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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Don't think Gigo didn't have fun, too, this weekend! After all, she got lots of attention on Sunday. And, what did she do? Yup. She ate weeds! Look at the little piggie eating weeds!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A whole lotta snugglin' goin' on!

Well, Scout was the horse that my friend connected with the most on Saturday! My formerly WILD mustang! Look at the two of them! Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle, kiss, kiss, kiss! WHO would have thought that Scout would hold still for this? She never once bucked, or stepped away. She was extremely patient with my friend. But, Scout is very sensitive. Look at those ears!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Horse Happiness!

Therapy accomplished. My friend actually cried when she got to the ranch! So many horses! Which ones were mine? We immediately went to Beauty and Sunni with the carrots because they always nicker when they see my car! Lots of lovin' there! Even Sunni! Then, we visited Gigondas, who was a little more standoffish, but was still better than she has been! Then, the mustangs. We decided to start grooming them first, since they are right next to the tack room. That was it! I did Cali and my friend did Scout. Scout didn't even move. She let my friend brush her ALL OVER! Her eyelids got sleepy! She nearly fell asleep! Scout must have sensed that this gal really needed to be with her because she had her best manners on yesterday. She didn't lunge for Cali or put her ears back once! Brush, brush, brush...brush, brush, brush...pretty soon there was a whole lotta hugging going on! I was able to lift up Cali's front feet and give her some Thrush buster! YEAH! It was too cold and windy for a bath for Cali, so I just brushed her and worked on her verbal commands. When the mustangs were done with their brushing, we led them down to the arena for a romp. And, for the first time EVER, Scout didn't take off running. She calmly stayed with my friend! Scout kept coming back to her, checking in with her! It was amazing. Here was this formerly wild mustang sensing that this woman really loved horses and needed their companionship, so she obliged! Incredible! She even walked up to my friend when we were ready to take them back to the arena. I had to walk over the get Cali out of the arena, but Scout was right at the gate! So, next we took Sunni and Beauty to the arena and let them run and boy, did the two of them run! So, we took a walk around to see the other horses at the ranch and at the end of the afternoon, took Sunni and Beauty back to their corrals. Phew! What a day! By 2:30, we were both exhausted, so we finally stopped at a little cafe for lunch. It was an amazing day! My friend commented on how friendly and relaxed and "people oriented" my horses were. Considering where they came from, and their diverse backgrounds, I considered that a real compliment! My friend had a good day, she left in good spirits, ready to face the unknown future. But, she knows now that she can come visit the horses for "horse therapy" any weekend now. And, with summer coming, I'm sure she'll make many visits to them! And, I appreciated all her help with them! We got more done in 1 day than I usually get done in 1 weekend! Look how attentive Scout is to her in the photos! Incredible! And, look at my Sunni! Even he wanted was curious and he's usually very standoffish with strangers!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More secrets

Did you hear? Mom's comin' and she's bringing CARROTS! Pass the word!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Horses as therapy

She came to me in tears yesterday afternoon. She is a fellow teacher at my school. She begged me, "I'm going through horse withdrawal. May I come see your horses this weekend? I'll brush them, I'll lunge them, I'll ride them, but I NEED to see horses." She was desperate and shaking as she asked me. I understood completely. She was going through "horse withdrawal". She's also on the list of teachers who are facing the prospect of losing their jobs through job reductions in my school district. (last hired=first fired)...So, I calmly told her, "I understand. Yes, of course you can come see my horses!" So, Saturday morning, we're meeting at the local Starbucks and I'll drive her up to the herd for some theraputic brushing, walking, and lungeing. Horses as therapy. Horses helping people. Horses saving a desperate woman's sanity. Something to think about. I'm not sure which horse she will connect with the most. Will it be Sunni, my "nervous Nellie"? Or Beauty, my diamond in the rough, my calm feedlot mare? Or Gigondas, who HATED humans when we first got her, but now seeks out human companionship? Or Scout, the aloof mustang who now also loves people and attention? Or Cali, who LOVED us from the moment she arrived? What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

fly spray and a preview of summer

Hehehehehe! I tried to trick the horses by bringing fly spray in a plastic bag last Saturday. Last time I brought a plastic bag, there were carrots inside! Was this more carrots? Obviously NOT! I couldn't fool them...nope! But, they were curious about the fly spray and I was able to spray them all, even the mustangs! Tis the season! We've had 100 degree weather in the desert for the last 3 days and even in the upper 80's in the mountains! Today, the cooldown begins, and we'll have more seasonable temperatures. NOBODY liked the 100 degree days we had. Too hot, too early, too soon! A preview of summer, I guess!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mom, I want to HELP YOU!!! Whatcha doin'?

