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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

RETURN to Oak Glen

After sitting around the house trying to allow my ankle to heal (remember Gigondas knocked me down last Sunday), and hubby sitting around the house forever, we decided to drive back to Oak Glen and buy an apple pie and some Spartan apples.  Spartan apples are an early variety and they are sweet and juicy.  It was a beautiful day for driving yesterday~clouds were hanging over the mountains and it looked like we might get some sprinkles!

 This is Riley's Farm, a recreated old farm....One of the many places to stop and enjoy!

 I had to use the privy!  Very nice and clean!
 Beautiful views
 Thunderheads developing
 Look out into one of the apple orchards through this curved vine
 Skies got darker and daarker
Lovely grove of sequoias, cedars, and conifers.

We ate lunch and hubby bought his pie.  I bought a bag of Spartan apples.  On the way home, we saw sprinkles down by Hemet and Lake Elsinore.  It was a beautiful day for a drive.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

We saw pelicans and I howled with the coyotes!

Yesterday afternoon was magical.  First, the two-day storm was beginning to clear out.  We had rain on and off for two days and the storm was finally moving east and breaking up.  It was GORGEOUS yesterday afternoon, so I took a couple of routes home.  Hubby and I ended up at the Desert willow golf course here in town.  I parked the car (we had gone to Indio to babysit the grandkids) and we walked along the ponds until the damn mosquitoes got to us.  I drove down the road a little way and something white caught my eye.  I thought it was egrets, but when we quietly got out, we discovered a dozen white pelicans!  This was unusual.  There are brown pelicans at the Salton Sea, but I haven't seen white ones.  They were probably migrating somewhere...

We snuck up on them and I got a few photos before they heard us and flew off in a huff and a puff!  WELL!  Good thing they did, because a pack of coyotes was howling right behind the pond!  They howled and I howled back at them!  It was quite a conversation!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Oak Glen apples

Oak Glen is a prime Southern California area for growing apples.  It is located in the hills of the San Bernardino mountains, about an hour's drive from Palm Springs.  We like to drive up there every fall and buy cider and apples.  The other apple area is up in Julian, which is in San Diego county, the other direction.  We don't get over there as often.

We first stopped at Riley's Farm.  Riley's Farm is an authentic old farm, with sheep, a bakery, a house, and they grow apples, strawberries, and another crop, which I didn't see.  They have tours for schools.  I know our first grades have always gone up there.  If you go, get there when they open (10 a.m.), otherwise it is quite crowded.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Accident with Gigondas

Horse accident

So, I went up to the horse ranch yesterday and got 3 horses out for exercise.  I didn't even try with my gelding, Sunni, due to the er..."breezy" conditions.  Rattling leaves would have spooked him in a second.

I took Quad up to the round pen, Scout down to the arena, and I moved Gigondas into Quad's super large corral.  Then I aimlessly wandered around doing chores:  cleaning water troughs, brushing Gigondas, putting pellets away.

I took Scout back to her pen, then it was Gigo's turn to go from Quad's corral to her own, which is only about 21 feet away.  She led fine, but the gate was at an odd angle and I had to make a right turn to get her into her corral.  I should have just stopped and moved the manure buckets which were in the way.  Did I stop to do that?  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

The result of which was this:  She spooked and slammed into me.  I went face down into the hard dirt of her corral.  FORTUNATELY she didn't jump over me, possibly decapitating me!  She stood where she was (I think she knew I was hurt).  My hands were shaking, but I was still holding her and the lead rope because I didn't shut the gate.  I was dazed and I remember thinking, "This is IT!" I was too shaken to even try to get up.

Then I saw her right front leg go up, meaning she WAS going to walk over me, so I swung the lead rope at her, let it go, screamed "NO!" at her,  and she moved to the far corner of her corral and stood until I could SLOWLY get up.  She never tried to get out, fortunately, because I wouldn't have been able to catch her and the ranch gate was open.  I don't think she wanted to deal with the gate, like it was.

Anyway, I now have two cut fingers, a sore shoulder, but my ankle is the worst.  It is THROBBING.  It isn't broken and I can hobble around on it, but it HURTS LIKE $%##. I took an Advil yesterday and I'm just going to stay in and rest today.

Monday morning update:  My shoulder has recovered.  My right hand still has two fingers with scrapes and I have a HUGE scrape on my right elbow.  My ankle is still swollen and sore.  I'm hoping 1 more day of rest will help.

