289: Riding off into the sunset

I, like a great many other girls, am and was a horse freak. I adore them, even their warm horsey scent. I had horses and ponies in my young life since my great-grandfather had a farm, and he liked horses, too, so he kept a little Welsh stallion and a pony mare for the grand and great-grandkids. Their progeny over the years I broke to ride, learning most of what I know about horses from them.

Before I was old enough to associate with live horses, I still adored them. I got into trouble at nursery school when the teacher gave us all ONE crayon each to draw with, and mine was purple. No self-respecting horse is purple, and she was so mean she would not let me trade my purple one for a black one.  I was so pissed, I stuck out my tongue at her, and she caught me doing it. Rats.

Anyway, I still rode horses, even though I was too small for real ones. My dad was a Methodist preacher, and as part of his pastorly duties, he’d go and visit his parishoners. I got to tag along. If they did not have a propane tank, I’d find the bookcase, and read a book until dad’s visit was over – but if they had a propane tank, I’d ride horses instead. A propane tank, in that region of the US, was a big silver tank that contained the propane gas used to heat the home’s water, cook and perhaps even supply heat in the winter. They ranged in size from smallish ones, about 50 to 100 gallons, to big 500 gallon tanks. They were usually installed on their sides beside the house for easy fill-ups. They made GREAT pretend horses. I rode thousands of miles on those things. It was great practice for real horses, and it kept me out of dad’s hair – and he always knew where to find me when it was time to go.

 

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