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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Desert pass

This is the mountain pass by Palm Springs, California.  I was looking down at it from Vista Point, which is a large turnout area up on Highway 74.  This pass frequently fills up with fog and clouds, like on this day.  While the desert may be clear, nearby areas like Banning, Beaumont, Yucaipa, Redlands, and Riverside.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The trees are starting to turn at the ranch~Mellow Yellow Monday~102912

The trees are FINALLY starting to turn yellow up at the ranch where I board my horses and on Saturday, I walked around to take a few photos.  Unfortunately, it was also a windy day, so I'm not sure how many of the leaves will be around next weekend.  Mellow Yellow Monday for October 29, 2012.  I'd like to say that if you are in the path of hurricane Sandy, please stay safe.  To visit MYM, please go to:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Silly boys!

And, WHAT are these two silly boys watching?  Guess!  Guess who is out in the arena, doing aerial ballet!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Woman rides alone through the Sierra Nevada

If you haven't read about this 64 year old woman who rides her horses and has 2 pack mules, it is INCREDIBLE!  Wow!  This is what I wish I could do...sigh...just me, Scout and Cali!  Here's the link:

I completely understand her emotional ties to the Sierra.  Hubby and I are going through "Sierra withdrawal" right now.  Yes, I ache for them.  I'm nearly in tears when I see photos of the Sierra in the fall...and after their recent snowstorm...

Read the article, when you have time!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ocotillo in the morning~SkyWatch Friday~102512

Last Sunday, I drove up Highway 74 early in the morning, about 7 a.m.  and this was one of my views from the road.  There are a lot of ocotillos growing along the highway, but there aren't many places to stop and admire them.  I did pull off and walk back to take this picture of the rising morning sun against one of them.  SkyWatch Friday for October 25, 2012.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

Horse gate~Friday's Fences~102612

I was driving around Garner Valley last weekend, looking for fall colors, when I spotted this gate.  Isn't it cute?  I love the horseshoes on either side of it, too.  Friday's Fences for October 26, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Just some pretty views of the pinyon forest~Nature Notes~102512

I drive through the pinyon forest every time I go visit my horses up in our local mountains.  A huge fire burned through this area when our daughter was in high school, so that would have been about 10 or 12 years ago.  I remember it because her best friend lived with her parents in a cabin right at the edge of one of the developments up there.  And, it was very scary for that family.  The fire burned right up to the edge of their property and then the firefighters made a stand and saved their house.  I often drive down the dirt road to their development (it now has a gate, so I can't drive in it...) and take photos, especially in the early morning or late afternoon.  I love the colors of the mountains at these times, as well as the view of the valley beyond. Nature Notes for October 25, 2012.  To visit Nature Notes, please go to:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Finally, some yellow trees~Mellow Yellow Monday~102212

The trees are just starting to turn yellow in nearby Garner Valley and I drove up there Saturday afternoon since hubby was working the afternoon shift.  You know, I hardly get up there in the afternoons.  A few years ago, I could work all day and zip up the mountain.  However, now that I've had this STUPID bronchitis, my energy level is so low, I simply cannot do this anymore!  So, it was nice to have a Saturday afternoon to drive around and see the beautiful trees, like these.  Mellow Yellow Monday for October 22, 2012.  To visit MYM, please go to this link:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mountain weather versus desert weather~Scenic Sunday~102112

You know, I NEVER really know what kind of weather I'll run into up at the ranch.  It's at 4,000 feet elevation.  I live at 224 feet elevation, in the desert.  Hubby had to work the afternoon/evening shift last night, so I had the afternoon free! It was about 85 degrees in the desert when I left.  So, about 4 p.m., I headed up Highway 74, toward Garner Valley to look for fall colors (found 'em!), and then over to the horse ranch.  I remembered that the owners said they would be gone yesterday, to a bird mart.  She breeds and sells birds to help support her horses.  Seems like everybody who has horses either has to work or have a side income, right?  Anyway, as I came down the hill toward the ranch, I saw a bank of fog off in the distance.  Okay.  No big deal, right?  WRONG!  That fog bank moved in so quickly, thanks to the wind, that in an hour, the entire valley's sky was overcast, the temperature dropped (and, believe me, it was COLD!) and the sun disappeared.  I fed the herd the last of their pellets (I'm returning today to buy a car load of pellets...) and as I was leaving the ranch, the owners drove in.  We chatted for a few minutes and they told me they hit RAIN  (yes...RAIN!) on their way back from the bird mart.  Of course, I had to drive further down the valley to investigate this!  Here are some pics I took of the fog/clouds moving in...I'm hoping when I return there this morning, I'll see the fog again.  However, it was NOT fun driving home through it.  It was drifting across the road and visibility at times was VERY limited.  And, it was DARK and COLD!  Last week I just threw some of my sweaters in my car and I'll probably need one this morning! And, yes, the desert was clear and warm when I returned.  No fog there!  Scenic Sunday for October 21, 2012.  To visit Scenic Sunday, please go to:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Scout and fall leaves

