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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I went for a ride yesterday~YES~

Yes, that's me...ON Lucille!  Yesterday was lesson day for the horses and I wore my boots and jeans and asked if it was ok for me to ride Lucille.  She's only been conditioned now for 3 lessons, but we took her down to the arena. Remember, she stood in her corral for almost a year without getting ANY exercise!  She is PERFECT for me!  She stands at the mounting block (which I need for her size) and stands for your dismount.  She WALKS (unlike a couple of my other horses) and you just need very light aids for her.  I'm THRILLED to mark this milestone!  She's a big girl (1/2 draft and 1/2 Tennessee Walker), so getting up on her is a real accomplishment!

And, I can report that since I've been drinking green smoothies now for 3 weeks, I have MUCH more energy!  In fact, instead of just SITTING through the horses' entire lessons, I got up, brushed some of them, walked a couple of them, and only had to sit once (when I got too hot in the sun)...YEAH!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Barb's red barn~Whimsical Windows & Delirious Doors~072913

I've always loved this red barn, which is on my friend Barb's property up in Pinyon Flats.  She recently had the top remodeled into a cute apartment and one weekend the hubs and I are going to have to stay in it.  It's right above her barn and looks out onto her property and others in Pinyon.  Whimsical Windows & Delirious Doors for July 29, 2013.   To visit WW&DD, please go to:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grilled bananas receipe from Whole Foods

THIS is similar to the receipe we had last night.  We didn't have strawberries, but had marshmallows, graham crackers (broken up), and chocolate.  Oh, and whipped cream on top!


Dinner and visiting friends

After spending all day Wednesday in the class for the iPad, I just got in a real funk.  I didn't do ANYTHING for 2 days.  I didn't go see my horses.  I FINALLY dragged myself out of the house Friday morning and ran errands and dropped a car full of stuff at Angel View (the thrift shop for disadvantaged children).  I didn't even go inside.  Oh, and we got RAIN that day!  It was wonderful!  It's drying out now and the humidity is gone (thank goodness).  It's really bad here when the humidity is so bad that after taking your shower, you are a sweaty mess just walking to your car!   :-(

Anyway, I sat next to my good friend Barb during the class (we had to make an iMovie together...) and she invited us up to her house in Pinyon Flats for dinner last night.  Hubby brought asparagas, corn, and wine.  There were 9 of us there, including some of her neighbors.  We had grilled shrimp, chicken, and sausages, bbq corn & asparagas, and sliced peppers in olive oil.  Oh, and one of her neighbors brought some of his home-grown tomatoes, which were DELICIOUS!  I'm not a big tomato eater, but these were very tasty.  A good time was had by all and it was good to be able to sit outside at night (we can't do that here in the desert because it is just too hot).  We looked up at the stars and Milky Way and listened for coyotes.  She lives in Pinyon Flats, which is right on the way to the horse ranch.

Here are some pics from last night.  Barb has a new horse, a Tennessee Walker who was her mom's horse (her mom is 83 now...).  I like how Barb lets her horses roam her property.  It is completely fenced with two electrical wires running along it.  The bottom one is to keep the coyotes OUT and the top one is to keep the horses IN!  Barb accidentally touched the top one with wet shoes (rubber ones) and told us it knocked her backwards on her butt!  She doesn't remember much about it and fortunately was okay.  Next time, she'll be more careful!

Barb has a lot of animals...several chickens, an old turkey, a goat, several dogs, some cats, and her horses!  The top photo is her newest horse, "Chief", who was her mom's riding horse.  He walked right up to us on the porch!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

iPad class

I had to take a day off my summer relaxation yesterday to attend an iPad training class for school.  Every student in my district will receive an iPad this fall, thanks to a grant.  That meant that we (the teachers) have had to attend trainings this summer.  Yesterday was my second training.  The first one showed us how to basically become familiar with all the bells and whistles on the iPad.  Yesterday's training dove into PAGES, Keynote, and iMovie.  Those are some really powerful and interesting programs!   We had to create a Keynote presentation (it's like Powerpoint) on the topic of the Idyllwild fire.  HA~ That was an easy one to do!  Actually, though, now I'd like to finesse it and get it in decent shape.  We also had to do a 30 second movie for iMovie.  My colleague edited and presented ours and I'm going to have to think about how to use this program in my classroom.  I used some of my horse photos for my Pages presentation and I think it came out okay...I have one more training in August and that's it for the iPad training, so I'm going to watch some YouTube videos about each program.  Our instructor was VERY patient with each of us (I got behind when I left the room for a bathroom break and he moved on to Keynote!), but he patiently walked me through each step, so thank you, Dan!   :-)

Today I need to run errands here in the desert.  Our humidity levels are falling (thank goodness!).  It was so humid yesterday that from the time I left my front door to walk to my car, I was completely sweating!  Not good.

Oh, and I sat next to my good friend, Barb, from Pinyon and we'll be heading up to her place Saturday night for a BBQ.  She had some interesting photos of the mountain fire from Pinyon, especially some when they set up lawn chairs to watch it.  Pinyon Flats was on fire alert, but fortunately the fire never made it that far.  Still, it's a scary thing to watch your beloved forests go up in smoke and flames.

The horses didn't have a lesson Tuesday because, after nearly 2 inches of rain in two days, the ranch was just too wet and muddy.  I did, however, let Sunni out into the round pen and Gigondas out into the arena for some R&R.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I've FINALLY broken through with Gigondas!

It rained over an inch each of the last two days up at the horse ranch, so my trainer didn't come this morning.  However, I drove up there.  After being INSIDE for 5 days, I was itching to get out and have some horse time!  It really was very slick up there and I noticed Gigondas standing at her corral gate (that means she wants OUT!), so I asked the ranch owner if she thought the arena was too slick.  She said Gigo would be okay as long as she didn't take off running.  So, I haltered her, took her to the tie rack, groomed her, and told her to walk SLOWLY in the arena.  Apparently she listened because she behaved herself.  I took Sunni up to the round pen so he could practice tying (he actually did very well up there), then I drove to the feed store to buy 6 bags of pellets.  I like to supplement their straight alfalfa with Bermuda and timothy pellets.  I also supplement with a supplement that has probiotics, yeast, and some molasses.  When I buy 12 bags of it (about every 6 months), I get a free bag, so I got my free bag today.  BUT, that meant unloading and putting away 6 very heavy bags.  I've been driving a green smoothie this morning and I really DO have much more energy!  (I mix coconut milk, a protein mix, wheatgrass (powdered), and a green drink and 1/2 banana)...Anyway, as I was driving back from the feed store, Gigo came right up to the arena fence and followed my car along.  Like she missed me!  Or, she wanted some attention!  That's a real breakthrough for her!  I gave everybody a nice pellet mixture for their lunch and headed home because the thunderheads were gathering and it was getting VERY humid!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mountain fire update 072213

According to the local news, the fire is now 68% contained and Idyllwild will open to visitors TODAY!  We had rain here in the valley and in our mountains Saturday night/Sunday morning.  Why, there were even puddles out in our street!   :-)  Idyllwild got over an inch of rain, which really helped to put out most of the fire.  I took a drive up Highway 74 (our road to Idyllwild) and saw fire personnel coming DOWN the mountain, instead of driving up it.  We had clouds all over the valley yesterday and I slept through the lightning and thunder early Sunday morning.  So, I was itching for a drive up the mountain road to see the clouds.  Aren't they beautiful?  I figure they are the promise of good things to come!   :-)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fire update

As of last night, the fire was 49% contained.  It rained here in the desert all night and up in the mountains, too.  I haven't seen an update this morning on the fire, but I'll post one later today.  The monsoon is HERE and the valley is completely full of rain clouds.  I saw lightning toward the south of us early this morning (at 5:00 a.m.).  It isn't raining here now, but there are VERY dark clouds all around the mountains.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Welcome~SkyWatch Friday~071913

Don't you just love this sign?  I found it at the Palm Springs stables entrance yesterday.  The sky behind is full of smoke and ash from the Mountain fire, which is right above Palm Springs.  I thought the sign provided some relief from the depressing sky...SkyWatch Friday for July 19, 2013.  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

Fire and fence~Friday's Fences~071913

I took these photos on Tuesday of this week.  By Thursday, the road was closed and only residents were allowed through.  This is the old thoroughbred farm at the corner of Highway 74 and Highway 391.  I believe it is now used as a horse boarding ranch (no thoroughbreds there any longer).  I like to stop at this ranch to take photos and I've seen it in the middle of winter, with snow all over, and in fall the cottonwoods are beautiful shades of orange, brown, and yellow.  But, on this day, the skyline was full of smoke...sigh...not a sight I wanted to see.  Friday's Fences for July 19, 2013.  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:  The fire has now spread to over 22,000 acres and was human-caused.  The entire town of Idyllwild, where we spend weekends relaxing in a cabin, has been evacuated.  Forecasters and firefighters are both keeping an eye on the monsoon clouds in the valley today because they could cause a wind shift toward the town.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


