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, 26 April 2012

Wish me luck!

Heading out first thing in the morning to Red Deer, for the Mane Event .I am excited and a little  LOT nervous!!




What if they don't like the book? what if no one stops what if???

 I have to just suck it up and go , it will be fun,I hope, and I will take pictures. I hope to have some time to visit and also to watch some of the clinicians . and maybe even if I can I will shop!
At the very least I know I am going to get to see some of my blogging  buddies, and for that reason I already know it will be a  wonderful weekend!
Stay safe

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Walk with me

After a rotten weekend 
I took a walk alone 

first I saw Comet and Quinn
And marveled how they have grown
The I spied Miss Callie, basking in the sun
in her special hiding spot 
I didn't spoil her fun

  down to check the calving pen
 they are growing strong and tall
 I also found this feathered  guy 
strutting and  sounding a call
 then I heard a tapping , high up in a tree 
and I saw this little friend 
but he did not see me
Now that my walk is done 
I feel a little smile 
I guess the best cure for me 
is to walk a little while





Stay safe 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

It ain't all sunshine and roses

This post is  about calving , but it  could be about any thing we do . we do our best , and are vigilant , and it still sometimes goes wrong . Most of the calving this year has gone pretty well. we have gotten through some nasty  weather , more or less unscathed. and the calves are  for the most part doing well. I have one little heifer here that is , well just not quite all she could be, she is drinking and mobile enough , but a little slow and a bit "off" I affectionately call her "Stupid Cupid" not sure why , but it fits. She falls behind, and gets on the wrong side of the fence, and while she has a good momma , she is a bit more lethargic than the others,not sick , just not "right " . SO you can imagine I am  keeping a pretty close eye on her, making sure she is always where she needs to be and doing OK.
Things like this happen, and hopefully she will  continue to improve.then there are the problem calvings , the neighbor called for help the other day, and Martin and I went to assist in a calving , of one GINORMOUS calf !

I honestly thought when we got there that  the calf was not going to make it , his head was swollen and his tounge  was purple, and he just wasn't coming. A bit of teamwork and a bunch of  hard work later , we got him out , alive, momma looked a little done in, but sure enough jumped  right up , and all is well.

It doesn't always go  that well, and there are losses , which are frustrating and devastating , but part of it  all the same . My dad reminded me today after a  fairly rotten situation here , of something my late Uncle Albert used to say "if you  can't handle dead stock, you  shouldn't have livestock" or something to that effect. Sad but true , it comes with the territory, it is absolutely not the goal , but it happens.
Sometimes, a perfectly simple situation goes horribly wrong in the blink of an eye. But  thank goodness, more often than not ,it goes well.


And sometimes if you are very lucky and quiet, and the timing is right , you get to witness it going right , in the very best way!

Caution, while the following pictures are a natural thing, they may  be more graphic than some prefer to see 






Stay safe all 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

If a picture paints a thousand words ...

 Then I will let these  tell the story for you 


 Color the boys happy! they are out of winter quarters  and cutting loose
 Seriously, you want me to walk in the what???
 Winston  believes its close enough to spring to go swimming
a balmy 9 Celsius today! 



I will actually  write a real post soon, just  figured these pics said it better than I could 
Stay safe 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Bring on the Timmies!!!! The Contest results


So I said I would draw for the winners last night, but I was too pooped to participate, had a huge weekend and  I was DONE .
But this morning after several cups of coffee, I suddenly remembered what I had forgotten so here we go

Ian (who by the way is the Timmies reference I believe he said he would pick the book up and bring Tim Hortons coffee if he won )

Nicole 
And 
Ranch Girl
Congrats to the winners, I  really hope you enjoy the book
Email me please at  fernvalleyappaloosas@hotmail.ca and give me your snail mail addys

Friday, 13 April 2012

Fridays for sale

Before I show you my Fridays for sale horse , I want to say ,WOW ! you  guys are good ! Several right answers  on the contest ! I will draw  for winners on Sunday
now  


FV A SHOCKING COMET (Pending)
 2011 Palomino  Appaloosa colt offered for sale at Fern Valley Appaloosas 








 Sweet tempered, easy to handle and very athletic, this colt is the total package



 Conformation, class and color 
And a little streak of  just plain fun to go with it !

