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, October, 2015. That's Scout in the arena.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
We're heading up to northern California for another vacation! We'll stop by and see my good friend Hope, who we believe has a sister or half-sister to Gigondas. Hope adopted her two mares from the same feedlot that Beauty and Gigondas came from. We both swear that her mare Pippin looks identical to Gigondas, except that Pippin has a larger blaze. She is also a big, red thoroughbred. I can't wait to see Hope again and get 10,000 photos! And, we'll be stopping by Joe's place (www.tbfriends.com), which is the rescue that Quad came from. Joe does a wonderful job with all his rescues and many of them move into new careers as trail horses, show horses, and even companion horses! THANK YOU, Joe, for all you do! I can't wait to see Joe and Cathy again! Finally, we'll spend two days in Yosemite and then visit some wineries. I'm actually glad we are getting out of the desert as it is forecast to be 110 degrees here over the weekend, which really isn't that hot for summer (some days, when it gets up to 118 or 120, we just don't even go outside!). Fortunately, our mornings have been bearable until about 9:00 a.m. Have a good week and I'll be posting from the road!
Monday, June 28, 2010
After Quad's romp in the arena, he stood by the gate and waited for me to take him back to his corral. Then it was Sunni's turn. Sunni has always lead very well and he waited for me to let him go. And, off tooting and farting he went! It was a gorgeous day up in the mountains on Saturday. Yesterday, here in the desert, not so much. 107 degrees. Honestly, it was too hot and I was too worn out from Saturday to even go outdoors! It will be 110 degrees by the end of the week here. Ugh. Summer has arrived!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I love how Quad's quirky personality is coming out. He was a good boy when I led him down into the arena yesterday. He quietly stood until I told him it was okay to "GO"! And, then he let off all his steam! He ran. He bucked. He flew across the arena. He had a good 'ole time and stirred all the other horses up! And, then he settled down and ate weeds. Ummmm, ummm, good! And, when he got bored in the arena, he went and stood by the gate to let me know it was time to go back into his corral. So, back he went, and then it was Sunni's turn in the arena! I also brushed the two mustangs, haltered Scout, and worked, once again, with her on "stay". She's getting better at it and I also worked with her on leading. She still wants to take off and I'll continue to work with her. She actually did join up with me yesterday (that's a FIRST!!!!) and quietly followed me around her corral. YEAH! Join up!~
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Ah, hem. I loosely tied Cali to the fence while I brushed her mane and GUESS WHO? came up and untied her while I walked over to get my camera. Here is Cali thinking, "But Mom, I didn't do it!" and Scout had a guilty look on her face...Cali is so easy to groom. She basically just stands there and lets anyone groom her. She just loves the attention! Pet Pride for June 26, 2010.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
It was hot up at the ranch yesterday morning and by 10:30 a.m., I was ready to drive home and sit in the air conditioning all day! I'll drive up to the horses this afternoon, when it starts to cool down. I did buy dog food at the feed store and our dogs have been most appreciative! While I was up at the ranch yesterday, I cleaned out the mustangs' water trough and sprayed them with the hose. Scout ran off, but Cali stood still and turned her butt to the water. She enjoyed her shower! Of course, she immediately rolled in the dirt and was covered with dirt and dust and manure!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
By the time I got up to the ranch this morning, it was H-O-T!!! I hosed off the mustangs (Cali loved it!) and Gigondas. I cleaned out the mustangs' water trough (UGH!) and cleaned out Gigo's too. She showed me her LOVE by turning her butt to me. I guess she is still made that I didn't come see her for a week!
As our temperatures here in the desert are rising up to 108 degrees today, I think back to this river, the Virgin River, which runs through Zion National Park. It was so cool next to it! And, shady! Phew! I stayed home yesterday because our daughter and son-in-law delivered our new bed. What a difference a bed makes for my back! No more saggy mattress! My aunt and uncle traded us their brand new king size bed for twin beds, so we inherited theirs. By the time I huffed and puffed and took out the old mattress and bed springs and installed the new one, I was DONE for the day! I will be driving up to the horse ranch this morning! FINALLY!!! Watery Wednesday for June 23, 2010.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
And what did I do yesterday? I stayed home, fed the cats, dogs, and outside birds, and cleaned half of the living room. And, I CLEANED it! I pulled out the couch and chairs, vacuumed behind them, rearranged things a bit, and cleaned the wooden furniture with Murphy's Wood Soap. At least all the dust is gone! That's one of the bad things about living in the desert: dust. It is EVERYWHERE! Our windows don't keep it out and I even see it on our daughter's window sills. Plus, the dogs drag in dirt and dust every time they come in! Ripley, our black lab, is a "dust magnet"!!! And, since we were invited to our daughter's house for dinner, I didn't drive up to the horses in the afternoon. I'll go up this morning, for sure, since I need to buy dog food up there at the feed store. Here are some pics of our dinner and 1 decent pic of Ripley, who just WILL NOT stay still!!!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Grab a kleenex. I'm just a puddle of tears right now, but at least these horses were saved from slaughter. And, yes, they were going through California to slaughter in Mexico.
