Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 5 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay, January 2015. That's Scout in the arena.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Had a great day with the horses today!!!

I was supposed to go to the Living Desert with our daughter and granddaughter today, but Jennifer awoke with a migrane, so she called it off.  So, I went up to the horse ranch.  I was determined to make sure that each of the five horses got some R&R time!

I started with Gigondas and we went for a nice walk.  She alerted to the ranch owner coming outside with one of his dogs, but relaxed.  She's always been an easy walker.  She never does anything naughty.  I took her to the large corral right next to their 30 year old gelding, Dufus.  He's next to her anyway and if I take her down to the arena, she runs and runs and runs and he calls to her.  This way, she's just on the other side of him and he can see her, so he doesn't get upset.  And, she has plenty of room to run.  She rolled and rolled and ran and ran and had a good time!

Then, I took Sunni down to the arena.  After all the rain they've had, there are weeds and grasses sprouting everywhere!  Sunny is really good about self-exercising, so I just let him go.

Next, I took Quad up to the round pen.  He walked well, right beside me.  He really is a huge LOVE BUG!  He got up there and rolled and then took off, kicking and farting (typical Quad behavior)...

I wandered around the ranch with my camera for a while and did some cleaning up at the tack room.  I really tried to make sure each horse was getting about 30 minutes of R&R.

Took Sunni back to his corral, and made MISS PRISSY (Scout) wait her turn.  She's very good now about waiting inside her corral gate.  She no longer makes a mad dash out of it.  In fact, she's quite dainty!  I took her out for a walk and she was a bit uneasy...I was surprised.  I would have thought she would be the one to not be afraid of anything, but she seemed to be afraid of quite a few things this morning.  I lunged her, but then the neighbors let their dogs out and they ran along the fenceline and THAT scared her.  The lead rope flew out of my hands (there was no use TRYING to hold on to it, at that point..she was in full panic!).  She finally calmed down and I was able to walk up to her, grab the lead rope, and continue out lunging.  I didn't want her to think that she got away with anything.  She was fine after that.

Took Lucille up to the round pen after I returned Quad to his corral.  She was fine and went off to roll.

PHEW!

I do believe that my vitamins are really helping boost my energy level way up.  There was NO WAY I could have done this without them last fall.  THANK GOODNESS!   :-)  All 5 got some "outside" time today and it's a 4 day week, so I'll have next weekend to visit them again!

Sunni's tail is STILL horrible!  I'm going to try to rub some coconut oil in it, but Quad would probably just enjoy eating that, too!!!!  Do any of you use coconut oil for your horses?  Inside or outside?  Mane?  Tail?  As a supplement?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

From the desert to the mountains~SkyWatch Friday~011515

 This view is from the desert.
 This view is when I was driving up the mountain road to see the horses.
This was the view when I dropped down into the Anza valley.

It was cloudy here in the desert the last time I went up to the horses for a visit.  And, the clouds were very different.  Here in the desert, we had some high clouds.  By the time I started up the mountain road, there were more clouds.  And, when I arrived in the Anza valley, it was raining off in the distance.  I never really know what kind of weather I'll encounter up where the horses are, so I keep a variety of shirts and jackets in my car, much to hubby's annoyance!
SkyWatch Friday for January 16, 2015.  http://skyley.blogspot.com.au/

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sunni got the colt all riled up!



Look how BIG the colt is getting!  He's going to be a nice horse...he's friendly.  Remember, Sunni stood guard over him for 3 days after his momma died?  He and Sunni have always been friends, but he got all riled up when Sunni was down in the arena this past week!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Horse visit yesterday

I'm on my last week of vacation and I'll have to return to work Monday (...gag...).  I really wanted a day to get up there and let ALL 5 of them out for some exercise.  I can usually do 2, or even 3 during one visit, but I hardly ever can do all 5.  I'm not sure if it is (1) old age; (2) my back and leg problems; (3) my lung problems, but whatever it is, there are only a couple of times a year that I get all 5 horses out for exercise in one day.  Well, surprisingly enough, yesterday was one of those days!  I've had a LOT of energy this past week, which I attribute to (1) not being in school with 26 "germ factories", and (2) not being out in public a lot.  I have been shopping at Whole Foods, buying organic fruits and vegetables and salads and I cut out the French Vanilla coffee creamer, which is full of non-GMO soy.  Now I just put a dash of organic whole milk in my coffee and GUESS WHAT?  I can actually taste...the coffee!

So, Gigondas was the first to get out.  She was waiting patiently by her corral gate.  Now, it's been about 3 weeks since ANY of them have been out.  First, there was too much mud from the rain, then the area got SNOW!  I took her over to the large pen by an old gelding, her neighbor, so that he wouldn't scream for her the entire time and get upset.  That worked out just fine.  I think I'll do that with her every visit from now on.  He could still see her and he was calm.  After all, he IS 30 years old!  She was out the entire time I worked the other 4 horses.

