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, June 30, 2013

Liebster award...(again)...rules for taking it

I've done a lot of thinking about the Liebster award and frankly, I'd just like to open it up to whoever would like it.  I really don't know 11 other bloggers well enough to nominate them and most of them are award-free blogs anyway.  You DO need to reveal 11 things about yourself, however.  I can't seem to focus and think of 10 questions, so either make up your own or use mine or those from Nuzzling Muzzles.    I already have a copy of the award, so please come help yourself!  If you do decide to take it, please just leave me a comment, so I know who you are!   Thank you and have fun!
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Saturday, June 29, 2013

11 random facts about me...(sigh)...

You know, I really hate to do this.  I'm basically a private person, but here goes:

1.  My birthday is on Valentine's Day.  And, no, I don't get double presents or anything...For me, it's really just another day.

2.  I enjoy taking photographs.  I got my first camera from my dad when I was 16.  He taught me what he knew and then my husband and I have learned together on our new, fancy cameras.  We both had to take a class at Samy's Camera to learn how to use our new Canon cameras!

3.  I have loved horses all my life.  I had a great-uncle (a brother of my grandmother) who was a thoroughbred trainer in the 60's.  I used to visit his "barn" (at the back row...) as a child.  I always KNEW that something BAD happened to horses that didn't win.  Then I found out about horse slaughter and that has been my cause for the last several years.  I've rescued 7 horses, of which I still have 5.  Two of my horses have died~Beauty died in a freak corral accident in 2009 and Cali, my palomino mustang, died of colic in December.

4.  I used to take ice skating lessons as a kid.  My dad was born in Connecticut (his family lived there for over 300 years) and he always wanted me to know how to ice skate with him.  He was very good, by the way!

5.  I have a cousin, Cindy Kyle, who is a professional photographer, and my other cousin, Valerie Abel (Trozelle) is a professional artist.

6.  I'm a teacher.  My mother and aunt were both teachers and my daughter and her husband are also teachers.

7.  I was trained to become a concert pianist.  I'm not completely ambidexterous, but I'm pretty close.  I learned to read music at the same time I learned to read print.  My piano teacher lived next door to us and I used to walk through her rose garden to get to her house, where she had two grand pianos.  Since I have the manual dexterity, I can type very fast!   :-)

8.  Hubby and I enjoy traveling, especially to Utah and Arizona.  We've traveled most of the west and have driven across the country twice.  There are only a few midwest Northern states that I haven't been to...Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota are the ones that spring to mind...

9.  I'm more comfortable by myself than with people.  My idea of a perfect day is to grab my camera and head up to our local mountains or drive out to Joshua Tree National Park.  I prefer to be out somewhere in nature.

10.  I don't like people in my photos and I purposely try to avoid having people in them.  Animals, yes...people, NO!

11.  I can't WAIT to retire so that I can spend more time with our two grandchildren (a boy and a girl) and my horses!  I'm counting the years...   :-)  And, so that I can spend more time in my garden.  I love to garden and I have a green thumb, but it doesn't apply to house plants!   :-(

~~Cheryl Ann~~

10 questions to answer for the Liebster award

Here are the questions from Nuzzling Muzzles:

1.  Guinea pigs or rabbits?
Either.  My mother was a second grade teacher and every summer she brought home either guinea pigs or rabbits.  As a child, I cared for both of them.  
2.  Now that the important question is out of the way, who is your hero and why?
My hero?  I'd have to say my grandmother.  She taught me so many things:  how to cook, how to sew, how to be a respectable and responsible person...She lived to be 100 years old.  I miss her every day.  I used to go to my grandparents' house each afternoon after school.  They kept me grounded in reality and made sure I finished my homework BEFORE I went out to play!  Isn't that a great idea?  
3.  What problem do you have that keeps coming back to haunt you?
My problem is my back now.  I've fallen off horses 3x, but this last one pretty much did my back in and now I have permanent leg muscle damage.  I notice that I stumble around and lose my balance a lot.  It took me 3 years to get back on a horse after my fall, but I rode a lesson horse last summer.
4.  What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
The best thing that ever happened to me was having my children and watching them grow up into nice, young, responsible citizens.
5.  What do you do to relax?
Relax?  Well, one thing I do is go up and visit my horses.  I also go out and water my garden or take photographs.  All those things help me to relax.
6.  Favorite space?
My favorite space is out in nature, whether it is in our local mountains, the eastern Sierra Nevada, or out in the desert.  JUST GET OUT into nature, watch, listen, and observe!
7.  How do you deal with annoying people?
I used to confront I just ignore them.
8.  What task have you been meaning to do for a long time, but just keep putting off?
I REALLY need to clean off my desk, but I also need to clean out my work room.
9.  Go without your mobile phone for a week or go without television for a week?
HA!  I just went without television for a whole week while we were up in the Sierra Nevada.  It was just so beautiful up there...we'd go out in the afternoons and return to the cabin for a late dinner.  Frankly, we were too worn out to watch TV!
10.  Why do you blog?  
I blog because I take a lot of photos and I love to write!  This is also my relaxation!
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Liebster award!

