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 .

Friday, 30 March 2012

Baby pics

 Baby girl#1 

 #2 baby boy, not even dried off yet and looking for the lunch wagon

 # 3 And Baby boy, full brother the "elusive Louis , the nasty little bull calf that tried to beat up Winston and I when he wasn't hiding last spring(Louie shown below)

 This little guy seems much sweeter, lost track of mom for a bit so he followed me around the pen till we were able to reunite the pair of them 

Another shot of baby#2 now that he is all cleaned up

Stay safe everyone 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

On your mark...

Well here we are , first calf of out 2012 season! Nice little heifer, born this morning, for once on dry land (some days I wonder about cows , walk 10 feet from the straw  bed to calve in the snow ,but not this mamma!) Up and doing well by the time we met so I guess that April 1 date was off again,but not by much lol. Its OK the weather seems to be good and holding for the next while so away we go !

took these shots late in the day with the sun setting , sure makes the red cows glow! 
Stay safe everyone, I think we are doing OK on the warm! 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Starting on volume 3?

Living Green
In the war for the environment
There are some forgotten soldiers
They are not heard, or seen that much
Don’t stand on others shoulders
They don’t yell out or holler foul
Not like those TV Charmers
Their armour is their coveralls
I am talking about farmers
Reduce reuse recycle man?
The farmer does all he can
Rebuilds a part, he won’t replace
And never does he waste on space
Not one to tell you how to live,
You could learn from his advice
After all, he has learned
To use the groceries twice 

And , I know spring is here, but this is my (hopefully farewell homage to the winter of 2012
Winter comes

When winter comes to us out here
It comes without much warning
You go to sleep in autumns glow
And wake to find it storming
From  the warm suns glow
Before  you know
Gone is all the grass
Be careful  friend
Around the bend you
Could fall on your
Ask anyone the north
They are from
If they would trade  this season
Most will say no
They will never go
And each one has their reason 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Just beyond the wardrobe door, is...

 A beautiful frosty morning 

 A battle Royal

Any wonder ,it makes me think of Narnia?

Yesterdays , Snow Angels ,Fern Valley Style

 This one? he ain't no angel!
 Sleepy Comet 

Not much I can say to add to these , Stay safe , and warm

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Run!!! "Another thinking post"!

Well apparently , taking time to rest and recuperate , gets me thinking . Hope you all  can  bear with me and follow this tangled  ramble 

"In order to truly learn all you can , you need to listen with an open mind, and a closed mouth.
Remember every voice in your world has merit, and no matter how young, old, silly or inexperienced you think they are , you can learn something from them, maybe even something about yourself" 

I posted this on Facebook the other day .it is a compilation of  statements I have heard in the past ,and what my own thoughts were, so not a direct quote , but certainly a familiar message .
And something I believe very strongly to be true. Regardless of your level of education , or experience , there is always more to learn.
Be it with your job, or  your day to day life . And of course working with animals . We , who have been at it a while , are often quick to judge the "newbies " in the industry  and deny them credibility. That is wrong, because while we very well may have something to teach them, they may also have something to teach us ,if we let them . And I believe the key to the industry coming back is the new folk. They need support and mentoring, but they also deserve, and demand our respect!
I read an article  written by a large scale breeder the other day, rather than bashing the small breeder she was  congratulating us/them on sticking with it  in the horse industry , her take is that it is us the smaller breeder who are keeping the industry afloat, raising one or  2 -4 really good quality horse a year, with a clear eye on the  needs and wants of the industry, working hard to produce the very best we can.
Small breeders are often the first place a new horse buyer goes to find their first horse, and we are the gateway to the horse industry  in a way. We need to be ambassadors  in a way to  get them not only involved in the industry , but to keep them happy and wanting to stay.
One thing , among the very many things we can learn from  new folk, is to regain our joy .That spark of pure happiness when we got our first horse, our first successful canter and on and on . They will if we let them refresh  us and  teach us to let go of the rope and bit and get back to enjoying our  horses. And for that they deserve our thanks and respect.
Thanks for all the sweet comments on my last post, I am fine , just think the weather and time of year knocked the wind out of my sails.
Will be out today  hopefully even taking some pics , though it is still pretty white so...
Stay safe and Warm!

