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, January 31, 2013

Now THAT's an entry gate~Friday's Fences~020113

I don't often drive by this place up in Pinyon.  It's actually off the road that I take to visit my horses each weekend.  But, sometimes I just like to drive around and see what everybody is doing.  I have two friends who live in Pinyon and I like to stop by and visit with them.  This massive gate and entrance is on the road by one of them.  Don't you love it?  Friday's Fences for February 1, 2013.   To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In the solitude I find peace...

I enjoy my trips up to the horse ranch, but I often stop along the way and drive through areas of the pinyon forest.  It is on the way to the horse ranch where I board my horses.  I find a certain inner peace there, which I especially need after a LONG week at school.  Yesterday my class had 4 students out sick, and two more went home sick later in the day.  That's 6 kiddos out with the FLU~gasp!  You should hear all the coughing! It's a miracle that we get anything done!  And, now I've got a sore's only a matter of time before I come down with it, too.  And, I'm OUT of sick days already!  :-(  So, I will need to stop and see more spots like these to help my mental state!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Transformation~Our World Tuesday~012913

Friday and Saturday and even Sunday our desert world was transformed into a magical, mystical world.  When I lived near Los Angeles, we used to call it "June gloom".  We don't often get this kind of fog here in the desert, so, of course, I had to run out and take photos of it!  I believe it has been a couple of years since we've seen so many low clouds.  We certainly didn't have this last winter.  The desert changed from a harsh, dry environment so one of wonder, with clouds hugging the mountains and caressing them.  I spent 3 hours out and around Saturday morning, marveling at this new world!   :-)  Our World Tuesday for January 29, 2013.  We had gorgeous high clouds yesterday, then a break, and then another weekend of clouds and rain. To visit OWT, please go to:

Monday, January 28, 2013

At the park

So Saturday morning I headed out with my camera, eager to take photos here in the desert of the low lying clouds.  There were plenty of them hanging on our mountains.  I didn't even drive up to the horse ranch all weekend.  It was just too rainy and I know they are in good hands.  I drove down to our local civic center park, which is only a couple of blocks from our house.  There was a gentleman there feeding the ducks and now there's a white goose (Seymour).  I noticed that he was feeding them Cheerios, so I tagged along and ended up talking to him (Ron) for a while.  Apparently he comes every morning to feed the ducks and goose and Canadian geese.  I was intrigued by Seymour's body language.  Since he is so tall, he towers over the others ("see more") and can easily intimidate them.  If I have time, I'll stop by there this morning and see is Seymour is getting his breakfast.  Yesterday I just stayed home and cleaned out some things in the garage.  I was pleased to find some school supplies out there that I can use.  Then we were invited to our daughter's for spaghetti dinner!  :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fog and RAIN!!!

We had over 24 hours of steady, tropical (warm) rain here the last few days.  It soaked everything in our yard, including the bird seed feeders.  The poor birds were quite confused!  I also had left a bag of books which I was going to donate to Goodwill out on the front porch...yup...pretty much all were ruined.  :-(  I hate to waste good books, so I read them, and donate them.  I didn't even drive up to the horses yesterday and they have MORE rain forecast for today, so I may not get up there all weekend...sigh... I did, however, go to our local library here in my town (I actually have a library card for Rancho Mirage, but not Palm Desert) yesterday.  The city and county have been renovating the Palm Desert library for several months and it just reopened this week. I hadn't been there for several years and I'd lost my card, so I got a new one. They added a whole bank of computers and they have expanded the children's room.  Unfortunately, they suffered a theft of their copper wiring, and that set them back for a few weeks.  But, now the library looks BEAUTIFUL!  And, it is open 7 days a week!  Isn't that wonderful?  Is your local library open 7 days a week?  Oh, and it is next to the College of the Desert library, which means that I can also check books out from that library as long as they aren't textbooks on hold!   :-)  YEAH~MORE BOOKS!  I'm eagerly waiting to check out a book on the history of the Plantagenets, since I have several family lines which go back to them and the book I want is at the college library.  I'll stop by there during the week and get it.  So, yesterday was still WET and SOGGY here in the desert.  There were clouds hanging on our mountains, so up the mountain I went with my camera.  We don't often get the kind of low clouds here in the desert that we had yesterday.  In fact, I believe it has been a couple of years since we've had any like this!  This storm system was a tropical one, so there wasn't any snow in our mountains and the air was too warm.  Our desert and mountains got a good soaking, and they need that.  I can't wait to see our wildflowers this spring, so that is another reason why this storm was a good thing!   :-)   Here are some pics from yesterday.  Aren't the mountains beautiful with the clouds hanging on them?  Enjoy your day.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ranch fence~Friday's Fences~012513