Stay safe 
And don't forget to check out some of the other Fridays for sale :
Crystal at Ranch Riding  has a lovely mare  for sale 
And as others  post I will link to them 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Time for a contest???

It seems to me , that it has been a while since we had a contest here.
Add to that ,my new book is complete, and I received my Authors copy just last week. New order on the way!Looks like they will be here either the end of this week or the beginning of next.Quite a relief as I was worried I might be going to the MANE EVENT  empty handed(well not quite but...

Anyway , here is your chance to win a copy.
In the comments tell me the "real name " of  The Short Cut Appy. Simple  right? If you have been reading a while you will know it , if not and you just can't get it leave a comment anyway, correct answers will get  double entry  but all comments have a shot! So take a Chance, I am pretty sure if you win , you will think it was worth it !
Good Luck and stay safe

Monday, 9 April 2012

A different kind of cow horse

I spy , with my  gentle eye
Something that is 

 BRAND NEW BABY! 
 Hello world! 
 Johnnie  keeping an eye on things to make sure momma is a good one(she had wandered off for a bit and he walked down his side of the fence while I steered baby  towards the gate and mom. )
 "I''ll count them out the gate for ya mom!"
  "dang, not enough hooves I lost count again!"
Good that he does keep such a keen eye out as these boisterous ones are already looking for troubles! 
 "who are you calling a bully?"
 "Well I oughta!"



This is not to say Johnnie wouldn't like to chase cows too, he would  but seems to think the calves and watching them is also his job.
Any wonder I love this horse?
Stay safe everyone! 

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Sunshine Saturday!

Well to be quite honest these pics were taken yesterday but today is just as beautiful 
though the opinion of the snow left here varies  from  disgust (as shown above )

 to
 pure joy! 
Winston is likely the only one around here who will miss the snow , he loves snow, and sun, and rain, and...
this guy is pretty much always a happy dog
Stay safe and
Happy Easter 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Maybe a little controversial


This may not be a poem that makes any book, or it just might. The Animal rights activists will most certainly find it a bit unsettling, but anyone  who has  seen the horrific damage a coyote can to to a calf, or has lost a cat,rabbit ... will,I believe understand my thoughts. 
So far this year, and the past few  I have only heard them, between having a good couple dogs, and the fact that as early in the year as I can, I put the geldings out around the cattle pens to graze and be a deterrent ,( coyotes and  grumpy appys are not a combo that works in favor of the coyote) But I have  seen personally the result of one or two getting through , and I do not have a picture , but it will be forever stamped in my mind. SO take this  next poem for what it is  please .

Summer winter spring and fall
 We often here the coyote call
At end of day, in fading light
They begin their
Music of the night
An often lonesome eerie sound
Reminds us that they are around
They are a lovely creature true
But oh the damage they can do
A peaceful life I try to live
But the coyote needs to learn to give
A wider berth around the farm
 we aren’t fooled  by your charm
 So carry on, along your way
There is no place for you to stay
The stock here is mine to tend
And should you linger
You will find your end

Stay safe , everyone, and Fridays for sale will be back next week 

Good Friday

And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him.


 For He departed, and behold, He is here. ~St Augustine





Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The "oh crap Scramble"

Nope, not a new dance step,it is what happens when you have 1 brand new calf,1 protective momma, a bit of confusion at a gate, and me.



Momma went from passive  momma cow to fire breathing dragon in an instant , when I  tried to steer baby  around the gate back to her, yes I was trying to help, but she seemed to think I was the elusive 2 legged coyote!
So while John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn  was "to old and fat to jump fences" I am not!
Fear is a great motivator,it wasn't pretty , but I got out of the way and that is what counts in the end .
Did get mom and baby joined up again and all is well .
Up to 5 calves now , and other than me  practicing some vaulting , and some slick cow horse moves(My Uncle Bud once told me I would make a helluva cow horse, well I hope he is watching over me and enjoying the show!)  when moving them from pen to pen it is going well enough so far .







we are up to 5 now.Hoping they might take a tiny break as we have forecast for bad weather Wed/Thurs . But if you know cows,sigh , nothing works better to bring on calving than a change in the weather! 
We were almost snow and mud free before the last blast.
Oh well Stay safe everyone !