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, May 31, 2010


As we drove back through Bishop last night, hubby leaned out of the window and took these photos. We didn't attend the Mule Days festivities...too many other things to do and places to go! So, I pulled over and he took these pics. There were some BEAUTIFUL mules there~~all colors! Today we are heading out to the Alabama Hills to take some early morning photos, then breakfast, then HOME! PHEW!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back to the Sierras

Hubby and I decided to take this weekend and drive back to the Sierras. It is clear and cool up here, from about 55 degrees to 70, depending on which area we drive through! Bishop was having their "Mule Days" parade when we drove through yesterday, on our way to Mammoth. I couldn't resist chatting with these two officers on their horses! Mammoth still has a lot of snow and several roads to the mountains and lakes are still closed. They are having a late Spring. The June Lake loop is open and the horses are available to ride and boats are ready to rent. Today we are driving to Bodie for a late afternoon stop.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Go away, we're BUSY!

I drove up to the horses yesterday afternoon after school. I could see the clouds hanging on the mountains and knew I would run into them on my trip. When I got to the ranch, the horses were eating. They were fed early and had absolutely NO interest in me! Huuummmpppffffff!!!! And, the skies were just about ready to open up and rain! So, I checked all of them and headed back home. Short trip! Only Cali took time out from eating to come over and say "Hello!". She is such a sweetheart! I actually took these pics a few weeks ago. It was too cold and cloudy to take any yesterday!
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hollyhocks and sunflowers~My flowers at home

I have tried to have a flower garden at my house for over 30 years, but it wasn't until our son installed a 100 foot chain link fence last spring (to keep the dogs from running all over the yard) that I was able to grow the sweet peas and other flowers that I've desired. So, last December, I soaked my sweet peas overnight and they surprised me by sprouting immediately and growing to over 7 feet tall! They have done very well in this sunny location and I've picked many of them for bouquets. Unfortunately, the 100 degree days have finally zapped them and they are going to seed. I also planted some hollyhock seeds at the same time and they, too, immediately sprouted. They are now starting to open up and bloom. Aren't they pretty? This is the first time I have EVER successfully grown them and I am enjoying watching them open. I planted some leftover sunflower seeds and they, too have sprouted and grown. I'll have to think and plan what I want to grow there next year. The summer heat will take its toll on everything growing there now except for the sunflowers. I'll rip out my sweet peas this weekend and think about what to plant in their place. I seem to have recovered from my headache/flu, although I now have a runny nose, so I'll drive up to see the horses this afternoon.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Home sick today!

Ack! Well, I finally came down with the headache/flu that has being going around. Hubby had it last week, daughter had it, my coworkers at school have had it, and now I have it. I knew I was getting it yesterday when all I wanted to do was put my head down on my desk! That isn't good! Fortunately, the kidlets at school were on good behavior yesterday. This is how I feel today! (see photo) That's a warthog having a snooze at the Living Desert Reserve!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunni in the arena

I love to watch each horse in the arena. They are all different. Quad just kind of mosies along, although sometimes he takes off in a gallop! Gigiondas flat out RUNS! She LOVES to run! The two mustangs are just silly! Sunni sometimes seems content with just following me around. But, on this day, he bucked, kicked, and tooted and had a blast! I love to watch him. Actually, I love to watch each of them.

SNOW! and mountain lion~

Yesterday set a new low record here in the desert. It was only 70 degrees. IN MAY! I remember last May (I had to turn on the air conditioner and we had triple digits in the 100's ALL MONTH). Our local mountains and the San Bernardino mountains both got 2-4 inches of SNOW! IN MAY! I only remember it snowing in May one other time, and that was 35 years ago! And this next week's forecast has no days of triple digits! YEAH! That means I won't have to turn on the air conditioner all week! And, on another local news story...a mountain lion was shot and killed near the Coachella Valley Preserve, where my cousin frequently rides. It was spotted after it killed a small dog. An officer shot it with a tranquilizer dart, but when it turned and rushed toward him, a deputy shot and killed it. And, this was across the street from a park where kids were playing soccer! ACK! That's scary. Finally, another full week of school, but next week, we only have 4 days due to the Memorial Day holiday. I didn't get up to see the horses this weekend. Saturday I took my aunt and uncle to the Living Desert Reserve and yesterday it was so cold and cloudy, I stayed home and vegged. Got all the dishes washed and did 4 loads of laundry! Here are some pics from the Living Desert from Saturday. That's one of their leopards in the top photo.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pocket Pony

One of the other boarders at the ranch has been coming up in the afternoons with her son. She has a Pony of the Americas, a nice little mare. The afternoon I was working with Sunni on lifting his feet, she let the pony out into the arena and she just followed her son around! Aren't they cute together?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SOMEBODY had a snit fit last week! Guess who?