I love to watch this ranch fence up at the horse ranch change throughout the year.  Right now the plants on it are dormant and the sycamore trees are losing their leaves.  But, in spring, the fence will have yellow flowers and the sycamores will have new leaves.  Friday's Fences for January 25, 2013.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Ranch and sky~SkyWatch Friday~012513

I often take this same photo at various times of the year.  This fall these trees didn't have as much color as last year.  And, this is how it looked just a couple of weeks ago.  I like the clouds in the sky.  There weren't too many that day, but there were just enough to make the sky interesting, don't you think?  Today and for the next 5 days, it will be overcast as we have two storm fronts moving through our mountains.  SkyWatch Friday for January 25, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I didn't go anywhere yesterday.  My two days of excursions wore me out!  So, in my pajamas I stayed until late afternoon, when I finally got dressed and went out front to do some weed wacking and then some leaf raking. I also power washed the front porch because there were tons of leaves on it from a wind storm a couple of weeks ago and I just never got around to cleaning it up!  It was such a lovely afternoon~about 78 degrees!  :-)  I find that I do need 1 day off work and chores a week now and yesterday was my day off.  I guess it was my Sunday afternoon!  With only 4 days of school this week, it SHOULD go by quickly!  I have two other 3 day weekends in February, so hopefully I'll get more "chores" done at home.  My bougenvillas are in full bloom right now and I may stop at Home Depot and buy 3 more to plant along our front fence.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another day off~

There is no school today and I'm doing the happy dance!  Whoo, whoo!  We also get two 3-day weekends in February!  So yesterday morning I took a drive , starting down in Indio and driving up through Indio Hills and Sky Valley.  Those two areas are north of the San Andreas fault.  They are VERY rocky!  And, there is a LOT of cholla in Indio Hills!  Beware!  Here are some pics from yesterday morning.  You know, I'm always so busy running up to the horse ranch to check on the herd that I don't have the time to actually take a drive here in the desert.  And, this time of year, the desert is beautiful!  So, I decided to take a drive around here yesterday and take a day off from the horses.  You can see how varied the desert is, from a dry wash to a date grove, to the cholla forest, to another dry wash, to a view of Mt. San Jacinto!  :-)  Enjoy your day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Gigo's mane and ears~Orange you glad it's Friday~011813

Gigo's mane and ears for "Orange you Glad it's Friday", January 18, 2013.  YES, I'm GLAD it's Friday!  And, I have a 3 day weekend!  Whoo, whoo!  To visit OYGIF, please go to:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ranch gate and fence at Joshua Tree~Friday's Fences~011813

I was pleased to see that this ranch is back in business.  It sat idle for a few years, but now I see horses there.  It's on the road into Joshua Tree National Park and we always pass by it on our way through the park.  Don't you love the gate?  Friday's Fences for January 18, 2013.   To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Hello boys!

I tried to sneak up on Sunni and Quad the other such luck!  Sunni is a little more reserved than Quad, who always sticks his big nose out for a scratch!  Aren't they silly?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yucca Valley

I returned to Yucca Valley one day last week to drive around and see some of the things that I didn't get to see (except fleetingly) when hubby was with me.  THANK GOODNESS he went back to work!  I love this huge horse statue, which is in front of a saloon!  And, this coffee house has been there for 50+ years!  The 29 Palms Marine base is up in this high desert and we constantly see Marines on the move!  On this day, there was a convoy traveling through town on their way to the base.

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's back to work I go!

I admit it.  It's been nice having 3 weeks off in the winter.  During summer vacation, I have 8 weeks off, but this summer I'll have to spend one week in training for our new ipads.  So I'll actually have 7 weeks off.  But that's during the SUMMER when the temps are 100+ every day.  Sometimes it's just too hot to do ANYTHING!  So, having three weeks off during the winter months has been a blessing.  I traveled out to Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley (twice), I've taken photos of the windmills near Palm Springs (two days), I've travelled out to Thousand Palms Canyon (twice), I've been up to the horse ranch (several times), and I've even stayed home and cleaned (don't faint!).  But, now it is time to go back to school.  Fortunately, we have a holiday next Monday, so I'll have a 3 day weekend next weekend...whoo, whoo!  Here are just a few pics from my various travels over the last 3 weeks. The first two photos were taken up at Joshua Tree national Park.  Then, we went to the Big Morongo Preserve (3rd photo down), then off to the Palm Springs Indian Canyons.  The next one, with the beautiful leaves, is Andreas Canyon, which was still FULL of color, and finally to Murray Canyon.  I travel the road through those hills way in the back of the photo every time I visit my horses.  And, yes, Palm Canyon does extend all the way to Highway 74, which would be in the mountains at the back of this photo. I'll post photos from other days this week.  We did all of these spots in one day (last Monday).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Desert wash

I drove the other way yesterday, up into Thousand Palms Canyon, instead of heading up the hill.  Actually, I was going to drive up to the horses after lunch.  Our daughter called and wanted me to stop by and help them with their yard sale, but I ended up staying there for 3 hours!  Not much was sold.  Not her computer desk, her chair, or some of the grandson's tricycles, which were hardly used.  People did buy small items~tablecloths, some chili bowls, and some Christmas ornaments.  I'd say they made about $20.00...Anyway, after I came home and ate lunch, I fell asleep for 2 hours and THAT was my afternoon!  So, I never made it up to the horse ranch.  I'll go up there about noon today, FOR SURE!  With our cold temps, I always like to make sure the herd gets an extra meal.  They should be down here, eh?  Look at that beautiful desert scene!  Of course, when it's 120 degrees in the summer, they wouldn't like that!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snow on the mountains

Apparently the ranch didn't get rain OR snow Thursday, but the mountains above it did, as you can see.  I drove up to give the horses an extra meal and some oil because it was down to 18 degrees Thursday night and last night was probably the same.  And, MAN, it was COLD up there yesterday afternoon!  Sunni and Quad squealed with delight when they saw my car drive up because that meant an extra meal was on its way!  Quad has such a soft eye.  He doesn't worry about anything, except getting loose at the tie rack!  :-(

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cool gate and house~Friday Fences~011113

I found this cool gate and house when I drove up to Pinyon Flats today to deliver a book and newspaper article to one of our son's friends who lives up there.  He wasn't home and it was raining, so I double bagged it in a couple of plastic bags in my car and left it on his front porch.  Hopefully it didn't blow away!  The wind was blowing in gusts up to 45 mph while I was there and it was C-O-L-D!!!!  Not the best weather for running errands!  Anyway, isn't this cool?  Friday's Fences for January 11, 2013.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

What are you looking at?

Hmmm...Her Royal Highness...She actually enjoys her grooming sessions now!  :-)  Not sure if the herd will have a lesson tomorrow because snow is forecast down to 3,500 feet...sigh...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Butt pic

I don't usually take butt photos, but these two are just so funny! they go!  That's Maia, my trainer, walking Scout up to the round pen.  Scout needed some time to run off some of her energy before Maia worked her down in the arena.  Another storm is coming through Thursday, with snow forecast down to 3,000 feet, so the horses may not have a lesson on Friday...sigh...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Here comes the Queen (Scout)...

