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, February 28, 2011

Won't be going up to the ranch for a few days...

Well, I won't be going up to the ranch to visit the horses for a few days. I heard on the news that, even though the storm has moved on, chains are STILL required on the mountain road because of black ice! ACK! As a native Californian, I'm not used to black ice or driving on it. Plus, it's the last week of the trimester and I have to input grades online this week. It's supposed to be up in the 80's this weekend, which will be really nice, and I'm planning on taking some photos of the wildflowers this weekend. There are lupine growing along Highway 74 and I've already taken a few photos of them. According to a plant expert, our December rains, followed by a period of warm weather, and then more rain, should provide a beautiful wildflower season this year!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

storm kinda fizzled

After dire predictions of an inch of rain here in the desert and snow down to 1,200 feet, the storm has already moved on (as of last night) and pretty much fizzled. A lot of outdoor events were cancelled yesterday because of the forecast. Apparently the storm skirted our desert and has now moved East. Pfffffffttttttt! Our son rented a jumping castle for little Ben and didn't even put it up yesterday, but will do so today and have his birthday party this afternoon. I'm going to head out early this morning and take some photos of the road up to the horse ranch. I probably won't make it all the way to the ranch, since it is at 4,000 feet, but I can at least get partway up there. The horses all have extra feed and Cathy is giving it to them and she said she would take some photos of them in the snow. The ranch sits at the end of a dirt road and it will be too muddy and slippery for me to get into the ranch, since I don't have a 4-wheel drive anymore. (We couldn't get the Toyota smogged, so it now just sits in our son's driveway, unused.) I sure do miss that little car! It could go anywhere!!! :-( I took this photo yesterday morning about 9:30. It snowed up there all day and I have no idea what it looks like today, but I'll find out later this morning!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The elusive Patches has reappeared! Camera Critters 022611

Today is hubby's birthday (and our grandson, Ben, too!). Hubby wanted to stay at home and read the Los Angeles Times on his new tablet, but I wanted to drive up the mountain road and see all the snow falling, so I left him at home. He bundled up on his favorite chair and out came Patches, our elusive kitty. She HATES the dogs and will not come out when they are inside (which is most of the time), but they were out front and she came out from under the bed to seek some attention. Don't worry...she sleeps on hubby's pillow every night! Isn't she pretty? We don't know how old she is. She was a ranch cat up in Lancaster and had a little girl as her family, but the girl and her family moved away, and she survived living outdoors for over two years. We decided to give her a permanent home and she has now been with us for nearly four years. Camera Critters for February 26, 2011. Please visit Camera Critters at:

"Red", Brenda Photo Challenge 022611

Another storm is heading down California and this one will be COLD! It's already arrived this morning. My front porch is completely wet and our two outdoor cats are huddled against the front door, hoping for some warm air to leak outside! But, yesterday afternoon I grabbed my camera and went outside and looked at my bougenvillas along the side fence and gate. They are blooming now and I'm enjoying their color! Brenda Photo Challenge for 022611. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Art & Ben! Today is my grandson's AND my husband's birthday! Can you believe that? My birthday (Feb. 14, was just 3 days from my grandmother's, the 17th). To see other participants in the Brenda Photo Challenge, please visit:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Another storm comin'

And snow is forecast down to 1,200 feet! ACK! That means our nearby hills will be covered with snow by Saturday night. I made a quick run up to the feed store, bought 2 bags of feed for Quad and Sunni (they were out of sweet feed), stood in line with half the town, and got back home by 5:30, just in time for dinner of BBQ'd tri tip and hot macaroni & cheese! Phew! That's pretty good, considering I'm just now getting my energy back after my most recent bout of bronchitis, don't ya' think? Seems like everybody in town was at the feed store, preparing for the incoming storm and this one should be a doozy! I can't wait to go out with my camera on Sunday morning! This one will be a cold storm and flash flood watches are being issued in our region, along with a snow warning for our local mountains.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Moon over mountain~SkyWatch Friday 022511

I took this photo right outside my house early last Sunday morning, the morning after a snowstorm came through our local mountains. I was anxious to get out and take photos, so I headed up the mountain toward the horse ranch. I knew I wouldn't be able to make it all the way (chains were required) and hubby wanted to drive over to Joshua Tree National Park. SkyWatch Friday for February 25, 2011. To visit other participants, please do visit:

More snow on the way!

