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 27, 2012

A tribute to fallen riders~San Juan Capistrano

I was surprised to see this tribute to fallen riders at mission San Juan Capistrano last weekend.  It's right next to the entrance of the mission.  There are quite a few names on it, including a former mayor of Palm Springs.  I think it is a nice gesture, don't you?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How about joining us for lunch???

Hubby and I headed over to San Juan Capistrano for the's hubby's birthday tomorrow and little Ben's, too.  We drove over the Ortega Highway Friday evening (I do NOT recommend this EVER!)  I was tired from dragging myself to school that day and the normal two hour drive turned into a 3 1/2 hour ordeal as we hit traffic in Temecula.  I was exhausted by the time we arrived at the hotel.  So, this morning, when the fog lifted, we went for a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway up to Laguna Nigel.  We turned back, stopped at Whole Foods in Laguna Beach, and then stopped at the AMTRAK station in San Juan Capistrano.  We found a restaurant where we had pasta for lunch and I heard the clip-clop of hooves on pavement.  I looked up to see this rider and horse visiting people along the way.  They were both very friendly.  That's hubby talking to the rider.  I didn't realize that the AMTRAK trains came in so quickly and stopped so briefly.  Man, they slow down, stop, and take off again!  There is a nice kids park across from the train station with alpacas, turkeys, hamsters, zonkeys (donkey/zebra) and a little kids' train.  Some weekend we'll bring the grandson and his parents down here with us for a weekend of fun.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ranch fence and gate~Friday Fences~022412

I found this pretty ranch fence and gate up in Garner Valley.  GV has 5 acre ranch sites and is on the way to the horse ranch where I board my herd.  I like the bottom one because it is unspoiled by tire tracks. There are a lot of interesting fences up there and they look so different in the snow.  We had a storm roll through last week and the snow was still on the ground last Sunday. Friday Fences for February 24, 2012. To visit FF, please go to:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello there!

This nice mare was boarded at the ranch where I board my horses for a couple of months.  Her owners moved out here from New Mexico and they needed to make a decent fence and feeding area for her.  She was very mellow and calm...sigh...Anyway, last weekend I was driving out Coyote Canyon (yes, that's the name of the road) and I spotted her.  I yelled and waved at her and she looked right at me.  Nice girl.  She is in her 20's, but solidly built.  I was glad to see her and know that she is enjoying her new home.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mexican wolves

So, yesterday I was standing by the Mexican wolf enclosure (which was empty at the time) at the Living Desert when I heard the trainer/keeper say she'd be right over.  I meandered through the bird enclosure to take a couple of photos and then joined the group of 3 other women.  Did you know that out of the wolf sub-species the Mexican wolf is the most endangered?  That's because its home range was the southwestern United States and Mexico.  Not too many places to hide in the open desert, it seems.  The Living Desert did have a captive breeding program and did release a few of its Mexican wolves in Arizona.  One was shot immediately and they quickly scooped up the last two and brought them back to the reserve.  I don't know what happened to those wolves, but these in the enclosure are both males.  Actually, they look pretty good.  The other ones were very thin.  Apparently these two guys have never actually made a live kill.  They don't have any role models to teach them how to kill.  The keeper was explaining that the reserve's wolves, once they leave the reserve, go to an intermediate location where they are actually taught how to eat live meat.  First, they are given dead (road kill) meat.  Then, a live animal is actually brought in.  The process takes a while, but wolves are incredibly intelligent animals.  Hubby and I actually stumbled upon one of the release locations in Arizona back in 2000, when the reserve WAS releasing some of its wolves.  From what I understood, as I was eavsdropping listening to the conversation, they now do this intermediate step BEFORE they release the wolves.  I honestly don't know if these two will be released, but next time I go there, I'll try to find out.  Aren't they beautiful creatures?  There is a wolf center about 2 hours away from us, the CaliforniaWolf Center, in Julian, and I would LOVE to stop there sometime.  Here's a link to their website:  The keeper also mentioned that these two wolves are totally not aggressive.  In fact, when she enters their enclosure, they both run to the furthest spot away from her!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Textures~Sunday Stills Challenge~021912

I packed up my camera this morning and headed over to the Living Desert Reserve here in Palm Desert to see what I could find.  I was intrigued by the footprints in the cement.  There are various animal footprints in the cement along the various walkways of the reserve.  It was a beautiful morning and I got there early before it was crowded.  I really enjoyed watching the Mexican wolves and the keeper was there talking to another group, so I listened in.  They are beautiful animals and it's a shame that so many of the released ones were shot or killed, but that's another story for another time.  Sunday stills Challenge, "textures" for February 19, 2012.

