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 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay.

Friday, October 31, 2008

desert morning

Sometimes desert mornings are absolutely gorgeous, like this crisp and clear one a couple of years ago. I used to wake up at 4:30 on the weekends (no sleeping in for this gal!) and go clean up 10 pens at the place where I used to board Sunni. THEY liked to sleep in, and it helped me get used to horses! Anyway, these were a couple of early morning pics I took one morning. Can you see my car's shadow on one of them? That's Sunni in their round pen. He was only 2 when I took that photo.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One year ago

I found these pics of the "herd" a year ago. Look how much smaller the mustangs are! We got them when they were just yearlings! I don't often have pics of hubby, but he took Scout out for a walk this day and I was able to snap some pictures. The forecast is for sprinkles this weekend up in the mountains, which is good because we've had a lot of dry weather lately.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Clocker's Corner and exercise riders

Clocker's Corner at Santa Anita is a little outdoor coffee shop/cafe where the public can sit and watch the morning exercise riders and the horses. It opens at 5:00 a.m., but we used to get there about 8:00. Owners and trainers stop by for coffee and the latest news. It's also where you meet for the Seabiscuit tour. We often went to Clocker's Corner, grabbed breakfast, took 10,000 photos, and then attended the races for the day. Of course, I spent most of my time taking pics of the horses! But I did place a bet every now and then! I loved to take pics of the riders who were out exercising the thoroughbreds. Sometimes they would thunder past me, other times they would leisurely walk by.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Santa Anita now

It was quite a shock to me to find out I could no longer have access to the backside barns at Santa Anita after my youth. Since my great-uncle had been a trainer, I'd always been able to go to see his horses (along with an adult). But, by 2005, access to the barns was denied for "non-horse personnel". I did make a few friends on a couple of forums and one 18 year old girl WAS able to pretty much come and go, but I was always stopped and questioned and denied access. Hmmmm.... So, I was THRILLED when one time another gal, who was a horse owner, invited me to meet her at Santa Anita at 4:30 one morning to watch the morning workouts and then go visit her horse back in the barn area.

You can also access the barns through the Seabiscuit tour, which I took twice, once with my husband and another time with another friend.

Some thoroughbreds enjoy the company of other animals. I remember my great-uncle used to have a goat or two to accompany his horses. This horse's buddy was a mini-horse! Aren't they cute? A companion animal will frequently help to calm the thoroughbred. I was also amazed by the number of chickens still on the backside! They were everywhere! I also saw one of the "pony horses". He seemed quite content.

The barns, themselves, however, as you can see, are VERY OLD! These were built, I believe, in the 1930's and the electrical wiring situation today is horrible. Magna Entertainment should put some money into the barn area before a major disaster occurs.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday morning memories

I grew up in Arcadia, CA, about a mile away from the Santa Anita racetrack. We could hear the race calls from my house! My great-uncle was a small trainer who stabled his barn there and at Hollywood Park and Del Mar, as well as Bay Meadows. He used to get us into the track into the owners & trainers section to watch his horses run. I would also get to go out back to his barn at Santa Anita (yes....he was on the LAST row....) and see his beautiful horses. I was IN LOVE! They were majestic. They were big! I vowed that SOMEDAY I would rescue as many of them as I could! (still my dream....) I remember Hollywood Park before the encroachment of urban living. I remember it being wide, open space around the track. And Del Mar? He used to walk his horses down to the beach and let them play in the surf ( more!) Anyway, since I have no new pics of our herd, I thought that this week I would post some photos I've taken of the racetracks a few years ago. Especially since this weekend was the Breeder's Cup at Santa Anita. So, enjoy the pics! I started going back to the races a few years ago...about 2005. I don't have time to go anymore, with 5 horses, but for a couple of years I went to SA, HP, and DM and took photos and won a little money!!! These pics were taken in December, 2005. I've never been a big fan of gray horses, but look at these! Hubba, hubba! Now I LOVE greys! I believe that's Tyler Baze on the bay, #5. We used to always get his pic at Hollywood Park. I'll post some later this week of HP.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book tag

Okay, so I'm bored. Every morning I get up, make coffee, and eat my low-sugar cereal with SILK. So, this morning, as I'm going through my daily blog journey, I come across book tag on The 7MSN blog and I followed it to the gal who posted an open call for book tag,

So, here goes: Page 56 of The Horses of Proud Spirit by Melanie Sue Bowles(the closest book)...

"I silently hoped the gray was still alive. Without hesitation I told her I would join her. While Kera backed her trailer in and exchanged money and papers with the man, I walked out back to see if the gray was still there. He was, and in fact it looked like he had not moved an inch. This time I walked out to the fence line."

I'm re-reading this book to get a closer insight into what might be going on in Gigondas' mind. Since we have no history about her, we don't know where she came from or how she was treated, but apparently she wasn't treated well. I also have Melanie's newer book, Hoof Prints, which I started reading this summer, but I haven't finished it yet. I LOVE her books. So, I guess I'll post an "open call" for a book tag also! Anyone reading this can post a book tag!

stomach flu AGAIN!

Well, I've been hit with the stomach flu AGAIN! I wasn't feeling well yesterday when I drove up to see the horses and by the time I got up there, I was shaking. not to do anything with them under the circumstances. So, I fixed them a treat of shredded beet pulp (soaked) and turned around and drove home. Good thing because I spent the afternoon inside! Hubby offered to drive up later this afternoon and help me (with 5 horses, on the weekends he works, I try to work them 2 on one day and 3 on the other, which is a LOT when you are sick!). So, sorry for the short post! Hubby said he had it Friday. GREAT! Also, being a teacher, I seem to get whatever the kids have. So, now that I have absolutely NOTHING in my stomach, I'm ready for breakfast! These guys were my company yesterday afternoon! Oh, and Ripley and Atticus! Aren't these two funny? They've been together now for 5 years and are great "buds". Loki, the cat, has "trained" two German Shepherds now!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

There's nothing like a GOOD ROLL in the dirt!

Our horses frequently roll in the dirt, but Gigondas seems to enjoy it the most! When I see her sniffing the dirt and moving around in a circle, I just point my camera and click! Now, I don't have the fastest camera or the most advanced, but these are some pics from last weekend. She must really enjoy her dirt bath! Such abandonment!

Friday, October 24, 2008

winter woolies and BAD CALI!

I thought you'd like to see some pics of "the herd" last winter with their winter woolies! They are already getting their winter coats. You notice Scout and Sunni with tiny tails? That's because DIRTY CALI ate their tails one night! They still haven't grown back! Sunni's tail used to almost touch the ground and it was a full, gorgeous tail! Now he has a hideous-looking little, tiny tail! BAD CALI!~

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gigo gets around!

Of all our horses, Gigondas seems to exhibit the most exuberance for life! Maybe it's because she's a thoroughbred? Anyway, she just LOVES to get down to the arena and RUN and play "nosey-nosey" with the other horses as they look down on her from their pens above the arena! Here she is on Saturday, enjoying her outing in the arena! I will drive up Saturday morning and Sunday morning, as hubby is working this weekend (AGAIN!)...I work 2 horses a day. That's all I can do right now, with my back still in physical therapy. I never did get the tack room cleaned out last weekend...maybe hubby and I can drive up Friday afternoon and he can help....????????