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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Riders on the Pacific Crest Trail

I pass a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail on my way to the horse ranch up in the mountains and today I noticed a lot of horse trailers at the local restaurant up there at the corner of Highway 74 and 371.  I wondered what was going on and on my way down I saw horses coming to the trailers on their way back from a ride on the trail.  Some of the horses were very eager to get back to their trailer and home!  I'm glad I got to see them!

Friday, March 30, 2012

morning clouds

This was the view yesterday morning as I went for my walk.  I am back walking my 15-20 minutes in the morning, even with my sore knee.  I just kind of drag it along with me...I'm taking a liquid glucosomine (sp?) supplement and it seems to be helping. It's not as terribly sore as it was and once I get walking, the joint seems to move a lot smoother.  Anyway, aren't the clouds gorgeous?  I never know what I'll see in the mornings during my walk.  One morning I ran into a group of 6 ravens who showed off their aerial skills for me.  Another morning, I saw a group of 6 huge jackrabbits!  They nearly scared the breath out of me!  But yesterday, it was quiet around the desert.  I only saw 2 ravens and a couple of cottontails.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Joshua Tree rock climbers

I could never be a rock climber.  First, I'm terrified of heights.  My hands get all sweaty just thinking about it.  Second, now that I have a sore knee...forget it!  But I love to see the rock climbers at Joshua Tree National Park and I always look for them when we visit the park.  Here are a few from last weekend.  What about you...are you a rock climber?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Miniature trains

The Living Desert Reserve here in Palm Desert has one of the most impressive and extensive collection of miniature trains.  The local miniature train club maintains the trains there and you can see small towns, farms, Indian villages and there is even a fire station.  It also includes a model of Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon, as well as a waterfall, complete with a tiny grizzly bear who is fishing for salmon!  It really is impressive and sometime I'll go back without the grandson (it's hard to take photos AND keep one eye on him!!!) and take photos of the entire thing.  It is a fairly large exhibit and there are always kids looking at the little trains.  Their detail is amazing! If you have a kid (or adult) interested in miniature trains, this is the place to take them!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Living Desert and grandson

We got to babysit the grandson yesterday and we took him to the Living Desert Reserve to see the trains.  He made a beeline toward them and spent some time studying them.  He also waved to them.  These are miniature trains and I'll post more photos of them later this week.  See Granddad and the little stroller?  HA!  I asked him to push it most of the afternoon because I was concentrating on handling my camera with my sore knee.  We did take him on the carousel again (his second time) and this time, he wanted to ride the lion and he had a blast!  Then, we went off to see the Mexican wolves (they were OUT and very visible!), then to the duck pond and back to the trains for one last farewell.  Next, we went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for pasta and ice cream!  Finally, he fell asleep in the car on the way to his house and he slept for ... TWO HOURS!  Phew!  So did Granddad and I!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Joshua Tree wildflowers and an ocotillo

We (hubby and I) drove all the way through Joshua Tree National Park yesterday.  Hubby enjoys driving up there, now that he has his $10 annual national parks pass!  Anyway, it was a cloudy day (another storm is rolling in), so we didn't get spectacular photos of the rocks, but it was nice to get away from home and enjoy the outdoors.  We stopped in Palm Springs for our appointment with our tax lady first, then headed up to the town of Joshua Tree for lunch at Applebee's.  It's spring break and EVERY campground in the park was FULL except the one all the way out to Cottonwood Springs, which is the eastern entrance. We saw quite a few rock climbers, but few wildflowers on the western side.  However, the eastern entrance is ablaze with blue, purple, and little yellow wildflowers!  And, the ocotillos are in bloom.  I always enjoy seeing them, with their red flowers.  I'm glad we had the opportunity to visit the park.  We are babysitting the grandson today, so we'll take him to the Living Desert to see the trains.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A view of the snow

Here's a view of our freshly-covered local mountains after Saturday night's snow storm.  I went for a brief walk (hobble) at my favorite walking spot, which is at the city-owned golf course.  It is up on a plateau and provides a unique view of the entire Coachella Valley, so I like to walk there in the mornings.  The ravens are out and about, the rabbits and multiplying, and I even saw a Cooper's hawk on this morning.  Unfortunately, my knee is preventing me from walking as much as I'd like, but I am going to try again this morning. I'm also going to my aunt's lap pool and walk it up and down this afternoon and I am hoping that will help my knee pain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring in the desert

The desert is brightly colored with spring blooms right now and they make a nice contrast to the snow-covered mountains.  I took these pics a couple of weeks ago.  The citrus trees are blooming, the acacias are blooming, an even some of the cacti are starting to bloom.  We are having an early spring here this year and the wildflowers are pretty much non-existent.  It's just been too dry and we've had too little rain...sigh...but there is always next year!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Transitions~Almond blossoms~Sunday stills Challenge~031812

A few weeks ago, up at the horse ranch, the almond trees were blooming.  They are all through blooming now, but I did manage to get a few photos of them while the blossoms were out in full bloom.  They only bloom a short while and I'm glad that I was able to see them this year.  I remember that I missed this spectacular show last year.  Sunday Stills Challenge for March 18, 2012.


