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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blue jays

I always enjoy watching the animals around us, wherever we are, and last weekend, there were blue jays all around the cabin.  I could hear them not too far off, so during one of our visits to the local store, I bought some peanuts by the pound.  It didn't take long for the blue jays to discover them.  I put them out on the porch wooden railing and they were soon squawking eagerly to announce their presence!  Soon there were about 7 or 8 blue jays after them!  They delighted us for the rest of the weekend and the grandson couldn't wait to put peanuts on the balcony railing every morning.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend in Idyllwild

Our family got together (grown children and grandson) for the holiday weekend and we all relaxed and had fun with the grandson.  We rented a 2 story cabin up in Idyllwild, CA, which is about 20 minutes further up the road from where I board my horses.  It's at about 6,000 feet with blue jays and scrub jays and deer!  In fact, a deer walked out in front of our daughter and son-in-law on their way up to the cabin and she had to slam on the car brakes!  (and slow down!)...Our son, girlfriend, and grandson came up Saturday morning as he got off work late Friday night.  We had two nights of BBQ and played Mexican dominoes and shouted and slammed our fists down on the table while playing !  (It's a very competitive game!) We never turned on the TV and I finished one book and read another one while we were there!  The grandson learned to put peanuts out on the balcony for the blue jays who discovered what suckers we were and appeared from sunrise to sunset!  Even two scrub jays showed up and then a couple of gray squirrels appeared to get in on the peanut action!  I took the grandson for some walks and he got to see some of the forest up there.  It was chilly Saturday morning...down to freezing and the trees were covered with frost!  Really eerie.  Sunday and Monday mornings were clear and sunny.  We had a fire in the stove every evening and that just added to the atmosphere.  I feel like I've had a week-long vacation and it was only 4 days!  We've all decided to do this again just as soon as school is over.  My school is out the latest.  We WERE going to drive to Arizona, but we all decided to save on time and gas money, so we each saved from $125.00 - $300 in gas alone!  The kids brought food and so did we, so we had sandwiches for lunch, and hearty breakfasts each morning.  Why is it that coffee always tastes so much better up in the mountains?  That's our daughter with their dog, Wilco and a scene of the frost on the trees Saturday morning.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Well, we had rain last night, but we are up in Idyllwild, at the top of a 10,000 foot mountain!  The clouds are hovering around this morning and moving through the trees and it is wonderful!  We rented a two story cabin which sleeps 10 people for the weekend and our daughter and son-in-law drove up yesterday afternoon.  We had a roaring fire going in the little stand-alone fireplace and it was delightful!  The grandson and his parents should drive up here to join us today!  There's a book sale at the library here in town and I want to go to that and take the grandson to the ranger station, which has an excellent display of animals.  I'll be posting pics either tomorrow or next week.  Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hawk on fence~Friday's Fences~052512

I spotted this hawk sitting on the fence at the old thoroughbred breeding farm, which is now a horse boarding facility.  He stayed there for a while until, in a flap of feathers, he was gone!  Friday's Fences for May 25, 2012. To visit FF, please go to:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday WARNING: Graphic snake photos!

I stayed home Saturday, since hubby was home.  Sunday morning, after he left for work, I fed the dogs, cats, and birds in the front yard.  They enjoy a morning and late afternoon feeding.  Anyway, I looked up and it was already 9:30 a.m. and HOT here in the desert (it was 107 degrees that day...).  I started to drive up to the horses and realized that I had laundry and errands to do at home and I really didn't have 3 hours to take out of my day, so I turned around to drive home.  I didn't get far when I saw a raven fly above my car with a snake hanging out of its mouth.  It dropped the snake right in front of my car as I was driving down the mountain, so of course, I had to go investigate.  The snake wasn't a rattlesnake.  Instead, it was some kind of gopher snake (I think...) and it was definitely dead, dead, dead!  There was a turnout not too far from where it landed on the road, but there was a lot of traffic that morning and I had to step onto the road and back off it several times to take these photos.  I wouldn't have stopped except that I actually saw the raven with the snake and now, with my newfound interest in reptiles, I had to take a closer look ***WARNING:  graphic dead snake photos****

Yes, it was dead.  I stuck around to see if the raven would come back, but during the short time I was there, it didn't.  I got home, came inside, turned on the air conditioner, and didn't go outdoors again.  Today it was 109 degrees.  It SHOULD cool off for the rest of the week, with temps down in the low 80's by Friday.  We are going to spend the weekend up in Idyllwild where hubby rented a 2 story cabin, with 3 bedrooms, and the kids and grandson will all come up for our 3 day weekend.  I'll have plenty of horse time then and won't be tired and cranky and rushed.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Some pretty desert sunrises