These are pictures of last weekend's snowfall up in our local mountains. And, yes, the horse ranch also got snow. It is at 4,000 feet and another storm is moving into our mountains and valley tomorrow, with snow forecast down to 3,500 feet...sigh...Like many of you, I'm getting tired of snow, snow, and more snow! We don't get snow down here on the desert floor (we are only at 225 feet elevation), and while I love to look up at the snow on the mountains, I don't enjoy driving through it and ice to the ranch. And, with my husband's birthday this Saturday, and our grandson's too (yes, they share the same birthday!), I don't think I'll make it up to the ranch this weekend. I'm thinking that if I head up there this afternoon, before the storm moves in, I'll at least have a chance to buy more feed for the horses and check on all of them, so I'll do that this afternoon. It's been a busy week. I had a doctor's appointment Tuesday. I took my German shepherd in yesterday to have his stitches removed (the vet did several bioposy samples on his skin). He seems to have some kind of auto-immune thing going on, which has resulted in his hair loss. He DOES look (and smell) a LOT better now that he's been on antibiotics and an anti-fungal for 14 days now. His face is looking more clear and he was out playing with the other dogs this week! YEAH!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Went to the doctor today and...

I got no sympathy! None whatsoever! She had a cold herself! She told me the kiddos at school will probably get 6 colds this year and so will I and to take zinc and Vitamin C to head it off. I didn't have a fever, I didn't have an infection in my throat, and yes, it takes THIS LONG (8 weeks) to recover from the round of bronchitis which is going around! 8 weeks!!!! She suggested I use hand sanitizer in my room. I explained to her that I buy it buy the quart (the largest size) at Walmart and I go through 2 of them a year! I went to my local health food store, bought Vitamin C and zinc pills and I'm drinking red wine with my pasta tonight! So there! I've NEVER had bronchitis 4 times in a year (this is bout #4 for me), and if she thinks I'm going to get it 2 more times, I'm gonna scream!!!! I told her, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired," and got a knowing nod and that was it! EXCUSE ME? Pfffffffttttttt...I'm having my red wine tonight and I'm hoping that it will kill some of the germs! Picture of some pretty stocks at Lowe's.

More snow scenes

Our local mountains haven't had this much snow since last February, so I just had to drive up as far as I could and take pics on Sunday morning. Then, hubby and headed over to Joshua Tree National Park for the day. But these are from the mountain route I take to the horse ranch. I didn't get up there at all this past weekend, between the weather and the fact that hubby rented a dumpster so that WE could clean up the yard. I raked and filled up all of our trash cans with leaves and he went around and trimmed trees. Then I tackled the boxes of stuff out in the garage and now we can get a car in it! Imagine that!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snow on our mountains

I woke up early Sunday morning and while hubby was still asleep, I borrowed the XTERRA and drove up the mountain road which I take to visit my horses. I already knew I wouldn't be able to get through because it snowed the night before and chains were required (and I don't have chains for the XTERRA and I don't even know how to put them on my Honda!) So, I figured I would drive up as far as I could and see the freshly-fallen snow. And, it was COLD! In fact, it was still snowing in spots along the road. I stopped and took quite a few photos, including these. In the first two, there's a large pullout called Vista Point. I had passed the CalTrans snowplows further down the road, where they were pulled out and turning around, so I knew they would head back up the mountain road. I saw several landslides (small ones) on the way up. Our desert had over 1 inch of rain overnight and the ground was absolutely soaked! Unfortunately, I had to turn around because the road was getting too icy and I had promised hubby that I wouldn't drive through ice or snow. You know it's cold on the road when the snowplows go by and you can hear the "chunk, chunk, chunk" of the chains on them!!! Hubby and I decided to drive up to Joshua Tree National Park and see the joshua trees with snow on them before it melted. I'm glad we did that because by late afternoon, snow on the south side of those mountains had melted. According to the news, our local mountains, at the top, got 24 inches of new snow in last night's storm. Joshua Tree didn't get that much, but some of the higher elevations (above 4,500 feet) did.

Snow and chains required

Our local mountains got snow overnight and chains are required above 4,000 feet, so I won't be able to get to the horses today. I have NO energy anway...I'm going to my doctor after school on Tuesday so that she can check on the progress of my bronchitis. I've had this since December 17th last year, so it's over 8 weeks! ACK! It's sad to have a 4 day weekend and be too sick and too tired to do ANYTHING!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Strange bedfellows

Well, I overdid it yesterday! I couldn't help myself...I went out and raked some of the leaves in the back yard, and believe me, there were a LOT! It was just so darn nice to be able to spend some time outside with the dogs! And, today, boy! I'm feeling it! My muscles are letting me know that I overdid it yesterday! I also weeded and got rid of the weeds which are growing among my sweet peas, so they are now happy! No more weeds to compete with them! The gardeners are coming back today to mow the entire back lawn and pick up the rest of the leaves. Oh, and hubby rented a HUGE dumpster (a roll-off), so we'll be cleaning out the house and garage. And, this is on top of the bronchitis which is now full-blown! Don't worry, I'll take a nap this afternoon! :-) Oh, and it's RAINING! It started raining about 4:00 p.m. yesterday and rained all night. It's supposed to rain all day today, too. It's too early to go outside and peek up at the mountains, but snow is forecast at the higher elevations. I may drive up to the horse ranch tomorrow and see if they got snow. Sometimes they don't because they are down in a valley, but the road up there may have snow! :-) Won't that be fun? I'll take my camera! That's my indoor cat (black), Abby with Daisy, who lives mostly outdoors. We've had Daisy now for about 13 years. She comes in when it is cold or raining! And, this morning, they are both on hubby's chair, about a foot away from each other! Go figure! Most of the time they run up and down the hallway, chasing each other! I guess the rainy weather has made strange bedfellows! Enjoy your Saturday! What kind of weather are you having today?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bronchitis is BACK! ACK!