We've had a huge winter storm move through the valley the last two days.  So, this morning, I drove hubby to work and I took some photos of the newly-deposited snow.  I finally decided to drive up the mountain road to see how far I could get (not very far...).  It started snowing again, so I turned around.  Chains were required further up and I didn't wish to get caught in the snow, so I returned home.  Everything looks so different in the snow!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A quick trip up the mountain

I made a quick trip up the mountain yesterday afternoon to buy pellets for the horses before the huge storm rolls in.  I was completely OUT of pellets for all the herd and I wanted to buy some so that they would have some extra calories because snow is forecast down to about 2,500 feet and they are up at 4,000 feet.  Believe me, the feed store was BUSY!  I went to my doctor Thursday afternoon about my right knee (it has been extremely sore for a week) and she thought it was arthritis and ordered an x-ray, some physical therapy for me, and a couple of days off work.  Hmmm...just what the doctor ordered!  Unfortunately, the anti-inflammatory medication she also ordered made me sick to my stomach yesterday morning, so I was pretty out of it. I will NOT take it again!  But by afternoon, I headed up the mountain.  These are just some of the photos I took as I drove around.  I can drive okay, without pain, but the minute I put weight on that leg, I nearly fall down.  I'm going to buy a knee brace today and hope that the brace will give me the support I need.  Anyway, here are some pics from yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just entry gates~Friday Fences~031612

Just some interesting gates around the desert.  Friday Fences for March 16, 2012. To visit FF, please go to this link: And, no, these fences aren't really to keep wildlife out.  They are purely decorative.  Frankly, I think they are to keep PEOPLE out!!!!

The calm before the storm

A major winter storm is moving into southern California over the weekend, with snow forecast down to 2,500 feet.  The horses are up at 4,000 feet, so they will get snow.  I have 1/2 day of school on Friday and I'm going to have to zip up the mountain that afternoon, get to the feed store, and buy pellets for all of them.  I hadn't realized that I was so low last weekend, and this will be my only chance before the storm hits on Saturday and Sunday.  We've had parent conferences this week, so Friday we get to leave at 12:30 p.m.  YEAH!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Herd update~March 12, 2012

All the horses are doing just fine.  My trainer came last Tuesday and took each one out and let him or her out into the arena for some "free time".  Apparently Sunni really kicked up his heels!  Unfortunately I awoke Thursday morning to extreme knee pain in my right knee.  I've NEVER had knee problems and I don't know what brought this on, but I took Friday off school, stayed on the couch, and iced it.  I am still hobbling around and when I drove up to the ranch today, I didn't take any of the horses out, since I didn't trust my knee to hold up well.  I cleaned out the mustangs' water trough and checked my feed supplies.  I'll have to purchase more feed this next weekend.  They all got brushed, but Quad seems to enjoy rolling in his pee pile and he is a DIRTY BOY.  I'll have to get to him next weekend.  I only have a half day Friday and with the time change, I'll be able to drive up there on weekday afternoons now!  :-) That's Scout and Cali and one of the Peruvian Paso mares next to them.  I know...look at the hideous upside down chairs! I'm REALLY looking forward to getting some horse time in from now through the summer!

Cali far and Cali close~Sunday stills Challenge~031112

There's the whole Cali and here's a part of her (her butt...) for this week's Sunday Stills Challenge.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Smooching with Scout

Hubby took this photo a couple of weekends ago, when we were driving home from San Juan Capistrano.  Scout and Cali, the two mustangs, are the most affectionate of all my horses.  Cali has always been a "people horse".  Scout, not so much.  She was very aloof at first.  But, I've discovered out of all my horses, she is the ONE who is the most sensitive to people's emotions.  A couple of years ago, a fellow teacher REALLY needed some "horse time" and I drove her up to the ranch.  Scout was the horse that tuned into her emotions and latched on to her.  She followed her around, smooched with her, stayed with her, and my friend had an amazing day!  Cali, of course, loves people, but she isn't as "in tune" with our emotions as is Scout.  I think someday Scout would make an amazing therapy horse.  She's getting a lesson every week now and I can't wait for this summer to work her myself!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Front fence and gate~Friday Fences~030912

Yes, I'm still on the prowl, checking out front fences and gates.  I found this one last weekend.  Isn't it beautiful?  I love gates with arches, like this one.  And, look at the old texture they incorporated!  I'm almost tempted to go out and tear down my old, wooden fence!  Friday Fences for March 9, 2012.  To see other fences, please go to:

Laptop working again (pulling out hair)...

Yes, my laptop is working again.  I left it unplugged for 24 hours and now it's working.  Hubby is off for 4 days and he will transfer all my photos to an external hard drive today and then I'll start using his other laptop, which has Photoshop on it.  Since PICNIK is closing down soon, I'll need to use another photo editing program.  I usually only crop my photos, but I guess I'll have to learn how to do layers and such... In the meantime, here are some pics from the last couple of weeks.