I received a Liebster award today from Nuzzling Muzzles (  You know, I REALLY needed that, so thank you, Nuzz!  I've been down in the dumps ever since the death of Cali in December.  I was really doubting my ability to even have 1 horse, let alone 4!!!  But, I carried on.  It's hard to blog daily in the winter because (1) it rains a LOT up in our local mountains where I board the horses; (2) it snows; (3) the weather is just plain crappy; (4) the round pen and arena are just too frozen or slick.  I have to drive 35 miles up a VERY difficult mountain road (known as the "Killer Highway" because of all the deaths on it...  you get the idea.  And, this year, I was LUCKY to make it up to work them on one weekend day.  I rarely made it up there two days in a row and I'm afraid that's the new norm...sigh...It just isn't easy anymore.  In the meantime, I've hired a trainer who comes once a week and works them, but even she can't always make it in the winter time, so there were periods where they weren't worked for 3 weeks at a time!  Yesterday it was 117 degrees here (one degree shy of breaking the record for that date) and today is supposed to be even hotter.  I don't really know because I've been indoors most of the morning with the a/c on full blast.  The dogs are sacked out near the fans and the cat is asleep, too.  Most of us desert rats take a long siesta in the afternoon because basically there is NOTHING else to do!

I'll get on with the Liebster award later...and find others to send it to!

Thank you so much, Nuzz!  Please do visit her blog.  I read it daily and I'm learning about training techniques which my trainer now uses for my herd!


Cheryl Ann

Bougainvilla and water~Today's Flowers~072813

I go out every afternoon and water the purple bougainvilla which is right outside my front door.  I think there might be a hummingbird nest somewhere in it because I see hummingbirds fly out of it occasionally.  It has been there for several years now and I always enjoy its blossoms.  I took these pics right after I watered it the other day.  It was...GASP!...118 degrees here yesterday and today it is supposed to be even hotter!  Today's Flowers for June 28, 2013.  To visit Today's Flowers, please go to:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Light and Dark for Friday Shoot Out~062613

This week's theme is dark and light contrasts and when I was up at the ranch on Tuesday, I took this photo of the wagon in the shade, with the horses in the background, in the sunlight.  I took an iPad class all day yesterday and learned a lot about my iPad, so I'm excited to begin to use it, too, for photos, as I can show those photos of the horses to the kids at school.  Friday My Town Shoot Out for July 26, 2013.  To visit FMTSO, please go to:

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Gigondas has FINALLY settled down and is a really nice mare now.  She has always led quietly, but now she stands tied at the rack and allows us to calmly and gently brush her face and ears and head!  That's a BIG move for her!  My trainer believes that whoever previously had her grabbed her by the ears and led her around...???  She was head-shy for YEARS (I've had her for 6 years now...)  She also goes through her gaits now very smoothly and she has the best stop.  I'm proud of her progress.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Horse lesson~Scout

I don't know how my trainer does it...she gets through all the horses every week!  Sunni just got let out into the round pen and arena this week because of the wind.  No sense having him have another meltdown!

She always works Scout first.  If she doesn't, Scout gets VERY UPSET!  (and jealous)...So, Scout is the first one out.  Maia takes her down to the arena first to get out some of that mustang energy!  She's a whole lot easier to work with after that, believe me!  Might as well let her get out, run, and roll!!!
 Then, on to the serious stuff...she gets saddled and lunged in the arena.  She does well now with all her verbal commands.  Doesn't she look good in her saddle?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sierra Nevada morning~Our World Tuesday~062513

I went out with my Nikon early one morning while we were in the Sierra Nevada cabin and took these photos.  The forest up there is so different from ours here above the desert.  First, it was MUCH colder up there!  It was only 65 degrees, which meant that most days I was wearing a t shirt, a sweater, and a light jacket.  Second, the pines up there are different from ours here in our local mountains.  There were some, like the one growing up on the rock, that I'm unfamiliar with...I still don't know the name of this pine...anybody?  Finally, we were actually at a higher elevation than our local mountains.  We are at about 6500 feet, but in the Sierras, we were at over 8,000 feet.  Thus, there were a LOT of aspen up there.  Hubby and I were talking and we'd like to return in October to take photos of the trees in the autumn.  To visit Our World Tuesday, please go to: 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bald eagle sighting!