The gal who has the two horses next to Scout and Cali did a BAD THING last week! She brought carrots for her horses and didn't give any to Scout or Cali! And, Scout let me know what a BAD THING that was! She was *%ssed!!! Cathy, the ranch owner, said she let everybody know how disappointed she was! She stuck her head through the corral pipes. She pawed the ground. She ran around. But, nobody understood what she was trying to say, "GIVE ME CARROTS! NOW!" So, this weekend, guess what I'll have to take to the ranch? Yup. Carrots. And, what did I do last week? Yup. Had all their feet trimmed. THAT isn't carrots! No way! I guess I'm a BAD mom!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Girl~Gigondas

I'm always amazed how good Gigondas is for both the farrier and the vet, when he comes to give shots. She doesn't move. Period. Good girl!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Farrier visit yesterday~Quad

The farrier and his assistant came yesterday and ALL the horses did very well! They did Quad first. Quad nearly fell asleep. "Ho hum"...he is such a GOOD BOY! Then, on to Sunni. I went in and worked him before the farrier came in...picked up both front feet, threw the rope around his butt and back legs...he was fine. Slapped it on the ground. He didn't move. Hmmm...that's pretty good for "spooky Sunni"! So, when the farrier came in and started toward him, I said, "Let him smell you and your tools" and he did and Sunni was ***PERFECT***!!! I told him to "stay" and he didn't move! The farrier decided to not attempt the back feet...they aren't that bad and can wait until I can safely pick them up myself EVERY TIME. That has been a problem in the past. He usually moves off when I go for the back feet. So, I watched the farrier every time he picked up back feet and I do believe I'll be able to do Sunni's now as long as he stands still. Gigondas was a real trooper. She didn't move at all. Scout? Hmmm....yes, she moved off a couple of times, but she has real nice mustang feet and didn't need much of a trim. He actually did all 4 of hers. Cali? Cali nearly fell asleep...ho-hum! I believe the guys did 13 horses yesterday! I LOVE this farrier! He is very calm with all the horses and lets them smell him before he begins work. He and his assistant talk quietly to the horses. "Still, mamacita"...he has a very soothing voice. No wonder all the horses LOVE him!!! Here are some pics of Quad from yesterday's visit. I love driving up to the horses after school! The afternoons are beautiful and cool. We are going to HAVE to turn on our air conditioner today. Yesterday was about 98 degrees here in the desert and today will be the same. The house really didn't cool off all evening...sigh...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Quad was very interested in eating the weeds around the arena last weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Around the ranch~That's My World 051810

After smooching with the mustangs, we let Gigondas and then Quad out into the arena. That's Sunni and his neighbor on the other side of him looking over the fence at Quad. Quad just walked around and ate weeds, but he suddenly took off running and slipped when he turned one corner in the arena. My heart sank when I saw him go down, but he got up and wasn't limping. Sue and I both watched him closely and he was walking normally. I drove up yesterday afternoon and he was fine. Phew! What a scare! I worked with Sunni on picking up his feet yesterday and desensitizing him. He did very well and only flinched when I accidentally hit the metal roof with my handy stick. But, he stayed right where he was! So, yesterday he got some free time in the arena. It was a beautiful, cool afternoon up at the ranch absolutely perfect day! There were some high clouds and some lower ones moving across the valley. I hated to leave! That's My World for May 18, 2010.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Awww...give me a good scratch, would you?

I'm always amazed by what a ham Scout can be and how SHE can manuever people so that she gets what she wants! Those whittle wheels in her head are always sizing up people and figuring us out! Here she got Sue to give her a good butt scratching! ... sigh... Cali, of course, got to supervise! I went over and gave Cali a good butt scratching! It was a perfect weekend up in the mountains...clear, but cool with a slight breeze. I need to drive up after school today and pick up Sunni's feet and Scout's since the ferrier is coming on Wednesday.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sheer delight!

Yesterday turned into a really long and busy day! I met my friend, Susan, and we drove up the hill to the horses. But first, I had to stop at the feed store and buy more sweet feed for them and also dog food for our two dogs. Fortunately, I can buy both at the same place! So, off we went to see the herd. The first horses Sue met were the mustangs and their two neighbors, who belong to another boarder. The black gelding is extremely friendly. Er...maybe a little too friendly as he wouldn't leave Sue alone! Sue has previously worked at a stables and is very knowledgeable about horses, so I was very comfortable with her first visit to the herd! The mustangs were a big hit and she really loved on Scout and Scout loved her back! Isn't it funny how the most aloof horse has now become the most loving? People always gravitate to Scout and she intuitively picks up on their needs and emotions and loves them back! I'm always amazed to see how she reacts with people and how people react with her! Anyway, here are just a few pics from yesterday. I'll be posting more this next week.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Up to see the herd today!