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Fridays , for sale will be back next week, I have been pretty busy  and the weather at the moment sucks . March is giving us one (hopefully) last blast ,and I cannot face showing pics of the  white stuff today . As far as I am concerned Old Man Winter needs to go to a retirement home !
Whether it is the weather , or all the rest I am too pooped to do a proper post .
Will be back at it over or after the weekend
Meanwhile stay safe and warm

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tricks and tools

A while back , Nicole asked  how I  didn't have frozen hoses all winter? Now I have posted by times about my Automatic waterers giving me grief ,and the standpipe for the mares has just recently given some trouble, but hoses? I have under control. And that is a good thing , because if and or when I have trouble with the automatics , my fail safe is to  run a stock tank full for who ever is affected until I get things fixed. so I need the hoses to be thawed and available all the time . I used to try to coil them up , and put them in the shower in the barn BR , but 100+ feet of hose is a big pain and I  have tangled myself in them and tripped too many times to count . Another choice is to coil it up in a barrel or some  kind of pail , but again it is a bit of a hassle , doable for sure  but...
Then I found this !
(Sorry , tough to take pics in the barn light )
This is a garden hose reel,  tough , geared reel ,holds up to 70 meters (a whole bunch ) of hose , as it winds it squeezes excess water out , closes and is a seat (in case you are tired from rolling LOL) 
and has wheels on one side ,I tend to just carry it , to the tack room , but in a pinch I could roll it . Stores nicely in corner of the heated tack room and I have hose ready to go at a moments notice! 
The only issue I had with is is the connector  hose , 
Because it doesn't pivot well , and I was connecting and disconnecting it often , it go a bit mangled , this is after 2 years use  mind you . So I went out the other day, as garden stuff is popping up in the stores now , and replaced  it , I also bought quick connectors to avoid the issue in future and a  sprayer end to make it easier to keep my hands dry . As my honorary nephew Robert says  "minus a million" is a poor time to have wet hands! 
Also picked up  one of these to replace the one that has vanished! This works great for horses like my pet Raccoon Phoenix,who occasionally feels the need to wash  his hay in his stock  tank, if you scoop it out sooner than later the water stays nice and you don't have to empty and scrub the tank (see wet hands comment ) when it is cold . However if you have a horse like  my sweet ole pal "Sh*ts where he stands" (Darling Eurus ) I have been know to bail the tank or suck out the water with the old shop vac.in order to clean it in the cold. 
So there you go , some of my little tricks to make life easier. I am telling you this now , as the garden centers are  starting to bring in stock and a lot of these items are tough to find in the fall and winter. but keep your eye out if you are thinking of getting them , the  hose reel s run fro $50-$80, but late in the summer are often at a steep discount ! 
Well worth it if you  can get one ! 
Stay safe stay warm, and keep those hands dry ! 

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Feeling somehow ,on edge lately, not in a bad way , just there is so much  coming  in my life, just around the corner. I just can't help but want to run right at it !
Mid March, the snow is melting, and yet we are expecting some  more in the next day or so sigh. The temps are warming up and spring seems just outside our grasp. 
April will be here in no time ,and the start of calving season 
 (nosh nosh,  go away! eating for 2 here! ) 
And with it photo ops galore! 
(Calf whisperer Winston from 2011)

Then The Mane Event ! 
where hopefully I will be selling  both Telling Tails , and my new book Tails trails and Campfire Stories! 
Sent the final edits this weekend and the book is off to the printers! Yay! 
Spent a little time gathering supplies for the event this weekend (told you I am excited) 
made some  labels for bags,too expensive for my little venture to have printed bags (you have to order  2-500) but the packaging store has these if you  aren't set on a color or style in batches of 20 for cheap. SO I just made my own labels! I prefer the paper bags as they are more environmentally friendly .

Following the Mane Event , we will be watching for new foals. 

(last years glories!)

We have a wedding to attend this summer , and my plans for Phoenix to finalize  .The the hay and  and, and,
Is it any wonder I am wanting to run straight at spring? 
 Stay Safe and warm 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Fridays for sale

I mentioned after last weekend I was planning to re start my Fridays for sale posts. Some other bloggers have also stated they are going to do the same , so if you want to post a For sale item , email me , or post it on your own blog and let me know in the comments. I will link to all the blogs that have items for sale , and if we each do something similar , maybe through networking  we can match people up with stuff they need.
First up for me are my 2 English saddles
1. Passier General Purpose 17"

