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, March, 2015. That's Scout in the arena.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Moving forward

With every loss of a horse, I sit down and TRY to have a new perspective.  I lost Beauty in 2009, Cali in 2012, and now Lucille, in 2015.  I now have 4 horses.  I will NOT be getting another one.  I also need to think about my retirement (and hubby's).  And, yes, it IS easier to manage 4 than 5, although Lucille was the most gentle.  She really didn't require anything besides a good grooming and a tail trim and a turnout to roll in the dirt.  She really WAS the perfect horse for me.  But, with her physical ailments, it just wasn't fair to her to continue her suffering.  I miss you, sweet Lucille!

So, what now?  Well, after only 5 days of school, I came home Wednesday with a HORRIFIC headache, chest pains, and general uneasiness.  I collapsed on the couch and by Thursday morning, I was hit with a HORRIBLE stomach virus.  I spent the entire day running to the bathroom every 15 minutes.  My entire system emptied out.  I didn't vomit (it was the OTHER end...).  I tried to take in as much liquid as I was losing and hubby brought me some hot chicken soup with rice, which seems to have done the trick!  I was able to sleep all night without having to get up and RUN to the bathroom! I'm wiped out today, so I took another sick day at school.  HA!  Don't want the little "angels" to get this (even though I'm pretty sure I got it from them!).  I had one boy throw up Wednesday morning and another one had a BAD stomach ache that afternoon, so SOMETHING indeed is going around school... ALREADY!  So, now I've used 2 out of my 10 sick days for the year and I didn't even get through the first month of school!  Our daughter is on day 17 of a HORRIBLE head cold and she is miserable, too.  And, our granddaughter has PINK EYE!  OYE VEI!

I'm staying inside today as it will be 112 degrees here.  I'll do some stuff on my laptop, watch a couple of movies, and take a couple of naps.

Take care and DON'T GET SICK!
~Cheryl Ann~

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Moving forward

With the loss of Lucille this past week, I've had to do a lot of thinking.  I'm down to 4 horses now and I've lost my only riding horse.  I will NOT be getting another horse.

But you know, the herd was so responsive when I visited on Sunday...Yes, they were grieving for her, but they were all very sympathetic and gentle with me.  I really noticed a difference with them.  Scout, for her part, didn't bolt in the arena.  She actually stood still while I fiddled around with a longer lead rope and a different clip on it.  Usually, by that time, she would have bolted and dragged the lead rope all over the arena, but on Sunday, she stood calmly and allowed me to fiddle around while I TRIED to get it off.  Quad walked peacefully and quietly and wouldn't leave my side.  He nuzzled my hair and honestly, I could have tied him to a string and led him around!  GOOD BOY!

So, I'll just continue to visit them on weekends and not worry about riding any of them.  As our daughter says, "Mom, I want you around for the grandchildren."...Indeed, this is something to think about, eh?


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lucille is gone...RIP

I haven't blogged lately because Lucille was starting to have some REAL problems.  First, she wasn't eating her hay, so we tried her on pellets.  That didn't work either.  My vet was out early this month and filed her teeth and gave her her shots, but I noticed she was very hairy and thin.  She did a test and it confirmed that Lucille had Cushings.  I couldn't afford the $100 a month meds.  Then the ranch owner said her back end was wobbly, like she had neurological damage.  She continued her downward slide of not eating, and yesterday she peacefully passed over the Rainbow Bridge.  We don't really know how old she was.  She had been used at another ranch in Anza for several years and then the other boarder bought her and boarded her up at the ranch for about 5 years.  My vet said she was well over 20 years old. She had a good life, she was always taken care of, and she was loved.  Now she is free to roam the skies with Beauty and Cali.

RIP Lucille.  She was a big horse with a big heart.

This was me on Lucille last year.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

FIRE and update

Well, a motorhome caught on fire Monday and, of course, with the winds, the flames spread to nearby bushes and soon it was 500 acres.  A huge plane was called out to drop water, helicopters were put into action, and many firefighters were on the fire.  I knew something was up from Facebook.  It started 3 miles EAST of the 371 and 74 turnoff, near the Pacific Crest Trail, and Paradise Corner.  There is a restaurant at that corner and it became the fire fighting headquarters.  Highway 74 was CLOSED at the base of Palm Desert, so I didn't get up to Anza to unload 5 bags of pellets for the horses.  I'm going to TRY to get up there today, if my energy levels hold up. The road opened last night to all travelers, so now I can at least drive up to Anza.  Apparently the fire is still burning, but it is away from the highway and is CONTAINED.  Right now, I'm on a sugar high from breakfast, but I'll crash later.  I've GOT to better regulate my sugar intake.  I think Nuzzling Muzzles can relate to this...???  And, Sandy, I'd LOVE for you to come help...anytime! :-)

I did manage to get out yesterday and meet 2 of my colleagues for lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  We all had the chicken lettuce wraps and then split a piece of caramel cheesecake!  I bought some new blouses for school (I'm TRYING to look more professional) and JCPenney's, Macys, and Kohls are all having good sales right now.