The day that we drove out to Zion National Park, we had two different shuttle drivers. The first one never said a word the entire length of our ride from the visitor center to the end of the road! Once at the river walk, we caught another shuttle to the next stop, Big Ben. That driver was quite friendly and chatty and she told us about a condor pair that made their home above the park. We did not see them in the park, but that afternoon, we took a road up to a nearby reservoir (a seldom-traveled road) and stopped to admire a waterfall cascading through a lava flow. On our way back down that road, I spotted this condor flying in the thermals above the waterfall. The other one was further off, so I just snapped as many photos as I could from the driver's seat of our car! Their wingspan was extremely big and this one lazily drifted in the thermal until he dipped below into the chasm of the river. I felt extremely fortunate to have seen this pair.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Home at last! Phew! What a whirlwind the last 5 days have been! We visited several national parks: Zion, Grand Canyon, Kanab Canyons at Zion, and finally Bryce Canyon National Park as well as Red Rock Canyon in Nevada. And, it's good to realize that we wore out two 30 year old young people! They couldn't WAIT to get home and relax! Anyway, I took these photos not at Bryce Canyon, but at the red rock canyon before the park. This area has some of the most vivid red rocks I've seen anywhere. Many people stop here and take photos before driving up to Bryce Canyon. It was good to arrive home safely and see the dogs and cats. Today I head up to see the horses. I really missed them after seeing all the horses in Utah! Sunday Stills Challenge for June 20, 2010. HAPPY FATHERS' DAY!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Well, we wore the youngins' out and are heading home. They've had it with us and national parks! Actually, it will be good to get home and do laundry and see all the cats and our dogs! I'll be driving up to see the horses tomorrow morning, too, as I have REALLY missed them! We drove up to Bryce Canyon National Park yesterday and arrived about noon, after stopping at Cedar Breaks. Cedar Breaks is very high...about 10,300 feet and the wind was blowing and it was COLD! We all had to put our jackets on! Bryce is only 8800 feet, so by the time we arrived there, the jackets came off. We ate lunch out by Sunset Point (they have picnic tables there) and then continued to Rainbow Point. We saw various deer and pronghorn, including this mother and her baby. Instead of using the hotel's BBQ last night, as we had been doing for the last 4 nights, we opted to go to Olive Garden, since our daughter had some gift cards, and have a pasta dinner. Boy, after a day in the car, it sure was good!!! That's Cedar Breaks in the top photo and Bryce Canyon in the middle one.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
After we visited Zion National Park, we stopped in Springvale for lunch. After lunch we walked over to this little shop with handmade wind chimes. There was a breeze and they were moving in the wind. It was interesting to watch them and see them move! I wish I could afford to buy one! SkyWatch Friday for June 18, 2010.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Virgin River. The Virgen River runs through Zion National Park and is where we all went hiking/walking yesterday. We even saw some swimmers in it as we walked back down the river walk trail. We are all resting today as early tomorrow morning we head out for the north rim of the Grand Canyon (LONG DAY)!!! ABC Wednesday for June 16, 2010.
We got up early yesterday morning and headed out to Zion National Park. We purchased an "America the Beautiful" pass, which will allow us to enter all national parks, including Joshua Tree. It was $80.00, but worth it. By the time we parked and hopped on one of the Zion trams, it was 10:00, Utah time (9:00 our time). I'm still confused by the time change. Anyway, Jennifer & James wanted to take the river walk all the way to the end, so I schlepped along, carrying two cameras on my neck. OUCH! I wanted my Nikon because it has the macro and zoom lens and I wanted my Olympus because it always takes such clear photos. I had not been on the river walk since I was a kid and it was interesting to walk it again! There were so many beautiful things to see..ferns, dripping water, leaves, the river, a wild turkey (YES!), and three deer! And, people were walking all along the path. It was a good day and it is wonderful to know that a 31 year old can't keep up with us! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! She was out cold!
Monday, June 14, 2010
We are on vacation in Utah for a couple of days with our daughter and son-in-law. They have never been to Zion, Bryce, or the Grand Canyon. I'll be posting pics every night. Here are some pics of our visit to Red Rock Canyon, outside of Las Vegas, today. That's Jennifer reading one of the signs at one of the viewpoints. And, that's Jennifer & James posing for me at another overlook.
