Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Out of the office

Normally at work , I am out in the community more than I am in the office, this last few months however I have been in the office more and more. When I do get out I love to see the beauty around me.




When I am not at work, I have been "out of the office"  a lot( as shown by my lack of blogging ) , not sure what I have accomplished but I sure have been busy!
Seems as the days grow shorter, my list gets longer. 
But I have had time to take a picture or two 



I have received another referral for the Equine assisted wellness coaching I do, and as before the first session was going out to see which horses this little lady would connect with .It seems like we never can guess which horse it will be, but this time I was very surprised that it was little Miss Whoa Dammit , herself! Cat is a confident cocky little mare who tends to  kind of go her own way.and not really warm up to strangers right away.What a surprise  to see her soften her eye and lean right into this gal, even pinned her ears and warned the others off, but did not move from her new friend! 
 Eventually allowed Andee to come into the bubble , but still kept herself between 
A shining moment 

I am quite looking forward to working more with this young lady and Cat. As much as I teach them , these kids and horses teach me right back!

Something else kinda different going on this weekend, I have agreed to do something , a thing that is right out of my comfort zone but ,well we have to try right? Hope it goes well .
I will let you know after the weekend, maybe ...
meanwhile , stay safe friends 

Monday, 8 September 2014

That is one nice Harley !



This Harley, that is . he went out to spend a month  or so with Katie. I wanted him lightly started this year.He is for sale and also he needed something to occupy his quick mind. Harley is a very bright colt. To quote Katie "the smartest 2 yr old she has ever worked with !" Apparently when going for a little ride down to the river Katie's dog , a Cane Corso , jumped up against his side,Harley's reaction was to slightly spook in place and stand there watching calmly as Katie jumped off and corrected the dog. Then continued down to the river like nothing had happened. 

 Friday ,Angela came out for a visit after several days on call at the clinic she is now working at. The life of a country vet! she had some stories to tell!a few glasses of wine and a really good chat! then Saturday she and I went to get Harley. Now normally I don't ever bring a horse home form the trainers without riding them , but Harley is just 2 and I am a bit too heavy for him. If he is still here in the spring I will take him back to Katie for a refresher, that is if she doesn't  just decide to buy him for herself , she is a big fan of my snappy red colt! Anyhow if he goes back I will ride him then. For now he is going to just spend some time growing up a little more and growing is another thing that kid does well.He is going to be a big boy when it is all said and done. If it hadn't snowed today I was actually planning to go measure him. Yes, you read that right! SNOW !! Cold wet white and horrifying! 



And also gone (thank goodness ) by this evening!Just a test fire I guess of what Mother Nature has in store 

Anyhow, back to Harley
I think Katie is right, that is a darn smart kid! 30 days and doing quite well


Brought him home and settled him back in with the old man Stryker, and so far everyone is staying where they belong. 
 Got all dressed up and attended the Canadian Country Music awards with Deanna and Adam , and because my hubby is out of town, my date for the evening was Karly, one of Dee's long time friends



Also she is one of the gals that attended the Tim McGraw concert with me earlier in the year. I love that these young ladies that I watch grow up still want to hang with the old Auntie! 

Speaking of the girls I watched grow up, I had the honor of doing a little photo shoot for Deanna and Adam again. What an adorable couple ! I don't usually take pics of people, but its hard to miss with these two,Hoping to get my other niece tar, and my nephew Brendan to get some pis too, I am sure their mom would love an album or framed collage. Here are a few of my favorites 







This last one an "out take" , but I love the pure joy of the moment 


So busy as usual, but other than shoveling sn*w this morning and trying to keep my gazebo from collapsing under the weight of it ,its pretty much business as usual .
Her's hoping Ma Nature is over her tantrum and we have an Indian summer headed our way! 
Stay safe friends  

Friday, 5 September 2014

A winning hand for the Wild Card! And don't think the old man is out yet!

I have come to learn in the  business of selling horses you have tire kickers, you have interested parties, and then you find just the right person.
It is been no different with FV Wild Card(Wilder) 
He has been listed for around 60 days, in that  time we had a great deal of interest . Several individuals came to try him. This sweet horse took exemplary care of each of the individuals who came to try am out from the 12-year-old girl to the 50+ lady who tried him, he was cool sweet and kind throughout. Like with any horse he wasn't a perfect fit for some, would've made a great fit for others and for others still, just too much horse. 
Reasons for not taking him home were, anything from the price to finding another one that they liked better to just not sure if their skills that was enough to manage the horse.
 Then along came Charlotte, she stated very clearly that she wanted a confidence builder had been riding most of her life but was feeling a little nervous and didn't want anything to challenging. Where they arrived her husband commented that he had fallen off a horse that they tried this week who while it was marketed as a 4-H horse once it was out of the arena bolted and things quickly went wrong. We caught the side of the wilder and Charlotte stepped up. Wow! That girl may not have had her confidence she certainly had competence on her  side. A very good rider who just had lost a little of her edge with growing older and having kids. She rode in Monday then went home to think about it and returned on Wednesday to ride again.Wise move  by her, when she returned on Wednesday she asked that I let her catch Wilder herself tack him up, which I was happy to do.He has always been easy to catch and gentle horse to work with. Charlotte brought her father with her for a second opinion and he agreed. A couple laps around the round pen then down the road and passed the driveway a couple of times showing that he was not hard to take away from the farm and or herd bound. And with that we have a sale!
Congratulations Charlotte I hope that Wilder bring you years of joy! 




