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, December 31, 2009

Desert moon

After I spent a wonderful afternoon with my friend Molly, I had to drive further down the valley to our daughter's house. Hubby was already there watching the UCLA football bowl game and dinner was awaiting! Along the way, I saw the moon rising over some of our desert foothills. While our higher mountains are still covered with snow, these hills are not. By the way, the San Andreas Fault runs right through these. We had a 5.8 earthquake yesterday, down in Baja California, and we felt it all the way up here in our desert! It was a gentle swaying. I didn't even hear it, but felt dizzy, and then noticed the living room blinds swaying! Hubby felt it, too. There have been several aftershocks, but nothing major. Living so close to the San Andreas fault does cause us some concern, as this desert is WAY OVERDUE for a major shock. But, with the moon out, and clear blue skies, my thoughts turned upward. Have a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Here's a link to the local newspaper's article about the earthquake:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I have a confession to make. I spent the afternoon with my friend and fellow blogger, Molly, and her BEAUTIFUL little mare, Bella. Molly lives only about 10 miles from our desert home and boards Bella nearby in a large and beautiful boarding facility that Molly and I discovered by accident one day! It has misters for the horses during the hot summer months, but Bella was born in the desert, in Mexico, so she's already used to desert heat. She'll be fine! My fear is a fear of riding. Like Lisa, of Laughing Orca Ranch, I was injured while riding a horse (actually, while getting OFF!). I had gone riding with a friend in August of 2008 and I slipped and fell to the ground when the saddle slipped. The next day, I could barely walk. After an MRI, it was discovered that I had two slipped discs and they were pinching my sciatic nerve. OUCH! The pain got worse and worse until I could barely stand or walk. It was affecting not only my physical abilities, but my mental health, as well. I went in for physical therapy and two cortisone shots and by December of last year, after the second shot, I felt better, but now I have permanent nerve damage and I can't feel my feet. I often step on the kids at school (they are very understanding!) and I have to apologize profusely! I just can't feet their little feet! So, yesterday when I went to visit Molly and Bella and Molly asked, "Do you want to ride her?" I felt that knot in my stomach, my hands started shaking, and I said, "No." Now, WHY did I do that? It was just STUPID! Bella is a nice, calm, wonderful little mare. All she does is walk. I mean, for heaven's sake! Lisa at least got back up on her mare! Thank you, Lisa, for sharing that with us! (See: What can I say? I hope to someday get back on a horse, but, honestly, every time someone asks if I want to ride their horse, I say "NO!" What is WRONG with me? Fear? Probably. I'm nearly 58 years old (young). The ground is a LOT further away now than I remember! I'm not as limber as I used to be (heck, I'm not limber AT ALL!)...But, this is ridiculous! My cousin, Valerie, is the same age that I am and she rides every day! She doesn't worry about falling off. Heck, she had a horse rear and fall on her once and she's still riding! So, my question my fear physical or mental?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter woolies~That's My World 122909

Our horses are in full winter coats right now. Nights are down into the 20's in our local mountains, where I board them. Of all our horses, Scout makes the most colorful transition during winter. Her light summer coat is completely covered by brown hair in winter. Look how dark she is! It is always interesting, every winter, to see the horses' winter hair come out. They are frequently exposed to not only snow in our local mountains, but also wind. I see that the mustangs just turn their backs to the wind and huddle together. Since these two were born in Wyoming and spent their first year there, they don't seem to mind our "mild" California mountain winters! Here are some pics of our two mustangs, Scout and Cali. That's My World for Tuesday, December 29, 2009.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gigondas~Macro Monday, December 28, 2009

Hubby and I went up to visit the horses yesterday and Gigondas was BEGGING to go for a romp in the arena! She quietly stood by her corral gate and yawned and yawned and yawned. OKAY! I got the memo! Now, due to the weather and the lack of daylight, I've only been able to get up to the horses on weekends (until vacation) and honestly, I haven't taken any of them down to the arena until yesterday. It has either been too cold, too windy, or raining, or sleeting! Yesterday was perfect! So, I haltered her and led her down to the arena. Now, remember, Gigo has a BAD HABIT of bolting the minute she gets into the arena, but I've been working with her, so I quietly led her around her corral first, sang to her, patted her, worked on "stay", and she was PERFECT! She stopped just beyond the gate and waited for me to unlatch her halter. She lingered until I sent her off. WHAT A GOOD GIRL! Phew! She's a very smart mare and remembers her lessons. I'm trying to think of the last time I took her down to the must be at least a month??? She ran and ran and ran and rolled 3 times! Then she followed me around the arena and I worked with her on "stay", "come" and "back". It's a good thing she knows "back" now because she stepped on the lead rope and I actually had to back her up to get her off it! I'm still fiddling around with the macro setting on my camera, trying to learn how to use it, but I like this photo of her and the shadows. Macro Monday for December 28, 2009. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HAL! 30 years old today!
You know, we don't know Gigo's past history. She was on a slaughter-bound feedlot in WA state when I saw her photo online and adopted Gigo and Beauty at the same time. Gigondas appears to have had SOME prior training as she stands still for her shots and for the ferrier. BUT...apparently she has NOT been ridden! She does remember all her previous lessons. Like I said, it has taken us over 2 years for her to trust humans again. Now that she trusts us, I'm sure that next spring and summer her training will go much faster.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Odds & Ends~Sunday stills challenge 122709

And, which horses would provide fodder for this topic? Our two mustangs, Scout and Cali, of course!!! Sunday Stills Challenge for December 27, 2009.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Phew! Christmas is over and now I can rest!