Scout was eager to check out my grooming box on Saturday, but she wasn't the one I wanted to groom! It was Cali, who is noticeably shedding out! Anyway, Scout let me know her feelings about the whole thing! She's very expressive! I ended up doing both of them. Scout likes to have her chest and butt rubbed! Cali just likes getting some attention (and time AWAY from Ms. Scout!) "But Mom, I WANT to help you brush Cali!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grooming day

Oops! Sorry...I can't upload any more photos until I PAY for more storage for them with Google. That may take 24 hours. I've "exceeded your upload quota"!!! So, I guess I'll see 'ya tomorrow! I'm unable to upload photos to ANY of my blogs until my payment goes through!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Farmer's Market and summer weather

It was a warm weekend both here in the desert and up in the mountains. Today it is supposed to get to 101 degrees in the desert (my first day back at work!) and up into the 80's in the mountains. I hope the horses will be okay as last week it was in the 60's and cloudy. I stopped at the local swap meet/farmer's market on Saturday to browse. The produce was beautiful. California, because of its climate, produces crops year-round and the Coachella Valley is the second largest growing area in the state. The fields around my school are filled with all kinds of wonderful things to eat, although now that it is getting hot, the farmers will switch over to warm-season crops like melons, zucchini, and corn. If you want to read about other Farmer's Markets, please visit:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finally! Warm weather! Dogs, horses, and good food!

Like most of the nation, we've been at below-normal temps this last week. Idyllwild had snow last weekend and half of my spring break was very cold for Southern California natives like myself! Wednesday it was so cold that even the locals were complaining! Thursday, however, was bright and sunny and now our forecast for the desert next week is temps in the low 100's! Oh, how we DREAD turning on the air conditioner! (I usually TRY to wait until we get our summer rates to do that, but I heard the neighbors' a/c running yesterday)...Anyway, it was a beautiful day up in the mountains yesterday. I met my aunt and uncle for breakfast and low and walked my friend Barb and her new bf! So, we all ate a hearty breakfast and my uncle swapped airplane stories with V, whose dad was a pilot for American Airlines! My aunt and Barb struck up a conversation about 6th graders, since that what they both teach (or taught!) I had already eaten a nice, warm, sticky cinnamon roll from the Ramona Cafe that morning and I was STUFFED, to I ordered cottage cheese and fresh fruit. I'd stopped at the little swap meet in town already that morning (see the local produce!) and I bought some hair scruncies (handmade, for a horse rescue), and I got some mineral blocks for "the gang", so my aunt and uncle followed me out to the ranch. Beauty, of course, alerted everybody to our arrival. She's apparently got a new job: Official Ranch Announcer! And, she goes it with glee! Anyway and anyhow, here are some pics from yesterday and also a couple from the Ramona Cafe. If you are ever in Ramona, STOP THERE! It's on Main Street, on the east end of town. ALL their food is homemade and delicious! Have a great Sunday! Boo's my LAST day of spring break...back to school tomorrow and testing begins on Tuesday! Oh, and that's aunt and uncle's Rottie! She should be called, "Sarah Slobber"...oh, my! That tongue just goes "lick, lick, lick". She got my face, my glasses, my hands...what a slobberer! She's only two years old and has already had a hip replacement, so no more herding for her! They are thinking about sending her out for tracker training! Gotta keep 'em busy! Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What I didn't get done spring break

This is the weirdest spring break I've ever had! First of all, hubby and I were planning to drive to Arizona, but the weather was so bad, he decided to cancel the trip. YEAH! (hehehehehe!) I thought...I'll get to spend more time with the horses....NOT!!! Monday I flaked out totally exhausted. Tuesday? Nah. Nothing. Nada. Another wasted day. Wednesday? Doc came and gave the horses their shots in nearly sub-zero weather! Even HE complained how cold it was! Thursday? We drove to Ramona, a 2 hour drive. I DID find a nice feed store and I bought wormers and psyllium for the gang. Yesterday? Nope. Had to take one of our cats to the vet because he has a respiratory infection and that shot most of the day. Have you ever driven your car with a yowling cat in the back seat? NOT FUN and a REAL HEADACHE!!! Then, on the way home, to my horror, I glanced in the mirror and saw him LOOSE in the car! Apparently he figured out how to open the latches on his crate! Either that, or when I stopped at the feed store to buy sweet feed and shredded beet pulp, the guy knocked them loose when he tossed them in the back seat? So, he rode home snuggled next to me on the armrest. Oh, joy! I wasn't about to stop the car, open the door, and have him dart out into the forest, to be lost forever! No horse time yesterday. Today? Who knows? I'm supposed to meet my aunt and uncle for breakfast, and I'll be without my cat, so maybe I'll actually have time (and nice weather) to actually work with Cali and Scout and let Beauty and Sunni out into the arena to run? Here's Scout's take on the whole thing!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Golden Eagle Farm, Ramona, CA

Hubby and I drove to Ramona, CA yesterday to visit the Ramona Cafe and have lunch. The old Golden Eagle Farm was along the way and we stopped at an overlook to view it. Apparently the owners have "downsized". We only saw 1 horse outside yesterday. I just read up on it and they are still breeding thoroughbreds there, until their new operation opens up in 2010.
It's a sad commentary that many well bred thoroughbreds end up on feedlots, awaiting slaughter. Cappucino Kid was rescued from a WA state feedlot last year, purchased for $425.00 by SOS Rescues. He earned over $250,000. But, even an impressive pedigree doesn't guaranteee a good life or a good end. He is the half brother to Medaglia D'Oro and he was scheduled to be shipped to Mexico for slaughter. Here's the link to his story: Rescued from the Sugarcreek auction, in Ohio, were Bam Attack, Cinema Star, Elegant River, Marquet Gold, Rose Minister, Slew Okee, and Tee's Valentine, Zagor's Deco Due, and East Over Baghdad. Rescued from the New Holland kill pen were: Choice Request, Coaxed, Donaldaburns, Dr. Hector, Fast Movin Fini, Little Cliff, Seneca Point, Skip'n True, Socies Girl, Wheels of Stars, and Wolf Pen Lane. (Source: (If you want to see their pedigrees, go to You can daily read about the sad plight of former racehorses on websites and forums. 36 PREGNANT mares were rescued last year from a feedlot in Arizona from another California breeder! They were rescued by Tranquility Farm, a thoroughbred rescue in Tehachipi, CA. Or just view the horses listed on SHI: or SCTR (Southern California thoroughbred rescue): How about Jill Curtis at Shiloh Horse Rescue? Or United Pegasus? Oh, and let's not forget this scumbag (Ernie Paragallo)
Okay. Sorry for the rant. I just get SO FRUSTRATED every time I see another thoroughbred rescued from a kill pen or feed lot. WHEN will the racing industry take care of its own????????

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shots! and a rainy, snowy day

So, the vet came yesterday and gave all the mares their shots (not Sunni...he's not due until mid-summer). And, did they behave? Beauty didn't like her first shot and moved off, but otherwise was fine. Gigondas didn't even bat an eyelash (ho hum)...Cali didn't move a foot~ GOOD GIRL! And Scout? Well, after the first one, she decided she didn't like shots, but got her second one. Our vet LOVES to play with her and he spent a few minutes moving her around! Cali wanted to hop into his pocket and ride home with him (No, Cali, you can't go home with the nice, old vet!) I'm always glad when shots are over! Now I have to get wormers for them all! It was an absolutely freezing day yesterday, windy, cloudy. In fact, during the hour we were at the ranch, Mt. Santa Rosa got a fresh dusting of snow, as well as Idyllwild! In APRIL, for crying out loud! In the 34 years I've lived here in the desert, I don't remember a spring break so cold! It's always warm and sunny in April, but not this year. Look how much lighter Scout is! And, Cali? She decided to roll in the manure so that she would be nice and SMELLY for Doc! Wasn't that sweet of her?