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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thunderstorms and flooding

Our local mountains got rain yesterday.  I could see it coming down near Pinyon, as I picked up hubby from work.  I had driven up the mountain road for a little bit, just to see if it was raining...yup.  BIG TIME!  There is a flood warning for our entire valley and mountains today and especially in the burn areas of Anza-Borrego.  That's where the fire was (it was up over 14,000 acres).  I believe it was contained FINALLY yesterday.  So, while the rain is welcome, heavy downpours are not, especially in those burned out areas.  I found a blog from Anza-Borrego yesterday and I'll provide the link at the end of this post, if you wish to check it out.  In the meantime, it is extremely cloudy and HUMID here this morning!  It's REALLY DARK and cloudy outside, so we may get rain even here in the desert.  Here are some pics of the thunderheads yesterday afternoon.  Here's the link to the Anza-Borrego blog:  ****UPDATE****We are having RAIN here in the desert!  FINALLY!!!  Real RAIN!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cali update

I thought I'd post an update about Cali's eyes, since several of you have asked about them.  My vet came out last week, sedated Cali, and scraped out the area under her right eye, where fly larvae were deposited.  She's had drippy eyes for a few weeks and when we were on vacation, Scout and the two horses next to her would rip off and tear her fly masks each night.  I went through 4 fly masks!  And, I mean, they completely ripped them apart...I'd come up the next morning and see Cali standing without her mask, flies all over her eyes.  My vet thinks her immune system can't fight them off, like Scout's can.  Anyway, he cleaned out her eyes, put an antibacterial cream on them, gave her some penicillin ointment, and put a sealant on the wound, and suggested I start her on garlic pellets.  Unfortunately, two of the horse supply stores in nearby Temecula are completely out of pellets until next week...I finally, in desperation, put on my last fly mask that I had, put a halter OVER IT, and the next morning, it was still on.  I checked her eyes today and they are dry and healing.  No more runny eyes and no more flies!  I always take the mask off, put some SWAT around her eyes, put some Neosporin on the sores, and then put the fly mask back on and then her halter.  I'll probably have to do this for the rest of the summer.  None of my other horses have a fly problem like Cali's!  Do any of you use garlic pellets?  Do they keep the flies away?  I notice they are pretty expensive...Do they work?  I may have to order some online as nobody around here has them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Scout's turn

Scout was next for her lesson.  She was patiently waiting by the corral gate for Maia to take her out for her weekly lesson.  I asked Maia to concentrate mostly on the two mustangs and Quad, since they are the ones with the least issues and MAYBE I can ride one of them soon, before the time change this fall.  Sunni is just too spooky and you all know Gigondas' issues...Cali seems to be the most promising for me, as she is so calm and patient.  Scout is actually the shortest horse of my five, but she's very spirited!

Cali saddled 072611

Cali was saddled for the first time yesterday and she didn't even buck!  Not once.  She was a very good girl...calm, relaxed, not afraid.  Maia lunged her both directions and she was absolutely fine with the saddle!  GOOD GIRL, Cali!  And, I can report that her eyes and looking much better.  She kept a fly mask on all weekend (I had put a halter over it so that Scout and her neighbors couldn't take it  rip it ! I did clean it out a bit, but it looks like it's healing nicely.  The vet had to scoop out the ...FLY LARVAE...which were in both eyes (he had to tranquilize her twice!) and he sprayed it when he was done with some kind of sealant so that they couldn't get back in the open sore.Unfortunately, due to a family crisis, I'm not going to get back there for a few days to work with either Sunni or Gigondas...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

horse shoes

I always love to look inside the farrier's truck and so, while he was working on Gigondas, I took a peek last week!  All the shoes are lined up so neatly!

Monday, July 25, 2011

snake question ***WARNING**snake photos~snake stick instructions needed

I have a question for either Mikey or Carson, over at the 7 MSN...HOW do I make a snake stick? One that I can REMOVE a snake from the road? This poor fella was run over by the time we drove by him over near Bartlett Lake, Arizona on Saturday. He was upside down by the side of the road, and as I walked over to him, the heat would have killed him if he hadn't already been run over...(can you see where he was hit?) Had he been alive, I would have moved him under a bush, but I don't have a "snake stick" like you guys have...can one of you PLEASE send me directions on how to make one? I husband and kids are rolling their eyes at me...they think I'm NUTS! I believe that this is another diamondback rattlesnake...please correct me if I'm wrong. I did NOT turn it over to check, but aren't those diamond shapes on its back?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gigo's turn

After Quad, it was Gigo's turn. I wasn't sure how she would be (since she had her "snit fit" for three weeks), but she proved that she CAN remember her manners! She was a perfect lady for the farrier and his assistant!~ She didn't move a muscle! And, look at what was going on around her! What a good girl (she CAN be good when she wants...) Look at the two goofballs, Quad and Sunni...aren't they hilarious?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Quad and the farrier

