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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just stuff

It was such a beautiful day yesterday up at the ranch. It was almost cold! Even here in the desert, temps dropped! And, the clouds, like I mentioned yesterday, were gorgeous! I just did chores yesterday. I swept out the food room and my tack room. Just dumb stuff. Put SWAT on Gigondas, who finally stood still. She still has one side that she doesn't like people on. Hung out with Scout. Visited Beauty's memorial.

This morning my cousin Valerie is coming over to give Gigondas a lesson. Then, I'm driving down to San Diego for a couple of days to visit my aunt and uncle. I need to clear my head and heart.

Last night Valerie called and said a neighbor of a neighbor had a TW mare for sale, a very CALM one, so hubby and I went down with her to look at her. It's NOT that I want another horse to replace Beauty. It's just that NONE of the others are ready for riding. She was a nice mare...a palomino with 4 white socks, older, probably 12 or 13...VERY CALM...she was the family's kids' horse and now the kids are involved in other things. I dunno...I'm not sure if I'm even ready for another horse right now. Yes, that's Scout looking out over the arena. Scout doesn't whinny when I drive up to the ranch, like Beauty always did. I miss her whinny. I miss her resting her head on my shoulder. I MISS HER!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday morning sunrise

I am slowly, VERY SLOWLY, coming out of the fog that has surrounded me since last Thursday. The dark mists are beginning to lessen. Every time I drive up to the ranch, it seems to get a little easier. It's when I sit and home and think about her that I burst into tears. I made a memorial for Beauty in her corral yesterday. I am sending her engraved halter to Joe at TB Friends, along with her pink lead rope. She didn't need a long one...she was so well behaved. I actually found 3 more last photos of her. She came the minute my husband and son called her name (see the red feed scoop?) She knew what that was for!
I have 4 other horses that need me right now. It has been VERY hot in the desert and in the 90's up on the ranch. The other horses are standing in their water troughs and Scout splashed water ALL OVER yesterday. My cousin, Valerie, the wonderful trainer who trained Beauty, is coming up tomorrow morning to help me work with Gigondas, who has turned into a very calm companion for me right now. None of her usual flighty stuff. She stands for me and lets me brush her. I did a bunch of chores yesterday before it got so hot I couldn't work any longer.
Thank you to everyone who sent your thoughts and prayers. It really helped me get through this very difficult time.
UPDATE: I always take a morning walk, especially now during the summer. This morning there were puffy clouds and some storm clouds gathering on the eastern horizon. As the sun was coming up, I looked up and there in the sky, were clouds in the shape of a running horse. To me, it looked like Beauty, with her mane flowing. I sat down on a rock and watched it for 10 minutes. The sun's rays shone right through it. Very moving. I hope it was Beauty telling me she is okay and just in a different place now. I watched it until it broke apart and moved on, just like Beauty did.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

short update

I went up to the ranch by myself yesterday. Hubby had to work. He took Friday off to be with me and to go with me and drive up there. It has been hard seeing her empty corral, without her friendly face in it calling to me. Scout has been very patient and understanding with me. She lets me hug her and rub her all over. Even Gigondas yesterday was very patient and quietly came up behind me and gave a big sigh while I cleaned out her pen and then followed me around as I mucked her corral. I raked Beauty's pen, too, and got it ready for the momma horse next door that Cathy wants to move in there to wean her baby. It wasn't easy to do and I cried the whole time, but it was something I needed to do. I have 4 other horses that need love and attention and I'm doing my best to give it to them, but it is just so darn hard right now. I wish to thank all of you who sent kind wishes and thoughts and prayers. Losing a horse is NOT an easy thing, especially for those of us who love them as companions, as a part of our families. I know I'll never fully understand her death, especially because she was so young, I said, I have 4 other horses that need Mom and I need to get back and be there for them. These are my last photos of Beauty. She always whinnied when she saw my car drive up to the ranch gate. I miss her whinney, her bright personality, and her calmness. She had little patches of white hair on her butt and I miss those, too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The death of Beauty...she is gone forever. RIP dear one.

It is with a heavy heart that I must tell everyone that my chestnut mare, Beauty, is gone. When I drove up to the ranch early this morning, I arrived at 7:30 a.m. Beauty was on her side. I called to her and she didn't get up, so I ran to her, but she was gone. There was absolutely NO thrashing and it appears she just dropped where she was and died instantly either during the night or very early this morning.

Beauty CHOSE me as her human and I was so honored by this. She was calm, patient, she was everything a beginner like me could wish for in a horse. Sometimes she looked at me questioningly, but she never nipped or kicked. She was the best beginner's horse I could have had. She was also the only one of our horses I rode.