There is a huge, out-of-control fire up in MY local mountains.  It saddens me to see this.  Several homes have burned and it is heading down toward the Palm Springs Indian canyons (Palm, Andreas, and Murray canyons).  I stopped by my friend's Pinyon Flats home and all was quiet there.  The wind is NOT blowing the fire toward Barb's red barn and her horses and goats and turkey.  It appears to have taken on a life of its own and it is nonstoppable for now.  There are NO roads in its path and the forest service is using helicopters to make water drops.  However, with the winds, those drops do not seem to be making much progress.  I drove up through Garner Valley after the horses' lesson to check out the fire.  I was surprised to see so many other drivers pull over and watch it, too.  I spoke to one man from Anza who told me the sky glowed red last night.  (There is another set of mountains between the fire and Anza...). My horses are in no danger at all because the wind is blowing away from where they are.  I drove past the command center and it appears the fire fighters are in for a LONG stay.  Here are some pics from today...It has flared up again this afternoon and our afternoon sky is completely red...Here's the link to our local news coverage:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sunset~SkyWatch Friday~071213~Orange you Glad It's Friday

Hubby and I were driving home from our daughter's house one evening and we pulled over to take a photo of the sunset.  We don't often get views like this, so I'm glad we stopped.  SkyWatch Friday for June 12, 2013 and Orange you Glad It's Friday.  To visit OYGIF, please go to:  To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

My Town Shoot Out~Surrounded~for July 12, 2013

This adorable building is in the Owens Valley, right alongside Highway 395, near Olancha, CA.  Do you have any idea how many times we've driven by this and have NEVER stopped to take a photo?  Isn't it adorable?  And, you notice that the inside of the building would be surrounded by this yellow exterior!   :-)  My Town Shoot Out for July 12, 2013.  To visit MTSO, please go to:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday horse lesson

Let see...where to begin?  It was a cloudy day today, so the humidity was way high.  A tropical storm off the western coast of Mexico is moving in from Arizona and we are expected to have showers by Thursday.  Tiz the monsoon season!  Anyway, Gigondas is making incredible progress.  She has finally decided to trust us and now she completely relaxes at the tie rack and even accepts fly spray.  She lets out huge, contented sighs.  Scout didn't like her bit today and acted accordingly.  Actually, she did very well on her voice commands...she just fought the bit.  Quad spooked at my car and nearly bolted...sigh...Sunni wouldn't let me put his fly mask on AT ALL.  Nope...NO WAY!  Okay, then...Lucille got a bath and a real pampering.  She's such a nice horse!  My trainer rode her in the arena and she was as smooth as silk.  I'll get to ride her next time~whoo, whoo!  She's just a very nice mare.  Period.  Here are pics from today...clouds are moving in.  Last two pics are of Lucille.  She's a gaited TW mare, half draft, and she is BIG!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rudbeckia~Sunday Stills Challenge~070713

I found these flowers last Tuesday, when I drove down from Idyllwild to the horse ranch for the herd's weekly horse lesson with their trainer.  There is a little community of homes right in the middle of Garner Valley and I always love to drive through there and see their yards and gardens and get some inspiration for my own!  HA~Sunday Stills Challenge "yellow flowers" for July 7, 2013.   And, to visit the Sunday Stills Challenge, please go to this link:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Roses at the ranch~Today's Flowers~070613

These are the only roses left up at the horse ranch.  The others have come and gone.  These get afternoon shade, so they still have blossoms on them.  Aren't they gorgeous?   ...sigh...I wish I could grow roses, but I've killed every rose plant I've ever planted!  Go figure!  Today's Flowers for July 6, 2013.  To visit Today's Flowers, please go to:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Idyllwild trip

So, we weren't home 6 days and we left for another mini-vacation, this time to Idyllwild, which is up in our local mountains.  It's only an hour away and a 1/4 tank of gas!  And, there are blue jays, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and families of quail right outside our cabin!  The blue jays and squirrels were active all day, demanding peanuts, while the rabbit and quail came in the mornings and afternoons.  And, it is at least 20 degrees cooler up there, at over 6,000 feet.  Phew!  HOWEVER, last Friday it was 101 degrees, Saturday was 99 degrees, but then it cooled down to the mid-80's for the rest of our days there.  We even had a few sprinkles Sunday night (just enough to mess up the car windshield!).  Our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter Ellie joined us, so it was a pretty "close" cabin.  They left Wednesday morning, so hubby and I had Wednesday all to ourselves!  Here are some photos from our mini-vacation (4 nights)...No, that's not our cabin...that's the porch of the one next to ours.  We usually rent that one, but it wasn't available.  Frankly, I liked this cabin better because I could sit out on the porch and feed all the animals and take photos of them!  I even drove over to the horse ranch Tuesday for the horses' lesson, which was to give each horse (except Sunni) a BATH!!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Baby Ellie

Here she is~Baby Ellie, our first granddaughter!  She's now 3 months old and is grabbing things with her hands and standing with support.  She loves to watch the baby in the mirror, too!  I don't know why this photo is sideways and I've tried to correct it, but it always posts this way!