Friday, February 17, 2012

We got SNOW on our mountains!

A storm front moved in Wednesday evening and all our local mountains got a LOT of snow!  I haven't seen this much snow in a couple of years.  Certainly not last year!  This was a big storm and it's now moving over to Arizona and New Mexico, so look out!  I left for school early yesterday morning so that I could drive around and take these photos.  It's always interesting to see palm trees and snow!  Enjoy your weekend!

Friday Fences~Saloon~021712

As I was driving around Morongo Valley Monday, I spotted this restaurant/saloon with an interesting fence around it.  Morongo Valley is up Highway 62, toward Joshua Tree and I love the high desert up there. Because of its elevation, it is 10-15 degrees cooler than our low desert and they sometimes get snow, like this week.  However, folks up there have to truck in their own water (at least in Morongo Valley), so that gets real expensive! It's a good 45 minute drive up there from our house, but I love to just go up there and drive around.  Friday Fences for February 17, 2012. I didn't get a photo of the name of this place, so I guess I'll just have to go back!  To visit FF, please go to:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Clouds in the pass~SkyWatch Friday~021712

I saw these clouds this morning as I was taking my morning walk.  This is in the pass between our two tall mountains, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto.  Clouds and fog frequently pile up here in the pass and sometimes, when the desert is clear, they are backed up.  Our local mountains are ALL covered by snow and it was down to about 2,500 feet this morning, after last night's storm.  The storm has moved on (probably to Arizona, then New Mexico) and by Saturday it should be in the high 70's here.  SkyWatch Friday for February 17, 2012.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another storm coming

We had a huge storm here Monday afternoon.  I was actually up near Desert Hot Springs when I took this photo, which looks back toward the mountains across the valley up near Joshua Tree National Park.As I drove to school yesterday morning, the mountains surrounding the Coachella Valley were all covered with snow.  Another storm is moving into the valley today, with snow forecast down to 3,500 feet. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

So, how did you meet your significant other?  I met mine 41 years ago in college.  I came bipping around the corner of the liberal arts building, late for class one day in September, and there he was.  Our eyes met and that was it. It will be 40 years this June that we've been married..  We had 3 classes together that first semester, then the next one, we had more.  We married the following June, transferred to UC Riverside, and finished our last two years of college there.  I stayed on and got my masters degree after that.  He worked and supported us. It hasn't always been easy (I'll be the first to admit that), but now we are so comfortable with each other and can read each other's minds.  We do little things to help each other out and, like my grandparents, we keep an eye out for each other.  I no longer allow him to climb ladders and he won't allow me to mow the lawn any more!  We are started to talk about retirement and where we want to live.  He's come to accept that the horses will go with us, wherever we go (at one point, he wanted me to just continue to board them). We have 5 years to go before I retire, but he may retire before me (he is, after all, two years older!)...We both enjoy good wine, good food, and getting out into nature to take photographs.  HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, honey!  :-)

Homemade apple cake with frosting

I tried to get my daughter to switch around the numbers, but she refused.  Oh, well.  60 is a state of mind, right?  She made our favorite apple cake...moist and yummy! And, that's homemade powdered sugar/butter/cream cheese frosting!  I suspect she'll have to make another one for hubby's and the grandson's birthday on the 26th also.


My birthday is tomorrow and I'll have to head back to school (no school today...), so I'll be busy running around tomorrow morning TRYING to get organized.  So, the family had my birthday dinner Saturday night.  My aunt came, one of Jennifer's friends came, with her daughter who is 6, the grandson came, and the kids had a blast playing with toys from the toy chest and then watching "Finding Nemo".  It was a fun evening.  Unfortunately, the stomach flu is making the rounds in our family, and today I have a headache.  NO FUN!  I was going to drive over to Morongo Valley and Joshua Tree today, but I just read that CALTRANS (California state dept. of transportation) was out fixing potholes yesterday and it was taking people 3 HOURS (THREE HOURS) to drive 20 miles!  ACK!  No way am I going out on the freeway today!  Maybe I'll just stay home and clean the house...Pretty clouds on the mountain Saturday.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Looking at mom!