I actually took these pictures almost two years ago, in November of 2010.  You know, I'm so busy when I go up to the ranch that I really can't carry my camera around with me to take photos anymore.  I try, but I'm either cleaning out water troughs, or leading a horse (NOT good for the camera!), or giving a horse a bath!  And, since my horses are located on two different areas of the ranch (apart from each other...) that also makes it difficult because I don't want to put my camera down somewhere and have dust get all over it and inside it.  I did that with my old Nikon (which I still have) and when my husband took it to the camera store for cleaning, the guy told him, "WHERE does your wife keep her camera?  In a BARN?"  Yes, it was THAT dirty!  It had bits of hay inside it!  (...smacking forehead with hand...)!  So, now I'm VERY careful with the new Canon.  I leave it in my car.  However, I don't always park my car in a convenient place to go run and get it.  Nuzzling Muzzles, you understand, right?  Sometimes I put my little Nikon Coolpix in a pocket, but then I get so busy, I forget I have it!  And, it isn't good for close up shots...sigh...So, needless to say, I don't have many recent photos of the horses.  I do, however, have these of Scout, which show how dainty and feminine she is!  Just LOOK at those eyelashes!  And, her little nose!  I tell you, I love to smooch her on the nose!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ocotillo in the morning~SkyWatch Friday~101912

I spotted this unusual cloud on my way to school one day next week and stopped to take a photo of it, then spied the ocotillo, so I backed my car up and stopped.  We've had clear blue skies ever since, but clouds are moving in again over the weekend, along with lower temps.  SkyWatch Friday for October 19, 2012.   To visit SWF, please go to:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autumn is just around the corner! Our World Tuesday~101612

Autumn has been slow coming to our desert and mountains.  In the desert this week, we still have days of 95, 96, 97, even 99 degrees this week.  I spotted frost on the roofs of ranch houses up in our local mountains, but the ranch owner said that's the first sign of autumn up there.  They've had temperatures above the normal, too.  I did notice that the horses are just starting to get wooly, however, when the vet came last weekend.  Sunni, especially, seems to get a lot of winter fur.  I walked around the ranch in vain, looking for some yellow leaves, but I only spotted's just too darn early yet!  Our World Tuesday for October 16, 2012.   To visit OWT, please go to:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More around the ranch~Shadow Shot Sunday~101412

Pretty shadows on the porch up at the ranch.  I love these lanterns up there!  Shadow Shot Sunday for October 14, 2012.  To visit Shadow Shot Sunday, please go to:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vet visit today

I got an early start today.  Hubby had to be at work by 7 a.m. and I was out the door by 7:30...headed up the mountain.  I drove through Garner Valley, which is near where I board my horses.  Several houses there had frost on their roofs and it was chilly.  I drove over to the ranch where I board my horses and they were all peacefully eating breakfast.  I dumped and scrubbed the mustangs' water trough.  Today was actually the first day in a couple of months that I've had enough energy to do that!  Must be my new medication and inhaler!  I'm also taking multi-vitamins every day now and eating healthier food.  Anyway, the vet came about noon.  I had all the horses haltered, ready to go.  He did Quad first...Quad didn't flinch or move.  Then, on to Sunni, who was a bit dramatic, but not as bad as he has been.  It was over in a blink.  Gigondas didn't move.  She is a GOOD GIRL!  Then, the two mustangs.  Er...uh...Scout was "uncooperative"...not wishing to get poked by the needle.  Around and around she went, but she eventually got her shot.  Of course, then Cali, who watched Scout, decided to throw in a little drama, but it, too, was over in the blink of an eye.  I am glad all went well.  I always kind of hold my breath and really don't exhale until all 5 are done!  It was a beautiful, crisp, clear day today and I'm glad I was able to get out and enjoy it.  I'll return tomorrow to buy more pellets and some salt licks for the herd. Apparently there's some kind of horse cold going around...Quad had it a few days ago and Sunni has it.  The mustangs and Gigondas haven't had it yet because they are in a separate area.  It's gone from horse to horse down below in the separate pens, so it must be airborne or carried by flies.  He was off his food for a day or so, but the vet checked him out and said he was okay.