You know, I don't often post items on here about the desert or our local mountains because I have two other blogs which showcase those photos ( and  But, every once in a while, we get absolutely outstanding sunrises.  We don't get many gorgeous sunsets because we have the 10,000 foot Mt. San Jacinto blocking the setting sun in the west and frankly, we don't often get the right kinds of clouds to make a beautiful sunset.  However, mornings here in the desert, especially when I have palm trees in the frame, can be spectacular and breathtaking, like these.  I took these pics one morning as I was out doing my morning walk.  I'm now doing about 30-45 or even an hour's walk (like this morning)...I love getting out in the morning, before school, and having some time with nature's wonders.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nothing like a long sip of water!~~Cali

I filled up the mustangs' water trough Saturday and after I brought Cali back from the round pen, she headed straight toward it.  She LOVES water and she used to stand in the water trough!  Scout, er....not so much!  She doesn't like water and she doesn't like to be sprayed with my homemade fly spray.  It's been HOT here in the desert...107 degrees already in May a couple of days this week, so it's probably been up into the 90's up in the mountains where the horses are.  It's just too early for this kind of heat and everybody is exhausted and cranky!  I'm ready for some horse time this weekend!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Good day today and I finally got some horse time!

I've been drinking a dietary supplement instead of eating lunch this week and I've got to admit energy level is returning!  FINALLY!  Not to plug them, but here's their website:  Today was the first weekend day in MONTHS that I've actually had the energy to do the following:  brush both Cali and Scout,  take Cali up to the round pen for some R&R; take out Quad and take him down to the arena; empty out Quad's water trough ( was NASTY!), go to the feed store, buy and unload 4 bags of pellets, and clean out the mustangs' water trough.  All that in one day and I still had energy!  Of course, I came home and took a 1 hour nap, but, hey...I haven't been able to do this in MONTHS!  Oh, and I walked the complete outer dirt road by the golf course (didn't see any coyotes...sigh...) and walked for over 30 minutes this morning!  I really do attribute this to the supplement.  So, now instead of eating a big lunch and then having to TRY to teach math and digest a heavy lunch, I just mix water with my package of stuff and drink it, and go on my way!  I did eat some leftover chicken on Thursday and I felt sluggish all afternoon.  I bought some single packets of the Vanilla Chai one, but I think I'm going to order it online and save some money.  I even pulled up a chair and sat with Sunni for a while.  He was a little put off by my sun hat and I wanted him to get used to it.  The horses are all fine and their hair is coming out in globs.  I didn't brush out Sunni, Quad, or Gigondas.  I did wet Gigo down with the hose as she enjoys that.  She always rolls right after that!  Quad was BEGGING me to let him out of his pen!  He stood right at his gate and came up behind me and nuzzled me, so I knew he wanted some exercise.  Man, he took off running, kicking, snorting, and bucking and farting!  Then he settled down to eat weeds!  So, it was a good day for all of us.  I won't be able to drive up there tomorrow morning as we are having a family Mother's Day brunch...maybe later in the afternoon?  The clouds were amazing today and I'm hoping that tomorrow we'll have some high clouds again.  Here's nosy Scout. She still has a lot of hair to be brushed out! But, I'm proud of her.  When I haltered Cali to take her out of the corral, Scout didn't crowd me at all.  She stood quietly and let me take Cali out (I nearly FAINTED!)  Scout has come a long way in her manners, and I can't wait for school to be over this year so that I can spend the summer with them and work them myself.

Gigo and me

Hubby came along with me last Sunday.  We drove up through Garner Valley and then up to Lake Hemet.  On the way back, we stopped to see the horses.  Of course, Gigondas was all ears toward hubby!  Look how perky she is for him.  She could have cared less about me, but she's always had a soft spot for my husband!  He can do anything with her and she's happy!   Silly girl!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bees, bees, everywhere!

