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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quad's lesson

Maia, my trainer, is working on ground work with Quad. He needs a lot of ground work, so she is giving him a lesson every week. He definitely has an "off" side, and she works both sides. She always brings her English saddle for him. Doesn't he look good in it? When she believes he's ready, she'll take him for a ride. Okay. Photos posted...phew! I don't know WHAT the problem is with Blogger, but I was able to upload these photos for the last 3 entries...(crossing fingers)...We'll be on the road until July 4th...back to the Sierras we go! I won't have high speed Internet at all, but may be able to publish a couple of posts without photos, which means I'll have to wait until we return! Have a good weekend and great 4th of July! See you next week.

Cali in the round pen

This was the first time that Cali had a saddle pad with a cinch. She's had a saddle pad on her back, but hasn't been cinched up yet. She gave a couple of half-hearted bucks, then settled right down. She's so easygoing! What a sweetheart! I'm going to try to post a couple more pics, of Quad's lesson, before Blogger goes haywire again!

Scout saddled and in the round pen

Okay. Cross your fingers that I can get more photos uploaded! Here are pics from yesterday with Scout saddled and working in the round pen. She did very well and paid attention. She seems to enjoy her lessons and she LISTENS and she REMEMBERS! GOOD GIRL!

Unable to post photos

I don't know what's up with BLOGGER, but I've tried to post photos 5x this morning and get error messages. I tried to upload photos on another blog...same thing.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Yup. I checked the "help" section and a LOT of people are complaining that they can't post photos this morning. It was SUPPOSED to be fixed last night...sigh...

Okay...we'll be on the road until July 4th (limited Internet access)...back to Mammoth lakes, so I'll see everybody July 4th! Hopefully by then the problem will be fixed!???? Have a great week and weekend!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mustangs' lesson and Quad

For the first time, I didn't check my gasoline gauge before heading up the hill. OOPS! I had nearly a half tank of gas when I last checked, but when I looked down at my gasoline gauge today, I only had 2 notches. That's about a gallon. And, my warning light came on. Double OOPS! I had already passed the last gas station in town and I knew that once I hit the downward part of the mountain road, I'd be getting 60 mpg, so I figured I'd be okay. I didn't count on the road construction (CalTrans is repaving part of the road), but I made it down the hill safely and coasted into the first gasoline station I saw! That was too close and I learned an important lesson: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check my gasoline gauge before heading up that mountain! I must have used most of my remaining gasoline heading up and over it this morning. Anyway, the mustangs had their lesson today. First, Maia took Cali down to the tie rack and picked up her feet and put fly spray on her. GOOD GIRL! Cali is just so mellow. Maia has been just putting a saddle pad on her, but today she got a bareback pad with a cinch. Cali was fine until she took her first breath with it...then she did a couple of half-hearted kicks and settled right down. GOOD GIRL! It was pretty ho-hum after that! She took Cali back to the corral and got Ms. Prissy (Scout) out. Scout, as you all know, can be a handful. She's smart, she's an alpha mare, and she wants to do things HER way! And, she doesn't like fly spray. Period. End of discussion. So, Maia patiently started at her shoulder and got one side completely done...enough for today! Scout has been saddle broke and went around the round pen like a pro today. GOOD GIRL! She did everything my trainer asked and was ready for more, but Maia also wanted to work with Quad, so she ended Scout's lesson on a positive note. Now, Mr. Quad...sigh...she put him in cross ties and walked to her car to get a drink of water and suddenly Quad got goofy and broke one of the side ties and the buckle on his halter. No reason. He just got goofy and pulled I let him stand there and think about it. She took him down to the arena to work him in circles. He has one side that he does NOT LIKE and she worked him on that one. She's working him every week so that she can ride him and I think he is now finally ready. Whoo, whoo! After he was done in the arena, she took him to the tie rack and was I was putting SWAT fly goop on his face when he pulled back and got loose and went running off. BIG SISSY! We brought him back and I finished putting the fly stuff on him and he was fine. ???? We don't know what got into him today, but he seriously does NOT like people putting their hands up by his head. Now, I put my hands on his head all the time when he's in his corral and I DID notice at first he pulled back, but I haven't had any problems with him recently, so I'll need to work with him on this...I'll go up again tomorrow morning and work with Sunni and then Quad. Gigondas is ignoring me and won't let me near her. Honestly, she's being a real BUTTHEAD. I was able to get fly spray on her and I just sat in her corral with her and tried to let her calm down, but she absolutely would NOT let me touch her...sigh...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Laws Museum and saddles