Not only is the bronchitis back, but I have larangytis so bad that I can hardly speak! I'm going to have to call my doctor today and try to get an appointment. It's a good thing I have 4 days off school, away from sneezing and coughing kiddos! Hubby is off work for 6 days, so yesterday he cleaned off our front porch and threw away most of my cans and bottles which I had been saving for recycling! :-( He KNOWS I turn those in and then send the money to horse rescues, but I guess he'd HAD IT with my bags of them out front and I'm too tired to crawl through trash cans and retrieve them (stupid bronchitis!)...He hired a tree trimmer to come and trim and remove a couple of trees in the front and back yard and the guy took out my beautiful Tacoma Stans (a shrub with yellow flowers)!!! I did manage to run out back and point out to him yesterday where my sweet peas are growing, and I hope that today, when he returns to weed whack the back yard, he doesn't whack them off!!! I would be devastated if he did! I may go out and stand guard over them ! :-) And, another storm front is moving into our valley and mountains, with snow forecast down to 4,500 feet and flooding predicted for the areas hit by the December storms....ahhhh....February! Photo of Abby and Daisy. They hate each other, but came and snuggled on the back of my chair the other morning! Go figure!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Frisky Quad!

Quad sure loved his romp in the arena last weekend. Hubby and I were going to drive over to Arizona for 4 days, but, with this storm moving in, he didn't wish to have his new car sandblasted, so we are staying home. It's probably just as well, since we are both EXHAUSTED and I'm fighting a relapse of my bronchitis. And, it means more HORSE TIME for me! Hehehehehehehe!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quad's soft eye~The Creative Exchange 021511

I'm always amazed by the eyes of horses. Gigondas has distrustful eyes. Cali, Sunni, and Quad have soft eyes. Scout has inquisitive and thoughtful eyes. I caught Quad in a quiet moment last weekend. He has really softened, although he did bolt from me in the arena Sunday! Any advice on how to prevent this? I took him down to the arena and when I turned my back to close the gate, he went backwards and bolted, dragging the lead rope behind him. I was too tired and too weak from my bronchitis to fight him...sigh...I just want to get my breath and strength back! Unfortunately, I keep having relapses and my energy level goes down. Today I felt fine...yesterday, on my birthday, I dragged home, slept an hour, and went to bed at 7:30 p.m.!!!
Photo submitted for The Creative Exchange,

Sunni Sunday

I took Sunni out for a walk Sunday afternoon. It was warm up at the ranch, but now a storm is heading in and snow is forecast later this week for our mountains. I walked him up on the "back 40", over sticks, twigs, and through the manzanita. He didn't spook once. I led him down to the arena, worked him a bit, and he stood quietly. I let him go and he didn't take off running. Instead, he ate weeds! I waved an empty hay pellet bag at him and he sighed. Wow! That's a big difference from the spooky, frightened horse that he used to be. He even came over to investigate the pellet bag. Finally, he decided to self-exercise and he went romping around the arena! Sunni has come a LONG way and I honestly think he just needed to mature.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Quad was busy taking a sun nap when I arrived at the ranch this morning about 10:30 a.m. And, his morning was pretty boring, I guess! And, he sure let me know what he thought about the whole thing!

Polo ponies

Instead of taking the freeway home, like I usually do, Friday afternoon I drove straight out the street that my school is on. Sometimes I go that way to drive by the polo fields and watch the ponies being exercised. I hit the jackpot Friday afternoon! There were several groups of them which went around the outside of the polo fields with their exercise riders. Aren't they in great physical shape? This is down at the polo fields in Indio, CA. A colleague at school was telling me that her daughter takes lessons at a rescue just down the street. A gal there rescues polo ponies and then gives lessons with them. I found the rescue. It looks to be on about 20 acres. Someday I'll have to stop there and take a look around! HA! Maybe even have a lesson?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just a little bit of sunshine~~Enjoy~

Just a little California sunshine for you! I found these flowers blooming at the Living Desert Reserve. Aren't they sunny??? Our temps will be up in the...SIT DOWN!...80's this weekend! We will have about 6 more days of sun, then a couple days of "possible showers", which means rain up in the mountains...then more sun!


This is what happens when you have a nosey horse who puts her nose into EVERYTHING! And, no, it's not Scout! Any guesses? Okay...I'll show you more! Yup, it's CALI! She pushed her nose right up against me as I was trying to take a photo of her! Silly horse!!!