 Yesterday morning hubby called me at school.  That by itself is unusual as he knows I'm in class and I cannot talk.  so, he also sent a text..."bee swarm above front door.  Be careful."  I had heard bees buzzing before I left for work.  I thought they were up in our mesquite tree, so I looked that morning.  I didn't see any in the tree, so I figured I was hearing things (...again...).  Nope.  Not this time!  By the time I got home, yup...there was a HUGE swarm right above our door and we had to dodge bees to get into our house!  Hubby actually had one fly into his mouth!  He promptly spit it out and ran in and slammed the door shut.  They weren't agressive at all.  In fact, I went out and fed the cats and gathered up all the birdseed and bird feeders figuring that hubby was busy calling an exterminator.  Instead, he called an actual beekeeper who came in his white outfit, complete with his fogger!  The old man smoked the bees, vacuumed them all up, put up a bee deterrent in the hole in the attic wire mesh where they were getting in, and said he'd return in a week for a follow-up because there were so many!  He put the bees on his front seat and then asked us to tell him about our mustangs!  It turns out, he has a 38 year old mustang!  The horse is out in a pasture in Banning, CA, on Indian land!  Isn't that amazing?  So, we talked with him for about another 1/2 hour (it was getting dark by then).  He only has one assistant, a woman, and he just helped her get her first horse!  He actually asked me if I wanted to give him one of my mustangs, so which I replied, "HELL NO!" (...shaking head...) My mustangs? Er, uh, NO WAY!  I looked this afternoon and every single bee is GONE!  Phew!  I am glad they weren't the African ones.  Those he said he does kill because they are just too agressive.  Oh, and he promised to bring us some honey from the bees he has already collected.  In fact, he asked which kind of honey and hubby said tamarisk honey because our son has allergies and since we have so many tamarisk trees in the valley, we figured that would be best to give to him!   :-)

Monday, May 7, 2012

"Q" is for "quirky"~ABC Wednesday 050812

We have a scrub jay who now inhabits our neighborhood and it is the third year of his residency near us.  He SHOULD be up in the pinyon forest, which is on the highway, along the way to where I board my horses up in our local mountains.  I've never, in almost 3 years, been able to capture a blue jay with my camera until this past weekend.  Hubby and I were out for a walk in an area nearby the horses, but further up the mountains.  It's a quiet and peaceful place and one jay just kept following us and hounding us.  You know how jays are!  They are inquisitive and noisy!  Finally, this fella landed in a tree and posed long enough for me to photograph him and then, in a blur, he was GONE!  ABC Wednesday for May 9, 2012.  To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to this link:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Both are okay, but...a VERY scary day yesterday!

Both Bill and Safari are okay, but both had a scary day yesterday. Bill and Cathy own the ranch where I board my horses and Safari is Bill's trail riding horse and show horse.  Bill was out on a 3 day ride in Orange County.  Somebody had gone out on the trail last week and it was fine, but it rained there this past week.  Safari is his riding horse, the beautiful Peruvian Paso on the right.  I like Safari.  He's a level-headed horse and doesn't panic.  That's probably what helped save him.  The riders were on the trail and the horse in front of Bill went down the canyon when the rocks on the trail gave out.  Bill and Safari were next.  Bill bailed off Safari and down the canyon Safari went.  The two other horses behind Safari also went down the canyon.  One horse died of its injuries (not Safari) and was so badly mangled that it was dead before it landed at the bottom.  Safari apparently landed in a tree!!!!!!!!  Bill slid down the canyon on his butt to check out his horse (I'm not sure yet now Safari got out of the tree...)  Apparently Safari has some pretty bad cuts.  Cathy is leaving this morning to go check on Safari (and Bill)...notice...the horse comes FIRST!  You just never know...sigh...I'm so glad that they are both okay.  Facebook has a sstory about the rescue and if you look, Safari is the palomino being airlifted out.  Notice how calm he is.  He is a good horse and I'm glad he survived.  Here's the link to the story:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why I love the desert~SkyWatch Friday~050412

Look, I admit it.  I don't ALWAYS love the desert.  I especially don't love it in July and August...sigh...I don't love it when I have to run the air conditioner straight 24/7 for 4 months of the year because of the heat.  I don't love it when I go fo my morning walk at 6:30 a.m. and it is already 80 degrees.  But, on mornings like this, I LOVE the desert!  SkyWatch Friday for May 4, 2012.  That's looking up at the Santa Rosa mountains, south of Palm Desert, CA.  In the summer months, monsoon clouds will come up and over those mountains and we'll get most of our yearly rain.  Thunderheads will gather, but that's still a long time away.  To visit SWF, please go  to this link:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mountain lupine~Nature Notes~050412

I was driving around Garner Valley last weekend and I spotted several groups of lupines.  These are mountain lupines, which are very different from the ones down here in the desert and up on the lower elevations of our local Santa Rosa mountains.  The desert ones have had it with the heat and are slowly drying out.  The mountain ones, however, are full of color and are just now blooming, especially after last week's rains and those from the week before.  The mountains have had a lot of rain lately, even though the desert hasn't.  Aren't they beautiful?  I love lupines!  I hope to see more this weekend when I return to visit my horses.  Nature Notes for May 3, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to: