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, November 30, 2011

Dear Mr. President

I am extremely UPSET and DISAPPOINTED in your action over the Thanksgiving holiday, allowing, once again, the door to open for horse slaughter here in the United States.  Having 5 horses, all rescues, this is extremely disheartening to those of us who have dedicated our fortunes, our lives, and our efforts to prevent this. 

I wasn't going to comment on this today, but I'm just so darn UPSET and DISAPPOINTED in President Obama that I had to.  This just isn't right.  It is a slap in the face to those of us who worked so hard to prevent this.  Obama will NOT get my vote next year.  PERIOD.  Yes, this issue is this important to me!  He can pardon a turkey, but sentence thousands of horses to their deaths?

Here is a link to an excellent article:


Monday, November 28, 2011

See ya!

One minute he was standing patiently with my trainer, Maia.  Then, she quietly slipped off the lead rope.  Quad stood there for a minute, blinked his eyes, and took off, bucking and kicking!  He was feeling G-O-O-D!!!!!  Silly boy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Horse time today

So, my friend Susan and I went up to the ranch today to brush the horses.  Susan REALLY needed some "horse time" and I always enjoy her coming with me.  She's an experienced horse woman herself, but doesn't have any horses of her own right now, so she enjoys coming up with me and helping. We started with Scout and Cali, the two mustangs.  They both got brushed and got lots of lovin'!  I decided to take Scout up to the round pen, giving Cali some time in the corral by herself.  Scout walked next to me nicely and I rewarded her by letting her eat some of the grass by the round pen.  She had quite a long time in the round pen.  Next, we did Quad.  He kept moving off his mounting side, so Susan just kept on grooming him on that side and talking to him.  He finally stood still and I took him down to the arena for some R&R.  He enjoyed his time there.  Unfortunately,when I went to bring Scout back down to the corral, she decided I was walking too slowly for her taste and ran by me, knocking me on my sore shoulder (from my fall up at Mammoth)...I dropped the lead rope and off she went!   She only went next door, to the two mares, and stopped.  Fortunately, Susan was able to go get her and she made her do circles around her.  She went peacefully back into the corral (THANK GOODNESS!).  I had to stop and buy some rice bran for the herd, and some salt bricks, so we passed out the salt bricks and some pellets and all were happy and content.  It was quite breezy up in the mountains, so I didn't take Sunni or Gigondas out.  Here are some pics from today.

Sunni's lesson

I was up at the ranch on Tuesday for the horse lesson for Quad, Sunni, and Gigondas.  Sunni has made a LOT of progress since August.  He's much more relaxed and trusting.  It's good to see him trust another human! Maia is very calm and patient with all the horses and Sunni really responds to it.  I remember one time a farrier came out to trim their feet.  He did tried to trim Sunni's feet, got the front ones done, and started to work on the back ones, but Sunni kept moving off.  He got very confrontation with him and started barking commands.  Sunni's response was to rev up his anxiety get the picture.  It was a nightmare.  Needless to say, after that, I switched farriers.  I LOVE Solomon, who speaks quietly to the horses and who has a very calm demeanor.  What a difference!  Anyway, Sunni now stands quietly at the tie rack, doesn't pull back, cocks his back leg, and just chills.  Phew!  I think, on his part, that some of his new-found behavior is just maturity.  Mikey, am I right? He responds very well to Maia, doesn't freak out, so she's going to restart him on his saddle training.  My cousin started him on his saddle training a year ago, but then she went up one day BY HERSELF, saddled him, started texting on her phone, and he crow hopped and she landed on the round pen railings.  Oops!  That was the end of his training with my cousin...back to square one.  Maia is taking it a lot SLOWER with him this time.  She's told me, "There's a difference between an agressive and a fearful horse.  I'd much work with an agressive horse.  At least then, you know what you're dealing with."  Unfortunately, Sunni is a fearful horse...therefore you never REALLY know what he's going to do.  We are hoping that all her desensitizing (and my work, too) is helping him get over his fears, but who knows?  So, my question to my horse friends is this?  Do fearful horses EVER get over their FEAR?????   Here he is during his Tuesday lesson and having a nice roll in the dirt.  See the difference between his "before" (muddy) pic and after his brushing?  I have a friend coming up with me this morning to help groom and walk ALL the horses.  Whoo, whoo!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Scout and Cali baby pics!!!!

I was going through my archives this morning and I found these photos of Scout and Cali, as babies.  I'm sure I posted these back in 2009, but that was a long time ago!  These photos were taken when they first arrived in California from Wyoming.  They were halter-broke at a prison facility there and then put up on a BLM online adoption.  Hubby bid on them and won and then contacted another two gals, both rangers up at Yosemite National Park, to bring them down to us in Lancaster (when we were boarding our horses there) on their stock trailer.  They had bid on two horses, the sister to Scout, and the brother to Cali!  That way, we all got our horses and they got some extra money for hauling Scout and Cali to us.  We actually went up and visited them in Mariposa, CA one time!  Aren't they adorable?  And, look how fuzzy they were!  And, look how light Scout was!  She now has her winter coat and it is DARK!  Yes, that's me feeding our other horses and then introducing Beauty to Scout and Cali.  She was always very patient with them!  They were yearlings when they came to Southern California from Wyoming.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gigo's progress

I'm very pleased with the progress that all the horses have made with my trainer.  Gigo has come a long way and it's good to see her trusting Maia.  She also seems to enjoy being with me more, too, and that's REAL progress!  She's never done anything bad~never kicked, never nipped. But, to actually see her relate to another human is a big step for her.  Maia can now brush her face all over and she actually enjoys being groomed.  She let out some real big sighs.  Here are some of the photos I took of Gigo and Maia, my trainer, on Tuesday, during her lesson.  She got some free time in the arena and didn't run, but calmly walked off to eat weeds! 


Quad was feelin' good on Tuesday and, after his lesson, he had some free time in the arena.  He stood for a few seconds after his release, then realized he was free, and took off running.  It's good to see him getting some "weed time".  After all the rain and rain and rain, look at all the delicious weeds that are in the arena for the horses!  When I went to get him and take him back to his pen, his breath smelled like weeds!  Silly horse!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Horse time FINALLY and a lesson today!!!!

Oh, my gosh!  I don't even remember the last time I was up at the ranch for a lesson with the horses....August?  It had to be because school started August 22nd...where has the time gone?  The horses are ALL doing well.  They all now stand quietly at the wash rack with their lead rope wrapped around...except for Scout.  Scout apparently always tests the lead rope and will walk off and eat weeds...sigh...My trainer worked with Gigondas, Sunni, and Quad today and I noticed how much softer all their eyes were.  Sunni stood quietly at the wash rack and didn't move.  That's a big deal as once he went backward and broke his halter a couple of years ago!  Quad stands quietly, too, instead of pulling back.  And, Gigondas stands there quietly.  That's a LOT of progress!  They all trust Maia, my trainer, who is very patient and calm with them (see pics).  If they make a mistake, she takes them back to where they were and they do it again.  No punishment.  She has worked with Arabs and thoroughbreds, so their shenenigans aren't anything new to her.  I'm pleased with their progress.  Unfortunately, it has rained and rained and rained up in the mountains and everything was covered with frost this morning, so she only walked them and did a slow trot with each of them up in the round pen.  The ranch owner is going to set up a trail obstacle course in the round pen over the next few weeks so that all the horses can get used to tree trunks, tires, and plastic bags, all of which they will encounter out on the trails. I'll be posting pics from today over the next few days as I took a lot of photos today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Roses in the park

I frequently head over to our neighborhood civic center park and walk among the rose bushes there, since I CANNOT grow any roses myself.  I've tried.  And tried.  And tried again.  I've tried bareroot, I've tried roses in cans...I CANNOT grow a single rose...sigh...So, off to the park I go and admire theirs!  My neighbor next to me has beautiful roses, but every single rose I've planted over the last 35 years has died.  I finally just gave up and I've accepted my fate as a roseless yard.  I just go enjoy somebody else's roses, like these.  Aren't they beautiful?

Morning walk~Desert Yellow~Mellow Yellow Monday~112111

I've been doing my morning walk faithfully before school each morning.  However, I'm off school for this entire week (complete with two furlough days...sigh...) and I probably won't drive out that way.  It's right on my way to school, but since I'm home, I think I'll walk instead up at the Santa Rosa mountain visitor center.  It isn't as long a walk and I won't have the beautiful views of the valley, but it is closer to my home in the desert.  Our mountains did get additional snow last night and we got some rain here in the desert, so I'm anxious to get out this morning and see the views.  Enjoy your day, too! Desert yellows and Mellow Yellow Monday for November 21, 2011.  To visit MYM, please go to:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

ACK~snow advisory today!!!

Well, I guess I won't be driving up to the horses today.  There is a winter snow advisory from noon on and we're going over to our daughter's for breakfast this least I have the whole week next week off from school! 

We took the grandson to the Living Desert Reserve here in Palm Desert yesterday.  At least it was a sunny day!  We had him all day because both of his parents had to work.  We went to the Living Desert, took him to the park to feed the ducks, then drove him over to our daughter's house because we had a family dinner planned.  This is what he thought of his day... (see photo)...WHO SAYS we can't wear out a two year old?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fence and porch~Friday Fences~111811

I found this fence and porch while driving around Garner Valley, which is near the top of the Santa Rosa mountains.  It isn't far from where my cousin Valerie lives.  I like this little community because it has interesting houses and fences and it's very friendly.  In this little working-class community, people are down to earth.  I always try to drive through it on my way to the horse ranch each weekend.  Hubby and I will have the grandson on Saturday and I think we'll take him to the Living Desert Reserve to see the trains.  They have a nice, large exhibition of running toy trains there which is maintained by the local railroad enthusiast club and considering that both hubby's father and grandfather worked for the railroads in Pennsylvania, you'd THINK he would be there every weekend. Friday Fences for November 18, 2011. To see more Friday Fences, please go to:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

next week~~

Next week, I have the WHOLE week off.  Of course, two of the days are furlough days, which means I don't get paid, but I NEED a break!  It's been a LONG 13 weeks of school and I'm ready for some "horse time"!  As some of you know, I have a rough group this year.  I also have 29 kiddos and I believe that at least 8 of them are either ADD or ADHD.  I've filled out the paperwork for them to receive extra services.  However, a 2/3 combo is needed, so I volunteered....(smacking hand on head...) I would lose 9 kids and get in 9 second graders.  It MIGHT help to calm down the class (...crossing fingers....)Hubby and I were going to drive over to Arizona for 3 days, but, after talking last night, we decided to stay home.  MORE HORSE TIME for me!  Plus, I need to rent a rug cleaner and do all our carpets.  Our older German Shepherd has...well, a leaking problem.  He doesn't mean to, but he sometimes dribbles.  He's a really nice, mellow, kind-hearted dog and I hate to leave him outdoors at night as it has been cold here and he doesn't have much hair.  So, I let him pretty much take over my blogging chair and at some point, I'm going to need to toss the chair...So, we'll stay home, I'll rent a rug shampooer one day, visit the horses, go up for a lesson with them on Tuesday, and then we'll stuff ourselves silly on Thursday.  Oh, and regarding my walking...I've already dropped a size!  My pants are all now loose and I can see a visible difference.  Whoo, whoo!!!!  I don't eat any snacks anymore and I eat smaller portions. So, it looks like next week will be a busy one at home and with the horses! Photo taken on my favorite side road up in the pinyon forest of our local mountains.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

wet horses and road

It was raining up at the ranch on Saturday.  And, this was in addition to the rain they'd had up there earlier in the week.  Water on top of water....The horses were all soaked and Quad has now pulled off his automatic waterer and flooded his corral.  Oye vei!  But, by afternoon, the clouds were disappearing to head on over to Arizona and New Mexico!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Healdsburg~This is for you, Hope!

Dear Hope,
I was going through my archives tonight, looking for some photos of the vineyard in the Napa Valley when I came upon these photos I took back in 2008, which was the last time we were up your way.  These were taken at the Costeaux bakery in town.  Enjoy and maybe we'll see you there soon!

Come on!  WHO can resist a good French bakery?  Breakfast with latte anyone?  This place is UNBELIEVEABLE!  Yum, yum!  It's in Healdsburg, which is near the Napa Valley.  We drive up there for Christmas about every 3-4 years as my sister-in-law lives up there and has 10 acres of Merlot.  I'm not sure if we are going this year, but I love to wander around the vineyards and look at the vines and left over grapes!