HOT weather is moving in and it will be 113 on Friday, 114 on Saturday, and then again Sunday, and 113 on Monday.  I'll have to go to school Monday and put up bulletin boards.  That is an all-day effort and the district just doesn't give us enough time to do this on THEIR time.  We'll have all-day meetings either Tuesday or Wednesday, then the students show up on Thursday and Friday.  Thank goodness there are only 2 days that first week, although kids don't always show up those days.  Then, a whole week, then Labor Day weekend!  Unfortunately, with temps in the 110+ area, it will be hot, hot, hot for the students!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer's end...sigh...

I only have 1 more week of summer vacation.  Some of my colleagues are actually going to training next week.  I opted to avoid it. It's voluntary, anyway.  I went last summer and out of $1,000 gross pay for 5 days, I only cleared $475.00 (which I used to buy my Vitamix)...So, this summer I decided my freedom was worth more than $475.00!!!

I really didn't accomplish ANYTHING at all with the herd this summer.  I learned that Lucille has Cushing's disease (confirmed by a $200 blood test). She will go off the alfalfa and go on pellets.  She's over 20 years old and I honestly don't know how long she will hold up.

Lucille getting her teeth done this summer.  She had been neglected for YEARS.  I bought her last year from the ranch owner as the boarder who owned her basically just walked away and left her.  She is a very kind and gentle mare...

 Scout is still...Scout ...sigh...Sunni and Quad and Gigondas are all doing well.  Gigondas has actually calmed down and now trusts me and we go for nice walks. But other than them all getting their shots and Lucille and Scout getting their teeth done, I accomplished NADA with them.  I only got them out into the arena a few times as it was either TOO HOT or it was RAINING up there.  I should go up there today, but I'm exhausted from yesterday.  That's pretty much how it is.  It is a 45 minute drive up and back and if I don't get up there before 9:00 A.M., it's too hot too fast to get anything done.  Then, when I'm up there, I think of all the things I SHOULD be doing at home, and I get anxious to return home.  OYE VEI!

I miss having a trainer come once a week and work with them and I may look for a new one this fall.  They really did so much better with somebody CONSISTENTLY working with him.  It's hit or miss with me.  Some weekends I'm too exhausted to even THINK about driving up there.  And, I don't have any friends down here anymore who can help me.  I used to have a couple of friends who would drive up with me, but one gal moved away and the other one doesn't have time anymore.  A third friend also moved out of the valley, so I have NO HELP with the horses.

So, I have one week before I have to return to school and I've accomplished NOTHING again this summer.  I DID babysit twice a week with the grandson and 8 month old granddaughter, so that also took up my time.  I'm glad, however, I did spend time with them, as they may be moving up to near Fresno this fall.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Another fire!

So far this summer we've had a HUGE fire up in the high desert, by Big Bear and Morongo.  That one got extinguished with all of our rain last weekend. Now there is another one about 25 miles from where I board my horses.  It started near Mt. Palomar and is moving down toward Aguanga, which is where Highways 371 and 79 split.  One way goes over to Warner Springs.  The other way goes down to Temecula.  It's already at 200 acres and spreading and yes, the wind is blowing eastward today.

Yes, the bridge that collapsed affected the Interstate 10 route from California to Arizona.  It reopened yesterday at noon.  I drove down to our daughter's house in Indio on Thursday to help babysit and I was amazed by the lack of semi trucks on the highway.  They either went out Interstate 40, or went down near Alpine, near San Diego, and then to Yuma.  I saw the California Highway Patrol closure of the interstate down in Indio.  Traffic, to say the least, was VERY light!

Finally, there was a 4.3 earthquake near Los Angeles last night which apparently shook people out of their sleep!  What a weird summer we are having!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Vet visit

I sent my mobile vet an email last week asking her to come out and give the herd their shots and to check their teeth.  So, she came Wednesday afternoon.  Sunni and Gigondas have good teeth and don't need any dental work (phew!).  Quad can wait until Christmas break to have his filed down again, but Scout and Lucille were in need NOW!  All were good about their shots (including Sunni, who was "worried" for a while, but couldn't resist my female vet and her assistant!)  He's SUCH a ladies' man! :-)

Fortunately she did Lucille first.  Lucille frankly loved all the attention and was a GOOD GIRL!  We've noticed that she is dribbling her food and taking FOREVER to eat it.  But now, she has nice, smooth teeth!  NO hooks!
Scout, OF COURSE, was another story!  It took the vet about 15 minutes to get the sedative into her and that was the FIRST one!  Yes, she needed two!  The second one took about 25-30 minutes!  She backed up.  She nearly reared.  She got circled and circled in her corral and FINALLY the vet was able to get the second shot in her.  By then, she was so wobbly she could hardly walk.  I actually felt sorry for her!  But, she got her teeth done!  Turns out, she still had her wolf teeth, which the vet wasn't too happy about, but she came last summer, so she could have caught that then.  So, Scout took a LONG time.  The vet tried to remove them, but one was so close to the artery, she just decided to file them down.  She'll have to check Scout again during Christmas break.

I'm glad this got done before I head back to school in a couple of weeks...ugh...
I LOVE my vet!  She's very gentle, relaxed, and has a soothing voice with the horses.  She's also young.  She assisted Lady, our German Shepherd, when she passed over the Rainbow Bridge.