My mother may not have offered dance classes, but she did allow me to have a horse in the backyard. She had her friend put up electric wire from the garage to the side yard turning it into a pasture.
The first animal I had was a pony, but I kept it down the road at the old barn behind Grandma’s house. I stayed overnight in the winter at Grandma’s so I could carry buckets of water to the barn from the house because the nights would freeze the water. It had to be replaced frequently. I trudged through the snow and back before the bus came.
No one monitored my goings on, how I took care of it, fed it, nothing. I did it all on my own, tethering it to a post with a chain in the meadow during the day, and keeping him in the barn at night where the cows once were barred in.
Then she allowed me to trade up for my horse and keep her right at home. I gathered corncobs from the neighboring field after the farmer had harvested, filling up wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow. I paid for the hay and straw with my babysitting money.
My ponies and horse made my childhood livable filling it with wonder and miracle… During later years, while raising the boys, I bought my horse Missy, and a pony for Shane, Joey. We had many pleasurable rides together. But once Shane became an adolescent turning teenager, he then wanted rides on things with motors. I became a solo rider, and that was OK too…