It is always interesting to see the wildflowers that grow in our local mountains. They are just having Spring. We, in the desert, have moved to "summer mode". Everybody wears shorts and flip-flops! Saturday, up at the ranch, was a gorgeous day~ cool and breezy. It hasn't been too hot down in the desert, high 90's and next week will only be in the low 100's. There are acres and acres of these flowers and I often see people stopping to take photos of them, so I did so myself on Saturday! Aren't they pretty?
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I took these photos of Gigondas when my friend Susan came up last weekend. Gigondas' eyes have softened a lot since two years ago. At that time, her eyes would have been big and wild. They have now softened. It has taken a lot of time and patience, but she now trusts people again. It is a real shame that some people abuse horses to the point that they HATE people. Gigondas was like that when I rescued her from a slaughter-bound feedlot. She HATED people, turned her butt to us, and walked away. NOBODY could touch her head. But, with time and patience, and LOVE, she now softly nickers to me when I drive up to the ranch. She no longer bolts when I lead her down to the arena, and she stands for me to brush her! What a good girl! Sunday Stills Challenge for June 13, 2010.
Well, today was officially my day of summer vacation! I slept in until 5 a.m. this morning (I had been awakening at 4 a.m.). Had my coffee and cereal, did the dishes, did two loads of laundry, went to our daughter's house for sandwiches for lunch, ate lunch, and took a 2 HOUR NAP! ACK!~ I went up to see the horses this afternoon. I let Gigondas out into the arena for a run and stretch, feed the other horses their sweet feed, but she got wind of what was going on (NO FOOLIN' HER!) and she screamed to be let back into her corral for a treat, too! (She's NO DUMMY!) She behaved herself the entire time, but was very eager to get back to her corral. Once I fed her (she was the last to be fed), I brought over a chair and just sat and let her smell my shoes (for some reason, Sunni was fascinated with my shoes and shorts and was a real pest today!) Here are some pics of Gigondas from this afternoon. She was absolutely fascinated by my walking shoes! Crazy girl!
Well, I survived the last day of school. Now, you all know how difficult this year's class was. I had some really badly-behaved children. I had one girl for 6 months who belonged in an emotionally disturbed class! I had another girl who was so hyper she would swing between two desks and crawl on the floor! I had another boy whose mother told me, "He didn't get along with his teachers the last few years!" (Oh, gee...THANKS!) Another boy immediately challenged me and wanted to take over my class! Oye vei! It was a LONG year, believe me! Sometimes I would come home too exhausted to do anything but sit and stare at the TV and fall asleep in my leather chair! So, they ALL wanted a party the last day (oh, joy!). I agreed. They wanted to bring their lunch into the room and eat in the room and yesterday it was only 92 degrees here with a gentle breeze. They could have gone outside to play at recess, but chose to eat in the room. I brought them strawberries and cherries and fruit juice. And, you know what? They behaved. I was amazed. NOBODY got out of line! NOBODY punched another kid! They .... MATURED! They are ready for the next grade level! I even turned on the radio and let them listen to their music (only for about 15 minutes because it gave me a headache!) And, when the bell was ready to ring, they all lined up at the door and gave me a hug when it rang! ALL OF THEM! I fought back the tears, smiled bravely, hugged them, tussled some hair, hugged some of them AGAIN, and gave them the secret farewell gesture from Little Rascals! Some of them came back 3 or 4 times for hugs! That has NEVER happened before! And, another little boy, sent wrote me a note, "Mrs. Dean, I'm going to MIST you!" So, I guess they weren't so bad after all! And, I'm going to MIST all of them! And, now vacation, glorious vacation, begins in earnest today. I'm going to work the two mustangs Scout and Cali and groom the others. Phew! So many things to do!
And a P.S.
My school lost 7 good teachers. 49 were laid off in my district and we lost 2 to layoffs at my school. Another 5 tranferred to other sites because my district is no longer going 20 to 1 in a classroom. We all expect to have 30 students next year. One of the fired teachers was a young woman who has taught for 3 years. Her classroom was right across from mine. This was a fine teacher and she has no job prospects. She was actually younger than my daughter, but, in many ways she was like a daughter to me. I took her under my wing and helped her. She really didn't need my help. She did just fine on her own! She was always calm, collected, and poised. She was creative and innovative. I didn't wish to be grade level leader this year and she took over and did an excellent job. I learned ... from HER! I'm really going to miss her. We finally asked her, "What are you going to do?" and she just shook her shoulders. She doesn't know. She bought a house two years ago and I wonder if she will be able to keep it. While she isn't one to show her emotions, we could all tell that the last week was hard for her. She took down her bulletin boards, cleaned out her room, gave me some of her papers, and quietly settled in to the reality that she doesn't have a job next fall. I cried when I gave her a farewell hug. She does have family here in the valley to support her, but I fell sorry for the class next year that won't have Ms. Olguin for a teacher. I want to wish her the best of luck in whatever she does. The teaching profession is losing a fine teacher.