The presents are unwrapped (and tasted!), the parents are sleeping, the breakfast and dinner dishes are done, the houses are cleaned, the dogs are fed, the cats are fed, Ripley has a new bouncing rubber ball, Rommel has a squeeky bone, and hubby is sleeping in this morning. Phew! We decided to forego going to Santa Anita as my legs are very stiff and neither one of us believed we could walk around all day there and lug around cameras! So, we are staying home. Our son's 30th birthday is December 28 and we prefer to stay around our family! We'll be going up to work the horses today as it is still fairly warm here in Southern California. They ALL need some turnout in the arena, so we'll rotate them and let them take turns. Wishing everyone had a happy and joyful Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas! Christmas antlers~Cali

Holiday greetings from all of us in Southern California~~Scout, Cali, Gigondas, Quad, and Sunni. I don't have any fancy editing programs like PhotoShop, so I just took some antlers with me yesterday and hubby took photos of whoever would wear them (HA! mostly ME!!!) Cali was the only one who would wear them. Quad was much too dignified to participate and Gigondas flat out refused. Scout was too busy chasing her neighbors away. Sunni was curious, but insisted that I wear them! Have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cali's trim

Quad and Cali are our most calm horses. They will be the two that I'll ride (hopefully). Cali isn't trained yet, but she is a very quiet and respectful horse. She always has been. The day after she unloaded from the trailer ride from Wyoming, she came right up to us for a friendly sniff. She's been very people-oriented ever since. Honestly, I think she is just that way! As you know, horses have different personalities and Cali LOVES people! I sometimes feel guilty that she's in a corral with "The Monster" (i.e. Scout), but, in a herd, Cali would still be on the bottom of the pecking order. She just isn't agressive at all. She stood still for the previous ferrier and Saturday she didn't move a foot for our new one! Ho-hum...She's such a doll! Hubby is off work today and we'll be driving back up to the horse ranch. Yesterday it was windy here in the desert and it was worse up in the mountains! It was so cold, I had on four layers..a t-shirt, a turtleneck, my cotton vest, and my jacket. Oh, and insulated gloves! I've GOT to find some lined jeans because the wind just blew right through mine! Any suggestions? The sky was clouding up, so I left for the warmth of the desert before it started to snow. Here are pics of Cali's trim.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Joe's blog today, December 22, 2009

If you have time, go over to Joe's blog this morning. Here's the link:
He talks about how a Mexico-slaughter bound trailer stopped by his place. All those eyes staring at him. So little many horses. He was able to rescue three of them. One man, with 3 horses on lead ropes and a LONG walk up his driveway. But, a little girl and her mom stopped by just then. Each of them grabbed a horse and a lead rope. And, three lives were spared. But, he can't get the image of all those other doomed eyes staring, begging for their lives.

Oh, gosh! This just tears at my heart. So many, many horses. WHAT can we do? How many Quads were on that trailer? How many Beautys? How many Calis? How many Gigondas'? How many wonderful horses were on that doomed trailer? I do what I can, but it is a drop in the bucket. So many doomed eyes...I once saw a trailer full of doomed horses on the Interstate, up by Reno. I saw a horse's tail flowing out of it (yes, it was a double decker)...probably headed for Canada. I screamed, I yelled, I cried. What could I do? It was horrible. I don't know how Joe does it day after day, so I'm sending him a card with a check. I know he won't get it by Christmas, but he'll get it after Christmas and that's okay. So many horses...

Gigo's trim

Gigondas has always been an easy horse to trim. Obviously, she was trimmed in her previous life. She's never been a problem for any ferrier. She just stands quietly. Here she is with Mr. Aguilar last weekend. Yes, that's hubby with his girl! I'll be braving mountain winds today to drive up to see the herd. I thought I was coming down with SOMETHING yesterday as I was cold and shivering all day. But, a dose of hubby's pasta with lots of garlic and crushed red pepper knocked whatever it was out and today I'm fine!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Quad gets a trim!

As I stated yesterday, I had a new ferrier and his assistant trim three of our horses Saturday~~Quad, Gigondas, and Cali. Quad, of course, was a perfect gentleman. This is old stuff for him and he's used to it. He never moved an inch. In fact, at one point, he was so relaxed, he closed his eyes! What a guy! I'm hoping that since Hubby is off, like me, for two weeks, I can take a short ride on Quad this vacation. I LOVE this new ferrier! He does all the horses at the ranch and he's so calm and confident with the horses, they just stand still for him. NO DRAMA!!! What a difference!!! See what a good boy he was? Of course, he got a treat of some sweet feed after his ferrier visit! GOOD BOY, QUAD!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New neighbors!

Hubby and I FINALLY had a day off together and we finally had decent weather, except for the wind, and a new ferrier came to the horse ranch to trim some of the owner's horses and some of ours. Since it was a very windy day, and Sunni was already skittish, we decided to wait until the ferrier's next visit for him. I like Solomon, the ferrier. He's a small man, very calm and quiet. He doesn't look the horses in the eye and quietly and confidently walks up to them and gets down to business! Quad was an old pro with this and didn't move a muscle! Neither did Gigondas or Cali. We decided to wait and also let him do Scout next time (he has to return after the Rose Parade), as he had already done 7 horses! And, Scout and Cali have some new neighbors! Another border brought her two GORGEOUS mustangs up to the ranch! One is a mare, the other one a mustang. The gelding is very friendly! And, Scout seems to get along (so far) with the two of them! Here are some pics from Saturday.