By Johnny Utah
Based on a suggestion by MetalbondNYC
I was working hard at the ranch. My routine was set. Get up, coffee, do the three S’s, and then off to the stables. It was about half a mile to the stables from my mobile home. My boots crunched the gravel on the track to the stables. It was a good walk and got my mind cleared to concentrate on work.
As I’d get close to the stables I’d be sucked in by the warm smells of hay, horse, and the Florida woods. First thing to do was feed and water the horses, get them into whatever corral or field they needed to be in. I’d toss dozens of haybales into the hayloft, dig fence post holes, lug wood around, dig ditches, and — as ever — shovel shit into the trailer and then shovel it out at the manure pile.
There were always little extras that were enjoyable. I liked brushing the horses. I’d talk to them to make sure they were calm. They always listened. Each horse had its own personality.
Before it got too late in the morning the owners would show up, or the owners of some of the horses who were stabled there. I would have a brief talk with them about their horse or something. Sometimes it was nothing in particular, like the weather.