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, February 25, 2016

Spring up at the ranch

Spring has arrived early this year.  The trees are blooming, the ravens are out, and the sycamore and maple trees are budding.  The horses are losing their winter coats, and my allergies are kicking in!  OYE!  But, it is indeed a beautiful time...

 The lupines are blooming along Highway 74

 Blossoms...the trees were FULL of bees!

 The sycamore trees are budding.
 The ravens were out for a flight.

This is one of the blooming trees.  I believe it is a flowering plum.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pretty Gigondas

Of all the horses, I think perhaps Scout has made the most progress, but so has Gigondas (Gigo).  She now knows that when I come up for a visit, I will take her over to the large corral next to her and let her loose.  She patiently waits by her gate and calmly walks over with me to the corral.  Honestly, she would probably just follow me, but I don't want to take the chance that she would spook.  She enjoys her corral time.  I need to put some water there for her as she could lounge and run all day there!  :-)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Busy Sunday!

I drove up to the ranch yesterday...FINALLY!  It had been a month since I'd visited the horses.  I don't worry about them, however, as they are in good hands.

First, I took Gigondas over to the large fenced corral so she could run.  All she did was roll and eat weeds...sigh...

Then I took Sunni down to the arena.  He ran and rolled and rolled and rolled and ran some more!  Finally, when he was done, I took Scout down there.  She waited patiently at her gate and didn't drag me at all!  She did try to run off right away, but I made her stand until I told her she could go.  She's come a LONG WAY!

I went up to the round pen and brushed Quad.  I think he's a little thin, so I'm going to order some CocoSoya oil for him.  It's hard for him to keep weight on.

They were all well behaved and it was a gorgeous day up at the ranch.

Here are some pictures:

 Sunni exercising

 Pretty Gigondas.  She has really softened up in the last year.  She knows she is safe.

 Goofy Scout.
I only have a couple of cell phone photos of Quad.  He wouldn't get out of my face!  I'll have to save them to my computer and then upload them.  He was eager for company.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Not to worry...she's fine.  I just thought I would post a couple of photos of her, especially since I can't go anywhere out front without her being under my feet!  She LOVES to help me garden and she constantly walks through my front garden, breaking off my salvia!  She means well, however!   :-)  Let's see...she will be 9 in September.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Living Desert

Hubby is working this weekend so Saturday morning I decided to drive up to the Living Desert Reserve and walk around before the crowds came.  As a member, I can get in early.  It was so nice and quiet there.  A few people were doing early morning walks and some of the animals were having their enclosures cleaned.  I got to spend some time near the mountain lion exhibit.  I always enjoy seeing her.

By the time I was done, I was sweating!  Phew!  It got hot quite soon yesterday.  I'm glad I got out and walked around for about an hour.  I used to do this after school, but then they changed our dismissal time and now I would have to rush to get there before 4 p.m.  I could do it, but I'd be so tired that I wouldn't enjoy it.

I sure enjoyed it Saturday morning, however!!!

 Mr. Badger was out and not sleeping!

 Brittlebrush are blooming...
Old palo verde tree

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Loki is gone...RIP Loki

He was nearly 21 years old.  I found him up at our local Petsmart back in 1996, the year after we got Maverick, one of our German Shepherds and he was already a year old when I adopted him.  It was our son, who was still in high school, who named him Loki (the Norwegian god of mischief). He outlived both Maverick and Rommel, two of our male German Shepherds and then Lady.  He is the oldest-living cat I've ever owned, or animal, for that matter. I watched him go from a vibrant, energetic cat in his prime to an old -man cat.  He would wander around the front yard and even the birds would make fun of him, but he didn't mind.  I built him a little house right outside the front door, where he could feel the warm air coming out.  We have had some frosty nights, so I put a sheet and then a nice, warm blanket over it and I made sure the sides were covered.  He had two cat beds (so he could choose) and the minute I would step outside, he would come out of his "fort".  Water dribbled down his chin when he drank and sometimes it seemed like he was confused.  But, I didn't wish to take him from the ONLY home he had known for nearly 21 years.  He died peacefully out back, in his own yard, and I buried him right where he fell.

RIP, Loki...I will miss your mischievous soul.

Loki giving me a sniff.  He had the most beautiful sky blue eyes I've ever seen, except for my Viking grandfather, my maternal grandfather.  They both had light blue eyes.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Other critters at the ranch

Besides the horses, there ARE other animals who live in & around the ranch where I board the herd.  First, there is a family of ravens who have lived in one of the oak trees for generations.  Their nest is a complete MESS, but every Spring, the young ones are out with the parents having flying lessons.  It's fun to watch them.  And, the ranch owner throws out dead mice for them every morning.  She captures them in one of her aviaries and the ravens are eagerly awaiting their breakfast each morning!

I've also seen two snake skins and 2 LIVE gopher snakes.  I screamed at the first one and her husband came running and beheaded it, so when the second one came out of the same faucet, I put my hand over my mouth and put on my BIG GIRL PANTS and didn't scream and it got away.  Phew!

Unfortunately, one time the owner DID see the markings of a sidewinder, but never saw the snake.  We certainly don't wish to welcome THEM onto the property.

I also found the skeleton of a snake once.  I should start collecting these things!

There is an owl who lives in the pine tree next to the front gate and one time I accidentally flushed it out.  Then, there is a hawk who lives nearby and who preys upon the baby quail.  Gosh darn!  Out of 24 babies one year, only 6 survived...

Many cottontails live in and around the ranch and Gigondas has a bunny friend to keep her company.
Other than that, there are a couple of loud dogs next door.  There used to be a German Shepherd up at the ranch right above theirs, but I haven't seen or heard it in years.

A family down the street has a cow, which I hear every once in a while, and there are chickens on ranches all around.

I really DO enjoy my visits to the horses.  I'll be going up there this weekend because NO RAIN is in the forecast!  (thank goodness!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Metal sculptures, Aguanga

Hubby and I drove to Temecula on Saturday and stayed overnight with our son.  A storm front was moving in and by Sunday, it had rained most of the night and was still raining.  The wind was blowing the rain sideways and I had to run out to the market to buy eggs for breakfast.  Needless to say, I got soaked.  I stayed home yesterday (Monday), nursing my sore throat.  Ugh.

Anyway, we did stop at the metal sculpture place near Highway 371 and Highway 79.  Hubby didn't want to get out of the car, so I took photos of some of the sculptures I hadn't viewed before.  It was windy and cold, so I didn't stay long, but I found these:

 I LOVE these horses!
 Cutie pie!

 Not sure about this one...