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, July 31, 2012

The monsoon is HERE!!! and camera woes

For those of you who also live in dusty desert areas, you KNOW how much dust gets into your stuff...your car, your house, your CAMERA!!! So, when I discovered (with HORROR!) a speck of dust on my Canon viewfinder, I tried to blow it off.  Nope.  I cleaned the filter and the lens.  Nope...still there...sigh...Hubby told me to get it to the camera shop PRONTO because it was probably on the mirror.  It didn't show up in the photos I took, but I knew it was there and now he did too  :0-(   So, off to the camera store I went yesterday, expecting to have to pay for a $40.00 cleaning.  Nope.  It turns out they don't do that anymore (and I have NO idea why).  But, the guy at Camera West was very nice and took pity on me (seeing how disheveled I was 5 minutes after my shower at's the humidity...) and he took off my lens, blew out the THING (I think it was a tiny piece of hay!) and then proceeded to show me how to clean my camera myself!  I ended up buying $22 worth of items:  a microfiber cleaning cloth and an air sprayer.  I asked him to PLEASE look over my camera and see how dirty it was (since I take it up to the horse ranch and take photos of the horses during their weekly lesson) and he surprised me by saying it was pretty clean!  He showed me how to take a paint brush (very soft one) and gently swipe off any dust on it.  He also showed me how to gently wipe off the oil from my hands which gets on it.  Fortunately, in both cases, he said my camera was CLEAN!  (I DO try to take good care of her!)  He even sent me an email with an article about how to clean your camera.  Let me know if you would like a copy and I'll email it to you!  So, I was pretty happy.

And, yes, we had a monsoon yesterday.  Apparently it POURED east of us, out on Interstate 10 by the Arizona border.  We had clouds all day and I went outside with my little Nikon Coolpix (which I'll take to my riding lessons from now on...) and took a couple of photos.  It's 82% humidity outside right now with a flash flood alert all day, from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.  I went outside to feed the birds and I'm soaked already!

Enjoy your day.  I have to sit here at home this morning because the Edison tree trimmers are coming to trim 6 of our trees in the yard since they are growing under or near the Edison lines, so I'll have to keep the dogs inside and I don't want them to tear up the house!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Me on a horse!!! FINALLY!!!

This is me yesterday on Riley, my lesson horse, who is the MOST patient and calm horse I've ever seen!  Nothing bothers him and he yields nicely to leg pressure!  He has kids climbing all over him for lessons, too, so he's pretty mellow about everything!  My legs felt good yesterday and didn't hurt at all.  I practiced dismounting and when I dismounted at the end of my lesson, all went well!  (((BIG SMILE)))  I practiced it over and over until my legs knew where to go and what to do!  (I have nerve damage in my back which effects my legs and balance...)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Give your horse or horses a hug today!

I just read Joe's blog from Friday (yesterday)...

Have some kleenex handy.  He's right.  This shouldn't happen to any horse.
I can't say more right now.  I need to recover.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Desert sunrise~SkyWatch Friday~072712

I went out early one morning last week with my camera to view the sunrise.  I always enjoy going out in the morning and greeting a new day.  SkyWatch Friday for July 27, 2012. To view other sky watchers, please go to:

Scout's progress

Scout is coming along nicely with her trainer.  She is learning to walk, not RUN when lunged.  That's a big step for her as she has a very high energy level!  She wants to RUN everwhere, all the time!  It's taken MONTHS to get her to walk, but she now walks!  She also waits like a little lady at the corral gate, at the arena gate, and walks nicely (without running over people!)...Here are some pics from this week's lesson.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I rode today~~~First time in 3 YEARS!!!

Today was my breakthrough day.  I got back on a horse and RODE!  I had a lesson with my friend, Annette, down here in the desert.  Annette does 4H and lessons for kids through the recreation department.  She has a wonderful, patient, kind horse named Riley, a Missouri Foxtrotter, who is the lesson horse.  ANYBODY can ride him and today she saddled him and brought him out and said, "Well, are you ready?"  My knees were trembling and my hands were sweating, but I said, "'s NOW or NEVER!" and we flexed him and up I went.  It was GOOD getting back on a horse.  I was concerned that my back muscles would constrict and my legs would hurt, but only my left leg went to sleep...sigh... She walked him around with me and I learned how to properly back him up, how to turn, how to flex him, and how to do a one-rein stop.  I had a little trouble getting off and nearby fell (again) to the ground, but she stepped in and blocked me, so next lesson, I'll practice dismounting, since that seems to be my trouble spot!  Aren't you all PROUD of me?  It took me 3 years to get BACK on a horse and now I can't wait for Saturday's lesson!  (((BIG SMILE)))...(no pics...I was too busy!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More animals

More animals from Barb's ranch.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What's going on in here???

I always enjoy going to my friend Barb's place.  She has a lot of animals and they are all characters!  Two of her horses were at different doors Thursday afternoon wanting to know what was going on in her barn.  Well, this is what was happening...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Best buds and a coyote story

So, we were at my friend Barbara's Thursday night for drinks and dinner.  She has 5 dogs.  All of these dogs are either rescues or she has found them on the streets.  She has a couple of big, goofy looking dogs and several small ones.  The little poodle was found near her school.  I'm not sure where the big guy came from (I think he also was found near her school...).  So, one day (before they installed their electric fence), the dogs were out in her yard and she saw a coyote on the other side of the fence.  It GRABBED the little poodle around the stomach and took off.  Barb saw this and went screaming after her dog.  But, her fence was in the way, so she had to run around it.  However, the big dog took after his little friend, who was screaming for his life.  BD (big dog) (I think his name is Bullseye...) caught up to the coyote, scuffled with it...the coyote dropped the little guy, and Bullseye saved him.  However, the little one had a big hole in his stomach.  Barb told us he was lucky that the coyote didn't grab him by the neck and shake him and kill him.  So, she put him in her car, drove to Anza (where there are 2 vets), but it was a Saturday morning and neither one was open yet, so she got back on the road and drove to Temecula.  Unfortunately, she was behind a Highway Patrol officer, so she had to obey all traffic speed zones, but once he pulled off, she raced down the road to the vet's office there.  Little Pepe was saved!  Now, he NEVER goes outside the fence and he hangs around with his hero, Bullseye!  See...they ARE best buds!

I know that dogs (and cats) do get taken by coyotes.  It happens a LOT in Palm Springs.  And, two women in Palm Desert (out by the freeway) were bitten by coyotes this summer. When I was out doing my morning walks, I saw a coyote several times.  Then, two of them.  Then, one morning I looked up and 4 of them were staring at me!  I yelled and ran at them and they took off. I haven't been back walking there (it is just too dang hot right now.)  I'm glad that Barb put up an electric fence around her property.  She now also has a "night enclosure) for the dogs.  They can get to it through her garage so the coyotes don't get any of them.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chickens and chicken butts

Hubby and I went up to my friend Barb's place last night for dinner.  We brought vegetables for grilling, wine, and desert.  They had chicken and steak.  It was a nice break from the desert heat (it was 104 yesterday)...She called me to warn me that once the sun set, it would get cold, and it did.  They had a huge rainstorm last Saturday and most of their yard flooded.  She told me they'd been shoveling mud all week!  I always love to stop by her ranch to see the chickens, horses, goats, turkey, dogs, and cats. I was fascinated by her chickens and chicken butts (as you can see).  They were very friendly and they followed us around the ranch.  She threw out some vegetables for them and one went running off with a clump of cauliflower!  And, for those of you who are interested, she just got 3 silky chicks!  Two are white and one is gray. We all had a delightful time last night and we could sit and stare up at the stars and Milky Way!  Here are some pics from last night.

