So you move to a new place and it's nearly two months before you get to visit a barn. And when you finally do ... the first person you meet is ...

... a farrier!

Made me feel right at home, even before I went in and saw the horses.

I like farriers. I like the way they like horses, because I love horses. I like the way they teach, as they work, those of us who want to learn. I like the smoke, and the fire, and the sounds--the hiss of steam, the roar of the forge. I like the smell of burning hoof. It takes me back to some ancient place and time, long before the Industrial Revolution, to tales of smithies located at crossroads for protection against evil, and cold iron and hot iron.

I love all stable smells, sweet grass and grain and hay and horses and leather.

But drive up that big truck, park it in the doorway, fire up that forge and strap on that apron ... and I'll bring in horse after horse after horse after horse after horse ...