I ventured along the back roads on my way home. It would take a bit longer, but I was in no rush and that road-less-traveled, in both a literal and metaphorical sense moreover, always takes one by a number of places with so much more scope. Although I knew I would enjoy the slow ride past familiar spots, I didn’t think there would be anything of much photographic interest. It was raining a bit, and the folks at the weather service had already posted flash-flood watches for the afternoon and evening. I left the good camera at home and had the HX9V in the glove box. I passed freshly planted fields of corn and soy bean and recently cultivated fields of both. I drove along the gently rolling ground of a sod farm not far from Jacob’s place along the river. Before I turned for home I passed Mr. B’s just before the Silver Bridge. I knew that he kept horses and was delighted to see a small group of minis pastured by the road. I stopped and grabbed the camera. They were relaxed, well behaved, and very handsome. We have a horse here at the farm and used to have three when the girls were small and had interests in riding. Although I have never ridden, I do appreciate horses for their beauty and, believe it or not, their smell. Contrary to what I believe to be a popular misconception, farm smells are memorable, pleasing, and very few are otherwise. In much the same way that I appreciate the perfumed aroma of freshly baled hay, I like the smell of a horse. It’s too bad that technology has not yet progressed to a point where odors can be expressed across the internet, for if I could I would post the aromas of a horse, mowed grass, a sheared fleece, and silage. Then you would come to know for yourself that each of these complex smells is unique, and pleasant. Each has a bouquet which, if inhaled with the eyes closed, is capable of stimulating visual memory in a way which can only be experienced and not described. As a biologist I can also appreciate horses for their interesting history. Did you know that the genealogical line of Equus reaches back over fifty million years? Horses originated, diversified, and flourished in North America and by the end of the Pleistocene glaciation they had become extinct on this continent while thriving in parts of Europe and Asia. It is believed that domestication was achieved in Asia about 6000 years ago and that horses then returned to this continent within the last 500 years. They are, like all beasts, fascinating and a pleasure to know.


17 thoughts on “Equus

  1. Your comment about farm/animal smells is so true. I miss them so much! Cows and horse smell the best … and burying your nose in a warm cat is pure heaven. I think only the male goat would ever make me say ‘ew’… sadly I will never, ever be able to eat goat cheese, as it always smells to me like rutting billy goat!

  2. That light area and the directionality of the hairs on the horse’s head certainly attract the viewer’s eye, and they let someone called D play with the so-called rule of thirds.

    • You know Steve, I’ve never taken a photo course or had any formal instruction (perhaps that’s painfully obvious to you as an observer). I find that placement within the frame just kinda happens. I’m glad you think I got it right on this one. D

  3. Another wonderful animal portrait. Love the how you composed the shot. I forwarded this post to Bruce’s cousin who is a horse lover. Happy early Father’s Day! Hope you’re not too lonely!

  4. I am so glad I am not the only one who thinks the smell of horse is a pleasant smell and actually enjoys it. I am always reluctant to wash clothes that have “horse smell” in them, simply because of how much I love the smell of horses. I hope that someday I will have one to call my own. 🙂

    • OMG … as folks belonging to the younger generation would say! I didn’t know that you knew about this blog! So glad to see your name in my comments section. I would go as far as saying that ALL animals have a good smell … even COWS! Have a great day and please sign on as a Pairodox follower if you haven’t already. D

      • Chickens smell better than pigs, cows smell better than chickens, and horses smell better than cows. Horses are definitely my number one ranking in pleasantry of smell. LOL. I have been following Pairodox for awhile, before I ever commented. 🙂 In return I hope you are following Griz. Not that I post as much as you.

  5. I have no experience with horses but some horse-loving friends. As I understood, horses (and that probably applies to many species) help you to learn to let go of your impulse to ‘control’ something, relying on simple ideas of cause and effect … as you cannot force a horse to follow your commands but you need to create an intuitive connection. (I described this in my lay terms). They are also quite popular in coaching and management trainings for that reason.

    • Good, and true, observation. This is also true for all species of livestock. The most difficult to come to terms with are HOGS! Oh, my … I really, really, really, know and have experienced where the phrase ‘Pig Headed’ comes from! Boy, are they difficult to work with! D

      • I just checked it out. Sounds cryptic, as if you guys know each other? But I agree that horse smell is actually more than pleasant. I meant to say – several years back there was a play running in London’s West End (like your Broadway) called Equus by Peter Schaeffer. The posters to advertise the play had a horse’s head not dissimilar to the one you have shot here, except theirs was in mono tone and it kinda faded into the distance. The play was fabulous. It should be revived. 🙂

  6. Our oldest daughter returned last night from a day out of the city with her class. She had ridden a horse, something that she hasn’t done but once we left the farm. She smelled very much of horse, and was very reluctant to shower it away.

    • Did you see the comment from eheisey89? When we shear sheep, the feel and smell of the lanolin stays on the hands for a day or so … it’s another of those nice, tactile and olfactory treats. D

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