After Wilder left I put Stryker back in with Johnny and the girls, well that proved to be a poor idea.Johnny had grown quite comfortable with his little harem, and seriously objected to Stryker's presence . He  bugged at him a fair amount but Stryker seemed to be handling it , at least until some time in the night . I was awakened by a call from my sister at 4 am to tell me Stryker was out! I was a bit panicked thinking he must have broken through a fence and be cut up...
(Pictured here this summer with Harley)
NOT! not a scratch , all fences are intact, apparently  he just had enough and at 25  the old boy can still bust a move and he jumped out! 
He is fine and as Harley will soon be home he is hanging out alone for now. I will get him integrated back in with Johnny but a little later in the month when I have things better set up and can put the boys in alone for a time . 
That's all for now , stay safe friends .


Sunday, 31 August 2014

Wheres Winston ?What I have been up to, wasps ,and why you should always carry a pocket knife

So I am doing this post a little back to front , then back to the front again .K? got it? lol 
Well starting with this evening, Martin and I went out to  check some fences and move cows, Winston and Skeeter of course came with. So while Martin was stapling wires I was taking pics .

 I do adore this handsome fellow! 
 rolling in the peat to get a good smell on him 
 checking out new territory (well new to them ) 

 Last night was a little family BBQ , I had a nice big pork roast so I invited my sister and brother in law, and family , though only Dee and her sweetie were able to attend of the kids, and also my cousin Kirk and family (Kirk and Amber , as well as my sister often have me over for supper when Martin is away so its nice to return the favor) 
The kids Emily and Kyle loving on Winston 


 A nice evening for a fire 

 Dessert, my sister Heather's famous rhubarb upside down cake, she gave me the recipe, and frankly the ingredients as she was working and did not have time to make it for me (note to self, ask sooner) It turned out fine, but I like it way better when she does the baking 

SO back to earlier in the week, Martin is home this week , going back tomorrow, so we spent a lot of our time together , but last Sunday before he came home I had a visit with Mel! 
 It has been quite a while since we had time for a good visit so I was quite pleased to have the afternoon to hang out with her . 
Just before she left , I got stung by a wasp, again! That would be 3 times this year alone (probably have only been stung before this maybe a half a dozen times ) I was irritated, but ,well it is what it is , well by Tuesday I had been stung 3 more times , in different areas of the farm , and once in town, I am starting to react a bit to them , with itch swollen sting sites and a distinct loss of my sense of humor! 
We have now spayed the living daylights out of all the nest we can find, and also gotten our old bug zapper  out and placed it near the house. On top of that we bought these little rackets that zap them so its kind of like Bug badminton! There is something very satisfying  about nailing a wasp that is bent on stinging me with one of these, there is a snap and a spark and NO MORE WASP . Sorry if that sounds  barbaric, but I am done with them . I am a live and let live girl to a point, I have clearly hit that point! 

I have had a a few more inquiries about Wilder, and a couple people lined up to come see him, some were suppose to come this weekend buy one had to reschedule, and the other apparently stopped one place before coming here and bought that horse. Still lots of interest in him so I think once the right person comes to see him he will find a home .Then there is Tango, he to will find a home (if he survives ! )
Went to move them tonight and the "kids were running up and down the pen like their bums were on fire, well Tango didn't make the last corner and sort of half jumped half somersaulted over a 5 ft fence! landed on his back,  breaking one board in the process, but I thought for sure I was watching my colt kill himself! He landed in the mares pen but they were luckily on the far side so they weren't there to add to the drama, I quickly went to open the gate and it was chained and tied. This is why I say carry a kife, I needed to get him on the right side of the gate quickly and frankly my hands were shaking to hard to try untying the string so I cut it whipped the gate open and walked him calmly back in . He seems OK a little shy and shook up, but moving freely so we will see how he is tomorrow.Hoping youth and resilience are on his side 
Ad to that , I have someone interested in Debs mare Peps, and found her tonight with a nasty gash on her side! Sigh , she will survive, but its going to be a little challenging showing her under saddle ofr a few days! I may have a glass or six of wine tonight! 
Anyhow all's well that ends well I hope and I am looking forward to a new week , hopefully the wound will heal nicely and Tang  will start dancing with all four feet on the ground again!
Meanwhile friends Stay safe!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

He is on his way!

FV Rainmakers Quest (Maks) is off to his new life bringing his own :Unforgettable Spots " to DeWinton Alberta!
Congratulations Kate, and family I am sure he will  he bring you years of joy!
 His new family arrived  this morning to pick him up, but not before Katie (honorary niece) trimmed his feet . So he went to his new home all up to date 



My merry little band is down to 3 now



                                         Good luck Handsome boy! we will miss you ! 
                                                           Stay safe friends 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Pussycat Pussycat ,where have you been?


No not to London to visit the Queen. But I do love that old rhyme . The above pictured kitty did go somewhere though,to a new home with my cousins
But as to where I have been? Well the Emerald City ,just like I said! 
Dad and I flew to Seattle last weekend to visit his sister(Auntie Peggy, and Uncle Brian  ), my cousins and to attend my cousin Murray's wedding .
And we had a wonderful time . 
I will just let the pictures speak for me here 
Uncle Bill , Auntie Peggy and my dad. She was a happy lady to be standing there with her brothers 
 All dressed and waiting 

 I think we clean up good! 
The beautiful elegant bride 

Krebs family 


  Murray and his daughter Cassie





 My dad, dancing  with the bride! 


 He has some moves! 
 Dad and I with Uncle Bill and Sharon who also traveled form here to the wedding  at Pike Place market 
 From the Chihuly exhibit , stunning works of blown glass art 




Dad having some fun at Seattle centre 

Sunset on the last day  from the balcony at my Aunt and Uncle home 


It was a wonderful trip and I am so glad I went, but I was glad as always to come home, there really is no place like it !
Stay safe