I received a ponytail palm as a gift. It is in a small decorative pot. My problem is the soil is not visible, it has small rocks at the top and they are like cemented in. I am just watering once a week, but I don't know if the soil is drying out before I am watering since I can't feel the soil. What should I do?
This is common with ponytail palms. They actually do well when they are root bound (the roots and base of the tree take up a large portion of the space in the pot). But eventually they do need to be repotted, unless you want to keep them in a bonsai form:
This article discusses when and how to repot:
Once a week watering sounds like a good plan. For now, you will know if the tree is not getting enough water because its leaves will become droopy towards the end of the week. This will allow you to adjust the schedule.