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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ahhhhh....the joy of being alive~Sunni

This was Sunni yesterday down in the arena. Such joy! Such energy! He pretty much exercises himself down there. He'll run around and around and around it, then stop to eat weeds! I didn't get up to the ranch today. Yesterday apparently was too much for my old, tired, sick body. Today I woke up with a body ache and with a headache. Plus, it was dark and cloudy and possibly raining up on the mountain, so I stayed indoors all day in my pajamas! ACK!
And, with a classroom full of coughing and sneezing third graders, I needed a day to just rest and veg. I seem to be coughing more today than I have been in some time, so I'm hoping that I'm not getting a relapse of my bronchitis.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I had a great day today! FINALLY! I'm getting my energy back after 7 weeks of bronchitis. I was able to work with Gigondas and Sunni and I haven't been able to work two horses in one day for over 8 weeks! :-) I took Gigondas down to the arena first, since I honestly cannot remember the last time I did so. I think it was...November??? Isn't that awful? But, remember, I've had 3 bouts of bronchitis since the second week of school in September, and this final one nearly put me flat on my back during my entire Christmas vacation! Ugh! And, I haven't had much energy or lung capacity to do ANYTHING except go to school and crawl home every afternoon. I've had NO extra energy to do ANYTING except survive day-to-day. So, I'm proud and happy that today I got to work with two horses! I brushed Gigo all over and she stood still (she doesn't always...) She stood by her gate (which means, "I WANT to go down to the arena, Mom!), so I haltered her and led her around her corral first. She now has impecible manners while leading, but I'm always nervous once I get her into the arena as she LOVES to bolt before I can get the lead rope off! And, yup, she started to, but I had the energy today to hang onto the lunge line (25 feet, thank goodness) and yell, "WHOA!" and she did. I made her stay until I was ready to unclip the rope and she stood quietly. (phew...) I let her run and run and roll and roll and roll and eat weeds. She quietly followed me up and back down the arena rail as I was taking photos of Sunni and Quad. Then, when Her Majesty was ready to go back to her corral for her treat, she waited calmly at the gate. I led her up to the tying post, tied her there for a little bit, then walked her up through some brush above the round pen and led her all the way around it. I want her to get used to brush and trees (I'm planning on doing this with ALL the horses). There is a trainer just down the street and I notice that she has hanging car wash strips, an area full of brush, and trail-training things in her front yard for the horses. Hm....that seems like a good idea! So, anyway, my plan is to take each of them for a walk among the trees and brush up at the ranch. It's 9 acres, so there is plenty of room to walk around! And, it will get them used to other objects touching them. I didn't do much with Sunni because the wind kicked up quite strongly and I was concerned that he would freak out, but I'll take him for a walk tomorrow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Morning dove~Camera Critters 012911

I know that this has nothing to do with horses, but I just HAD to share it with you! Isn't this little guy cute? He's just a common dove, but he had all his feathers out (sunning himself) when I walked into one of the bird avaries at the living Desert Reserve last weekend. Camera Critters for January 29, 2011. To view other participants, please visit:

Sunny was good and Quad was a brat!!!!

Yup. Apparently during Tuesday's lesson, Sunni was good and paid attention and did everything he was asked to do, while Quad was a BRAT! (...sigh...) Hubby is working this weekend and I'll have two days to put in some quality horse time! I'm also going to take my tripod with me and HOPEFULLY get some better horse pics, although I do like the ones I posted yesterday of Scout's nose! :-) Don't you just want to give her a smooch? I'll brush and groom everybody since it will be in the mid-70's this weekend here in the desert and mid-60's in the mountains. YEAH! I should also be able to get some wildflower photos! I'm taking my camera with me to school today as there is a gorgeous orchid tree out in the quad that I want to get some photos of and there are also some pretty yellow lantanas blooming!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nosy horse! she is again...Scout sticking her BIG NOSE into the middle of everything! I wonder what they're up to while we are having seasonably warm weather?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Backlighting cactus~Cactus Monday 012411