Mountain sunset~SkyWatch Friday~072012

We were up in the mountains at a friend's house last night.  I took a walk before dinner, admiring the mountains and the sky.  It was nice to be able to get out of the desert heat and enjoy the coolness of the mountains.  Once the sun set, the temps dropped a lot!  We actually looked up and saw the Milky Way last night.  Scorpio also was out.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:  Yes, this was taken in Pinyon, which is on the way to Idyllwild.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Red tailed hawk~Wild Bird Wednesday~071812

I was telling my friend Sue that I frequently see a red tailed hawk out by a meadow up in Garner Valley, which isn't far from where I board my horses.  She wanted to drive out there after we finished with the horses on Saturday.  So, off we went!  I drove through the pines slowly and we heard him off in a tree ahead of us.  She actually spotted him before I did!  He was up high in a pine tree and flew to another one as my car approached.  We both got out and slowly approached him.  He took off when I got too close, but at least we got to see him!  Wild Bird Wednesday for July 18, 2012. To visit Wild Bird Wednesday, please go to:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quad in pink

I was all out of SWAT in the original clear color, but I had to get some of it on Quad before we left Saturday, so I had to use the pink kind on him.  He didn't care!  I took him down to his corral and I was petting Sunni when suddenly SOMETHING bumped and nuzzled me on my arm.  It was Quad!  He still wanted some attention!  So, I told him how handsome he was!  Don't you think he's handsome in pink?

A horse and a smile...

My friend Susan needed some horse time Saturday, so we met and rode up together to the horse ranch.  We brushed all 5 horses and Quad got a nice spa day!  I didn't get a photo of it, but when Sue was in with Scout, she led her around by just putting her hand under her muzzle!  Amazing!  Scout is very intuitive with people and she's very calm with those who need a special horse.We scrubbed out their water trough and loved on each horse.  It was a good day.  I came home and took a 3 hour nap!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Monsoon~SkyWatch Friday~071312

I was AWOL yesterday because Wednesday night our power went off POOF! in our neighborhood.  The Edison guys were working on a transformer down the street and had unexpected problems.  So, hubby and I  ran around in the dark trying to find flashlights and light candles in the house.  He was able to use his cell phone to discover that it would be out all night (from 10:30 p.m.) until 7:00 the next morning!  That's just way too long to go without air conditioning, so we packed up and went to our daughter's for the night.  I had gone out that morning to photograph the beautiful morning sky.  It was completely cloudy yesterday and today thunderstorms are forecast and it will ONLY be 100 degrees.  The storm is slowly moving out of our valley and by tomorrow, we'll be back to clear skies.  SkyWatch Friday for July 13, 2012. These were Wednesday morning's clouds. To visit SWF, please go to:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just around the ranch

Every now and then I just like to take photos around the ranch where I board my horses.  It's 9 acres and is completely fenced.  It has barbed wire around it and a gate.  The barbed wire is where Sunni blasted through  about 10 days ago.  His wounds are healing up nicely and he now stands and lets me put salve on them.  It was unbearably hot down in the desert yesterday morning, even at 7:30 a.m., when I left to drive up there for the horses' weekly training session with my trainer, Maia.  And, it was in the 90's up there.  We are having monsoon clouds drift up into the Coachella Valley from Arizona and Mexico and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, so I hope we get some rain.  Here are some pics around the ranch.  I love to watch all the animals up there! I heard a woodpecker yesterday, but couldn't pinpoint it, although I do see some down by the oak trees by the house.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Speaking of animals...

Be sure to read Joe's blog today about a car that threw out a little black dog.  The dog ran and ran after the car, which was speeding away.  Joe tried to catch it, but it eluded him.  Such a sad story.  I remember one time when I taught at a school even further out in the rural area of our county.  The car in front of me slowed down and something flew out the passenger side window.  It then sped off.  I stopped to look at what it was and it was a kitten.  I took him to school with me, because that's where I was headed, gave it some water, and it promptly curled up and took a nap!  One of my boys took him home and named him "Lucky".  I hope Joe is lucky today and finds the little dog and takes him to his ranch where he will be spoiled and pampered!~  GO JOE!  :-)


