Rattlesnake Acres, continued ...
Another plus was that two of our neighboring families home schooled their kids.
I had recently begun home schooling our middle-school-age daughters.
This sort of thing works best when families can share the load,
each teaching what we do best.
During the first few weeks after buying the land, John hauled
off the ruins of the old house and beheaded various rattlers.
Together we tore out the old barbed wire fencing which draped
from rotting and tilted fenceposts. We knocked down the thick
stands of cholla that infested the place by running them over
with our Volvo station wagon. Soon its front bumper bristled
with embedded spines, but better there than in our hides. We
piled up the green cholla and some brush and made a bonfire. It
smelled like roasting chilies.
Our new well hit water at 260 feet. It gave
us 12 gallons per minute of the most delicious water we'd ever
tasted. We brought in a manufactured home and tied it dowm with
welded rebar to a reinforced concrete foundation. We weren't
taking any chances with the high winds of the New Mexico plains.
Our valley even gets a tornado from time tio time, so the weather
We built a barn and a welded wire pen for our dairy goats and
a hen house for the chickens, and set up two six-foot-high by 75 feet long wooden
fences to break the gale force winds and blizzards that periodically
rake the Estancia Valley. They provided a sheltered path
between our home and the barns.
On July 26, 1991, we and our critters all moved in! I credit the
speed with which we could get all this done to the easy regulations
the county had in those days.
Finally, now that we were in the country, our Great Pyrennees
and two Border Collies had real farm dog jobs. They took enthusiastically
to the job of discouraging coyotes and hawks and herding the
goats when we let them out to graze.
Soon we built an electric fence bordering our ten acres. We
knew exactly what we wanted it to fence in: horses. Every day, the girls and I studied books on horse care that we got
from the library. We joined a 4-H Horse Club and went riding
at our friends' homes. We hired a builder and he put up a horse
barn, open on the southeast side. By the spring of 1992, the
winter snows had melted, the mud had dried, and we were ready
to buy our first horse.
We were heading for the greatest adventures of our lives.
Next chapter: Coquetta --->>
Back to the Table of Contents for
Killer Buyer: True Adventures of a New Mexico Horse Dealer
View of Rattlesnake Acres from the northwest corner looking
southeast across the Estancia Valley.