This an older saddle that has seen some use , but is in good condition. I purchased it a few years ago, when it seemed FV Canadian Classic , might be staying and I had a brief flirtation with the idea I would possible ride English again. Lucky for me she sold as I need to realize I cannot keep them all, Ahh but she was a lovely girl!
Exact measurements of the  saddle I can  get on request . Also every Passier is stamped with a serial # a quick email to Passier and sons will give the exact info on the saddle, all specs and the year it was made .
Asking $300cdn

The cool thing, I think about used tack is,if it is made well( and Passier and sons do know how to build a saddle) Age is a bonus , well cared for used tack is often more comfortable, and  pliable. And for  new people comng into the industry far less cost prohibitive than new .
For the industry to  bounce back and continue to grow we need those new folks  badly, but we need to  educate them and keep them safe as  well and  selling good quality tack at reasonable prices is a good start.Or people who are already in the industry looking to try something new or , for lessons etc . Used is a great option as well . So I am dusting off the stuff I don't use and we will see if there is someone out there who will get use out of it .
As I said feel free to join in , post on your own blog andI will link to it, post in the comments and we can share or email me at fernvalleyappaloosas@hotmail.ca and I will feature your item here!
Have a great weekend ! Stay safe and warm

Links to other sales 
Super Size My Cob sales page

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Who are you calling a bully?

" What are you looking at?"
 "You  wanna dance punk?"
 "alright then, I think we understand each other ,for now"
Stay safe and warm everyone , it seems spring is on the way !

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The other reasons I don't watch TV

Even when Martin isn't home, I don't get much chance to choose the channel
When the boys get all wrapped up in animal planet, who would have the heart to tell them no?
(It was kitties this time ) 
Stay safe and warm 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Springing into the year

So its Monday already ! the weekend went by At record speed for me.It was a good one but a quickie. 
Worked late on Friday , then got home , did chores and loaded up my stuff,cleaning tack as I went for Saturdays spring Tack sale in Stony Plain.  
I took, my books, and calenders ,as well as my photos cards. Also had some tack to sell. We had a few saddles that had been purchased over the years as spares when we thought we  had more riders around . one in particular had never even been used , and the tack room was busting at the seams ! So it was clearly time to downsize.
The sale was awesome, huge numbers of people , all there to buy! And not just odds and ends , but saddles,and bridles, using  equipment . Often at the sale we see  people buying ,polo wraps , and spare halters, not things that indicate , new folk into the industry. When people are buying larger items, it is an indicator, at least on some level that there are new people coming in, and needing new tack for  new horses! 
I believe we are starting to see an upswing in the industry! 

I sold all 3 western saddles in the first 90min! and a gal who was also selling , and had expressed an interest in one of my saddles  said the same thing ! Only brought home my Passier, and Argentine close contact  English saddles
Lots of interest in Comets sale flyer, Quinns as well. We are slowly seeing the Appaloosa come out of the shadows in Alberta, and I believe we are converting not just stock horse people , but many others.Finally making the point that a good horse is a good horse ,and Appys are good horses! 

I did get some  interest in my calenders and book. But as I said folk were there for tack, so the only sales I had for that type  of thing were some of my photo cards. I did however receive many compliments on my work, so maybe at the fall sale , closer to Christmas I will try again.

All in all a good day, and the topper is ? the table cost me $25.00!!! Well actually only $12.50  as Deb shared it with me! Not a bad investment at all .

Sunday was a quieter day , chores , housecleaning, the usual . Time to think. 
And I was thinking a lot about the industry , and how far our blogs and Facebook reach, that if we network a bit , we can  catch the industry on the way up and work together  for all.

I will be posting sales adds  for both Comet and Quinn in the next few weeks  

I know Shirley of Ride a Good Horse  has a  gorgeous mare for sale, and I believe in the not too distant future will have  Border Collie pups as well
Also Crystal , of Ranch Riding  is  looking at selling a few 
Starmyri Appaloosas  are reducing the  herd and have some good quality stock for sale 
 And the list goes on ...
We have many talented and creative bloggers who do artwork, photography , creative handmade tack items ...

At Christmas Shirley and Janice , made  "Christmas Shopping lists " of fellow bloggers on their
 sidebars . Just wondering if we could work together to feature , say a blogger a week, to help spread the word?

I will be restarting my "Fridays for sale" posts soon, and would love to feature a for sale item or items for others as well . 
Something to think about .
Stay safe and warm ! 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Who knew the bride when she used to rock and roll?

