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, October, 2014. The roses are blooming!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cat family story...

I came home one afternoon last Spring to see a black and white cat up on the block wall between us and our neighbor's property on the corner.  Cute little thing, but completely feral.  She stayed all spring and had 3 kittens...2 black and white and one tabby.  Daddy was the feral cat (no longer feral) who lives with the guy 2 houses down.

Anyway, the kittens were born near the said neighbor's wood pile and would crawl up and over the fence.  I put food out for momma, knowing she had kittens to raise and they couldn't travel far to get food.

Well, the fact of the story is that the said neighbor HATES cats!  I tried to lure them into our yard, but with the dogs, it wasn't possible.  They stayed in her yard.

So, SHE called a company to get RID of the cats and they set two traps, one small and one large.  The little tabby and one of the kittens were immediately caught.  Fortunately said neighbor gave them to us to "dispose of".  Yeah, right.  We set up the old dog kennel, put lattice on top, and bought netting to put around the sides.  We put in a log for them to crawl upon, food, water, a cat cube (for sleeping).  The next day she caught the other black & white kitten.  He immediately got out.  I had to tell her he got out (since she had "entrusted" us to handle the situation...)  She was FURIOUS.  Needless to say, we are no longer speaking to each other.

Some people just HATE CATS.  We aren't those people.  I've had cats my entire life and cannot imagine living without one.  We already have two elderly cats (outdoors) and little Abby inside.  Abby is a black cat, so we don't let her out. EVER!

Anyway, the mother cat has disappeared.  As far as we know, she didn't get trapped.  Two days ago the neighbor reset her trap and caught the little kitten who escaped.  I used to see him in the mornings around the dog kennel and frankly, I left food out for him.  I'd see his little white feet go scooting off the minute I peered out the window!  He was a real escape artist, but his 9 lives are now over.  He went to the pound yesterday, from what she told my husband (she'll talk to him, but not me!)  I heard him howling in the cage yesterday morning...poor thing.

So, we still have the other two and I'm hoping we can at least calm them down.  They don't run off now when I go outside to feed them.  I've put feathers in their enclosure for them and they have a scratching post and a new cat bed.  They really are cute.  Both have white feet.  The little tabby is quite adorable and calm and the black & white kitten is a real cutie pie.  We have no idea if they are male or female...and I'm NOT getting close to examine them!  Hopefully we will be able to domesticate them.  I'm looking at ways to make an outdoor cat enclosure and I figure we'll put it on the OTHER side of our yard, away from her yard, and make them as comfortable as we can.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's that time of the year!



I took a little drive Sunday morning to the little village in Garner Valley.  It's only about 4 blocks of homes and they are fairly close together, but I LOVE to drive through there on a chilly morning and smell the wood burning in their fireplaces!  Ahhhhhh.....autumn!   :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Had a good visit with the herd today! :-)

I SHOULD have driven up to the herd Saturday morning, but em...uh...I had TOO MUCH sparkling wine Friday night and I couldn't stand up straight Saturday.  Lesson learned.

By Sunday morning, however, I had enough energy to drive up the mountain road.  And, sad to say, this road claimed another life of a motorcyclist this week...sigh...

Anyway, it was a crisp and cool autumn morning.  I'd stopped at our local Whole Foods in Palm Desert (YES!  we have one now!!!) and I bought some foaming hand soap (fig) for the ranch owner and I also bought them some nice, sweet-tasting hamburger buns, 2 boxes of garlic primavera Risotto, a box of Whole Foods 365 crackers, and a loaf of cranberry/orange pound cake!  YUM, YUM!  Cathy was so excited to get her goodies!

And, THEY bought a new car!  It's a 2015 Subaru Outback and she is GORGEOUS!  I had to see it and inhale the "new car smell"!  Very pretty car...an olive green.  It's also 4 wheel drive!  I'm envious!

