I am inured to my own stink, so when I noticed that something particularly pungent was wafting in and out of my notice, on the way home after Saturday’s lesson… I naturally assumed, okay, that yes: I reek.

This was little something extra.

What happened was: It was really cold yesterday. Cold enough that I thought I might take off my light jacket halfway through the lesson and decided against it; cold enough that I was wearing a light jacket at all. I remember a period of time, early on, during which there was a more experienced girl in my Saturday lesson. This is going back… five years, maybe. There I was in my layers of outerwear, and there she was in a button-down top. I’ve toughened up over the intervening years and often ride in the winter in a long-sleeved top, and that’s it for protection from the elements. And my body protector, sure, but even so. I think I even wore a scarf one time, early on? Sheesh.

So, Saturday was pretty chilly. We worked hard, non-stop, on the flat, and Con worked up a sweat, so much so that he had white stuff all over his jowls, and near the girth. It was too cold to hose him down, and I couldn’t bear to leave him like that… so I took off my jacket, dipped a section of it into his water bowl, and wiped him down as best I could. And then dried him off, again as best I could, with the jacket.

I balled it up, stuffed in into my rucksack, and thought nothing of it.

Until I sat there on the bus, wondering what in holy hell stank.

In fairness, even as I asked the question of the general Consciousness, I knew full well that it was me that was the source of the pong. I felt a little self-conscious, but also a little bit proud. I worked so hard in that lesson that I stink to high heaven. <It’s almost lyrical, that.

I also felt a little dubious. Surely I can’t be smelling as bad as this?! Could I have sweat that much in so much cold? Then I remembered the jacket, and how I had wiped all that sweaty white stuff onto it, and then, weirdly, I was a little embarrassed. I don’t even know what that is about. Why would I be more conscious of the stinky jacket and not the stinky bod? I haven’t got a notion. I think because I really don’t think that I smell that bad, but whooo, man, the reek of this jacket was noticeable even through the rucksack.

Ah, sure. I forgot about it, mostly, after I identified it as the source of all things smelly. I even took it food shopping. I only hope that it helped to prevent Connell feeling too much discomfort. If it did, it was well worth the the looks from my fellow commuters. Sorry, people! The comfort of the horse wins.

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