Quad, as usual, was a perfect gentleman for the farrier yesterday. I believe the farrier and his assistant worked on...14 horses? I lost count! It was a VERY LONG DAY and after I drove back to the desert, ran home, took a shower, packed my bag, and then drove for over 2 hours past the California border to Quartzite, Arizona! Phew! By then, I could barely keep my eyes open! Hubby wanted to get out of town and the only place we could find open was over here at Desert Ridge, outside of Scottsdale! Anyway, I have NO photos of Sunni because he was blowing marbles and acting like he was going to be eaten by the farrier. I had lunged him that morning, picked up all of his feet, told him to be a good boy, but he wasn't having ANYTHING to do with the farrier. Nope. No way! Fortunately, Solomon is very patient and calm and eventually got all of Sunni's feet done! Here he is working with Quad. He loves Quad! Sunni? Er. uh, not so much!

Off to Phoenix and fire in San Diego county

And, this one is a big one! It's already burned over 2,500 acres. It's located near Warner Springs, off Highway 79, which is the route from Aguanga to Julian. We've traveled that road many, many times on our way to Julian, the apple pie center of Southern California. Yes, fire season is upon could be a VERY LONG summer. The smoke followed us all the way over the Arizona border. Sorry for the poor quality of the photos! I got up to the ranch at 7:30 a.m. yesterday, to lunge Sunni before the farrier and vet came. I was outside ALL DAY until 1:30 p.m. Yes, I put on my sunscreen and hat, but it was HOT up there and I didn't bring enough water. By 1:30, all I wanted to do was get home and take a shower!!!!!! UPDATE ON FIRE: It is now over 4,000 containment. 072311 5:25 p.m.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Progress with Gigo

Gigondas, my big red TB chestnut mare, FINALLY turned and looked at me today instead of turning her BUTT to me! I've been going in her corral with my handy stick and, starting with her butt, rubbing her with it. It took me 3 days just on her butt and back. Then, I moved up to her withers. Finally, I made it to her neck. She wouldn't look at me at all, instead prefering to suffer in silence. She never nipped at me, never kicked, but instead, withdrew. I don't know what caused this...perhaps she was in heat? But today, she looked right at me and allowed me to halter her. I was very nervous (she's SO BIG!), but I remained calm and walked her around her corral, put on my gloves, and headed out to the wash rack. She let me brush her all over, even on her neck and face, so we headed up to the round pen. She calmly stopped and waited at the gate and then we turned around to close it. She waited patiently. (...applause...) I lunged her for quite a while..she isn't real good at walk, so I need to get her to SLOW DOWN!!! But, at least she got some exercise and remembered her good manners. So, I decided to take her down to the arena (with shaking knees...) and she stopped at the gate, quietly waited while I closed it, and I lunged her there. She didn't bolt at all! I worked her a bit, released her from the lead rope, and she followed me around. Finally, she walked off to roll. Hmmm....what a difference from the defiant, difficult mare she'd been for 3 weeks! I praised, praised, praised her all during the morning and when I last checked her, after about an hour in the round pen, she was quietly waiting by the gate to go back to her corral for a treat! Phew....the farrier and vet are both coming tomorrow and I really needed to get her haltered. Now, I don't have to worry about her!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oops! Quad shows some 'tude!!!

Maia, my trainer, thought Quad was ready to do his lesson yesterday down in the arena, so down they went. She was lunging Quad when all of a sudden, he blew up. I'm surprised that I caught it on my camera! It happened so quickly! He was trotting nicely when he suddenly bucked. And bucked. And bucked again. She thinks he took a deep breath and hit the cinch and it startled him. But, he quickly calmed down and continued his lesson.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quad's lesson

Quad is doing so well! I'm pleased with his progress. He can still show a little "tude", but he is much smoother going both directions now. He gets a lesson every week and today is lesson day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daisy takes a nap!

Daisy is our little orange and white tabby. I say "little" because she's very petite and only weighs 6 pounds! I was moving stuff around in the kitchen one day and getting ready to mop the floor when I noticed that she had crawled into one of my boxes for a nap! I didn't want to disturb her, so I put off my house cleaning :-) She's likely to show up at the front door in our July heat and come inside for a long morning or afternoon nap! Sometimes I find her curled up outside on our front porch, on top of one of our plastic trash containers, if it's in the shade! Don't let her small stature fool you~she's a cold hearted killer! I glanced out back a couple of days ago and she had a morning dove in her mouth! I was able to rescue one from Loki, our white male (who is about 15 years old)...(Daisy is about 13...) and it flew away, but Daisy had her jaws locked on hers and wasn't about to allow it to get free...sigh...All of our cats have quirks. Loki likes to swat people as they walk by. Daisy...well, I've explained how she's a cold-hearted killer, and Abby like to run off with my socks and stash them behind my chair in front of the tv! Patches, our calico, likes to sleep on my husband's pillow and will snuggle next to him at night. She's very protective of him and runs Abby out of the bedroom! Abby, however, will follow me around like a dog as I go from room to room...ahhhh...cats!