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The Echo of Laughter

My home, Dusty Dog Farm, is a large horse training, boarding, and lesson barn. Currently 34 horses reside on the enchanting (except during mud season) acres and laughter resounds around the farm more often than not. The Dusty Dog Farm "tack room," a room specifically for horse-related equipment, is small. The decor includes saddles and bridles lining walls, tack trunks surround the perimeter, and a large pile of saddle pads that sit in a corner. Both trunks and pads become seating for one or many quite often. This tack room is an area I visit daily in an attempt to keep organized. This is a necessary task. If left undone, which has happened periodically, the mess can become scary. Dirty saddle pads, leftover lunch from who knows when, half-full water bottles, snack wrappers, used hand warmers, horse treats, you get the idea. The tack room stores horse equipment, but it also stores laughter, secret conversations, and deep processing, as only space can hold.

Emily Grace

The DDF community includes all ages, all types, all loving horse time, and all drawn toward each other over the equine bond. Good times and hard times are had at the barn or elsewhere. Those times are shared, processed, cried over and laughed about, mostly in the tack room. It is THE gathering place. Here everything equine is absorbed, so is everything life. The lessons learned through and around horses are impactful and empowering.


I like to believe that "space" can hold energy. The earth, dwellings, the woods, a spot by a lake, rooms... can absorb the most powerful energy that has been there regularly. The energy regularly in the tack room is fantastic. In the mornings my smile often breaks out when I walk in, recalling the last laughter.

EG "Emily Grace" (mounted) & Ali (standing)

Folks come and go from the farm. Children grow up and move away. Families find other homes. Jobs change. Last year two young women stretched their wings and left the farm. They had grown up here, spending literally every spare moment plus some with the horses. I taught them private lessons weekly for years, coached them up through a regional level in competitive jumping. We knew each other well. They were quite often the last at the barn in the evening, dragging out every moment with the horses and their riding peers, filling the tack room with hilarity and ridiculousness...and leaving a mess.

EG and Ali

Initially, I didn't even notice after they left that the tack room was all of a sudden cleaner every morning. I just missed them. Now time has moved along, and I cannot help but notice how remarkably neat and clean the room has been. I have called them out on it in a jocular way...and I still miss them. But in that tack room, they have left the echo of their laughter. Each of us can add to that distant echo. I invite you to find the echoes of laughter in your life. May it bring a smile to your face. To spring and all the good things growing! Best,

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