Some neighbors down the road have several horses and they also have these guys.  I was driving down their road because some men were at the property across the street (which he also owns), leveling off the back part of the lot and taking down an addition to the house.  They were busy eating, but looked up when I drove by.  Another neighbor has alpacas and I'll have to get photos of them sometime soon.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hummingbird lady

Cathy, the ranch owner, loves animals, which is why she has so many horses, birds, and dogs!  She also puts out hummingbird feeders and is now refilling them daily.  The adults have flown off, but these are this year's babies.  They are adorable!  And, yes, they fight over the feeders and chase off one another.  Here's a couple of photos from yesterday. The babies are so tame around Cathy that she can go stand next to a feeder and they aren't afraid of her!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Farrier came today

The farrier and his nephew came today, did my 5 horses, and several of Cathy's.  ALL of mine did extremely well, even Sunni.  The farrier said, "And, how is your big black horse today?"....HA!  He remembered previous trims with Sunni, some of which were quite memorable.  One time he was only able to do the front feet.  But, my trainer has been working with Sunni...tying him at the wash rack and lifting and cleaning his feet and he didn't move a muscle for Mr. Aguilar today!  Even with flies all over him, he stood still.  Scout stood still, Cali stood still, Gigo did, and Quad did too.  YEAH!!!  They'll get their shots next month and I hope they all behave for the vet.  I took Sunni up to the wash rack when he was done, hosed off his injuries (remember, he ran through their barbed wire fence and ended up in the neighbor's lot last week...).  I washed him, soaped him, hosed him off, and applied Cut & Heel.  He flinched when I put it on, but stayed with me at the wash rack.  GOOD BOY!  I rewarded him with free time down in the arena and he promptly went down there and rolled in the dirt.  He did very well today and I'm proud of him.  They all got some apples and really seemed to enjoy them today.  I'll go back tomorrow and put more cream on his wounds.  I also emptied out the side tack room where I store their feed in aluminum trash cans, so the mice don't get into it.  I opened up my old tack box and was greeted by the cutest brown and white mouse, who promptly hopped out nearly onto my arm!  ACK~I screamed at it and it took off running!!! (...never to return...).  I washed out two of my saddle pads and took out the one I always used on Beauty.  It's time to use it on another is in good shape (not chewed by the mice) and it was an expensive pad.  I also have a nice bareback pad.  I'll add photos to this as soon as I get them uploaded.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Left, right, left, right...

Hubby captured this pic of Sunni and I in step together...left, right, left, right...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday lesson

Hubby and I left San Marcos early Tuesday morning to drive out for the horses' lesson.  It was foggy near the ocean, but once we got near Anza, the clouds lifted.  Scout, Quad, and Sunni had their lesson scheduled.  I was sad to hear that Sunni got out of his corral, went off running, and ran through a barbed wire fence and ended up in the neighbors' yard last week!  We watched him move and he wasn't off and we washed down his wounds and treated them (again).  Cathy had already treated them the day of his accident.  Fortunately, when he busted through the fence, he was going so fast the wire didn't get stuck on him...sigh...Anyway, here's Scout yesterday.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Leo Carrillo state park and barn~Barn Charm~070212

Hubby and I drove to the beach this weekend to get out of the desert heat.  We arrived at the Leo Carrillo state park, which was a working ranch, 15 minutes before they closed on Sunday.  Unfortunately they were closed Monday and we are leaving today to return to the desert.  But, we had 15 minutes to go exploring.  Hubby went one way and I headed down toward the stables.  This is a beautiful example of the Spanish influence in old California.  I peeked inside the stables and the stalls were quite roomy and cool.  The adobe buildings are really quite comfortable and this one received the ocean breezes. have lived in that time!  Barn Charm for July 2, 2012.  To visit Barn Charm, please go to:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cali's lesson

Cali is just SO different from Scout.  First, she's always liked people.  She used to follow me around, even as a yearling.  Second, she really TRIES to please.  She doesn't argue (like Scout).  She doesn't show 'tude. She just does what is asked of her.  She really is a very nice mare.  I'm going to go in for some riding lessons soon and then hopefully ride Cali this summer.