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, August 31, 2009

Quad gets a bath and RUNS in the arena! YEAH!

My friend Molly came up yesterday to help me with the horses. We decided to give Quad a nice shower and shampoo and then lead him down to the arena. His hair is no longer dry and brittle, but he had rolled in manure and I wanted to get it off him. He wasn't a problem at all...stood quietly for his bath and then Molly took him down to the arena. OF COURSE he rolled in the dirt! Then, he got up and RAN and RAN and kicked up his heels! It is so good to see him walking normally and enjoying life! He is such a wonderful, gentle horse! That's Molly saying sweet things to Quad! Here are some pics from yesterday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New heat record!

Yesterday a new heat record was set here in the Coachella Valley! 118 degrees, the highest since 1998. Oh, boy! When it is that hot, you basically go into "survival" mode. We walk slower, work slower, and drink LOTS and LOTS of water! Every time I had to go outside, I just cringed! The pavement reflect the heat right back into your face and by 2:30, I was pretty much done with my class room for the day. I just couldn't think clearly. I sat down in my "teacher" chair and just blankly stared at my blank bulletin boards and couldn't think what to put up, so I gave up and came home. Oh, well, my bboards aren't done, but I'll finish them next week. School starts Monday and I'll have 18 new, eager faces and names to learn! HA! Wish me luck! Here are some pics of Cali taking a mud bath! She's got the right idea!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quad takes a dirt bath, too!

I love watching horses take a dirt bath. They just seem to GET DOWN and enjoy it! Here is Quad taking a dirt bath in the arena. It was only his second time down there and he sure enjoyed it. He even gave a little kick!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A good rub~horses and mules in June Lake, CA

We came across this herd of about 26 horses and mules at June Lake one morning. They just kept coming out of the brush! One mule was especially friendly! He came right up to us at the fence for a rub! And, this guy behind him decided it was the perfect time for a roll in the grass! Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I want a fly mask, too! Cali sets a fashion trend!

I put a fly mask on Cali a couple of weeks ago because she tends to have "goopy" eyes and if I don't stay on top of her, attracts flies. Of course, her neighbors wanted one, too, and I was able to take these pics. Are fly masks the newest horse fashion? I bought these from Country Supply early in the summer when they were on sale. I bought 2 medium for the mustangs and the rest large. And, yes, for those who asked, horses can see through them. I held one up and it's like looking through a mesh...the holes are small enough to keep the flies out, but the horses can still see.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"F" is for fly mask~ABC Wednesday 082609

This is the first summer our horses have worn fly masks. Well, at least SOME of them have! Cali, of course, was very calm about the whole thing..."ho hum". She could have cared less. She just wanted some attention! Gigondas, who had a THING about people touching her head and ears, accepted hers with the quiet dignity that she now has and didn't even put up a fuss. She rather enjoys hers! And, Scout, the "wild one" calmly accepted one when I offered it to her. That's quite a bit of trust from a mustang! And, of course, Quad readily accepted his. He's a pro at this kind of stuff. I actually take his off every now and then. I haven't put one on Sunni...too much "drama". I notice that some of our horses need them...not the mustangs, but the thoroughbreds and Sunni, the quarter horse, and Lady, the grulla. And, it doesn't seem to be their color. Both mustangs and Quad are light colors, while Sunni and Gigondas are darker. Any ideas or thoughts about why some horses need fly masks and others don't? I do add some apple cider vinegar to their water. ABC Wednesday for August 26, 2009.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Horses near Bishop, CA

We are home (finally)! While no vacation would be complete without horse photos, we found these two delightfully friendly guys on a side road outside of Bishop, CA. They came right up to us! Isn't the countryside beautiful there?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Almost home! Scenic Sunday for 082309

While it has been a wonderful vacation, we are both tired and ready for our own bed! Unfortunately, driving home from mid-40 mornings to 87 degree mornings will be quite an adjustment. I already have come down with a cold and school hasn't even started! I stopped and bought a probiotic complex with acidophilus and I'm hoping that will do the trick! Yesterday we drove up over the Tioga Pass and through Yosemite. It was very different from when we visited it in June. First of all, there were more people! Second, many of the waterfalls were dried up. Finally, the Merced River was a LOT smaller! We did see one bear as we were driving out of the park, but the cars behind us were in such a hurry to get home that they honked when we slowed down! I mean, HOW RUDE! We did stop at a lake up on the top of the mountains and I spotted these two ducks. Actually, when I walked down to the lake, I heard a funny noise in the water and it turned out to be the ducks looking for plants to eat! Phew! Good thing it wasn't a bear! There was also an owl in a tree right across the road from the ducks. Of course, we stopped at Olmstead Point and took 10,000 photos of Half Dome. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn't that great, but what can you do? It started to sprinkle later that afternoon. While we are tired, it will be great to get home and see our cats, dogs, and horses! Scenic Sunday for August 23, 2009.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunset over Virginia Lake~SkyWatch Friday for 082109

Tuesday evening hubby and I were out driving and we decided to take the Virginia Lake turnoff. We had never been there and there were some lovely aspen groves on the way, so off we went! We got to the lake, which is about 6 miles off Highway 395 right at dusk. It was too dark to take pics of the lake, so I turned my camera toward the sky. Don't worry about hubby...he has recovered from his little "fall". Of course, yesterday, we had to drive BACK to Mammoth and he bought another 4 rolls of film. It does seem like the lens on his camera is sticking, so when we get home, he will have to take it into a camera store and have them see what's causing this (probably the fall). SkyWatch Friday for August 21, 2009.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oops! Hubby took a tumble...the good and the bad.