After Saturday's all-day photo class down in Anza-Borrego, hubby and I were anxious to try out our newly found knowledge (well, in my case, anyway), so we headed over to the Living Desert Reserve. The sunlight was hitting this cactus and hubby showed me how to take a photo using backlighting (see bottom photo). I still have a LOT to learn and I'm going to set up my tripod in our front yard this afternoon and do some experimenting. I had to delete over 20 photos from Sunday as they were just AWFUL and were learning curve is a HUGE one! After 3 hours at the LDR, I was too tired to drive up to see the horses, so that's another day lost. If I have enough energy this week, I'll drive up there one afternoon after school. I'm eating healthy salads for lunch and I'm getting a shot of wheatgrass as often as I can, but the little shop closes at 4:00 p.m., so I have to dash out of school to get there before they close! Cactus Monday for January 24, 2011. For other participants, please visit:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday class

Hubby found a camera class which was held yesterday down in Anza-Borrego state park, so off we went at 7:00 a.m. yesterday! It took me an hour and a half to drive there. Gosh, let's see...we haven't been to A-Borrego since...??? Over 15 years? And, it isn't that far away! I've been reading about some hikes there and since we got there early, we were able to visit the visitor center. The morning class was about macro photography and the first thing the instructor said was, "Turn your camera to MANUAL and LEAVE it there all day!" ACK! What? I have a Nikon D40x, which I use for my landscape photography, but I just put it on the mountain setting and point and focus and shoot, or the flower for closeups, BUT I've NEVER used its manual setting and getting an inch away from the subject! She saw my face and said, "Don't worry, we'll help you!" :-) My hands were sweating, my heart was beating quickly... She showed us some of her photos and they were GORGEOUS! Then she talked about lens extensions, light diffusers, and hoods (so you can see your photos in bright sunlight) head was swirling! Then, she sent us off! I found this salvia which was blooming and decided to TRY to get a photo of it. I only took 7 photos in the 2 hours we were out and about. That's a near record for me (so few...). Anyway, this is one of my first attempts to get a macro photo with my camera. I'm heading up to the horses today and I'll take some along Highway 74. We did panoramas in the afternoon and since I wasn't into that, I wandered off and took pictures of ocotillos. But, it was a great class and we loved the couple who hosted it and will definitely take another class with them in the future! By 4:30 p.m., both hubby and I were WORN OUT and exhausted from hiking rocks, scrambling up cliffs, and being in the sun all day (I DID have my hat on and my sunscreen!) :-) It was a worthwhile class and I'm itching to get out today and find things to photograph! Look out, Quad, Scout, Cali, Gigondas, and Sunni. Gigondas won't hold still long enough, but Quad, Scout, and Cali will...not sure about Sunni.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Who knocked the hay feeder over???

WHOOOOOO knocked the water trough over? NOT US! (Mom was cleaning it!) WHOOOOOOOOO knocked the hay feeder over? NOT MOM!!!! Can you guess who knocked it over? (And, it wasn't the wind!)

Friday, January 21, 2011


I TRIED to get some pics of Quad on Sunday, but he kept moving closer and closer to me and I couldn't get his big old HEAD away far enough to accomplish anything, so I just gave up! He really enjoyed his grooming, but was uncooperative about having his picture taken! GOOFBALL!!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunni's lesson

Sunni had a great lesson yesterday with the trainer. Good thing I worked him the previous day and let him run in the arena. He was too tired to be frisky! She is going to work with him on tying and she was able to lift all 4 of his big ole' feet! YEAH! Sunni has always worked better with women than men. He's always been a bit distrustful of men, especially my previous farrier, who he really disliked. I should have listened to Sunni and never had that guy back. I'm so glad that he now has a farrier who is gentle, patient, and who sings to him!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ahhh...the warm sun~Quad's sun nap

Awww...there's nothing like a warm day to take a sun nap! And, Quad was busy doing just that on Sunday.

