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, December 31, 2012

Excitement on the mountain

We have a 3,000 foot mountain practically in our front yard.  Actually, it is about 3 blocks away.  It's massive.  And, it has a hiking trail called the "bump and grind" which is open to hikers all year.  Unfortunately, the BLM tried to shut it down due to the bighorn sheep, but they aren't ON the trail...they are sometimes seen next to it or even higher up.  A LOT of hikers from around the valley use this trail.  Occasionally rattlesnakes are seen on it and every once in a while, at night, we see lights on it (it is CLOSED to vehicles!)  Hmmmm....Anyway, once in a while a hiker gets injured, which is what happened two days ago.  I was home in the afternoon and I heard the thump, thump, thump of a helicopter over it.  That would mean only one thing:  another hiker was injured on the trail.  People have had heart attacks, sprained ankles, and falls on this trail.  A helicopter ALWAYS has to come pick them up and then race them to the nearest hospital, which is only about 5 air minutes away.  So, I ran out with my camera to take some photos.  Then, another helicopter, which turned out to be a CHP (California Highway Patrol) one made huge circles overhead.  I have NO idea what that was about!  It was a busy afternoon...If you click on the first photo, you can see all the people lined up on the trail, watching the rescue.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chasing rainbows again

I peeked outside yesterday morning and it was cloudy again up in our local mountains, but our daughter and I agreed to meet for some day-after-Christmas shopping after her doctor's appointment.  She let me know she was running late, so I did a quick run up the mountain road, chasing rainbows again.  Man, it was COLD up there!  Not only was it raining sideways, but the wind made it even colder!  I never got out of my car and I pulled over at a turnout to take this photo.  I raced back down the mountain to meet her and our son-in-law for breakfast and then did some shopping.  I was amazed that the stores I went too weren't that crowded.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rainbow and yucca

I chased this rainbow all the way down the mountain two days ago.  Another storm is moving in today and snow is forecast down to 4,000 feet, so that means the herd might get snow tonight!  Boy, it is COLD outside today!  The mountains are covered with clouds and I can't even see them!  Yes, the horses LOVE the snow and they run around in it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

A Christmas rainbow over Pinyon, where my friend Barb lives.  MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Party last night

The hubs and I went to a Christmas party last night at the home of my lesson instructor, Annette.  That's her horse, Riley, that I was riding this summer.  Her husband and mine used to work together, so they go way back.  They invited some friends over for dinner and a white elephant exchange.  That was really fun!  They cooked Puerto Rican food (from his grandmother's recipes) and it was DELICIOUS!  Oh, my!  Here are some pics from the party.  Oh, phooey!  Apparently I ONLY took photos of the desserts~ Imagine that!  I munched on the chocolate covered toffee on and off all evening!  I'm glad we went.  It was good to get out and mingle.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last day of school for 2012

Well, I survived the last day of school for 2012!  I had 9 kidlets absent yesterday. I only had 21 kids and one went off to another class' party, so then I was down to 20!  Whoo, whoo!  We didn't do much work...just some math puzzles, a couple of crosswords, and a January, 2013 calendar so that they know WHEN to return to school. A mother brought in 31 cupcakes for the class, which was very nice. I actually get 3 weeks off, so the kids don't come back until January 14!  That's LATE AND we have a holiday the next Monday (Martin Luther King's birthday).  Then, we have 2 holidays in February and then spring break in March.  April will be L-O-N-G and so will May...but, then SUMMER vacation will be here!  Our principal was very kind and invited all the staff to a party at the Yard House in Rancho Mirage, so I went because a colleague asked me to introduce her to red wine.  I found a nice Pinot Noir for her.  A bunch of us ordered chicken lettuce wraps, which were yummy!  Then I walked over to the Ben & Jerry's shop to buy hubby some fudge nut ice cream (since he stayed at home) :-)  Here's my friend and colleague, Kelly, enjoying her Pinot Noir!~ And a good time was had by all!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday's Fences ~ 122112 ~ cottonwood

There's a side road near where I board my horses and sometimes I just like to drive down it and see the views.  On this day, a storm front was coming in from the Pacific Ocean and clouds were hanging on the nearby mountains.  I always enjoy driving past this old cottonwood tree in the fall.  Isn't it interesting?  And, of course, I had to get the fence between me and the tree!  Friday's Fences for December 21, 2012.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


While driving home Sunday, I saw a flash of white in the sky, so I pulled over to take a closer look with my zoom lens and it was three pelicans.  PELICANS!  Over the Anza valley!  What in tarnation?  Then, I watched them.  They were so graceful.  They moved in unison, changed directions, and again, stayed in formation.  They were beautiful flyers!  I just sat there with my mouth open until I remembered that I could take photos of them!  Duh...Fortunately for me, they stayed pretty much in a circular pattern.  Then, I remembered there was a large water holding pond below them.  They must have either blown in from the Salton Sea or from the ocean.  The Anza valley is about 2 hours away from both locations.  Anyway, I'm glad they shared their flight with me.  They were so beautiful to watch!  Aren't they interesting?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Around the ranch

