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.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Idyllwild weekend

Well, we spent the weekend up in Idyllwild with our son Hal, Claudia, and little Ben, who is now 4.  It was delightful to get out of the desert heat (it was over 100 degrees there) and have a fire in the stove every night.  We spent two nights there.  Ben got to explore a little log cabin for kids (although he did see a black widow and THAT was THAT~) and he got to go for a hike, feed the blue jays, see gray squirrels, and play in the Idyllwild park.  In fact, Saturday afternoon he was so worn out that he took a 2 hour nap!  We saw quite a few hikers doing the Pacific Crest Trail (the "early" ones) and we met one of them because he was staying at the same place we were.  He'd just hiked from Warner Springs to where the PCT nears Idyllwild and got a ride to town for a shower, a comfy bed, and several hot meals.  Here's a link to his website:  His mother just died from diabetes and he is doing his walk to raise money for diabetes research.  Considering that I have relatives on BOTH sides of my family who died of diabetes, I'll be donating some money for his effort.  Anyway, here are some pics from our weekend.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wagon wheel and front fence~Friday's Fences~042613

I often drive by this little cottage which is up in Garner Valley, CA.  I love its old-fashioned look and its wagon wheel.  I also love the brick work.  Their dog, however, doesn't like me and barks whenever I drive by!  Oh, well!  I'm going to keep driving by, buddy, so get used to me!  Friday's Fences for April 26, 2013. To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Spring view

I love Spring up at the ranch.  The trees are leafing out, the roses are blooming, and the chinaberry trees are getting new buds.  The sycamores are budding out, too, and there are a few (a very few) wildflowers this year.  It was perfect up there last weekend.  Now we have a storm front moving down from Northern California and temps are dropping (of course...after I groomed all the horses!)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To the mountains we go

We're heading up to Idyllwild for the weekend and I can't WAIT!  Our son and his family are joining us. It will be nice to get out of the desert heat (it's supposed to be about 93 in the desert this weekend).  Ben (our grandson) and I will feed the blue jays!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I took a ride up to Idyllwild on Saturday.  I wanted to go check out a cabin which we are renting in the future.  It was a beautiful day~clear, not to hot, and not too crowded.  Weekends up there can be crowded, but not this one.  I guess everybody was at the concert at Coachella this weekend?  Anyway, I was driving around and I spotted some daffodils.  Most of them are already gone (dried out), but these were still blooming.

Springtime at the ranch

I took this photo yesterday up at the ranch where I board my horses.  The owners were gone, so I didn't take any horses out.  Instead, I cleaned water troughs and swept off rubber mats.  Oh, and talked and talked and talked to the horses.  Quad didn't have anything to say, but Sunni and Gigondas sure did..."WHERE'S OUR FOOD?" was what they were saying!  It was a gorgeous day up there with a slight breeze.  Hubby is borrowing my camera today to take some photos at his work, so I may just take my old Nikon and go down to the park and take some photos of the roses there...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Another mountain fence~Friday's Fences~-41913

Here's another beautiful area of Garner Valley, which is near where I board my horses.  Mine aren't up in these pine trees and this is about 1,000 feet higher than the ranch where I board them.  This area gets much more snow, too.  But, I love to drive around here on the weekends and see the wildflowers and listen to the red-tailed hawks that fly above the meadows.  Friday's Fences for April 19, 2013.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:   HOORAY!  It's FRIDAY!   :-)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Excuse me...where's my treat?

Yup.  It's Quad.  I tell you, he NEVER turns down an extra meal!   :-)  I'm looking forward to this weekend.  It will be 97 degrees here in the desert, so a trip to the horses is in order!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Apple blossoms~Our World Tuesday~041613

There is an apple farm next to the ranch where I board the herd and right now the trees are blooming.  I always enjoy seeing them.  The farmer is an old guy who sells them to a Julian baking company, so when we buy an apple pie in Julian, we could be eating his apples.  He never gives any to the horses :-( and he keeps to himself.  I notice that every year he has fewer and fewer apple trees, so who knows how much longer these trees will be around.  Our World Tuesday for April 16, 2013.   To visit Our World Tuesday, please go to:

Monday, April 15, 2013


Let's face it...Monday morning is hard for a LOT of us.  I awoke at 2:30 a.m. with the dogs begging to go outside.  So, out they went, barking at the top of their voices.  I was too tired to deal with whatever was bothering them (I let them out in the front yard, which has a 6 foot fence and a gate all around it...)  They came back inside in about 5 minutes and I went back to sleep until 4:45 a.m., my regular wake-up time.  We didn't have much wind here at our house, but when I stopped to buy gas for my car this morning, the wind nearly took off my driver's side door!  I couldn't even see our mountains...there was SO MUCH DUST!  And, it was blowing across the freeway and surface streets.  In fact, streets were CLOSED in Palm Springs and bulldozers were brought out...It was so windy at my school, we didn't have morning flag salute OR morning recess OR lunch recess.  Ugh!  That means I was stuck inside with 27 kiddos ALL DAY LONG!  Driving home was just as bad, but it is calm again here where we live.  I think it's because we are up in a cove, protected from the winds.  MORE winds are advised for tomorrow.  There are clouds hanging on our local mountains and when that happens, the winds usually slide DOWN the mountains onto the desert floor (like today).  Everybody's allergies were in FULL ALERT MODE and I have a tremendous headache.

Sorry I haven't been around much lately

I've got a lot on my plate right now...a new granddaughter, state testing coming up, and my formal teaching evaluation.  Phew!  Plus, last Friday my school had its spring festival fundraiser and I sold sodas, cold waters, and cookies!  So, I've been pretty busy.  In fact, I didn't even get up to see the horses (AGAIN) this weekend.  I'm so sick and tired of losing my weekends because...well...I'm sick and tired!  By Saturday morning, I'm so tired from a week at school that I honestly don't have the energy to drive 45 minutes up the winding road up to my horses.  And, that isn't fair to them.  They need some attention.  They need me.  I'm going to have to sit down this week and figure out HOW in TARNATION I can get more energy!  :-(  Plus, I was fighting some kind of creeping cold, too, this weekend.  So, I leave you with some pretty photos from the desert.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Palo Verde blossoms~Today's Flowers~041413

The palo verde trees are in full bloom right now.  I'm sure they weren't this colorful and full of blossoms last year because we have one on the corner at school and last year it was pretty drab.  But, this year even it is FULL of blossoms!  The desert is dotted with them all over this Spring.  They line streets, they line freeway exits, and they are in parking lots.  This is one of the ones out by the golf course where I take my morning walks.  Isn't it interesting?  There are a lot of bees on these, however, so take notice.  Even the large bumble bees like these blossoms!  Today's Flowers for April 14, 2013.  To visit Today's Flowers, please go to:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chubby cheeks

Chubby cheeks is doing just fine and is now nursing on a regular basis.  She was awake last night and is trying to focus on things around her, but her eyes keep moving!  Both grandparent families were at the Knapp house and Grandpa Art made pasta for everyone.  It is good to see her awake now and then!  We are heading over there for breakfast this morning.

This is Ellie, with her first cousin Ben, and Ben's mother, Claudia.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Father and daughter

Here's James and Ellie.  Isn't she a love bug?  But, she's so SERIOUS!!!  Look at those chubby cheeks!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Where's his head? Wild Bird Wednesday~041013

We have a lot of these little doves here in our desert.  In fact, many of them eat the birdseed I put out in my yard every morning!  They sit on my fence and wait for breakfast.  This little guy was up at the Living Desert Reserve in one of their avairies.  They have two there.  One is out by the owl exhibit.  This one is in the North American area.  I always enjoy going there to see the birds.  Isn't he cute?  There were also some little wood ducks and a roadrunner in this exhibit.  Wild Bird Wednesday for April 10, 2013.  To visit WBW, please go to:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mountain clouds and fence~Our World Tuesday~040913

I love this old thoroughbred breeding farm fence.  I know it needs some TLC and paint, but I often stop here to admire the view.  And, on this day, the clouds were hugging the mountains near Idyllwild, CA. Our World Tuesday for April 9, 2013.  To visit OWT, please go to:

Monday, April 8, 2013

She's HERE~~~~

Little Ellie arrived last night at 10:45 p.m....8 pounds, 9 ounces and a FULL head of hair!  Mom and baby are bonding.  I'll see her after school again today.  I took a couple of photos on my cell phone, but I need to crop them and she's wearing a hat (the hospital rooms are COLD, as you all know!)...more later!   :-)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ellie is on her way!

Our daughter checked into the hospital last night because there was an open bed and they started to induce labor.  This morning, at 7:30 a.m., still no baby...sigh... I probably won't post today as we'll be in the hospital most of the day.

Please say your prayers for a healthy delivery and baby!   :-)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cougar Pass ~Friday's Fences~040513

Okay, I admit it.  This sign made me a little nervous.  I was up driving around Garner Valley last weekend when I passed it.  I don't know how many other times I've gone by it and never noticed it, but there it was.  And, I read it and wondered, "Cougar Pass, like mountain lion pass?"  Yes, there ARE mountain lions up in those mountains, which are on the other side of the hill from the horse ranch where I board my horses.  I remember when our son was in high school and hubby and I took our German Shepherd with us to a friend's house up there.  That family was gone for the weekend and asked us to house sit their dogs.  They had a dog door, and they told me to keep our dog in at night.  Seems a mountain lion actually attacked some of their goats a couple years prior.  We spent a calm weekend up there, and our shepherd was intrigued by all the rabbits, but that was the extent of his excitement.  I HAVE seen bobcats on two separate occasions up in Garner Valley, however, but never a mountain lion...maybe someday?  Friday's Fences for April 5, 2013.  There are a lot of horse ranches up there and two large cattle ranches...To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Gigondas today

Still no granddaughter...sigh...

I woke up early today (my LAST day of spring break) and headed up the mountain by 8:00 a.m.  I drove through Garner Valley because the clouds had settled among the mountains up there and it was really quite pretty.  A storm front moved in and temps were quite comfortable (it was actually COLD up in the mountains!).  I had to buy pellets for the horses and the ranch owner needed 2 bales of hay for one of her Peruvians who doesn't tolerate alfalfa well, so we rode to the feed store together in her truck.  It was good to visit with her.  She wasn't home last Tuesday when I went to my horses' lesson.  She's been getting extra hours at work and her schedule is now pretty erratic.  So, we had a nice visit.  I came back and groomed Gigondas because she was the best behaved last week and today it was breezy.  I didn't take ANY of them out, but I groomed 3 of them in their corrals.  I also had my phone nearby in case our daughter called (she didn't...).  I bought 4 bags of pellets and unloaded them into the container down my Scout, Quad, and Sunni.  Gigondas really enjoys her grooming sessions now and she was very good in her corral.  I don't even halter her.  She stands and lets me groom her and she issues BIG SIGHS!  :-)  That's even a difference from last summer.  Oh, and she now lets me quietly and calmly brush her head and face!  She has a lot of loose hair, especially around her withers (maybe water settled there during winter?) and I really like to brush that area.  I actually took these pics last week (I didn't take any today of the horses)...(just too busy, I guess!), and I was listening for my phone.  Tomorrow it's back to school and I have...gasp!...parent conferences this week!