Look how DARK she is in winter!  I can't figure out why she is so dark in winter, and so light in summer...shouldn't it be the other way around?  Okay...several of you have written that it's because in the winter, her dark coat absorbs the light, and in the summer it reflects it.  That makes sense!  She sure is dark here!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pretty Gigondas

As you all know, Gigondas is my big red thoroughbred rescue mare.  Out of all my remaining horses, I'd say she is second smartest, after Scout.  Scout, of course, is THE SMARTEST.  Gigo (as we call her) always remembers her lessons and TRIES to please.  My trainer grooms her every week now and Gigo let her in around her head.  That's a BIG step forward!  She seems to enjoy her grooming sessions.  I returned to the ranch on Saturday and groomed all the horses.  It was too cold to do anything else and it was relaxing for me and them.  Quad isn't limping at all (thank goodness!) after his romp all over the ranch.  It was good to spend time with them Saturday because another snow storm came plowing through on Sunday.  I don't know how much snow the ranch got, but I'll soon find out.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finally~some horse time and pics!!!!

I finally had a lesson with my trainer and the horses.  She didn't come for two weeks because her regular day was the last two Tuesdays:  Christmas and New Year's.  But, she had time on Friday.  Now that I'm down to 4 horses (after the tragic loss of Cali...) everybody can get worked every week.  She's going to come again next week, while I'm still off from school.  Another problem has been the weather.  It has rained and snowed and rained and snowed up in the mountains and the ground is VERY wet.  Another snow storm is moving in Monday or late Sunday night, so we put the next lesson off until next Friday, giving the ground a few days to dry out.  At 4,000 feet, the ranch where I board the herd often gets a dusting of snow, but they do get heavy poundings of rain.  Yesterday was a beautiful, crisp, clear day with a slight breeze.  That slight breeze will be important later.

She started first with Gigondas, since Gigo gets the least amount of training.  She's a good girl, she tries to please, but she CAN be explosive.  I remember one time when I had her tied at the rack, she pulled back.  I yelled, "STOP IT!" and she did.  She calmed down.  Phew!  I wish Sunni and Quad were as good as that!  (they are NOT...) Since Maia, my trainer, has started to work with her, she has really calmed down.  She now enjoys her grooming sessions and stands quietly.  GOOD GIRL!  She also now WALKS while being lunged, which is something she didn't EVER do for me!  I'm proud of her and her progress!

Next was Scout.  Scout was MAD because she wasn't taken out first yesterday and she was full of attitude! She let everybody know how displeased she was with this course of events!  Hmmpffftttt! Maia looked at her and just turned her out in the round pen to "get the yaayaas" out.  It took about 20 minutes.  She was huffing and puffing, but finally settled down.  I had to remember that it was a GOOD 3 weeks since any of them were turned out or trained (due to Cali's loss and the weather).  And, it was windy.  NOT breezy anymore...WINDY.  Sycamore leaves were blowing all over.  But, she behaved nicely when she was tied.  Maia went to get the saddle and bridle (she's being bridle trained :-) ) and she stood QUIETLY at the post.  No pulling back there...She also now WALKS while being lunged.  It's been hard to get the horses to WALK...they've all wanted to immediately run!  She walked and lunged her all the way up and down the arena.

Next was Quad.  Quad was FILTHY.  He and Scout both have heavy, course hair, while Sunni and Gigondas have long, fine hairs.  He stood quietly while Maia groomed him, but pulled back and broke the clasp on the lead rope and took off running.  And, I mean RUNNING!  He RAN all over the 9 acre ranch!  Up and down, back around the arena and nearly out the front gate!  I ran down to close it and to head him off.  Maia finally got some sweet feed and he relaxed when he was up by Gigondas and the old corral where Scout and Cali used to be.  BAD BOY!  We are going to have to work on that next Friday!!!!  Apparently that is the second time he's pulled back and has broken a lead rope.  He also cut his left front foot, so I'm going to have to check on him today.  He did get lunged (at a walk) and he did get to roll, but she washed off his leg and gave him some Bute just in case.  He wasn't limping, but he was a bit shaken up by"romp" around the ranch!

After that, we didn't even bother with Sunni.  No sense in another horse getting loose.  And, by then the wind was blowing, the leaves were rustling...that would have been a recipe for disaster.

Here are a few pics from yesterday.  Maia does all the work.  I just take photos.  Then, I work with each horse (weather permitting) whenever I can.