There are some smells that trigger emotions and memories. You breathe them in deeply and it takes you to another place and time. Say for instance . . . baking bread brings back fond memories of my grandmas warm kitchen. And the other smell that puts me into a bucolic trance . . . horse sweat and fly spray. Nothing quite like it. And yes it does rank right up there with baking bread.
Today I treated myself and attend the Britt Draft Horse Show held in Britt, Iowa. For such a tiny town they put on one heck of a good horse show. I spent the morning milling around the barns. Most horse events find me in the behind the scenes areas. Whether it be shows, competition or races I love to hang out in the staging area. Often missing the actual event in hopes of capturing something special happening in the quiet moments. So thats how I spent my day. Not too many ways I would have rather spent it.
You may have noticed that nearly all the photos here are of black Percherons. I found this odd. Not so many years ago the horses were far more varied in color and breed. Today there was a few Clydesdales, a few more Belgians and a whole lot of Percherons. Apparently black is now the color of choice for Percherons since that was what they all came in with the exception of a few grays which were so dark they were probably black last year. I love dapple gray and the lighter and whiter the better.
Similarly the Clydesdales were all pretty much the same color. That would be Budweiser Clyde color and marked. No roans or blacks or splashes of white on the belly. Just clones of the famous hitch. I have to say I was slightly disappointed by this.
The other thing I found interesting was some of the horses had shaped hooves. (like on this guy) Very cool look but it makes me wonder of the hoof integrity.
I remember a few years back I was talking with my neighbor (the proud owner of around 30 Percherons) and he was telling me everyone was liking the platter foot. The bigger and splayed out the better. But he felt that the horses had more hoof problems because of this. It all comes down to looks in the end. You gotta follow the trend in order to win the awards. Which in turn allows you to command better prices for your horses.
At this point I am bit weary. I am sunburned and have a headache from a little too much sun exposure. Plus I feel gritty from all the dust. (for those horse savvy among you, you realize what I’m actually saying is I’m covered in dried-up pulverized horse poo.) My immediate plan is to shower and flop down in front of the air conditioner. I was in need of a critter fix and it was so worth it.