Finally~A day with the horses!~

Yesterday was a warm, sunny day up at the ranch and several horses were taking "sun naps" when I arrived, including Quad. The two mustangs, while fuzzy, were out running around. Quad took a few leaps and jumps in his corral when he woke up! I decided to let Sunni out into the arena because, honestly, I don't remember the last time he was out in it. I've had this STUPID BRONCHITIS for so long and yesterday was actually the first day I felt halfway normal and actually had some energy! I mowed the side lawn at home, did 3 loads of laundry, and loaded the dishwasher BEFORE heading up the hill! It's so nice to begin to get my energy back! I cleaned out water troughs, I groomed Quad (he had a couple of knots in his mane), and cleaned out all of Sunni's feet. The farrier hasn't come yet because it's either been raining or too windy. However, with warm, sunny days in the forecast for this next week, I'm hoping that he'll make it up one afternoon. :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

My daisies

While I waited outside Friday morning for my ride to school, I watered and weeded my African daisies. I have a nice, sunny spot out in front of our fence where I planted them last year. I harvested those seeds and replanted them last fall in the same spot. we got home yesterday, SOMEBODY stepped on them or SOMEBODY'S DOG carelessly dug up about half of them! ACK! Honestly, it looks like somebody stepped on them and ground in their boot! I grabbed a huge handful of them and they were out of the ground, just lying there. And, it was a HUGE handful!!! It's too late to replant them and I have no seeds left anyway. I was devastated! I mean, there ARE a couple of unresponsible dog owners who just turn their dogs loose to roam the neighborhood, but for the most part, other people DO keep their dogs on leashes. I simply don't know what to do...My little bit of beauty is hanging on with a few measly plants today. I'm tempted just to mow them all down and call it quits. I can't fence it off because the city wouldn't like that and I would get a citation...any ideas? I'm very saddened and upset about this! :-(((((( I put some wire over them to protect them and the dogs are out front, so they will let me know if somebody or someone stops by! Here are some pics from our weekend visit...(on a lighter note...)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mikey~another one for you!!!

We briefly stopped in Payson, Arizona today. Then hubby said, "Let's drive up the Mogollon Rim, just a little bit. We'll see how much snow there is and maybe turn around." Well, we didn't turn around. We drove all the way to Show Low and then took the road down to Globe, then back to Scottsdale. We hit the canyon by the Salt River at late afternoon and got some incredible photos of the cliffs there! But, Mikey, this one is for you! :-)

Arizona morning

Hubby and I are over in Arizona for the weekend. Of course, I woke up early this morning...grabbed my Nikon and went out for a couple of morning walks. The first walk was too dark to take photos of anything, so I just went exploring. When we checked in last night, a coyote ran across the road right in front of us, so I thought I might see or hear some this morning. Nope. But, I did see a bunch of cottontails, quail, and a screeching crow or raven. There was also a little hawk up on one of the buildings, but by the time I got over to him, he'd taken off (hopefully not after the quail!) I'm not sure where we are heading out to today or where we'll have our breakfast, but we'll be eating in at the villas tomorrow morning!!! There's an AJ's market about 6 miles away and I'm sure we'll stop there and grab some steaks to BBQ for dinner and to pick up stuff for breakfast. :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What to post??? How about blue sky?

I was going to post a couple of pics of the frozen water troughs up at the ranch, but after reading other blogs, ya 'all seem to be TIRED of snow and frozen water, so how about these photos to warm you up? (tee hee!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Little blue house (continued)...

I'm just fascinated by this little blue house! :-) Now, every time we drive to Joshua Tree Natl. Park, I'm going to have to stop and visit it! Why, it even has a mailbox and portable lanterns. I haven't discovered the outhouse, yet, however....hmmm.....maybe it has indoor plumbing? Here are more pics of the little blue house, the little pink one, and odds and ends around them! And, it is in such a beautiful area! It's nestled right up against the hills. There's even a water reservoir nearby!
Oh, and I've added a poll question: Have you seen the new True Grit movie? Hubby and I saw it during Christmas vacation. We LOVED the actress who played the young woman...she's quite mature!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Little blue house revisited

On our way our of Joshua Tree National Park, I had the opportunity to stop and further explore the little blue house which I posted about last week. This little house sits on the main road into the park, from the west entrance. Despite the "Keep Out" sign, I crept around it and found a second little house behind it! Wowza! Two for the price of one!!!! Hubby was resting out in the car, so I had time to do a ittle exploring! I'll be posting more pics this week. I'm so intrigued by its history and the little pink house on the property...who lived there? What happened to them? Why did they leave? Where did they go?????????? These little houses are right down the street from the now-deserted horse ranch, which is also on the road to Joshua Tree National Park.