Another storm front was moving in Sunday when I drove up to the horse ranch for a horse visit.  I had to go to the feed store to buy bags of pellets, so I unloaded them.  It had rained that morning and snowed a couple days' prior, so everything was wet.  (see Gigondas' corral)...I gave the horses an extra scoop of feed just to keep them warm.  I also got a HUGE container of psyllium from a friend (Thank you, Hope!) and I ordered a smaller one to keep on hand.  I've been doing some reading and it seems that shredded beet pulp also helps to clear out sand.  Has anybody else read that?  I have a whole can of shredded beet pulp, but I hadn't been giving it to the horses, believing that psyllium alone would do the trick...apparently not.  I only have 4 1/2 more days of school, then I'm OFF for vacation for 3 weeks.  My district decided to extend the winter break because so many families go to Mexico for the holidays.  I've already had one boy check out and a girl is leaving tomorrow.  The mountains were pretty and the clouds moving in from Temecula were coming quickly.  It was misting as I was leaving and that's when I saw the rainbow over Sunni and Quad's corrals.  My riding instructor invited hubby and I to a little get together at her house on Saturday night and I believe we will go.  It will help the healing process.  She's a great gal (Thank you, Annette) and she helped me get back on a horse this past summer.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snow on our mountains

Our San Jacinto mountains got snow midweek last week.  I didn't drive up to the horses yesterday, but I'm heading up there this morning, after I drink my coffee!   :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Between storms

We had a storm move in Wednesday night and Thursday here in the desert.  It cleared Friday, but another storm, a larger one, is moving in.  I took this photo off Interstate 10 near Palm Desert.  I didn't hear about the Connecticut shootings until I was on my way home.  NOBODY said anything or even notified us about it during the day.  My heart goes out to the families there...and the innocent victims.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Photos of Idyllwild weekend

I must admit that it WAS nice to go up to Idyllwild again.  It's become our "home away from home".  And, this past weekend, the little town was all lit up for Christmas.  Shops had dangling white lights and the town's Christmas tree, which is HUGE, was all decorated with lights.  It was quite festive and busy up there.  Hubby took some time to relax on the front porch of the cabin we rented.  This was basically a large one-room cabin with a metal fireplace.  Believe me, it kept it nice and toasty inside.  Our son and grandson spent Saturday night with us and our friends Barb and Vince from Pinyon drove over to join us.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The end of an era...

Hubby and I stopped by the ranch Friday afternoon and again today (Sunday) to give the rest of the herd psyllium.  Cathy, the ranch owner, moved Scout down to a small corral across from Quad and Sunni.  It will be easier to make sure SHE isn't eating sand because they also moved down a rubber mat, which is now safely laid beneath her feeder.  She won't have as much room to roam, but I'd rather be safe than sorry and have her up there eating alfalfa off the sand.  No matter WHAT we did, the horses would either toss their alfalfa out of the feeders and eat it on the damn sand or, in Scout's case, she would grab it out of the big rubber tire (which had a rubber mat under it) and fling it onto the sand.  I just can't take the chance of losing another horse to colic.

Cathy saved me part of Cali's mane and I'm going to have it made into one of the memory vases so I'll always have her near me.  I also took a cutting of Beauty's, but I have misplaced it. I'm going to keep looking for it, but I put it in a "safe" place and now I can't remember that "safe" place...

Anyway, there are no horses in that corral any longer.  And, the mare next to them has been sent elsewhere, so those corrals will now sit empty and unused...the end of an era.  I've had two horses in that corral, and, at one time, even three, since the summer of 2007.  Now it stands deserted...I honestly don't think I'll ever put another horse in it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cali is gone...RIP sweet one

Sweet Cali is gone.  Apparently she had a rip in her intestines and was going into toxic shock.
Our vet came to check on her this afternoon and he made the decision to do this so that she wouldn't suffer any more.

I am so sorry to tell you this...

Cali was one of my two mustang fillies.  She was from Wyoming and, like Scout, was halter broke at a prison facility.  She was THE SWEETEST little thing you ever saw!  She loved everybody and everybody loved her.  She used to nibble on my hair.  She was in the process of being prepared to ride, as are all of the herd.  She would have been the perfect horse for our grandson to ride...

I'm going to need some time off.  I hope you understand.  This is almost too much to bear.

~~Cheryl Ann~~
If you wish, as a memory to Cali, please make a contribution to the rescue of your choice in her name.  I would greatly appreciate this.

Thank you.

Latest Cali update

I'm communicating with the ranch owner by email, since I was at school all day today...The latest update is that Cali is DOWN and breathing heavily...not good.  She hasn't passed manure or the mineral oil yet.  Our vet is coming soon to look at her again.

All I can think is, "WHY? WHY? WHY?"  Honestly, I just want to scream and cry...

Will keep you posted.

As some of you know, I lost Beauty 3 years ago.  This is just too much.

Cali is colicking BADLY

I got a phone call yesterday about noon from the ranch owner.  Cali was colicking.  BADLY...she immediately called our vet.  Cali is FULL of sand.  He didn't hear ANY gut sounds, her heart rate was very fast, and she was breathing heavily.  Plus, she was dehydrated.  He treated her with mineral oil, gave her some painkillers, and electrolytes.  Now she is in God's hands...

Please send your prayers our way.  She is a wonderful, kind, gentle soul who doesn't deserve this.  I am so upset I've only slept two hours last night...As of 10:00 p.m., she was down in the arena standing.  She isn't down or thrashing, so that's good.  The vet wasn't sure she would survive the night.

I probably won't be online at all this week as I have parent conferences and I was so exhausted over the weekend that I basically didn't get out of my pajamas the whole time.  I did NOT go up to the ranch because  honestly, I would have just been in the way and would have been a pile of tears.

Thank you and I hope to have good news later.  Please do send your prayers.