Then, I took Sunni down to the large arena.  His tail is ... PATHETIC!  He looks like a yearling now with it.  I lunged him for a bit, then made him stand until I released him to go.  And, off he went, running and jumping and farting!  Silly boy!

Next, I took Quad up to the round pen.  So, really, I have 3 large corrals for them to run in, and that's a good thing!  He was a perfect gentleman.  He walked right with me and up into the round pen.  I'd brushed him off in his corral, but he is still FILTHY!  He likes to nap in his urine...

Then, I took Sunni back to his corral, and tackled Scout.  I wanted her to WAIT so that she wasn't the first one out.  My trainer always took her out first, but I think she needs to learn to wait.  She was a perfect little lady walking down to the arena and I was able to close the gate, but then she started jiggling.  I lunged her for quite a while to get the "ya-ya's" out of her, then made her WAIT to be released.  Of course, she took off, tearing up the arena.  She's the one I worried about because, after all, it had been 3 weeks since she had a nice, long turnout.

Finally, I brought Quad back down to his corral, and took Lucille up to the round pen.  I knew she wanted to roll and roll and roll and yup...that's what she did.  She also did a bit of running around.  They ALL needed to get their farts out!

I've been reading about coconut oil for horses and they each got a tablespoonful, along with a snack, before I left.  Does anybody else use it?  COSTCO sells a 2-pack for less than what I normally pay for one container at Clark's Nutrition, and it IS organic.  I'm also giving a teaspoonful to my black lab and boy, is her coat nice & shiny!  I'm hoping it will help their coats and their hooves, which are very dry right now.  When I return on Saturday, I'll document their coats and hooves and see if it makes a difference.  I know the ranch owner gives her horses corn oil, but, based on my reading, that too high in Omega 6, right?

Here's a link to an article about coconut oil for horses:
http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/top-10-uses-of-coconut-oil-for-horses/

and here's another article:
http://www.stanceequine.com/responsible-nutrition-coconut-oil-in-horse-feed

I'm sure you can read more articles yourself, and I'm still reading up on it, but, so far, the horses really like it.
 Sunni frolicking in the arena.
Yes, that's his tail now!  Can you believe it?  BAD QUAD!  Quad chews on his tail at night...sigh...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A visit to the giraffes




All of the giraffes were out the other morning up at the Living Desert Reserve.  This big guy was especially interested in the acacia leaves and the 3 girls!  Little Ellie got to see the giraffes, but then was bored, so off we went to visit the goats at the petting zoo there!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Getting my energy back! FINALLY~

I don't make new year's resolutions any more...why bother?  Pffffftttttt!

However, I WOULD like to shed some pounds and get back into a walking program, so last Saturday, I met our daughter, son-in-law, and little granddaughter at the Living Desert Reserve here in town.  Jennifer, our daughter, had her FitBit on her and said we walked 1.8 miles.  Well, I was there 45 minutes ahead of them and I walked around for an extra 45 minutes, so I'm sure it was WELL over 1.8 miles of walking I did that day!  YEAH!

I have all of this week for winter break, also, and so does our daughter, so we may go back there and walk again.  She lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers and she does 5k runs (well, she walks with the stroller!).  She looks GOOD!  I'm proud of her.  Now, I need to lose MORE than 20 pounds, but that sure would be nice to get some muscle instead of just... FAT!  She cut out carbs and ALL alcohol for a couple of months and it worked for her.  Hmmmm....does that mean I have to give up my toast for breakfast?

The only thing I REALLY have to do this week is get my dog into the animal clinic for her booster shots.  I may just call the vet up in Anza, the mobile vet, and see if she's down here any day this week.  It would save me having to sit for an hour at Animal Samaritans.  And, her prices are just as reasonable...

Here are some pics from our visit to the Living Desert Saturday.
 I liked the plainness of this tree.
 A view of some of the palm trees there.
 Little hummer!
 I played around with this one in PicMonkey.
Nice view looking up Deep Canyon from the Living Desert.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Our local mountains got SNOW!!! And, LOTS of it!

I haven't seen this much snow on our local mountains in years!  Many years, in fact!  So, Wednesday our daughter and granddaughter and son-in-law wanted to go let little Ellie experience her first snow, so we all piled into our cars and headed up Highway 74.  It was closed 10 miles ahead, but we were able to drive about 8 miles up (before the closure).  Here are some of the pics I took that morning.









The little one got to experience SNOW for the 1st time!  :-)