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.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Early vacation

We spent 2 nights up in our local mountains, in Idyllwild, with our son, grandson, and Ben's mom.  I guess you could say it was an early Christmas present.  Ben, the 4 year old, wanted to stay in "a cabin" in the mountains.  We found one available at our FAVORITE cabin, at the Silver Pines Lodge, in Idyllwild.  Unfortunately, it was just for one night. It had two futons in the living room (by the heater) and a separate bedroom (for the kids)... We fed the blue jays and squirrels LOTS of peanuts and birdseed and they were thankful (and hungry!).  The next night, we moved to smaller quarters at the Fern Valley Inn.  It had a fold out couch in the living room, a full kitchen, and an additional bedroom. This one also had a full kitchen and our son cooked a nice rice dish for dinner.  Frankly, by then, we were too tired to care!  The grandson had gone ALL DAY without a nap.  We made smores both nights and he was racing around the cabin after eating 5 marshmallows and 2 smores~!  EGADS!  I'm glad I fell asleep!  We are all home now and will get together tomorrow.  That's hubby and our son and that's our son and grandson at the Idyllwild public library.  I picked up 3 hardcover fiction books for $1.00 each, so I'm a happy camper!

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Cheryl Ann

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday lights

These beautiful holiday lights are at the Living Desert Reserve, here in Palm Desert.  They are a part of the park's night holiday celebration called WildLights. Every year the reserve has a night time holiday show of lights.  You have to buy separate tickets for this and they run about $10.00.  We took our daughter and little granddaughter (and her dada) there on a members' only night, so we didn't have to pay!  We ALL enjoyed the beautiful lights and we'll make it a point to do this every year from now on.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Weekend finally!

The weekend is here, and what do I think?   (see picture)
And, yes, I survived the last day of school before winter break.  And, I'm amazed to say that the kids did pretty well.  We made holiday cards for 2 hours in the morning.  I got out the glitter and away they went!  After lunch, they had to write out their times tables through the 7's.  Then, they cleaned up their desks and we had a party.  THAT took until the very end of the school day.  Hahahaha....I sugared them up, hugged them all, and sent them home to their parents!  Only one child was absent, so I had 29 kiddos.  And, no fights, no paper airplanes, but one did fall out of his chair!  It was WONDERFUL!!!   :-)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Desert sunrise~SkyWatch Friday~122013

Sometimes, early in the morning, when I stumble outside to feed the birds, there is a sky full of color, like on this morning.  I awake way before sunrise, and I'm usually busy typing on my computer, but on this morning, I went out to get something out of my car and VIOLA!  There it was...a beautiful, fire-lit sky!  SkyWatch Friday for December 20, 2013.   To visit SkyWatch Friday, please go to:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pond~Water World Wednesday, December 18, 2013

There's always something calming about water, isn't there?  At least, it seems that way to about you?  This pond is up at the Whitewater Preserve, which is at the base of the San Bernardino mountains.  Water World Wednesday for December 18, 2013.   To visit Water World Wednesday, please go to this link:

Wagons~ABC Wednesday~December 18, 2013

Two very different wagons up at one of the apple ranches up in Oak Glen, California.  While it was past apple time, it's always fun to visit this ranch.  There's always lots to see and hubby bought some tangelo marmalade last weekend, which is announced was "WONDERFUL!"...ABC Wednesday for December 18, 2013.  To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to:

What a difference 9 days makes!

What a difference 9 days make!  9 days of sitting at home, watching TV, taking 2 hour naps and doing NOTHING.  And, I mean NOTHING!!!  I only got out of the house Sunday when hubby stuffed me in his car and off we went to Whitewater Canyon.  I went for a checkup with the workmans' comp doctor yesterday and asked him if I could go back to school.  I know, I know, but there are only 4 days left and I miss the kids!  He looked at me askance like I was nuts...(well, I DID have a hit on the head!) and looked over all my records and reluctantly agreed...BUT, I have to go back for another checkup on the 30th.  So, it is back to school I go today...I'm going to see how it goes and if I can't handle things, my own doctor said she would write me out a note...I'm just not sure how I'm going to be able to handle 30 kids...we'll see.  Stay tuned!  Here are a couple of photos I took up at the ranch a few weeks ago.  I haven't been up there now since Thanksgiving...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Whitewater Preserve and fall colors

Yesterday hubby piled me into his car, along with our son and his family, and off to the Whitewater Preserve we went.  The preserve is up in Whitewater Canyon and it is along the river that flows down from the San Bernardino mountains.  There is a fish hatchery up there and we thought the grandson might enjoy seeing the "fishies"...he sure did!  He ran around, examined leaves, LOOKED at the fish, crawled under picnic tables, and wore himself out!  :-)  I was amazed to see that there still were beautiful fall colors and leaves up there, but it is in a kind of protected zone (there are even palm trees growing up there!), so it doesn't get as cold as some other areas.  There wasn't much water in the river, but after a couple more storms, I'm sure there will be!  It was good to get out, after being inside for 8 days!  :-)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yellow roses at ranch~Today's Flowers~121513

I saw these roses up at the horse ranch a few weeks ago.  The ranch had a very hard frost the night before and most plants were covered with water, like these roses.  Today's Flowers for December 15, 2013.  To visit Today's Flowers, please go to:

"Light" ~ A Personal Photo Challenge~121413

Well, since I haven't been out to take any photos for over two weeks now, I went through my archives this morning for this week's Personal Photo Challenge.  I found these...I don't have photos of snow as our mountains only get snow MAYBE December through February.  And, last year there wasn't much snow...But, I do have a LOT of photos from our travels!  :-)  So, here goes:  All of these were taken with my Canon 7D, with natural light.  I actually took the top one through the car windshield as we were returning from a trip to Arizona.  That was the view coming down Interstate 10 into the Coachella Valley on a windy afternoon!  A Personal Photo Challenge for December 14, 2013.  To visit A Personal Photo Challenge (and maybe participate), please go to this link:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fence and fog~Friday's Fences~121313

One time, about a year ago, I went up to visit the horses and I drove around Anza.  Fog had settled in the valley and I spotted this rundown fence in an open field.  Friday's Fences for December 13, 2013.  Fences, field, and fog!  To visit Friday's Fences, please go to:

Sunset at the beach~SkyWatch Friday~121313

We don't get sunsets like this one at Laguna Beach here in the desert.  HA!  We have a 10,000 foot mountain to the west of us!  So, I really enjoyed our two nights at the beach a few weeks ago.  We went out twice to watch the sunset there.  SkyWatch Friday for December 13, 2013.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"V" for veins (leaf veins)~ABC Wednesday~121113

HA~I finally found an entry for this week's letter, "v"...VEINS and VINES!  No, not human ones, but leaf veins.  These were on the Virginia creepers which are up in our local mountains.  I photographed these back in October, when the leaves were in full color.  The vines are now completely barren and dormant, but when they had their color, they sure were VIBRANT!  "V" for ABC Wednesday, 121113.  To visit ABC Wednesday, please go to:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Barn doors and windows~Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors~120913

Since I'm confined to home and bed rest, I am going through some of my archived photos today.  I found these that I took at Carrillo Ranch a couple of weekends ago.  Wouldn't you LOVE to have a barn like this one?  I can only wish...sigh..WWDD for December 9, 2013.  TO visit WWDD, please go to:


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pets (besides the horses)~Sunday Stills Challenge~120813

Oh, boy...where do I begin?  We currently have two dogs, Ripley and Lady.  Ripley is a black lab mix who I got for free up at the Anza swap meet.  There were 4 puppies in a cardboard box and I leaned over and picked up Ripley and that was that.  There was another black puppy, but a little boy grabbed him and went running off.  The two other siblings were more of a shepherd mix, and since we already had a shepherd, I went for the black lab.  She DOES live up to her name.  She is a trash-stealer and knocks over the trash can nightly.  She also drinks out of the toilet, but is the healthiest dog we've had in YEARS.  And, she has the keenest nose.  I swear, she can find ANYTHING!

Lady is the hand-me-down purebred German Shepherd I got from a colleague when she was 6 years old.  The gal didn't want to put up with her any more.  She'd originally got Lady for companionship, but she works long hours and she also likes to take off to The River for the weekend, so she only had her for about 3 months.  Lady has settled in nicely with our clan of cats and with Ripley.

Loki, our white cat, is 17 years old.  He's totally senile now and doesn't wander far from the front porch (or food).  We made him a cat cave out there because we are having such cold weather.  Actually, he's taken over our old chair that we threw out front and we don't have the heart to toss him from it!  :-)

Plus, 5 horses, 1 indoor cat (I'll try to find photos of Abby), and a hand-me-down gray cat "Mr. Gray" who also doesn't wander far from the food bin....To visit Sunday Stills, please go to:

I have a concussion!!!

