Author Archives: Paige Nelson

About Paige Nelson

Paige Nelson is a resident of Rigby who recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a bachelor's degree in animal science. Paige and her husband Tyler enjoy living in Idaho and like to do anything outdoors, especially riding horses and going on family cattle drives.

A Few Hands of Trouble

Growing up on a large cattle ranch taught me what I needed to know about horses. I have been riding since I can remember and have always loved it.

Even so, I don’t know everything, and for the most part I’ve worked with full-sized horses, so when I brought home my first miniature horse, I thought she would be similar to the quarter horses I grew up with. Guess what? I experienced a miniature paradigm shift.

I found Sage in the local classifieds. She was just what I had been searching for: a miniature with nice coloring, close to where I lived, and an asking price of $300. My husband had mixed feelings about ownership of a miniature horse. In his very logical engineering mind, it was ridiculous to purchase a miniature. Why not buy a full-sized horse I could ride?

Anyhow, I wanted one.

She lived seven miles from my house. It was a nice spring day in May when I went to see her for the first time. The seller, Nancy, and I walked to the horse pasture. Sage was engaged in a game of speeding around her corral at breakneck miniature speed. She and her playmate would give each other “the look,” take off sprinting the length of the pen, throw in a few six-inch-off-the-ground bucks, and then whirl around to do it again.

I melted. She had a gorgeous deep brown body with long, flaxen mane. She had great movement in her front legs—a little less so in her hind end, but it didn’t seem to affect her as she ran, jumped, and bucked her way around the pen. Her thirty-eight-inch height was taller than I had been hoping for, but her perfectly shaped head and round muscled rump was enough for me. Continue reading

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Chasing the Calf

On a beautiful Idaho spring day on the white sands of the St. Anthony Sand Dunes, we were trailing four hundred head of Black Angus cows and baby calves to their spring range just north St. Anthony.

It was crisp that morning and dry. The snowfall hadn’t amounted to much that winter and the spring’s rains were late. The dust billowed up behind the herd and the absent wind let it settle in our eyes.

We were running about a hundred head of first-calf heifers along with our seasoned cows. The heifers were wild and full of energy, and had no idea where their calves were. After gathering all the bewildered heifers and their bawling calves, we headed for an area called the Junipers, the first leg of our two-day drive. Most of the cows had found the open gate a few days earlier and, with their calves, had started on their own. Continue reading

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Spuds under Siege

Do Other States Dare Challenge Our Supremacy?

Story and Photos by Paige Nelson

I just can’t wait for spud harvest,” was the most popular phrase on the first day of school at South Fremont High. At South, and at many other potato-town schools like it, classes let out for two weeks—a break unique to Idaho and her iconic crop.
For some of the kids at my school, spud harvest was just a vacation, but for me, the farmer’s daughter, it meant work. Nor did the job end once the spuds were dug and the kids went back to school. Idahoans must remain hard at it to ensure their crop reaches the dinner table. And sometimes, that table is right here in Idaho. Continue reading

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