These two were waiting for me today up at the horse ranch.  It was windy and COLD up there!  My goodness!  I had a sweater and my long outdoor jacket on and the wind was coming right through my jeans and I was shivering!  I gave all the horses extra feed and some CocoSoya oil to keep them warm.  A storm front is moving in and it will be COLD up there tonight and tomorrow!  We are having my birthday dinner tonight at our daughter's house (it's actually on Tuesday, but everybody has to work that day!)


I'm getting ready to send this laptop over to our son so that he can have one.  I'm getting hubby's "old" one, which isn't that old.  I have a lot of photos saved on this desktop, however, and I'll have to pull them off so that I have them.  We also do have an external hard drive for ALL our photos and hubby has some kind of "cloud" photo storage system for another backup.  Anyway, I was going through some of the photos and I decided to post these, since I have no new pics.  I do have a 3 day weekend this weekend and next, so I'll hopefully get some decent photos of "the herd" in the next two weekends.  I don't know...the weather forecast for the mountains is light rain and wind today...sigh...  Hey, can anybody tell me how to make a collage out of these?  I don't have Photoshop on this laptop, so which program would I use?  That's Beauty in the top two photos, Beauty and Gigondas in the middle one, then Sunni and I, then Cali, Sunni and I (yes, I'm wearing an apron!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Desert sky and moon~SkyWatch Friday~021012

I was out in the desert last weekend, I was out by some of the horse ranches in this area and I didn't realize it was getting dark.  Parts of this area are pretty desolate and when I took the main road back into town, I saw the moon rising.  I didn't have my tripod with me, so this is SOOC without a tripod!  SkyWatch Friday for February 10, 2012.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mt. San Jacinto and ranch gate

I went driving out through another area of horse ranches last weekend since we had our family brunch.  The brother-in-law was in town, down from Gardnerville, and after our delightful breakfast, I drove out through the Indio Hills and Sky Valley.  I haven't been out this way for 6 months or so and the sun was setting quickly, but I managed to get some sunset pictures.  Along the road, a pack of coyotes was singing.  That's a sound we used to hear near our home, but with all the housing developments, we don't hear them anymore.  We also don't hear the trains running out along Interstate 10 either, which is a sound I miss.  Just too much darn development.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Breakfast (cooked)

I know you all are dying to know what the eggs from yesterday's Sunday Stills challenge were used for, so here are the results.  Some went into scrambled eggs.  The rest were used for ebelskiver!  And, there was also fresh fruit for breakfast.  Oh, and LOTS of coffee!  The grandson actually ate his strawberries and bananas, although he doesn't look too happy in this photo!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

liquids~Sunday Stills Challenge~020512

This week's challenge for Sunday Stills was liquids.  I figured everybody would do water, so I looked around today for something different.  Our daughter invited us to her house for Sunday brunch and fortunately, there were plenty of liquids around!  Sunday Stills Challenge for February 5, 2012.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cows and fence~Friday Fences~021312

Cow and fence up in the western Sierras.  I was going through my archived photos on our external hard drive since I no longer have photos on my laptop.  This was taken last June when hubby and I drove up the western side of the Sierras and drove up and over the Sonora pass to the eastern side.  Friday Fences for February 3, 2012.  To visit Friday Fences, please go to:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Do you ever feel like this?

This was Sunni who was kicking up his heels and self-exercising last Sunday.  Whoopie!  I usually feel like this on Friday afternoons!!!  How about you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Cali was an absolute brat on Sunday, when I drove up to the ranch to work the horses.  Yes, she's adorable, but she's also LAZY.  She wouldn't flex.  She wouldn't move her bod.  She did easily come to me (she probably thought I had a treat, but I didn't...). She kicked me in the thigh when I was picking up her back foot.  Fortunately, she hit the fatty part on my leg and it didn't even leave a bruise...sigh...with 5 horses ALL in training at the same time, it's difficult to get to all of them, especially in one day.  I worked with 4 of them Sunday, which was the most I've ever done.  I was sick again on Saturday and I'm beginning to wonder why I'm sick at least 1 day every weekend now...I'm really looking forward to the time change when we have more afternoon light, so I can drive up there after school and work with them at least one afternoon each week, but that's a while away.