Do you know how many times we've driven by the sign for the Laws Railroad Museum outside of Bishop? Too many to count. But, on our last visit, we had time to kill and off we went. I was impressed. It was not only a railroad museum, but also really a travel in time to when the Owens Valley was being settled. We saw the agent's house and its kitchen reminded me of my grandmother's. It was used from 1880 until 1960. They have brought in many houses which were scheduled to be demolished and refurbished them with items from another time, like this one which had old saddles, horseshoes, and even horse snowshoes. One wall was covered with branding irons. I'm always fascinated by museums and we both wandered around, absorbing all that was around us. I'd love to go back (the museum is FREE, but hubby left a donation) on a day when it isn't so hot...maybe some morning. It is right outside Bishop, with plenty of signs, I believe on Highway 6 to Benson. Just follow the signs.

Sunni's lesson

Sunni also had a lesson last Tuesday and Maia worked a lot with desensitizing him. He's fearful. He is not agressive, but his fearfulness is cause for concern. I've worked with him, throwing a rope over his back, but if somebody new does it, it's back to square one. He was good with the fly spray and with picking up all 4 of his feet. While he trusts me, he doesn't trust others and especially not men. He was from a PMU ranch up in Michigan and was rescued by United Pegasus when he was a yearling, so I don't know his background. We are hoping that with continued desensitizing, he will calm down, but he wouldn't be a good horse for me to ride with my back problems...I still love him anyway and enjoy working with him as best I can, but he does need somebody else to work him, and Maia is very patient and relaxed with him.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gigo's lesson

It was only Gigo's second lesson with Maia, my trainer, so she basically wanted to see what Gigo could and could not do. Walking in the round pen is hard for her! She wants to run everywhere, but Maia got her to relax and walk. She also stopped her nicely at the gate..."WAIT"...hmmm....that's a word I'm going to have to use more often! Gigo tied well, but did pull back when Maia touched her with the fly spray. I'm going to need to add more apple cider vinegar to my mixture as I didn't add enough the first time! So, here are some pics from Gigo's lesson last week. On Tuesday, she'll work Quad again and the two mustangs.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Horses today~Quad and Gigondas

I went up to the ranch today because hubby is going to be home all weekend and we'll be CLEANING the house...sigh...(I HATE cleaning!). Gigondas turned her butt to me and wouldn't even let me touch her..she ran off every time I got near her. I think she is in heat???? Would that be it? She was a real *itch today! Quad, on the other hand, was a real charmer and put his big old head on my shoulder and cuddled! Go figure...I did a bunch of chores, swept out the tack room, round a mummified mouse, and brought home some brushes so I can clean them and put them out in the sun to dry. I bought 2 bags of feed, 1 bag of bermuda pellets, 1 huge salt block, and 3 small ones for the horses. I also bought 2 hanging feeders for the mustangs so that they don't always have to eat on the ground (and injest sand). I NEED to get some rubber mats moved up to their corral, but I'll need the owners to help me with their tractor as those things weigh a TON!!!! Man, they are heavy! I gave Cali a bath yesterday and was going to give Quad one today, but by the time I finished my chores, it was noon and just too hot to be out in the sun, even up in the mountains. I have to be especially careful and remember to put on my sunscreen and hat when I am up there. I had melanoma about 7 years ago and I'm now paranoid about being out in the sun. I'll drive up Monday and Tuesday and give Quad his bath on Monday and then maybe do Sunni on Tuesday. Phew! Then, back to the desert where it is ONLY 107 degrees today. It was 113 yesterday and just too darn hot to do anything outdoors! I left the dogs inside all day and they are inside again today. It is supposed to be 113/114 over the July 4th weekend. That's Gigondas during her lesson last week and that's Quad and my trainer, Maia.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moon over Yosemite

