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.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Snow day Martin Luther King day!

What a cold and snowy day! The perfect day for a drive up the hill, right? Yeah, right. The mountain is MAGICAL. I could see and feel the change as I drove up it. From bright, desert sunshine to cool, then cold. Clouds swiftly moving in. Snow on the high peaks. Absolutely wonderful! I stopped and took some photos. The mountains seem to be ALIVE, changing quickly with the clouds.

The horses were wet from the rain just a few minutes before I arrived. I quickly put some shredded beet pulp (2 scoops) in the pail, so allow it to expand. HOWEVER, the wind was blowing, the rain was freezing. I need to learn that mountain weather can change VERY QUICKLY! After only about 15 minutes, I looked up and realized the clouds/fog had moved in and it was snowing again and I HAD to get OFF the mountain. YIKES! So, I mixed in their rice bran, sweet feed, and vitamins with the beet shreds and quickly (in the freezing cold) gave it to them to help keep them warm tonight! Poor babies! At least they are all nice and wooly. I would have liked to have stayed and spent TIME with them, but I realized that the CHP does CLOSE that road and I needed to get off the mountain! DARN! So, off I went! Snow flurries ALL the way down the mountain, then rain. I did see another pretty rainbow on the way down.

stomach flu! UGH!

Well, I've had that horrible stomach flu for 10 days now. UGH! It is NO FUN! I am FINALLY starting to feel normal again, back in the land of the living! I spent so many days just in bed and not leaving the house. Just this weekend (January 19 and 20) we went up to see our horses. I didn't do ANYTHING Saturday, I was just too fatigued. Sunday, however, I was able to take Sunni down to the arena and let him run and buck and jump and fart! He enjoyed his outing. I worked him a little bit (whoa, walk, trot, back) and moved his hindquarters. Art brought Gigondas down and let her run around with Sunni. When I took Sunni out and we left her in the arena, she SCREAMED and had a snit fit! It was good to be among the horses again. They always lift my spirits. They are such amazing animals!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Cali in the round pen, 010208. Cali has finally MENTALLY matured! She used to balk, pull back, wrap herself around trees, and basically act like a young mustang! Now that she is 2 (yes, she's 2!!!), she has matured and will now calmly lead. She will even follow my directions and PAY ATTENTION! I was working with her in the round pen, moving her forward, and changing directions. She did very well! I am so happy. She really is a nice horse. She is actually taller than Scout. Scout seems to be more stocky than Cali, even though they were from the same place in Wyoming (same herd?) They may or may not even be related. They have VERY different personalities! Cali was always more "people friendly", even when they came down from Wyoming. She immediately went right up to people. She followed me around and even nibbled on my hair! Scout, on the other hand, was very wary of people. It even took Angi, our trainer, 30 minutes to get a halter on her at times! I've always been able to just walk up to Cali and put a halter on her. Maybe because she is "low man" in the herd? I don't know. I know that someday she'll be a GREAT horse for the grandkids to ride on and enjoy! She's my little "pocket pony" right now. I enjoy working with her. She's SMART, too! She now comes when I call her and she's figured out that if she goes to the far feeder, the other horses won't bother her and she can eat ALL her food in peace and quiet! Look how she's filled out nicely! THANK YOU, CATHY!

horses and saddles, part two

Uh, uh. You AREN'T gonna put that thing on us! NO WAY!

horses and the saddle (a pictoral story)

One weekend during Christmas break, we went up to clean out our tack room. We also needed to get our 3 saddles out of the middle of the living room! So, we drove up to the mountains. Art put one of his cheap saddles on the fence (since EVERYTHING in the tack room was moved outside). The horses came over to investigate it. At first they were very curious. Then Cathy moved it and OFF THEY WENT! I'll show you what happened next!

We don't spoil our animals! (NOT!)

Who us? Spoil our animals? NO WAY! Ripley has settled into our home. Atticus LOVES to sit on the couch at night, in the living room and keep an eye on everybody! Dad loves to sit in the living room, watch TV, and play on his computer! I'm usually out in the kitchen playing on my computer! If I'm in the kitchen, Atticus will come out and settle down on the floor under my computer desk. Of course, "MISS TROUBLE" (i.e. Ripley) has to come BOTHER HIM and then the growling begins! Atticus sticks pretty close to me as I feed him! Rommel usually toddles off to bed around 8:00 p.m. He's the "old man".

woolly horses!

Just some photos of the horses with their winter coats! Oh, and silly Scout and her nose! She is very curious!


Our mountains got their first real snowfall in December, 2007. These are taken along the roadside. I stopped at one point and saw animal tracks in the snow.

Sunni and Cali getting their winter coats

Sunni and Cali getting their winter coats. The first snowfall came in December 2007. There were 6 inches in the mountains.

Ripley learning bad habits at home!

