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, November 29, 2010


I didn't drive up the mountain to the horse ranch until about 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, since I figured (rightly...) that it would be cold up there. It was in the mid-40's when I got there and the wind was blowing. Oh, boy! What fun! By 11:00 a.m., when I arrived, there was still a whole swath of ice on the north side of the corrals (see photos). As soon as I gave Quad his feed, his head disappeared into his feeder and he didn't even look up! Hmmmpppfffff! He was too busy eating to even acknowledge me! No, he did give me a look over and then he went back to eating! More frosty nights are forecast for this week.

Sunni, yellow trees, and snow ~

We had near-record lows here in our desert last night, with more on the way. Our local mountains got a dusting of snow (click on photo to enlarge it). I saw a lot of cars on their way down the mountain that were covered with snow on their hoods and roofs yesterday. There was snow along the road, at the higher elevations that I travel through on my way to the ranch. Those trees that still have leaves have turned yellow and the red maple has lost ALL its leaves! Ahhh...the coming of winter! And, this one looks more severe than last year's! That's my gelding Sunni looking up as I drove into the ranch yesterday on a chilly, windy Sunday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Self-portrait Sunday morning 11/28/2010

Yup. That's me all bundled up! I currently have bronchitis and I did NOT want to get cold and boy, let me tell was COLD up at the horse ranch about noon today! I waited until it warmed up here in the desert to go up there, knowing it would be cold. There was ice all along the north side of the horses' corrals where Sunni and Quad are housed. Half of their corrals are in the sunlight, but the northern part is not and that's where the ice was. I had on knee-high warm socks, my jeans, two t-shirts, a fleece sweatshirt, and I was still cold! So, I wrapped a cotton pendleton around my middle after adding my hooded Old Navy gray long-sleeved sweater. That was 5 layers of clothing! I had to post a picture of myself for Sunday Stills Challenge, which I did on my desert blog ( and I'm kinda getting into this! Most of the time, however, I wear dirty old clothes since the horses just slobber all over me anyway! And, my hair is usually pulled back since it is usually windy up there and I HATE having it in my face and in the way! Plus, I can't see if it is loose and down! I'm planning on taking more pics in the future! :-) There was snow along the road on the way up to the horse ranch and I'll be posting some of those pics later this next week, along with some pics of the horses. Frankly, I couldn't WAIT to get back into my warm car and head back down the mountain to the desert!!!

Before Halloween

This was the afternoon that our son, Hal, and grandson Ben, and Claudia came up to visit the herd. Here they are with Cali, who LOVES attention! (Can't you tell?) Ahhhh...I miss the longer afternoons that are gone now with the time change!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

health update 7:00 p.m. 11/27/2010

Still too sick to drive up and see the horses today. I started my Z-pack and spent the day at home, coughing and hacking ALL DAY! Oye vei!!! I'm hoping that I'll feel well enough tomorrow to drive up and give the horses an extra meal. It will be down to 27 degrees up there tonight.

Horses at Camelot auction

See the link to read and see photos of them...this is just heartbreaking. Some are beautiful horses and many have halters on...sigh...

BACK for another RX!!!

So, I called the urgent care facility where I got my RX and the doctor told me to only take HALF of a pill instead of a whole one...thinking the dosage might be causing me to get sick. So, at lunch, I took half a pill. I took a nap for an hour (by then, I was thoroughly exhausted)! I'd spent the morning at my aunt's house cleaning up a broken glass dish that she accidentally knocked off her kitchen table! I had to call for reinforcements as I couldn't find the "on" switch to her vacuum cleaner, so our daughter and SIL came over to help. After a couple of hourse, hubby wanted to go to TARGET to buy some chairs for the hotel office, so off we went. Then, at Target, IT CAME. That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach, when you know you are going to be sick. ACK! I started shaking and feeling nauseated. I told hubby, "We better get outta here and over to Jennifer's QUICK!" So off we went and yup...I got sick (again). So, this time, I let hubby deal with the urgent care office. They were NOT going to give me another antibiotic, so "Mr. Nice became Mr. Angry Husband of a Patient!" It took nearly an HOUR of phone calls to get a RX called in for the antibiotic I probably should have been given in the first place. Ahhhhh....American health care! Needless to say, I am DONE taking augmentin and will NEVER take it again! I now have a Z-Pack which I will start after breakfast!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bronchitis AGAIN!

Yes, can you believe it? I've been coughing and hacking now for over a week. One of my students ended up in the hospital and another one coughed all day in class on, of course, I ended up with bronchitis and I sounded like a frog! So, finally hubby insisted that I drive to urgent care and get some antibiotics. So, off we went on Thanksgiving Day. I was afraid that the waiting room would be full, but it was empty. I was given a different antibiotic from my previous one (I previously had a Z-pack). This time I got augmentin, which has an additional ingredient to make it more quickly assimiliated by one's body. Unfortunately, that added ingredient made me sick to my stomach and I can't tolerate it! ACK! So, I'll have to call back to urgent care and get another antibiotic. I have parent conferences next week and I'll need my voice back by Tuesday, so I have to get this done today!!! I'm really frustrated because this time, I never even got a cold. I had a slight tickle in my throat and then instantly began to cough and cough. I am just recovering from my previous bout of bronchitis and it seems like I've been sick most of this fall. Oye vei!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving wishes

Happy Thanksgiving Day wishes to all my friends and family!
~~Cheryl Ann~~
Photo of Cali, October 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vacation break!

Phew! I'm now on a 5 day vacation break! I'm also fighting another round of bronchitis and I'll have to get to my doctor either today or Friday. It's going around the school again and I even had one boy end up in the hospital! (poor baby!) I have chronic bronchitis and once I get a cold, it usually goes right into bronchitis... I haven't been up to see the horses since last Saturday because of our winter storms that swept through the valley and our local mountains. I called the ranch owner and she said they didn't get any snow, but got plenty of rain. I'll have a chance today to drive up and give them an extra meal of sweet feed and oil. Here are a couple pics from the desert floor looking up to the mountains where my horses are.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

While attempting to get a photo...

I drove up to the mountains today to stop by and give the herd their pysllium and sweet feed. The mountains were very misty and I stopped a couple of times on my way up to take photos. Now, I live in the desert at 200 feet above sea level. At the time I stopped to take my first photo, I was at about 2,500 feet up the mountain. I opened the car door and was immediately slammed in the face by wind and cold! ACK! So, fortunately, I had about 5 jackets and sweaters in the back of my Honda, so I started layering. I stopped further up the hill and it was misting. Hmmmm.....I began to wonder if I should even continue my journey up to the herd, since it would be too wet to do anything but throw some feed at them. The mountains were shrouded in clouds and others were moving in quickly. Well, I decided to continue. I'm glad I did. Yes, I fed them in the mist and fog and even gave them some of the COCOSOYA that I ordered. Man, that stuff is GOOD! I'm also giving some to my poor German Shepherd who either has mange, canine lupus, or Cushings (we've had 3 different opinions)...maybe it will help his hair grow back? On the way back down the hill, I saw rainbows at three different spots and I stopped to take pics of them, too. I saw a few other hardy souls who stopped to take photos, too. At one point, I opened up my car door and it nearly went flying off! It was THAT windy! I was glad to get back to the desert and as I sat shivering in my chair in front of the TV, I finally took a hot shower and warmed up! The storm is finally moving in this evening and it is forecast to rain tomorrow. I got my sweet peas planted along the chain link fence in anticipation of the coming rain and they should sprout in about a week.

Yesterday morning's sky

It was cloudy here in the desert yesterday as a storm front began moving into our state. As I was walking back to my car after my morning walk, I looked up at the sky. There were many jet trails and the sun was peeking through the clouds in an opening. It was eerie, like "God's eye". I thought of my uncle and realized he would appreciate this. He was a pilot during WWII and eventually was stationed at March Air Field in Riverside, to train other pilots. During the last year, he sat down with me and told me about his flights over the Inland Empire and desert. One time, he went through one of his photo albums from that era and he told me stories of all the men he served with. I wish now that I had recorded or documented these stories. He had excellent eyesight, a quick mind, and let me tell you...ya NEVER wanted to play cards with this guy! I used to and I finally just gave up! He remembered where every card in the deck was and who had it! He was a corporate accountant and believe me, you didn't want to mess with him! But, he was also a gentle man who raised my two cousins and their children and taught them how to sail, play cards, and take photos. Indeed, we are quite a family of photographers! His genes live through his children and grandchildren. He is sorely missed, but I did find some comfort on this morning during my walk when I looked up at this sky.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My dear uncle passed on this morning

and I would like to dedicate this post to his memory. He grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. He rode his horse to school and loved all the farm horses. He would ride all of them. He loved to stop by and see all my horses, but he was especially fond of Scout! He loved to take photos of them and when I get home, I'm going to find some of him with Scout. She is very perceptive. I'm not sure perceptive is the right word...empathetic? She reads people and their emotions, I think, much better than my other horses. She's almost dog-like in that regard. My black lab, Ripley, knows when I'm sad or upset and she will come and place her head in my lap and look at me with her big, brown eyes.

My uncle spent a lot of time showing me how to become a better photographer and I will miss his input. His daughter, my first cousin, Cindy Kyle, IS a professional photographer. Here's a link to her photography website: She inherited his critical eye and his attention to detail. I am glad that she inherited all of his cameras. She will love and cherish them.

I already miss Uncle Earl. When my dad left my mom and me, while I was in high school, he stepped in to make sure I kept my grades up and didn't get into any trouble. He was always there for me. He loved to hear my stories about the horses and I heard many of his about his horses and pony. He was a gentle and caring man.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scout in her new diggings

What can I say? Her Highness surveying her kingdom...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back in the corral

Scout and Cali are back together in the big corral up by the tack room. Cali had been in her own corral for a couple of months and Scout had been in her own, down by Quad and Sunni. Gigondas had the big orral to herself and enjoyed all the room to run! She enjoyed her two neighbors (see header photo!), but the owner was bringing back one of her stallions, who had been out for training. So, it was time for "musical horses"! Gigondas went back to her corral (where Cali had been), and Cali and Scout came back to the big one. Phew! There isn't an empty corral at the ranch right now, so I had to double up with Scout and Cali. And, it took about 30 seconds to establish who was boss! Cali gave Scout some 'tude, but it didn't last long! Scout definitely is "numero uno"! I spent Saturday brushing both of them and picking up their feet. Scout is very good now about having her feet picked up and Cali has always cooperated. We had Santa Ana winds this past weekend and the ranch owners were gone, so I didn't want to push my luck and take any of them out on Sunday. Gigondas and Sunni had a nice romp (separately) in the arena on Friday, so next weekend, I'll rotate the other ones out for some exercise and weed-eating. It was nice having a long weekend, four days, and after this next LONG week at school, I'll have only two days of school the following week, then five days off for the Thanksgiving break! Whoo, hoo!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The "boys"

These two are a couple of real goofballs! I mean, REALLY! Look at those ol' ears! Gigondas was out running around in the arena, stirring up all kinds of dust, and Sunni and Quad looked on! Goofy and goofier!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gigondas yesterday

I spent three hours up at the ranch yesterday. And, that was after my 45 minute walk that morning! I actually took a wrong turn on the way back to my car and I ended up LOST! In the DESERT~(actually, in the golf course!)...Apparently I'm going to need to walk the trail a couple of more times so that I can find my car and not get lost! ACK! Anyway, Gigondas was waiting patiently at her gate (that's her signal that she is ready to go down to the arena for some R&R), so I haltered her and led her down. For some reason, she was on alert...maybe the apple farmer next door was out fiddling around with his apples? She tried to bolt on me a couple of times, but I told her "Stay" and she settled down. Phew. I still need to work with her on this. Once she was free, she had a good roll and then self-exercised! We have Santa Ana winds in the forecast for today, so I may just work with Cali up in her corral. Blowing leaves are always scary for the horses and I'll be up at the ranch alone today.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quad and I

When our son came up a couple of weeks ago, he took this photo of Quad and me. I never have other people with me (or very seldom!), so it was nice that he did this for me. Quad has such a laid-back personality and he is so easy to get along with! The more I'm with him, the more I really appreciate his gentle nature.Posted by Picasa

Sunrise from my street~SkyWatch Friday 111210

Sometimes if we have clouds here in the desert, we get spectacular sunrises, like this one last week. We haven't had any clouds since then, at least not enough to make a difference in the morning sky, but I always peek out my window and glance at the sky each morning in hopeful anticipation! SkyWatch Friday for November 12, 2010.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'm DONE with FACEBOOK. I deleted my account this morning as there were two "likes" that I NEVER signed up for and I couldn't delete them. PERIOD. One had lots of complaints and something about malware. I'm glad I did it ... I can move on now and concentrate on my blogs and not worry about keeping up with people on FACEBOOK. Blah.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Riders in Arizona

Hubby and I saw these riders right before Oatman, AZ last weekend. We had stopped to take a photo of the volcanic chute and ruins nearby. We enjoyed our trip to Arizona last weekend. Fortunately, this weekend I have a 4 day break from school, so I'll have lots of horse time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A helper!

I was very pleased that our son, Hal, wanted to bring his son up to see the horses. Hal even offered to feed the horses, so I let him. It was also good for them to interact with somebody besides me and Cathy, the ranch owner! An extra set of hands is always welcome up at the ranch!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oak Creek Canyon, AZ

Hubby and I headed over to Flagstaff from Kingman, AZ on Saturday. He wanted to see if any of the aspen outside of town still had any color on them. Nope...pretty much gone! We did drive out to Sunset Crater and there were a few aspen there still with colorful leaves. Then he suggested that we drive down Oak Creek Canyon. BINGO! Wow! The canyon was alive with all kinds of trees and yellow leaves! Some trees even had orange and red leaves, although they were few and far between. We spent over 2 hours in the canyon looking at all its beauty! If you ever want to visit this canyon, fall is the time to do so!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Burros, burros everywhere!!!

Hubby and I took a day off work Friday and drove over to Arizona for the weekend. We both needed a break from our jobs and stress! We drove up through Parker and then to Oatman, where burros wander the town freely! In fact, there's a place where you can buy "burro food" (alfalfa cubes) and the vendor has two large tubs of fresh water for the town's burros! They can be quite pushy, as you can see from the photos! One even joined the locals in their conversation on a storefront porch! Another few of them mobbed some guy who was trying to get into his car. It was fun watching them and there were several babies, including one who fell asleep right off the main street in town! Just "poof" and she was sound asleep! We enjoyed our short stop in Oatman and tomorrow we drive to Flagstaff.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Afternoon light

There's something almost magical about afternoon light, especially up in the mountains, as it filters through the pine trees.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hal, Quad, and Sunni

Our son, Hal, is the younger of our two grown children. Our grandson, Ben, is his son. Hal has always loved animals and Sunni has always doted on Hal! I'm not sure if it is because Sunni recognizes Hal as my son? Does anybody have an idea about that? But, Sunni has always been very patient and gentle with him. He's checking out Hal's back pocket in the middle photo! Sunni was very eager and curious to see Hal and Ben! It was interesting to watch the horses' reactions to little Ben and Hal. I'm glad they were able to see the horses as it gave them all a little "mental" exercise and got them used to other people touching and petting them.