A toast today , as a part of the  Virtual Bridal shower for Mikey of Postcards  from Arizona  She and her Sweet heart Wade are getting hitched on St Patrick's day! Congratulations to you both , wish we could all be there to celebrate not only the wedding but the wonderful folks that you are !
My gift to you is a poem, (surprised? LOL)

Two hearts 

Two hearts two hands
Two lives entwined
May you forever keep in mind
The vows you said upon this day
And not let pride get in the way
 Talk to each other
And listen well
Let your hearts sing with the wedding bells
Love and faith and patience too
Let them be strong in both of you
Celebrate each passing year
With love together
And without fear
The handsome groom, the bride in white
My wish for you ,
A future bright 

Its  early in the days here so I will raise my coffee  cup to you both! 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Gonna be a Contender!

In at the Challenge of the breeds! 
 Power lifting for horses?
 Or a true example of 
 Ranch Versatility 
 After all ,who wouldn't want a horse that can help with fencing?
And that is this gorgeous!
Stay safe and warm
With Love, Comet

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Update on my resolution

I've heard
slow and steady wins the race
So I will keep this snails pace
to try to get healthy and fit
I may stall but I won't quit
Keeping  my set goals in mind
I will work not to
fall behind
But over the years
lessons learned
a worthwhile goal
is one you  have earned
and also if I go to fast
I tend to land upon my,
ahem, Tattoo

So , here  is where I am at 12 lbs down from the start. Still not swimming (other than in Mexico ) but I have scheduled some physio, for my back and am hoping to get some time in at the pool on physio days (same location) .
Fell off my program for a bit , while living large in Mexico,, but , didn't gain , just didn't lose for a while. Then  with some birthday celebrations , I was a little less than mindful of what I was doing , and fell face first(figuratively)  into my sister's amazing cheesecake, but seriously if you had ever tasted this stuff, you would understand! True ambrosia!
All in all still doing OK, and looking forward to a steady progression towards my goal .

Hope everyone else is satisfied with their achievements so far.
Stay safe and warm !

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

some stuff to say

This is a different post, barely  a post I guess. I have noticed a few bloggers of late  had chosen to stop blogging . Sad , I guess, but they have each chosen to stop for their own reasons. And I wanted to say farewell, to ,Deanna, at My Country Genes, and Lisa of Laughing Orca Ranch to name a couple . Others have reduced how often they post , and still others have quietly just faded away. I wish all of them well, and have so enjoyed getting to know you over the years.
I have by times thought about  stopping the blog, but for the most part I still really enjoy the journalling . I don't feel a huge obligation to post every day, and  while I do try to get a few up per week it just depends on the week.Ultimately I blog  for me. I  love the feedback and comments , and the friendships I have made, but at the end of the day ,it has to be because I enjoy the journalling and the sharing of my life and thoughts. So far I still do .
So to those who have hung in there with me, thanks so much  , and to those  who have moved on to other projects, thanks to you as well, and the very best of luck in whatever you  do.

As for me , I have some good things coming up, I quite liked the trainer I met and have agreed to send the girls in August . I  have communicated with another trainer as well for Phoenix, and it looks quite promising , he could be headed south  to go to work with him as soon as April, though we do have to meet face to face  at some time first. It certainly looks good.
I will be attending the local tack sale on the weekend with my books, calender, cards and some tack that needs to  stop gathering dust in my barn and maybe be pressed into service by some other .
Final touches on editing the new book, and hopefully it will be in print soon.
Then calving , and at the End of April , like I said off to the Mane event !
Then before you know it we will be on the lookout for  the Fern Valley Foals of 2012! I can feel the excitement of spring coming , just as soon as the snow stops!
Stay safe and warm my friends! Love ya!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Pussy willows? and fuzzy fellows

 I hear there have been real Pussy willows sighted, but this is the best I have got for now 

More snow this weekend, but it is not cold, spring will come 
 had a good weekend spending time with family celebrating several birthdays, and had supper out not once , but twice, and lunch  at mom and dads today . My sister prepared a wonderful lasagna, and her famous cheesecake! 
  The rest of the weekend was , the usual , chores, feeding water etc, and a few minutes snuggling with my golden boys. Just messing with them , and distracting them from picking up the hose while I filled their tank. Picked up feet etc . Sweet boys 

All in all a good weekend 
Hope everyone else had a good one as well.
Stay safe and warm