I posted another Yosemite night photo on my other blog, Deserts and Beyond at for SkyWatch Friday, but I thought I'd also post one here since not everybody who visits this blog also goes to one of my other ones...Anyway, these were my first night photos (and using manual settings...) and hubby helped me adjust the camera so that I could do this. We both set up our tripods and, believe it or not, my photos actually came out better than his! (hehehehehehehehe!!!!!) That's because my lens is a 200 mm, while his is 450 mm, so his lets in even less light than mine. We never got pics of the full moon, but hey...there's always next time, right?

Quad lesson part 2

I am finally off school for the summer, so Tuesday I was able to watch the trainer, Maia, work with my horses. After putting fly spray on Quad (it was old spray from last summer, so I'm going to make up a new batch today), she walked him up to the round pen. She asked him to wait at the gate and then started lunging him. He is fine going left, but doesn't like to go to the right. In fact, that's when he showed his attitude! But, she kept asking him and he finally did it. He'll need more work on this, however. But, he has a beautiful, even, flowing trot and he is sound (THANK GOODNESS!) Doesn't he look nice in her English saddle? He's going to have to get used to Western because I don't ride English, but she's starting him on English first.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quad lesson part 1

I am FINALLY able to drive up on Tuesdays (now that school is out). That's the day the trainer comes to the ranch. She worked 3 horses today: Sunni, Quad, and Gigondas. She's been working Quad every week, I found out, since, as she stated, "He's a BRAT!" Apparently he only likes to run one direction and balks going to the right. That would be his race training, right? And, he gives her "attitude" she's working him weekly. He ties nicely and picks up his feet, but I did see the attitude today. He likes to do what HE wants to do, so she's working with him. She actually commented that the mustangs, Scout and Cali, are the easiest to work with. Sunni, being afraid of every leaf, is very undependable and needs more and more and more desensitization...sigh...I don't know if I will EVER be able to ride him. Remember, he dumped my cousin last summer...She gave Gigondas her second lesson and she did just fine, although she did get frightened with Maia touched her with the fly spray rag for the first time. And, the flies are AWFUL this year! Ugh! I saw that the owner ordered a large jar of garlic for her horses and I may order one also..any suggestions? Anyway, here are some pics of Quad from today's lesson!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vacation day 1~Tehachapi Train Loop~That's My World 062011

We headed out from the desert over the Cajon Pass last Saturday. School was out Friday at 12:30, but I had to check out and that meant my principal had to come do the "white glove test" in my classroom. After I passed inspection, I ran to my car, like my third graders ran out of my classroom for the last time this year! WHOOPIE! Freedom! We got to Kramer Junction and I decided to head up through Tehachapi, hoping to see a train go through the Tehachapi loop. First we saw all the windmills and then I saw the sign for the loop. We pulled off the road and it wound back into the hills for about 3 miles. Finally, we saw the loop and several other cars had pulled over. I'd heard a train on the tracks along the way and it slowed down as it approached the loop. I slowly read the sign out it and was amazed to see the train wind around the loop, like a giant snake. There were 3 engines on the front, 3 in the middle, and 3 more on the end. It slowly chugged around the loop and I wanted to stay and watch another one, but hubby was anxious to get back on the road. I'm glad we finally had this opportunity to see the loop. Hubby's father and grandfather were both railroad men back in Pennsylvania and he was also interested to see it. I cannot count the times we have passed this and never stopped. If you are in Tehachapi, take 15 minutes, follow the road signs, and hopefully see a train take the loop! That's My World for Tuesday, June 20, 2011. To view other worlds, please go to: