I can’t remember the first time I rode a horse. It was sometime in my childhood, before my teen years. We never owned a horse or a pony, but Carl Hoffman, who lived on a farm a short walk up the dirt road, did. It was a work horse, dark in colour, if my memory serves me well.
The horse lived in a grand barn, built by Mr. Hoffman from the trees on the property. The beams had to be twelve inches square. They created a massive structure that would have lasted a century or more if careless idiots hadn’t burnt it down a few years ago.
The barn will live on in my memory, as will the horse and the wonderful smells inside the structure. Hay on a warm day, fresh manure and the general odour of farm life lived in that barn. It was pleasant to sit in it and smell the aromas. If I closed my eyes, I could dream of being in a time when life was simpler and horses depended on fresh grass and hay—set up for the winter—to survive.