Just driving around Garner Valley

I came upon these guys again.  They were out eating their breakfast.  And, look at the pumpkins on this gate!  And, a hint of fall colors!

And, a health update.  I went to my own doctor who put me on a different inhaler and some steroids.  The mucus is SLOWLY drying up, but I still cough a lot in the morning...sigh...This is 8 weeks now that I've had this CRUD!

My vet is coming this morning to give the herd their shots, so I'll get more photos for the upcoming week.  FINALLY~some horse time!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sunrise~SkyWatch Friday~101212

I grabbed my camera and took it with me yesterday morning because we have a storm front moving through our valley and over our local mountains.  It was worth me spending an extra 15 minutes driving around to take photos of it.  I especially like this one, with just a hint of sun hitting the clouds.  SkyWatch Friday for October 12, 2012.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And how are the horses doing?

The horses are all doing just fine.  As you can see, they need a trim!  I took Cali's fly mask off last Sunday (finally)!  Our local mountains have a storm moving in today, tonight, and tomorrow, and they may even get a sprinkling of SNOW above 7,000 feet.  Wow!  That's really EARLY!  We are enjoying  MUCH cooler days and nights here in the desert.  It has been in the mid 90's and today and tomorrow should be in the 80's!  Whoo, whoo!  Autumn is here!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Valley view~Our World Tuesday~100912

Sometimes I just like to wander around the ranch with my camera and see what I can find.  It was a beautiful, clear autumn morning last Sunday.  The horses were finishing up their breakfast, so off I went to find whatever I could.  The roses are blooming along the fence, although a gopher got one of them!  The maple and sycamore leaves haven't turned yet, but I did see just a hint of autumn in some of their leaves.  I'll be updating you in the next few weeks as to their progress.  Our World Tuesday for October 9, 2012.   To visit OWT, please go to:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Just a little hint of autumn

I drove around early this morning searching for signs of fall up in our local mountains and found a few.    Only the first leaves of the aspen and cottonwoods are turning yellow.  I figure in a couple of weeks, more should be well along their way to fall colors.  It was good to get out and get up to the mountains for some mountain and horse time today.  I played with the mustangs and took off Cali's fly mask....put some SWAT around her eyes.  She's had the mask on since late May and it's cool enough now there aren't many flies up there.  It was a beautiful early autumn day and I'm so thankful I was able to get out and enjoy it!  I go to my doctor for a checkup Wednesday for the COPD, which isn't getting any better...sigh...I still can't do much right now.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friendly horses and fences~Friday's Fences~100512

These curious horses are down the street from the ranch where I board my herd.  They often are at the far end of the field, but they came over for a look last weekend.  Friday's Fences for October 5, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Almost fall!

No, the leaves haven't turned yet up at the ranch, but that time is near.  I caught this bunch of leaves last weekend.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nice day for a ride

Sunday was a beautiful day for a ride.  Not for me, but for the ranch owners, so off they went!  I bought pellets for the herd and SLOWLY unloaded them, not wishing to get winded from my bronchitis.  I managed to survive the day at school yesterday, but I fell asleep at 5:00 p.m. last night and slept until 4:00 a.m. today! I never really had dinner ... just a couple of pieces of toast and that was it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Not that's one cool dog!

Apparently we still have one last heat wave of summer before temperatures around here go back down into the 90's.  It was 107 degrees here yesterday.  That's just TOO HOT for late September.  And, we have about 3 or 4 more days of 100+ temperatures...sigh...Anyway, the weekend we drove to the cabin in Idyllwild, I spotted the cabin's resident dog cooling off in the koi pond!  Isn't he adorable?  Lady is settling in nicely.  She slept on our bed with us last night.  I wasn't able to take her for a walk yesterday, but I DID get up to see the horses.  None of them greeted me with a nicker when I drove up...sigh...they really haven't seen me for a good  2 weeks and they were munching on their breakfast.  Still,  it was eerie not to hear Quad scream or Sunni nicker!  They've forgotten me!  :-(