RIP dear one. Someday we will be together again.

I'm taking a break from blogging until I recover from her loss. I just don't feel like blogging much right now and I have nothing new to say.

If you wish to help me remember Beauty, please make a donation to the horse rescue of your choice. I can vouch for both SAFER and TB Friends, both of which are on the sidebar of this blog.

Thank you, in advance, for your condolences. Beauty was only 5 years old.
~~Cheryl Ann~~

UPDATE: From the photos I took of her, it looks like Beauty got cast in the corral pipes and couldn't get up. Apparently when she tried to raise her head, she hit it on the metal pipe and that was it. Gone. She was dead instantly.

This was indeed a tragic, tragic accident to happen to a wonderful, caring, and people-loving mare. I cannot begin to describe my grief over her death. Thank you to everyone who sent kind thoughts and prayers. It will take time to get over this. My husband took Friday off from work and drove with me back to the ranch and we just went through some chores and feed the horses a little treat. I'm taking a couple of days and going to my aunt and uncle's in San Diego just to be able to get out of town and stop thinking about her. I miss her terribly and it was difficult to see her empty corral without her in it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ferrier visit yesterday

Well, the ferrier came yestereday and it took MOST of the day to do the 5 horses! He left at noon to go home and eat lunch and then returned to finish Cali. He started with Gigondas who was an absolute doll! She didn't move an inch! "Ho hum". Next was Sunni. Now, he WAS able to do all of Sunni's feet last time, with some snorting. But this time, he was only able to do the front two. He could NOT get Sunni to stop moving his hip. Every time he looked at his back legs, Sunni moved off. So, an hour later, he concluded, "YOU need to work this horse so that he stands still!" Next was Scout. Now, this was Scout's first trim. She ran through him. She bucked. She got a lip chain and stood still. Once she realized she wasn't going to get away with anything, she stood nicely for him. Beauty was a ... gem. She's used to this. She didn't like the fly spray (I've GOT to get a sprayer like is the pump action and shoots a continuous spray, so off to Home Depot I got today!) Then, lunch break. I'd been working with Cali and had her up in the round pen and she was pretty relaxed. She didn't move a foot. GOOD GIRL!
Any suggestions on how to keep Sunni from moving off? No, he doesn't tie. Last time I had him tied, he freaked out, went backwards, sat down, slipped out of his halter, and went running off. He's VERY nervous around men and doesn't like them behind him AT ALL. Probably from his days at the PMU ranch. He's fine with me and my husband, but BIG, TALL MEN...forget it! And, this guy is 6 feet tall! I will say, he was VERY PATIENT with Sunni and he did work with him for an hour, but finally said, "I don't have any more time to work with this horse!" Mikey...any ideas/suggestions?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

horses and flowers~That's My World 062309

I drove up to the ranch yesterday to work with Cali picking up and cleaning her feet. She and Sunni are in a large corral together and, of course, HE wanted Mom to pay attention to him, so he followed me around! Cali decided she didn't wish to be haltered (sigh...) so I sent her around the corral until she stood and faced me. I'd left the lead rope on the fence, so of course, she had to go investigate it! Silly Cali! I "tied" her to the fence and said, "UP" and she lifted each foot for me! YEAH! Progress! Then, of course, I had to do Sunni. He stood absolutely still and I cleaned his feet, too. Then, it was off to get the pink SWAT. ALL the horses got a couple globs of SWAT on them. Yes, it's FLY SEASON! But, the sky was blue, there was a slight breeze yesterday, and it was GOOD to see the horses again!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Snit fit~~Camera Critters June 22, 2009

We drove up to the ranch yesterday morning and it was so good to see the horses! First, hubby let Gigondas out for a run in the arena and, unfortunately, she got away from him before he could release the lead rope (again...sigh). She ran around, dragging it behind her. So, I walked into the arena, told her "stay" (which she did) and walked right up to her and unclipped it. GOOD GIRL! And, away she went! Then it was Beauty's turn. She pretty much self-exercises, going around the arena about 5-6 times. Scout REALLY wanted in, but she's so dominate, we decided to let her wait. We brought Sunni down, too, since he and Beauty get along together very well. Oh, boy! Now Scout was REALLY upset! "I WANT OUT NOW!" Here are some pics of her "snit fit". Yes, she eventually got her turn. Today I'll work on Cali picking up her feet for the ferrier visit tomorrow. It was good to see the horses yesterday, after our week-long vacation to Northern California. They are all shiny now with their summer coats.
Thank you to Captain Jack Splash for another award! I'll have to think about what I want to say for a couple of days, after I get everything put away here at home! Vacations can be a LOT of work! Thank you, Jack!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mustang babies~~Ridgecrest BLM, CA

These delightful mustang babies are at the Ridgecrest BLM corrals in Ridgecrest, CA, which is just off Highway 395. Since it was right on our route to Northern California, we stopped both on our way up and back. Yesterday the babies were much more curious than last Saturday. Maybe they had visitors during the week who also gave them carrots? They were so fuzzy wuzzy and cute! The little roan filly was ready to hop in our car and come home with us, but, alas, we had no room for her! ( see her little nose sticking through the fence?) HA! She was very inquisitive and she definitely KNEW what carrots were! She looks exactly like her mom, so if someone would love to give her a new home, she's available!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Three amigos~Got carrots? Camera Critters for 062009

Got carrots? These three were three geldings at the Ridgecrest BLM corrals. A bunch of them came over to the fence when we arrived with carrots. These guys definitely knew what carrots were and couldn't WAIT to get some! Aren't they funny? Camera Critters for June 20, 2009.

We're home! Finally!!!

Well, we made it home this afternoon about 3:00 p.m. Our dogs were anxious to see us (probably because they wanted FOOD!) Cats were glad, too, and even came out from under the bed to give us a greeting! Flowers needed water, however...:-(, BUT we do have a new dog fence in the back yard thanks to our son and his friends who put it up while we were gone. Now we can access our side porch WITHOUT 3 big dogs knocking us over and dragging stuff out of the garage. I had some family heirloom crocheted blankets out in plastic bags out in the garage and GOSH DARN IT! STUPID DOGS dragged my grandmother's LAST blanket that she made out onto the porch! THAT'S IT! They are banished for good! Photos to come tomorrow and next week of the road trip! It's GOOD to be home, although I have laundry up the kazoo to do and a dirty kitchen floor to mop! UPDATE: I now have 2 dogs, the Weimeraner and our little black lab both asleep, each with its head on one of my feet, making sure I don't go anywhere EVER AGAIN!

Friday, June 19, 2009

mustang babies and clouds~SkyWatch Friday for June 19, 2009

We took a short drive yesterday to see my brother-in-law down in Gardnerville and didn't take many photos and we haven't uploaded them, so I looked through the ones we've taken so far and decided to post these of the BLM moms and babies up in Palomino Valley. There were a LOT of foals there! It was interesting to see the babies and moms. Some didn't look alike at all! Many of the foals were resting since it was a nice, warm, but not too hot, day! I wonder...what will become of these babies?
And, on a happy note, SAFER (Sonoma Action for Equine Rescue) went to an auction and rescued 4 horses and a crippled donkey! GO SAFER!!! Here's their link if you wish to read the story. Good goin', cowgirls! Way to go!
SkyWatch Friday for June 19, 2009. We'll be on the road today, again, taking 10,000 photos! Please give your horse a hug from me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Palomino Valley BLM corrals

Yesterday hubby and I drove out to the BLM corrals at Palomino Valley. Did you know that PV is the largest BLM holding facility in the country and will hold up to 2,000 horses? There weren't 2,000 there yesterday. We found out that the BLM roundup starts in July and runs through February to avoid the foaling season. The brands on the horses we saw yesteday looked fairly new and the horses didn't know what carrots were! They were wary of people, but curious. A LOT of bays palominos at all. A few duns and grays, but mostly bays. One little filly nearly made contact with my hand, but not quite! She was very curious, however. It was a gorgeous day out there...thunderheads on the horizon and later that day, when we went up over I-80 at Truckee, we got some rain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"V" is for...ABC Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Virginia City, NV! Virginia City, at one time, was a thriving mining town. Many of its buildings have been preserved and it is still a working town with churches, a high school, and many buildings and homes. There is a train that runs. We weren't able to get on it in time (it pulled out before we could find the train loading area), but it was nice to hear it! We drove around town and took some pics before heading out to look for wild horses, which we did find grazing on a hill outside of town! ABC Wednesday for June 17, 2009.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cows in Nevada!

We left Yosemite yesterday to drive up to South Lake Tahoe. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms in the afternoon and boy, did we have some! By the time we drove through Walker, we could see the storms ahead and the sky was black with rain. And, we had to drive up the grade to South Lake Tahoe. YIKES! But, I couldn't resist stopping by this field of cattle. Aren't they cute? My husband now thinks I'm officially nuts because I want to stop and take photos of cows! But, look at those faces!