I can't wait to see the herd today! Hubby is working and I'm taking a friend up to see them. She used to have horses and rode frequently, but...alas, she is "without horse" right now. She works at the dentist office that I went to a couple of weeks ago. I chipped one of my porcelain fillings and now I have to return in June to get it fixed. (It's a two hour job, along with replacing ANOTHER filling that I broke!) MY BAD! Anyway, I've known her for several years, but never mentioned my horses until one visit! And, she mentioned that she would LOVE to come with me, brush, groom, wash, walk, ride...she's willing to do ANYTHING! Oh, boy! I can hardly wait! So, we're going to meet at Starbucks and I'll drive her up with me. Not many people enjoy driving the winding mountain road up to the horses! Yesterday I gave the little RAV a nice, quick $5 drive-through wash and she's all sparkling outside! Plus, she got a tankful of gas! She's READY to go and so am I! It was a L-O-N-G week at school this past week. The kiddos are bored and restless. Apparently teachers aren't the only ones counting the days until summer vacation! Hopefully we'll get Quad saddled and maybe she will take him for a little ride!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mojave Preserve Sunset~SkyWatch Friday 051410

Hubby and I drove through the Mojave Preserve on our way to Las Vegas a couple of weekends ago. We left right after I got out of school and packed the car. We arrived in the Mojave Preserve right at sunset. Sometimes in our desert, if the clouds are just right, we get spectacular sunsets. This evening, as we drove through the silent silhouettes of the joshua trees, I stopped the car and pulled over to admire the sunrise. As we got out of our car, we heard an owl hooting in one of the joshua trees. I would love to return here sometime. If you decide to drive through this preserve, just make sure your car is tuned up and you have plenty of water. There are NO services for over 90 miles! And, cell phones don't seem to work. And, during the summer, it can be EXTREMELY hot there! But, the scenery is beautiful, as you can see! SkyWatch Friday for May 14, 2010. Enjoy your weekend! I'm taking a friend up to help me with the horses Saturday, so I'll have updates then.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunni and ferrier

The ferrier is coming out Monday to trim all my horses. Sunni needs it the most. His big 'ole feet REALLY need a trim! Unfortunately, the last time this ferrier was out, it was a windy day and I decided to pass on Sunni's trim, since he is so spooky. I can work with him and he lifts his feet on command for me, but he has a fear of men and this ferrier is a man. However, Solomon is very calm and gentle. I've watched him with other horses and none of the Pasos give him any trouble! I hope Sunni behaves! I'm bringing a friend up Saturday to meet all the horses and we will work with him then.

Monday, May 10, 2010

An Innocent Question

An innocent question, from a 9 year old opened the floodgates today. We were discussing animals and a boy asked, "What does put to sleep mean?" Well, I got through the story about our second German Shepherd, Maverick, and how he got hip dysplasia and after much talk, we decided to put him to sleep. And, I told the kidlets about when a horse breaks its leg, sometimes they have to be put to sleep. And, I told them about how I found Beauty that morning last June and she was already dead in her corral and one little girl asked, "Are you going to cry?" Cry? Me? Oh, gosh, YES! I bawled. In front of my class. I just couldn't stop! It got deathly quiet and somebody brought me a kleenex. They were deathly silent (NONE of them even got out of their seats and this is the class that got 4 referrals on Friday!) Okay, so I'm human. Now the secret is out! Two of my former students, now 6th graders, brought me cards for Teacher Appreciation Day and one wrote, "I know how much you miss Beauty and I'm so sorry for your loss." That card, I didn't read until after school and I was okay with it. But, from the mouth of a little third grader, a simple and innocent question got me bawling. Let's just say, we didn't get much of our math lesson done this afternoon and double digit multiplication will have to wait a day. Photos are of Beauty. Beauty was one of my two feedlot rescues, and was an untrained two year old when I got her from a rescue that rescued (rehabbed) horses on slaughter-bound feedlots. Beauty... 2004(?) - June 25, 2009. RIP my wonderful girl! The cause of her death is still unexplained and as best we can guess, she got cast in her corral, hit her head on one of the metal pipes, and instantly died. I found her the next morning.