very therapeutic.

  6. Plus I wish there’s a candle that smell like horses so that I can put it in my room, and I can smell it all day long and every morning I wake up.

  7. YES YES YES. I didn’t think anybody else felt that way. there is no other animal in the world but smells as good as a horse. I could just smell them forever!! I wish my bed smelled that good!

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