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, April 15, 2012

Reflections~Sunday Stills Challenge~041512

When I first saw the title of this week's Sunday stills Challenge, "Reflections", I immediately thought of reflections in a window or in water.  But, since reflection is a multiple meaning word, and another blogger did a post on her reflections about her horse and another one she knew, I realized that yes, reflection is INDEED a multi-meaning word.    So, here is my interpretation of this week's challenge.  I reflected that my horses have a pretty good life. A couple of them (Sunni and Gigondas) were facing certain death if I hadn't adopted them.  Sunni, as you know, was from a PMU ranch up in Michigan.  He was the unwanted by-product of his mother's pregnancy.  Fortunately for him, United Pegasus took a huge horse van up to the ranch and came back to Southern California with a full load and Sunni was one of those lucky horses.  Others, as you know, weren't so lucky and ended up going to slaughter.  Both Beauty and Gigondas were at a slaughter-bound feedlot, up in Washington state and were posted online through the now-defunct Columbia Basin Equine Rescue.  I saw Beauty's photo posted and immediately fell in love with her.  She was only two years old and was a perky quarter horse/TB mix.  Gigondas was also listed online and had a home lined up, but it fell through and I figured, "Why not adopt them both?"  So, both mares came down here.  Unfortunately, as you all know, life has its ups and downs and in June of 2009, I arrived at the ranch to find Beauty still and unmoving.  She apparently hit her head on the metal bars in her corral during the night and died instantly.I went into a deep depression after that, in spite of hubby taking me on a vacation to Arizona.  I just sat and cried and asked, "WHY, WHY, WHY?"  Then, in August of that same summer, another blogger offered to pay for Quad's transport to Southern California.  Quad needed a home and she decided I needed another horse to fill the void that Beauty left. Quad, along with a couple other geldings, came right off the race track to TB Friends, a large horse rescue up near Sacramento, CA.  Joe, who runs the rescue, along with his wife Cathy, do their best to find homes for off the track thoroughbreds as well as horses from fancy barns, feedlots, and private owners.  At times, he has 200 horses at his place!  Hubby and I had visited Joe's rescue the previous summer, when Quad first arrived, and Joe offered me Quad then and there.  But, I already had 5 horses and didn't think I could handle another one ( can I manage 5???)  So, I politely told him "No, thank you...", but a year later, Quad really needed a permanent home, so he came to us.  Scout and Cali were Wyoming mustangs that hubby found on an online auction and bid on them.  They were halter broke through a prison training program and were listed online.  Unfortunately, they were all the way in Wyoming, but hubby found another bidder from California (she actually got the brother and sister to Cali and Scout) and he contacted her and she agreed to haul our horses down in her trailer if we would pay for the gas, so we did.  We have since visited their brother and sister, who are now used as pack horses up in Mariposa, CA, which is outside the entrance to the western side of Yosemite National Park.  They have the good life!  I'd like to think, too, that my horses have the good life now.  I don't ask much of them.  I see them on the weekends and my trainer works with each of them during the week.  They have a loving, responsible ranch owner who dotes on them and her own horses, which are beautiful Peruvian Pasos, along with her quarter horse, Crystal.  They get trims, worming, and shots on schedule.  They get groomed and lunged and saddled, but I haven't ridden any of them yet.  I was taking lessons myself and was scheduled to ride when my right knee went bad on me and it was discovered that I have arthritis in it.  I've been taking liquid glocosamine and it is helping, but I still hobble about and have difficult putting weight on that leg.  I'm hoping that by summer, when I'm off of school, I can resume my horse riding lessons (and finally get back on a horse!) and then ride one of my own.  But, I'd like to say, I'm pretty happy right now and I believe my horses are, too.  They ALL lead "la vida buena" and I don't put a lot of demands on them.  They all tie quietly now, they lead well, and they are much more calm than they were...especially Gigondas!  So, those are my reflections for this week's challenge.  What are yours?  Oops!  That's Beauty with my husband.  You can see what a loving animal she was...she had a big heart and was the only one of my horses, so far, that I've ever ridden.  My cousin Valerie took Beauty out for for 6 months training and I nearly didn't get her back!  She turned out to be a wonderful trail horse who wasn't afraid of anything and quietly walked the trails...sigh...That's Quad in the next two photos, then Gigondas is the chestnut mare.  Then that's Scout and Cali, along with their neighbor and then that's me with them.  Sunni is the big bay and finally that's Cathy and Bill, the ranch owners, on two of their Peruvian Pasos.  They were heading out for a trail ride last weekend when I pulled into the ranch!  To visit Sunday Stills Challenge, please go to this link:


Barb said...

I love this post, Cheryl. Very interesting with great photos. Aren't Cathy and Bill an inspiration?

MTWaggin said...

That first photo is worth a thousand words.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wonderful personal reflections about your horses and your journeys together.
I bet you would love one day to ride out on one of your horses with those beautiful paso finos and the ranch owners. :)

Sure hope your knee feels better soon. I still have weakness in my left knee and can't mount from the left side because it sometimes buckles on me. And my right knee creaks and pops like a bowl of rice krispies. Thank goodness for mounting blocks. lol!


Margaret said...

Fascinating back history. You know, nothing we do with horses is "natural". I suspect they are perfectly happy never being ridden ;) I know a lady who fell off her horse and got hurt quite badly. For the past two years they have just done ground work and are on their way to "freedom" levels. Both are content. I'm NOT telling you to do this, as riding is quite awesome, but the most important thing is that you are enjoying yourself and are happy. Taking ones time and learning how to ride well and your horses being trained sounds like an excellent plan to me.