We have been waking up early and going out taking our early morning photos. We both love the way the sun strikes the mountains in the morning. So, yesterday we drove out, again, to Minaret Vista. Ansel Adams took photos of these mountains, but he was a LOT closer. This is the last vista before the road is closed up to the Devil's Postpile. Now you have to take a mandatory bus up that road, unless you have a camping permit. So, we arrived just as the sun was peeking over the horizon. As I was getting my cameras out of the car, I heard a "CRASH" and "expletive deleted". I looked over to where hubby was and he was on the ground. Unfortunately, so was his Canon A-1 film camera. He did manage to hold onto his Hasselblad! He was pretty shaken up. I know...last trip up here, I fell face first out of the passenger side of the car. My legs got tangled up in my purse and I went "SPLAT" right onto the ground. How undignified! Anyway, he got a cut on his hand and was shaken up, but proceeded to the top of the little knoll to take his photos. I went, too. Can't waste that precious daylight! The bad news was that his Canon did break its polarizing filter. The good news is that the camera is okay (we think...). It being a film camera, we won't really know until we get the film developed. the "professionals" we are (insert eye roll)...he has another film camera, he has a Nikon (digital) and he has his Hasselblad. I'm using his old Olympus, plus my Canon. So, of course, after his had to head back to Mammoth for breakfast and the nearest camera store. He was lucky to find a 1 hour photo operated by the daughter of a local photobrapher, Patrick Martin. She was very knowledgable and helped hubby dust off his lens, buy film, and other items that he needed. While we were there, we took in all his wonderful photographs! WOW! I feel like an idiot!
After that, we returned to our motel for our mid-afternoon nap (BAD photography shooting in mid-day!) and decided to head out to Bodie. Bodie is a ghost town, but reasonably preserved, up past Mono Lake. You travel 9 miles on a paved road and then 4 miles on a dirt/gravel road. Bodie was home to over 10,000 people in the late 1800's, early 1900's and dug out over $100 million in gold and silver! WOW! I can't even imagine what that would be in today's prices! x100? Bodie is a photographer's DREAM spot! There is so much to see and photograph! It is only open from 8:00 - 6:00 daily and the rangers start shooing people out about 5:45 p.m. But, the afternoon light on the buildings is fantastic! I think we are returning this morning, and then driving to Bridgeport for breakfast! Here are some pics from yesterday. Don't worry...hubby is okay! I hurts our dignity more than our bodies when we fall out of cars or trip and fall at Minaret Vista! We met two nice families from Italy at Bodie and again at the overlook near Mono Lake. I'm taking a photo of one of them while the dad was taking a photo of one of the buildings in Bodie! By the way, the high in Bodie Tuesday was 77 degrees, and the low was 28 degrees! Bodie sits up on a very high plateau and the winds sweep through there! Brrrrrr!!!! 28 degrees in August???

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

deer and Mono Lake

Yesterday was a busy day! I awoke at 5:15 a.m. to the chatter of SOMETHING outside our motel window. As I opened the door cautiously, two raccoons went scampering away! Little buggers! So, I woke up hubby and we went for an early morning photo opportunity. We drove from June Lake around the loop to Silver Lake. Silver Lake has a mirror-like surface because not that many people use it. There is a boat rental place run by a fellow Southern Californian who owns a malamute called "Sundance". Nice man and a nice dog! After taking 10,000 photos there, we walked across the street to a little cafe and grocery store for breakfast. Yum, yum! We spotted 4 deer down the road, in the aspen, so I got out and followed them for a while.

In the afternoon we took a ride to Mammoth Lakes and followed the road up to the Minarets. Unfortunately, we were shooting into the sun, so our photos came out very washed, this morning, we are heading back. We ended our day at Mono Lake, in the early evening.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ELK~That's My World for 081909

You know how you see those signs that say "Elk next 9 miles" or whatever, but you never see any? Well, yesterday outside of Lone Pine, near Mt. Whitney, I spotted a huge herd of elk at noon, on our way through. YES! High noon! A farmer was watering his alfalfa field and there were several smaller herds and one very large one in the fields. The bull elk in one herd next to the road was HUGE! Of course, some young whippersnapper was testing him, so he was very busy keeping all his females in one spot! But, compared to the challenger, he was massive! Several other cars had pulled over and we all climbed through the weeds to the fence to take photos. That's My World for Tuesday, August 18, 2009.