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.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Yup...I'm sick already.  It only took 3 days of school.  I awoke to a sore throat Wednesday and this morning, I can hardly talk.  My bronchitis is back...sigh...I drank lots of water with lemon and I'm going to stop and buy another container of Manuka honey this afternoon, since I used the last of it yesterday afternoon.  Oh, joy!  More clouds and thunderstorms are forecast for today.  This is the Toro Peak webcam from yesterday.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Yes, Lucille can RUN!

Yes, Lucille CAN run!  QUICKLY!  Something spooked her over in the apple orchard next door and she took off!  Goofy girl!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Horse time~Finally~ with pics

So, Saturday I drove up to the ranch.  I noticed a few little rockslides along the highway up in our mountains and yesterday, during our thunderstorms, apparently there were so many that the highway was briefly closed to allow CalTrans to clear it.  We had rain, wind, and rolling thunder for a couple of hours.  The roadway is now open, but caution is advised.

But, all was quiet Saturday.  I let Gigo out into the arena as she was quietly standing by her corral gate.  She has blossomed into a really nice mare.  She leads quietly, doesn't run off, and waits by the arena gate when she is done!  What a good girl!  Here are some pics of her yesterday.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Horse time today!

Well, I FINALLY get some horse time today!  I had either classes all week or I had to prepare my classroom for the first day of school, which is Monday.  Ack!  I have 29 little gems on my class list this year, but we'll see how many actually show up!  Hehehehe! They are ALWAYS on their best behavior the first day.  By the second day, you KNOW who will be a troublemaker and who won't!  :-)  Little darlings!

Anyway, I'll be driving up to the horse ranch this morning for some HORSE TIME!  Our mountains had some thunderstorms and RAIN yesterday afternoon, and I mean, like downpours!  We could see one area, from out on the freeway, that was getting a real drenching, so today should be interesting!  We have hurricane/tropical storm remnants heading our way and the forecasters don't know which forecast prediction model is the correct one.  We could get missed, or we could get several INCHES of rain.  AND, it could be raining on Monday.  I don't ever remember it raining on the first day of school.  Seems that some folks were right...we're getting our monsoon season later this summer.  I'll update you all tomorrow.

Take care.
Cheryl Ann

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sunset on the Rim ~ SkyWatch Friday~ 082313

Ahhh...there's nothing like viewing a sunset from the rim.  This was taken at the ranger station on Highway 260 west of Forest Lakes.  Hubby and I went out one afternoon for a drive and this beautiful scene was right before us!  SkyWatch Friday for August 23, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First thunderstorm on the Rim

We checked into our cabin and about two hours later we had our first thunderstorm.  Thunderstorms happen almost daily up on the rim, which is about 8,000 feet above the desert floor below.  Over millions of years it was lifted from below an ancient ocean to where it is today.  You can find fossils of shellfish at certain areas of the rim.  We just sat back and enjoyed the thunderstorm.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The end of summer

Hubby and I spent 8 days in Arizona last week and now we are home.  It's hard to come home to 108 degrees when we spent our time in 80 degree days and 54 degree nights.  And, every afternoon, a thunderstorm would develop over the Mogollon Rim and we would listen to the thunder and watch the rain pouring off our cabin roof, but it's back to work for both of us.  Hubby has to work today and I have to report tomorrow, so this will be my last horse day of the summer...sigh...  WHERE did the summer go?  It seems like about the time I finally relaxed, it's time to return to school.  It took about 4 weeks for my eye twitch to go away...

These are some of the first views of the Mogollon Rim that we had last week. We actually stayed in Overgaard. There's a spot by the highway where the "aspen ice cream" sigh is located.  It's right on the highway, so there is a fence to keep the deer off the road.  They eat the young aspen like, well, ice cream!  Yum...delicious!  And, you can see the daily thunderheads which build up over the rim.  And, this year, there were TONS of wildflowers.  I remember one summer, about 2000, when there was a severe drought up there and there weren't many wildflowers, but this summer, with all the rain they've been having, flowers were everywhere, especially the sunflower-like ones.  And, there were ponds of water, too...more than a usual summer.

So, it's back to work for us, but we are already planning next summer's visit!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Vacation's end

Our last summer vacation has ended.  Monday morning, we both go back to work...sigh...

I've had a lot of time to reflect this past week.  Having spent 5 nights in the cool mountain air, both hubby and I find that we seem to function better in the mountains than the desert.  First, we're getting older and the heat REALLY gets to us and slows us down.  Second, we just feel better and eat better and sleep better in the mountains.  Third, we both have ancestors that lived in forests...the Black Forest of Germany and the forests of Scandinavia and then England, Ireland, and Scotland.  Our bodies are programmed to live and adapt in the forests.  So, we are planning on retiring somewhere in the mountains, either in Southern California (Idyllwild) or over here in Arizona.  No more desert living.  We've lived in the desert now for 38 years and enough is enough!  It is wonderful being close to our family, however, and that's a big drawback.  Maybe we'll just take off for the summers?  A lot of desert dwellers do that...Anyway, we still have a few years to decide...

Here are some photos from yesterday.  We made a detour to Flagstaff instead of driving to Phoenix, but we'll have to do that today.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The General Crook Trail and an elk playing in water!

So, yesterday hubby and I were both so worn out from our looooonnnnnggggg drive on Wednesday (We drove out almost to Springerville, which is near the New Mexico border)...We stayed indoors Thursday morning.  There was another thunderstorm early in the afternoon, but about 4 p.m. it had cleared out, so we also headed out.  This time we drove west toward Forest Lakes, a small Rim community.  We stopped at the Woods lake again and also drove out to another lake (I don't remember the name)...We finally drove out the General Crook Trail road and took photos looking out across the rim and saw a beautiful sunset!  WOW!  I spotted a young elk by the side of the campground road and it was splashing and playing in a shallow pond of water!  It was kicking up water and running and splashing and having a good time!  It was so fun to watch!  Another one was bored by its companion and calmly stood, eating grass.  A third one was off in the trees.  GOOD FIND, eh? Here are some pics from yesterday, then.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wild horses!

Hubby and I are over in eastern Arizona for a few days, in a cabin up on the Mogollon Rim.  The Mogollon Rim is a large mesa which, millions of years ago, was under an ocean, but, over time, has been pushed up to about 8,000 feet.  In some areas, you can walk and stop and pick up fossils of seashells.  It is a beautiful, forested land, but it also is home to the Mogollon monster~fire.  I believe that since 1990 the Rim has been the location of 3 major fires and one of them was the 2nd largest in Arizona history...the Rodeo-Chediski.  But, it is also the location of many, many beautiful spots, including this little lake that we found a couple of days ago.  As we drove down toward the lake, I was surprised to see a herd of wild horses there, including a baby.  They were quite content just to graze near the water.  I immediately picked out the lead mare.  She was quite bossy (like Scout!) and I learned a lot just from watching them for the 45 minutes we were there.  Other cars stopped and they didn't seem to bother the herd.  Up on a hill nearby, a tractor came down, working on the road, and it didn't bother them either.  Hubby and I were so excited to find them that we both hopped out of our car and left the doors wide open.  UNFORTUNATELY, some ground squirrels (one in particular)...jumped in our car, scampered up to the dashboard where I had my freshly-bought brownie, and ATE half of it!  Needless to say, the little monsters got the rest of it, too as I wasn't about to eat it after THEY sampled it!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My mountains are on fire (again)...

My mountains are on fire again, but this time it's the western side, away from Palm Springs.  As of this morning, it burned over 6,000 acres and 15 structures, including homes, have been destroyed, along with cars.  Three firefighters have been injured.  It is very dry and windy here now and the fire is moving east, toward the Palm Springs tram.  Highway 243, which goes from Banning to Idyllwild, is completely closed.  If you want to read about the fire, here's a link to our local news station:

The horses are in no danger as they are way, way, far away...

I don't know what else to say...this is just so sad.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2nd ride on Lucille

Yup.  Today was my second ride on Lucille and she was absolutely perfect!  I wore my tennis shoes because the pair of boots from last week are actually too big and too slippery.  I have nothing in between...She stood quietly for me to mount and then we went all over the arena.  This way...that way...she was perfect!  She did slightly spook when my foot hit the railing, but she recovered nicely (me, too!).  When I dismounted, my tennis shoe rubber stuck to the sticky stuff on the stirrup and...well...let's just say that I didn't know I could stretch that far!  All the horses got some turnout today and some SWAT.  The flies are AWFUL right now and they were all over us, too.  It was a cool morning up at the ranch, with a nice breeze and I noticed that the cottonwoods are already bare (some of them) and others already have yellow leaves.  Is it fall already?  Cathy and Maia both mentioned that the horses are already losing their summer coats!  Ack!  "WINTER IS COMING!"

We have air conditioning again!

I've been AWOL for a few days because our air conditioner went out Friday afternoon.  Hubby was home and he said it just never came on, not even the fan.  Now, imagine being in a house when it is 108 degrees outside and you have NO air conditioning!  We lasted until about 2:30 p.m. that day and then we drove over to our daughter's home in Indio.  We did the same thing Sunday evening.  Hey, we got two free meals!  :-)  Monday I had an all-day class, and hubby was able to schedule an independent repairman to come take a look at it yesterday afternoon.  Turns out, it only needed a new switch and VOILA!  Air conditioning!  :-)  Phew!  That was scary!  Fortunately, our nights haven't been too bad (in the mid 70's), so we were able to sleep in our house at night, but yesterday afternoon, I got a little shaky and faint from the heat while waiting for the a/c guy to show up.  Our son did install a new programmable thermostat for us (THANK YOU, Hal~) and that will help us to regulate the a/c better, but you just CANNOT live or survive without some kind of a/c or swamp cooler here in the desert.  I know our neighbor behind us has a whole-house swamp cooler and she only has to turn on her a/c on the days when the humidity is high.  Also, our neighbor to the west only has a swamp cooler, also, because she works outside all day.  If our a/c unit had gone out, I think that's the way we could have gone, also.  Who has $10,000 for a new a/c system?  Not us!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The dog days of August...

Well, for me, summer is coming to an end.  I have about a week more at home, a short trip to Arizona, and then it's back to school.  Ugh.  I'm really NOT looking forward to school this year.  I had bronchitis ALL year last year and I could barely function.  I finally got over it in May.  Yes, I had it from Labor Day in September all the way through May.  And, I was very fatigued.  I'd come home from school, sleep from 4:30 until 6:30, eat dinner, and stumble off to bed.  That was NO LIFE, believe me!  So, 3 weeks ago, I started to drink a green smoothie a day and replace one meal a day (usually lunch or dinner).  My energy level is MUCH higher (I make my own smoothies) and IF I take a nap, it's usually only for 15-30 minutes!  That's great news!  :-)

So, what do I put in my smoothies?  Well, I cheat.  I don't have a juicer or a VITAMIX.  I have an old (VERY OLD) Cuisinart food processor.  So, I dump in a 1/2 bottle of either Bolthouse Green Goddess drink or their greens drink, some coconut water, some molasses (for iron), a protein powder, some organic cocoa, and usually a tsp. of powdered wheatgrass.  Today, however, I threw in a handful of organic kale and the blender actually did a pretty good job of chewing and juicing the kale!  :-)  I WAS driving to my local health food store to buy their "market price" greens smoothie, but at $5.00 or $6.00 a serving, that was getting mighty expensive!  I'm going to save up and buy a VITAMIX once this blender gives out, but for now, at least, I'm happy with my smoothies.  And, did you know that a WHOLE FOODS (we call it "whole paycheck") is coming to Palm Desert?  Yes, it's being built and they are remodeling the old Best Buy, which is within walking distance...see, I can go shopping and walk home!  What a deal!  :-)

Photo is Quad from July, 2012.  I caught him with 3 feet off the ground!   :-)