So this morning the hubs and I drove over to Convict Lake.  He offered to buy me lunch there, but we arrived at 11:00 a.m. and they didn't open for lunch until 11:30.  As we were driving in, he remarked, "There's a bald eagle!"  I looked up and yup...there he was, making lazy circles in the sky.  Quite a few people stopped to also point him out.  I was so nervous and I grabbed my camera, almost knocking it out of the car!  I did manage to get quite a few photos of him.  We never did have lunch there.  Instead, we drove back to Mammoth and had lunch at a New York bagel & deli.  It was delicious!  I had a turkey sandwich and salad and the hubs had a pastrami sandwich.  Back to the cabin to rest after that!  We leave for home tomorrow.  I see that it will be 111 and 113 next weekend in the desert.  It was 56 degrees here today in June Lake...sigh...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Old barn~Friday Shootout~062013

This old barn is near Julian, CA and near Warner Springs.  I often drive down this way to go to Ramona and I always stop to view the barn.  It's nearly falling down, as you can see, but one time there were cows inside, so apparently it is still used.  Friday Town Shoot out for June 20, 2013.  This week's challenge is "Through the Fence".  To visit Friday Town Shoot Out, please go to:

Virginia Lakes road~Friday Fences and SkyWatch Friday~062013

As we drove back from Bodie state park the other day, we noticed that the thunderheads had spread out across the sky.  The Virginia Lakes road has a beautiful western fence along this portion of the road, so we stopped to take some photos here.  I think this photo qualifies for both SkyWatch Friday and Friday's Fences, don't you?  SWF and FF for June 20, 2013.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:   To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

More Bodie pictures

Remember, if you ever do go to Bodie, go either as soon as they open at 9:00 a.m. or go in the afternoon and hope for afternoon light.  High noon is (1) TOO HOT; (2) bad light.  And, bring a hat and some water with you as there is NO general store in the town.  There is an old museum, which we didn't visit this trip, but you can't purchase drinks anywhere in Bodie.  Also be advised that the bathrooms are up by the parking lot and they are the ONLY ones in the park!  It's quite a hike from the town back to the parking lot, so be sure you visit er..."the facilities" before you start walking through town.   Bodie IS a photographer's dream spot, so we try to make it up there every time we visit the Sierra.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bodie trip

We drove out to Bodie state park yesterday.  Bodie is an old, abandoned mining town 13 miles off Highway 395.  It was very windy up there and we had to protect our cameras from the dust.  There were some thunderheads out toward the Sierras, but for the most part, the skies over Bodie were gray and cloudy, and, at a place known for photographers, that wasn't good.  So, when you have lemons, make lemonade, right?  I tried to focus on shots that didn't require a skyline or clouds.  Instead, I focused on buildings and windows.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New friends

I have some new friends up here in the Sierras.  They show up every day...morning, afternoon, and evening.  They just won't stay away!   Who needs TV when I have these guys to entertain me?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Silver Lake in the afternoon

Hubby fell asleep in one of the cabin's reclining chairs yesterday afternoon and took a LONG nap.  I was bored, so I hopped into the XTerra and went for a ride over to Silver Lake.  There are 4 lakes in the June Lake loop:  June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake.  All are stocked with fish and a lot of fishermen (and women) fish all summer long in them.  There are campgrounds around all four lakes, also.  Silver Lake is the prettiest lake, I think, although June Lake is gorgeous and it looks like it could be a small village in Switzerland.  Photos show the south end of June Lake, then Silver Lake, with the fishing boats tied up for the afternoon, and Grant Lake.  On this afternoon, the wind was really blowing and you can see some white caps on Grant Lake.  Maybe today we'll drive over to June Lake and get some decent photos of it.  The last time we pulled over to take photos, hubby was standing away from me when I spotted something flying right past us~~it was a bald eagle!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mono Lake

We are up in the Sierras for a few days and yesterday we drove out to Mono Lake to the south tufa area.  It's very hot and dry out there, so bring water, a hat, and sunscreen if you visit it.  Also, there is a $3.00 per person fee now (California is having issues with its state parks).  We're heading up to Bodie today and I'll have to check the fee there.  We noticed the thunderheads building up yesterday afternoon when we drove down to Mammoth Lakes to buy gas and groceries.  There is really NO decent grocery store here in June Lake and the nearest one is Vons down in Mammoth, which is about 20 miles down the road. The clouds just add another dimension to the views at Mono Lake and we try to visit it each time we come up here.  The tufa is made from the calcium deposits in the lake and the south exhibit has these tufa towers.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!