Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Today was just beautiful so I spent a lot of time outside. The highest outdoor temp I saw on our little house thermometer was 62! 62 and sunny with pretty clouds and breezy - but Mississippi breezy, not Nevada "breezy."

Here's the totally awesome mounting block. Cersei is included for scale. That's an outdoor-only tennis ball in her mouth.

Dixie's mouth is healing, but it's not well yet. I slathered more Desitin on it. She was mad about it. It had better hurry up and heal because the trails are ready!

I drove out into Hungry Valley to check, and the roads are definitely rideable. There's a ton of small new potholes, but the verges looked fine to ride at any speed. And there's some truly enormous mud puddles, but nothing you can't ride around.


Zach and I are going to do 30-35 miles this weekend. There's a NEDA ride, and his mom would probably take me too, but none of us really wants to haul all the way to Silver Springs. Zach rides faster than me, so I'm thinking I'll leave my house before he gets ready to leave his barn in Palomino Valley and I'll ride up as far as I can and meet him. Then we'll head down to LV, do the loop around the lake, and I'll go back up toward PV with him to get my mileage as high as I want. It'll be a good workout for Dixie without asking too much of her a week before RoM.

I have officially decided that horses are better than trucks. Creeping along down a potholed sand road is like sitting the trot on a halter horse that keeps tripping. It was awful. Much better to ride. :)

I made a raised bed! I think I will blog it over at Fugly to Fabulous, because having a garden in my sandpit backyard definitely qualifies as fug to fab. I tossed most of the pitiful "sod" over the fence to the hens.

Speaking of hens, one of the mini-Leghorns has gone broody. Leghorns aren't supposed to go broody, but I guess she didn't read the memo. I think I should go with it and try to get a rooster. If she can stick with it and raise some chicks, yay! I emailed two people on Craigslist with free/cheap roosters and hopefully one of them will get back to me. Baby chicks are the cutest things ever in the history of ever, but I really don't want to brood them myself. Much better to let a momma hen do it.


  1. You are right, those steps make a first class mounting block!

    Baby chicks are the cutest things ever, I only rank baby goat kids higher than chicks on the cute scale.

  2. You ride around the puddles? One of Juanita's horses used to have a real problem crossing water (trainer induced). But years of work and now he stomps puddles like a 3 year old kid. I think it may have been better before.


  3. Melissa, some time this year I'll actually have baby goats to compare! I've had baby chicks, as a kid, and I know exactly how cute they are - but I've only seen videos of baby goats. I will stage a cute-off and let yall vote or something. ;)

    Bill - I almost always ride around puddles. My horse will go through them if I tell her to, because she (theoretically) trusts me to not hurt her. But if I can't see the bottom of the puddle, I can't be sure I'm not steering her into a slippery dropoff or a broken botttle or a giant piece of rebar. I feel really seriously that I can't betray her trust by sending her into danger like that.

    Back in Memphis, the trails were mud from September til May. I mean knee deep slimy puddles, with random dropoffs to chest-deep. The bigger puddles / small ponds had nests of copperheads, and you could see chunks of concrete with rebar embedded in it sticking up out of the mud. We rode through it anyway, because there really wasn't anywhere else to ride, but I learned to let my horse go AROUND if she could. If there's no way around, she'll high-step through it like it ain't no thang, but I prefer to see where we're going. :)

  4. Great "re-purposing" of the steps. Do I see hardwood treads in their future?
    Glad Dixie's mouth is feeling a little better! Hopefully that's not a distraction when you're riding her.
    It's neat that she'll go where you point her (even through puddles) but that you can choose not to point her there if you don't feel it's safe. That's a partnership based on trust.

  5. I want to make one of those garden thingys, too. I have tried a "traditional" garden and the weeds won out. For some reason, I think this kind of box garden would be more controllable (or not..) Need to convince my husband to help me put one together.

    We have expo this weekend & then my mare goes to the trainer for a couple weeks to work on a few things. One is her issue with mounting blocks. She loves to get right up to it & then when I go to get on, swing around. THAT is going to get nipped. I just haven't been able to nip it!

    I'm planning to do a CTR in May. Sure wish we had LD in our area. The closest are like 6 hours away. With the price of diesel, that just isn't going to happen.

  6. Glad I'm not the only one who drives around looking for riding spots.

  7. What fabulous places you have to ride! Nice footing too, and wide openness. Very cool.

    A word of warning about letting the chickens hatch their own eggs: On average, more than half (nearly 70%)of the chicks hatched are males. What are you going to with all the roosters? You can't comfortably have more than 1 rooster for every 10-12 hens or lots of UGLY fights ensue. I eat my roosters, just wondering if you had thought about that. :)

  8. Tammy, getting the whole backyard amended will take years of Dixie's output. There's enough organic material in the sand to grow pathetic weeds, but not enough to hold water in the summer. Battling weeds is not a problem; it's keeping things alive in July. And worrying about a late freeze in May! Starting with a few boxes seemed like the way to go.

    Reno may be the single best place to live if you want to ride endurance. In 2011 there are fourteen rides within ~100 miles of my house. Three of them are 100s only, which cuts me down to only 11 choices. ;) If I lived 6 hours from AERC rides, I'd probably do CTR too!

    Jenn - thanks for the heads up! If I end up with an excess, I'll dispatch the roosters - if I can't bring myself to eat them, I will kill and clean them and give them to Cersei.

    I am getting 2 Cochin brothers this afternoon. They're funny looking fuzzy footed guys! I know they're noisy, but all the neighbors already have roosters - there is very little country peace out here.

  9. LOL-I drive around and check the riding spots too. I know the one next door is pretty much always useable, but some of the other ones are pure desert, no roads. The soil here seems to have no bottom when it's saturated, so I don't like to go there unless it has been dry for awhile.

  10. Cochins are very friendly, laid-back birds and I love the way they look. I tried to have cochins on my farm, but, we get so much danged mud EVERYWHERE it just wasn't healthy for them with those "fuzzy" feet. They constantly had mud balls clinging to them or they were completely plastered in mud. Naked-leggers only for me, unfortunately.

  11. It's chick days at our feed store! I've been toying with the thought of getting a few peeps. But, I want eggs now, not next fall, so I'll probably get a few hens, if I can talk Bad Pants into building a coop sooner rather than later.

  12. What can I say?......A raised bed? Wonderful, and I thought I was crackers! It is the best way to control weeds, as long as you line the bottom!

  13. I totally understand your issue with puddles; however, we are lucky that we don't have those kind of puddles, so it makes for great training.

    I guess I don't understand the riding around - in a vehicle? - for riding? We are soooo spoiled with all our trails, but you just have to ride them to see if they are ridable (right, BECC?). I would hate to tell you how many times we've had to think creatively about some trail spots. The Mustangs think it is a game. I will have to write up some of the TST's on this subject. (I had forgotten about them.LOL)

  14. Traaaaaaaaails....
    You are going to ride on trails...
    I am somewhat green with envy (or it might be the flu, again) and wish you a lovely ride. NV has amazing beauty.

  15. Funny! We had a silkie roo that stayed sweet. His name was Larry...he lived a long time.

    The "outside only" tennis ball... absolutely got that one! heh.

    Isn't it so nice that spring is finally here!!??


Feel free to comment!