Friday, September 16, 2016

mountain fog

I know several of my readers do have fog where they live (Barbara, Carson)...but we don't here in the desert.  I can count days with fog in the 40 years we have lived here on one hand.  It is very unusual.  I always tried to get out and take photos on foggy days for that reason.

But, up in our local San Jacinto mountains, low clouds are common.  And, Tuesday morning, the clouds were rolling through Idyllwild.  I had to run out and buy two coffee mugs for myself and hubby, since the cabin's coffee cups were too small for both of us!  After I purchased two gorgeous mugs, I turned around to see the clouds moving through town.  It was magical!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Summer's last blast?

I'm SO anxious for this dang heat to end!  Yesterday was 108 and today will be 106.  Then, by the middle of next week, mid 90's, but then the temps go up again.  Grrrrrr!  COME ON!  It's been a long, hot summer and I'm ready for fall!

I put up some fall leaves from Michael's on our west window.  I have to cover it during the summer because it gets the full blast of afternoon sun.  I actually have 2 layers of insulation on it:  first, the black mesh which is SUPPOSED to keep out 95% of the sun's rays and heat (it does work!), and then I added the leftover wooden boards from our fence that fall over last spring.  I couldn't just toss them!

I drove to Temecula Friday morning to babysit the granddaughter (20 months) so her mom could go out on a job interview.  She was fine.  We played silly games together.  I left our dog at home with hubby because they can't have a dog at their rental house.  So, SOMEBODY had to babysit the dog.

Well, hubby let her out Friday night, after feeding her, and he forgot about her for an hour. He went to let her in and...NO DOG!  She didn't come to the back side door.  Now, our back yard is completely fenced, but the one night we BOTH drove to Temecula 2 weeks ago, Ripley managed to scratch two of the boards on the side gate.  She didn't get out, but she tore up the gate.  I did a temporary repair on it, but I didn't nail the boards back in or replace the ones that needed to be replaced.  So, he got worried.  He got out his flashlight and searched the back yard.  NO Ripley.  He called her.  No dog.  he finally opened up the front door, and GUESS WHO was sitting there, wagging her tail?

Good thing he didn't tell me or I would have had a heart attack!  We are just one block away from one of the busiest streets in town and I always worry that she'll get out and go out there and get hit by a car.  So, I have another 10,000 new gray hairs!

The breakout artist!  That's the front fence before one of our eucalyptus trees fell over on it during a wind storm last spring and destroyed it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Water~Lots of water!

Just 30 minutes from our home is the Whitewater Preserve, which is part of the Wildlands Conservacy.  They also have some acreage up by Oak Glen, but that will be another trip.  On Tuesday hubby and I drove up to Whitewater.

It was eerily quiet, especially after the Labor Day weekend.  One of the rangers said that weekend was ... chaos.  I can imagine...every picnic table filled, kids running around and screaming...Ugh.  No thanks!

We had the place nearly to ourselves and it was delightful!  I especially enjoyed being able to walk around and take photos of all the ponds there.

 This is the pond right next to the ranger station.  It's a very NICE ranger station!
 Looking out down one of the bigger ponds...
 Quietness!  Ahhhhhh!
 Bubbles in the water from the mini waterfall!
A single leaf floating on one of the ponds.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Whitewater Preserve visit

Now that we are both retired, except for babysitting duty, hubby and I have pretty much our time to ourselves.  So, yesterday we headed up to the Whitewater Rock & Supply Co to buy some rocks for the grandson's rock collection 2nd grade project.  I found some obsidian, limestone, green quartz, and a rock from Baja, CA.  I even got to ride around in their golf cart because the limestone was WAY far away!

After that, since we were in the area, we headed up to the Whitewater Preserve, which is part of the Wildlands Conservacy.  The Whitewater River was running quite a bit, but the road was open.  It often runs over the road and at times closes it, but not yesterday.

After the crowds of Labor Day, the preserve was nearly completely empty yesterday.  Thank goodness!  Phew!  We LOVED the quietness.  No dogs, no screaming was heaven!

We both wandered around and took our time taking photos.  The sycamores haven't started turning their leaves to fall colors yet, but a ranger said they are shedding so much, they have to clean out the pools now on a daily basis.  We usually go up there late November, early December and by then, the leaves are gorgeous.

Here are a few photos from yesterday: (more to come...)