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.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guess what I found Sunday?

Sunday was a cold, cloudy day and I really didn't want to drive up to the ranch to see the horses if it was going to be as cold as last Sunday (when I nearly froze to death!). I looked up at the sky and debated about going at all, but finally decided just to shut up and get in the car and go! And, I'm glad I did because I saw several hawks and a meadow full of meadowlarks! I stopped at my favorite dirt road in the pinyon forest that is about halfway up the mountain, got out, and investigated some dried mud. Upon closer inspection, I spotted some animal prints in the mud and, as I bent over to check them out, I realized how BIG they were and that there weren't any claw marks on them (meaning FELINE). Hmmmm....There I was, alone in the forest, hubby at work, my cell phone not working (no cells nearby), and I'm bending over looking at mountain lion prints! I really wasn't worried because they were a week old (it rained up there last weekend). I continued onward to the horse ranch and it was pretty quite there, so on my way back down the hill I decided to stop back and REALLY take a look at them. This time, however, I was covered with horse smells and horse slobber. Hmmmmm....AND, as I got out of my car, I noticed a very distinct cat urine smell. ACK! I looked up toward the rocks where the tracks were headed and they were only about 100 feet from where I was. Every neutron in my brain was screaming, "GET BACK TO THE CAR NOW!!!!" and I remembered my husband's warning: "NEVER run because a mountain lion sees that as prey behavior!", so I calmly (NOT!) walked back to my car and was extremely relieved to make it there without becoming lunch for a wayward mountain lion. I have spotted bobcats twice up in those mountains and about 35 miles away from where I was, a mountain lion attacked and killed a female jogger. Friends who live in our local mountains told me about the night a mountain lion attacked their goats. I have been warned by people to NEVER hike alone in those mountains, due to the danger of mountain lions. And, then I saw those footprints. I was glad that I saw them and I will remember those warnings, but, honestly, I'm not going to stop exploring the mountains that I so dearly love.


Barb said...

I'm sure glad kitty wasn't hungry!

Mikey said...

I'm surprised you don't carry. I ride in lion country often, and I pack a firearm. I'd hate to have to use it, but I would. I keep it handy too, on my hip, and I'm not the only one.
If you're not into that, black cat fireworks will do it too. A string of those can scare anything off, but you have to have time to light them.

Those tracks are super cool though!

Kritter Keeper said...

i think you better head my dad's advice...never go into the woods without a gun. i cannot believe you saw it! omg! your guardian angel was watching over you when you saw the prints prior...will they attack the horses? so scary. thanks for teaching me what the prints look like. never had to consider it before but one never careful!!!

Jessica said...

Don't ever stop exploring! You are mostly too big, and if you walk with confidence and don't run, that's a good start. If you do get attacked, fight-eyes, nose, throat.

But mostly, they like easier prey.

I would actually love to see one, but it might be difficult since I'm sure my horse would be headed the other direction.