Yes, WE KNOW! Ripley learned to do this by watching Atticus, our son's Weimeraner, do this. She watched him twice and then she stuck HER HEAD in the bag of dog food! SMART GIRL! That's Rommel, who is too dignified to do that sort of thing, watching over her! Her two "doggie uncles" love to play with her out in the back yard. I'm sure Atticus will soon teach her how to dig holes in the yard!

Gigo and Dad (again) November 2007

I know, I know! Dad and Gigo (again)! What can I say? They love each other so much! He actually will say, "You know, we NEED to go see the horses!" Okay. I'm game! Here they are enjoying a nice November day. We are reminded that she is a thoroughbred when we turn her loose in the arena. Boy, can that mare RUN! Phew! She'll run around for a while, but when she's ready to go back to her pen, she'll come quietly up to either one of us and stand and let out a breath of air! She's so funny! We both dearly love her! Thoroughbreds are special. I shudder when I think of her on that awful feedlot, alone, unloved, up in Washington.


Yes! Here she is! Our very own "Ripley". She was about 7 weeks old here. Here's the story: Art and I went to the Anza swap meet one Saturday before Thanksgiving to look for Christmas presents. Instead, an old rancher and his wife had 4 puppies in a large box. Two were German-shepherd look alikes (remember, we already have 1 purebred German Shepherd), and were male, but they also had 2 pure black females (more like the mother, a lab). Of course, WE COULDN'T RESIST! So, Art bundled up the baby, stuck her in his jacket, and off we went to see the horses! She fell asleep in the warm sun underneath our car! We decided to name her "Mocha", but our son suggested "Ripley" (YES, from the "Alien" movies) because she is so dominant. She is NOT AFRAID of anything. Not our 2 BIG DOGS at home (Rommel and Atticus), or any of the cats, including Loki, who has "trained" every dog we've ever had (she just thinks he's a bundle of fun!). She is very headstrong and brave and we dearly love her! More photos to come of Ripley.

Beauty finally ridden! November 2007

Yes, FINALLY it happened! For all of you asking and wondering, "When is she ever gonna RIDE one of those horses?" it FINALLY happened on November 6, 2007. Here is Beauty, at Valerie's place in Bermuda Dunes! I know, I know. She already yelled at me about the tennis shoes! A week later I walked into Angel View and there were not just one, but TWO pair of cowboy riding boots for $9.99 each, so I bought BOTH of them! I have since found two more pair on Ebay that I bought. Now I hate to be without them! They are so comfortable! All the teachers at school think I'm NUTS, except for Cesar. THANK YOU CESAR! He and I wear our cowboy boots every Friday. Another teacher wants to join in the fun! See what we started? Anyway, I thought I better post these since NOBODY believes I actually got up on Beauty and rode her. Valerie wants me down to her place at LEAST once or twice a week, but she got bit by a poisonous spider and she hasn't been able to work with Beauty for about a month. GET BETTER, VALERIE! I need to start riding Beauty again, but she bucked the last time Valerie rode her, so she's getting a few "reminders" about manners before anyone rides her again!

Uncle Earl and Gigondas, part two

Yes, that's Gigondas doing what she does best: rolling in the dirt! I like this one of Uncle Earl and Gigondas!

Uncle Earl and Gigondas

This is my Uncle Earl Petersen. He is the coolest guy! He LOVES our horses! I think he misses his (from his "younger" days)!!! As you can see, he has his camera around his neck! I like the one where I caught him taking a photo of Gigondas. He is an AWESOME photographer even at his age (which I won't divulge)! He and my aunt are currently on a cruise to ANTARCTICA! Can you believe it? I hope that when we are their age, we can be as active as they are! Oh, and they have two Rottweilers: an older "rescue" and a young puppy to keep them young! And 5 grandchildren! GOOD GOING, GUYS! KEEP IT UP!

Dad and his Gigo

Just some more pictures of Dad and Gigo, November 2007. They sure get along! That's Gigo and Sunni out together in the arena. They are following Dad! Good horsies! They enjoy being out in the arena and running around!

Cali and Scout

I like this picture of Cali. She is so pretty (HA! when she's CLEAN!) This is Scout and Dad out for their walk. I was working Cali in the round pen and they stopped by for a visit!

Earl and Art and Scout

One day my aunt and uncle drove up from Rancho Bernardo for a visit. My uncle LOVED the horses! He used to have his own back on the farm in Wisconsin. His daughter, my other cousin, Cindy, had her own quarter horse while in high school. ANYWAY, these are just some photos of Earl, Dad, and Scout. Notice that we can now halter Scout? THAT took some time! Scout is a natural herd leader (even as a yearling). We had to finally separate Scout and Gigondas to give them both a rest! Scout is still very wary of humans, although I always try to pet her while she's eating and I can now just go up to her and halter her, too! She always comes up to me now and sniffs me and will stand for me to play the "friendly game". I try to scratch her all over. She still doesn't like her back legs touched, so I'll continue to work on that area, but I can pretty much now scratch her all over. She can be a handful!