So, apparently 8 year old boys and teachers supervising them don't mix.  All I remember Friday afternoon is walking over to supervise my boys, who were playing soccer and seeing their ball rolling toward me.  Next thing I remember, I was on the ground, with one of them next to me.  I THINK he ran into me!  They left for home 10 minutes later and 45 minutes later, my neck and right shoulder were in pain.  I filled out the appropriate form, calling into the nurse hotline, and was told to put ice on them.  UPDATE:  Yes, I fell on the grass, but this is grass (sort of...) on VERY hard clay.  KABOOM!  They think I lost consciousness (the doctors)...because I can't remember what happened.  Wouldn't be the first time.  One time, our German Shepherd came running toward me while I was out in the front yard and WHAMP!  I stepped on one of the rakes I had out there and it banged me on the forehead.  I DID see stars that time!  Another time, I was out in the back yard and I pulled a large dead branch off a tree.  Well, the branch came off and WHOSH!  I ended up flat on my back, on the ground, with the wind knocked out of me.  So, you see, this isn't the first time!  However, I am much older now and my recovery time is longer.

Yeah, but that night, I vomited.  I NEVER vomit.  And, I had a bad headache and I was off to immediate care Saturday morning I went.  Got blood work, got an EKG...everything fine there, but the vomiting part had everybody worried, so off to the ER/trauma center I was sent.  My colleague and good friend Marianne, came to drive me and sit with me, bless her heart.  We teach together and vent together and are good friends.  So, at 4:00, I was sent home, with the prognosis of a concussion, and ordered to stay home and REST for the next several days.  Hubby came by about 3:00 (after he closed up his office) and drove me home.  The doctor didn't order it, but I got some super hot chicken soup!  :-)  Boy, that warmed me up!   Hehehehe....NO housework, no bending, and no physical activity for the next few days!  That means I get to prop myself up in bed and watch all the movies I can!  :-)  So, last night I watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"...if you haven't seen that and heard the music, DO SO!  WOW!  Alexandre Desplat wrote the score...very haunting.  Of course, I cried and cried...have some Kleenex handy!

So, I won't be driving up to see the horses this weekend...sigh...I just cannot take a chance on that road...NO, NO, NO!  They probably got snow from yesterday's storm.  I know they are in good hands, so I don't worry about them.  I wish I could drive up there, but, with my dizziness, I cannot take the chance of driving off that road, especially when it is icy...

But, the good news is that there are only 10 working days until winter break and I'll be home at least two of them!  :-)

Here are a couple of views from the Toro Peak webcam, which is up at 8,000 feet in the Santa Rosa mountains.  I check the webcam a couple of times every day now.  Sometimes the clouds are amazing!  I like the "ice cave", too!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Something on the hill near Temecula!

No, it's not real.  It's one of the metal sculptures on Highway 79, on the road to Temecula.  But, at one time, there was a herd of wild horses in Anza.  They are all gone now...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SOMETHING is on the loose!

So, I was reading the Anza bulletin board on Facebook last night.  Seems there is something BIG and BLACK on the loose.  One gal stopped to measure some footprints that she thought were from a big cat. The footprints were 4 inches across.  However, they could have been from a large dog.  I'm not really sure if they are from a feline or a canine.  I'm thinking canine because the paw prints seem too close together.  Anyway, somebody estimated it to be about 30 pounds.  I have two large male cats and one of them only weighs 16 pounds, so 30 is double their size...Anyway, they were all a twitter about it possibly being a jaguar...I'll let you decide...the controversy continues.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lucille and I~5th ride

So, last Tuesday, on our way home from the beach, we stopped by the horse ranch.  I wanted to make it in time because my trainer, Maia, was there with the horses.  I can never get to their lesson during the week, as she only comes on Tuesday, and I'm at school.  So, I hustled hubby and we got on the road by 9:00.  We arrived at the ranch by 10:30 and Maia had Lucille saddled and was ready to ride her.  Instead, I rode her (tennis shoes and all!).  It was a beautiful day up at the ranch.  Lucille was her usual calm, collected self (THANK GOODNESS), but it sure is a LONG way to the ground when I dismount!  I have to use a mounting block to get on her, but I can drop to the ground to dismount.  Only, my tennis shoe got caught in the stirrup.  OUCH~That's a BIG leg extension and I have short legs!  I wasn't planning on riding her, but everybody insisted and hubby took these photos.  She was one happy horse after the ride!  :-)