Scout, of course, was the first horse out.  I took her for a nice long walk, hoping that she would trust me as leader and she did.  It was a bit breezy and she spooked a couple of times, but she stayed with me.  It was in the arena that she was NAUGHTY!  Instead of walking, like I asked, she cantered around and tried to drag me.  HA!  I dug in my heels and reeled her back.  LESSON LEARNED:  NEVER, NEVER wear Reeboks instead of your horse shoes!  I had NO traction!  After her so-called lunging, I let her go to roll, run, kick and buck, and off she went!

I took Lucille up to the round pen, since she never uses the whole arena (unlike Scout).  She led nicely and eagerly went through the gate and rolled.  I left her out the entire time I was up there, much to the annoyance of her neighbor, who let me know loud & clear that she wanted Lucille back.

I took Scout back to her corral and took Sunni next.  He's always been a good walker.  He lunged nicely and didn't try to asset his feelings as to WHO is boss (unlike Scout!).  He rolled, ran, farted, and kicked and played tag with the dog next door!  He had a good time.

Quad was next.  While he was out, I emptied out his water trough (ugh!) and refilled it.  I rearranged his rubber mats.  I found some at COSTCO for $19.99 each and I'm wondering if I should buy those from now on.  They aren't as thick and as heavy as the pure rubber ones, but at least they would keep the horses from eating of the DAMN SAND, right?  Does anybody use the COSTCO rubber mats?  I could buy 2 of them for $40.00 for Lucille.  She needs some...just wondering if they are useable.

By then, I was running out of steam and my stomach was rumbling its displeasure over not having lunch.  I gave them all some chia seeds mixed with water.  I'm hoping the chia seeds do a better job than the psyllium and will remove sand from their stomachs better.  Any thoughts/ideas on this?

Here are a few pics from today.  I'll be posting more during the week.
Take care!
Cheryl Ann
 Miss Know-It-All (Scout)
Sunni should be on "Dancing with the Stars"!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Looking down at the "flatlands"

We stopped here for our picnic Sunday afternoon and I wandered out to the edge of the picnic area to take this photo of the San Bernardino/Highland area.  Riverside would be to the west.  Yes, that's SMOG!  Ugh!  Actually, Sunday's smog wasn't too bad.  I've seen it so bad that one couldn't even SEE the mountains!  This is right below the Crestline cutoff.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Baldwin Lake and the drought in California

Those of you on the east coast know about California's severe drought.  Well, we saw it first hand Sunday.  Next to Big Bear Lake (which I didn't get ANY photos of...) lies another lake, Baldwin Lake.  It is usually full and has lots of fishermen near it or on it.

HA!  Not anymore.  The lake was nearly GONE when we drove by Sunday.  In my 62 years, I've NEVER seen the lake this low.  The walking bridge was clearly exposed and the marina (if you can even still call it that!) was extremely low.  What a change!

I sure hope we get a decent amount of rain this winter and that Big Bear and the San Bernardino mountains get plenty of snow!  These photos tell a sad story...



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunday trip

I awoke Saturday morning with a sore throat, but by staying home and nursing it with plenty of hot tea and lemon, I felt better Sunday morning.  Hubby wanted to drive up to Big Bear, which is about a 2 hour drive from our house, so off we went.  He wasn't feeling that swift that day, but agreed to go anyway.

We had both read and seen photos of the fall leaves in the Los Angeles Times, so we were eager to take photos.  I hope these photos don't disappoint you!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Had a good visit with the horses yesterday!

I had a good visit with the horses yesterday.  Unfortunately, when I got my camera out, I tried to take a photo and, alas, my battery was shot!  So, I put it away.

I took Gigondas down to the arena for some lunging and a romp.  She did very well.  I'm teaching her "stay" as well as "come".  She waited at the gate when she was done.  I took her for a walk around the ranch, but it was quite breezy and she startled when she saw some birds land near her.

Quad was next.  I wanted him to get out and let his gas out and he did!  I'd stopped at the feed store and I bought 5 bags of pellets, so I unloaded them.  I didn't take him for a walk, but my plan is to now take the horses for a walk around the ranch so I can better relate to them and them to me.  Unfortunately, with the breeze blowing leaves all over, I didn't even try to take out Sunni.  Maybe today.

Oh, and Cathy and I found a large snake skin over by the hay stack.  We don't know what kind of snake it is...any ideas?