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 .

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Warm my heart Wednesday

Well the  pics  were  actually  taken  Tuesday ,  and  many  wont  see  this  till Thursday but ...

Stay  safe   my  friends 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Catching my breath

(Sleeping  beauties)
Been  a busy busy year   for me . Lots  going on  here at the  farm and in my  life in general. My folks  moving, mom's  health, and hospitalizations. Dad's  hip  surgery. And  my Father in law's on going illness, and fading  health .  All of that, plus the day  to  day  things here  at the  farm, and work added to chronic  pain  have  conspired  to make  me a "mildly"  stressed  Jelly  Bean.
I am running around all  day  most  days  just  trying to keep  my head above water. Accomplishing thing?? well  yes,  but  not all I want to . Sadly  for  me  when I get  feeling  stressed ,my instinct is  to become  hyper vigilant , and  have a  need  to control  every little  thing  in my  space. I  cannot control  the issues  of health my  family is  suffering , and I cannot  control other  people, but I wind  up being  very  focused on my  stuff, checking  2-3  times  what I normally  could  look  at one  time and  be  fine. What does  that achieve? nothing  more than to spiral my stress  level up and up!
So what to do about it? I cannot as I said  control  the  world or  other  people , but I can  control  what I put on my "plate" 
So  while  we  have had  a banner  year here at Fern  Valley  with the  foals. There will be  no foals  here  next  year. I am  taking  a year off  from  breeding  mares , and  going  to have all of next  spring and  summer (after  calving ) to do , well? whatever I decide  to do.
 It is much  easier to breed  mares when  they  don't have  a foal  at side , so I will be  better able to manage that on my own if  hubby is  still working  away  next year.
I have  been invited  several  times on a blogger trail  ride, and have been unable/unwilling to leave with young  foals here. I am lucky in that  my  brother in law is  very  good about watching over things  for me ,but I feel to  take off  with  4  foals looking  for a  place to kill  themselves is asking a  bit much!

 So here's  to next year! and the  freedom  to take  a holiday , go  riding, run wild! Funny  even  just making this  decision lifted a  huge  weight off my shoulders. As for foal  pics, I am  sure  there will be  lots around  with our  blogger buddies, and  Cactus  did  breed to outside mares this year(both owned by family ) so maybe I can  score  a few  baby pics  for you all  from them.
To the  foaling  contest  winners  from  this  year, I am sorry to be  so  far behind, I have not  forgotten  you ,and I will send out  your  prizes soon!
 So here's  to next year! and the  freedom  to take  a holiday , go  riding, run wild! Funny  even  just making this  decision lifted a  huge  weight off my shoulders. As for foal  pics, I am  sure  there will be  lots around  with our  blogger buddies, and  Cactus  did  breed to outside mares this year(both owned by family ) so maybe I can  score  a few  baby pics  for you all  from them.
To the  foaling  contest  winners  from  this  year, I am sorry to be  so  far behind, I have not  forgotten  you ,and I will send out  your  prizes soon!

And as you  can  see I have  no  shortage of  photos  this  year, may  just  carry  me  through! 
Stay  safe  my  friends!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Fix and Winston's product promos

CutnJump makes wonderful  fly  masks. She  made one for  Phoenix, last year, also  one  for Cactus (but I showed it  then ) Phoenix  was  out  at the  trainers  through fly season so other than to  just try it on  I never  used it last year.
But this  year...

 Gotta  protect those  beautiful blue  eyes! He  loves his  mask, and will drop his  head  over the  fence  for me to put it on! 
 Winston  has a  new  trick, he  has  taken to carrying  around  the  bag from his favorite  treats 
 Brings it to  me  at  odd  times  of  the  day, and is  often found sleeping  with  the  bag  nearby.
Ever wonder what  dogs  dream of??
I think he  is  hoping for  an advertising deal...

That's it  for now, I do  have another post  brewing  but have been pretty  busy, not sure  what I have  been doing , but a lot of something is  for sure!
Stay  safe everyone

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Catch hold of a Hummingbird

Posted  this to FB earlier;
Well if that don't beat all, sitting outside I heard a funny buzzing sound and a squeak sounded like a hummingbird but not quite. Finally went to check and found a little female hummingbird trapped between the wagon wheel and the deck in some long wet grass. Very carefully got her extracted and she chirped at me, pooped in my hand  , and nearly took my eye out leaving! I am sure that's just how they say thank you right???

 Do have to say,it felt odd holding that fragile creature! I could see her but she felt like nothing but air! Think she is fine, hope so.

This incident, and this  spring, moms illness, our  critters calving,  and  foaling  remind how fragile yet  tough God's  creatures can be.
Tiny calves  born in cold temps,bounce right up and start to nurse, just hit the ground  growing! Unless they don't,then  it  can  and does end  badly some times.

The foals ,the same up on those wobbly pins so  quickly after they are  born drinking and  running before  we  know it . Even Little Peanut (Oakley's  Arctic  Heather ) or Sprite (as I suggested today) with  her  rough star and is  doing  fine!
 well enough in  fact t o tell  big broher  Maks where he  needs  to be
Actually  it  seems  today  was a  day  for the  baby  sisters to me telling  the  boys  what's up! 
 Casey  giving  Tango  a  "talking to"

And my tough  little  mom, out  for a  visit  today , she  and  dad  brought  lunch! Burger  Baron yumm!!! 
So today  was a good day to remember to  watch  for  passing miracles ,they  are out  there .
Hope  you are all  having a  great  weekend .
And  as  always, stay safe

Monday, 15 July 2013

Juggling cats?

So  since  the clinic  wrapped up , I have  been  a bit  busy, we  had  a few  things to get  done around  here on  the weekend, then out  for  dinner  Saturday  night  with Martin,  Marc and Heather, and  friends  Deb and Brian , for a  late  celebration of  Martin's birthday . Sunday  went into  town to help Heather  with a  few things, then  Martin picked  me up and  we  went to visit  his  dad at the  long  term  care  center. Finally  attended a Colt  starting  demo with Dan  James  of  Double  Dan  horsemanship (the  fellow  who   ran  the  clinic  I attended . It  was a pretty impressive show, worked the colt who was halter broke and essentially unhandled beyond that. Nice quiet sensible approach overall, with the best interest of the horse foremost .
 He  finished in  style  with  some  fancy work, Aussie  style 
Cracking  his  whips. 

The  colt  took it all very  well, I commented on  the  way home  he  could  have juggled cats at that point and  the colt would  have  stood.

And  juggling cats is  what  I  felt like I was doing  today! 
Up  and  did  what few  chores  we  have these  days  then into  town to sign the  final  paperwork on my  new  purchase  at Martin  farm  Equipment (west  end of  Edmonton, then north to Morinville  for a  dental appt  for Martin , then  back to West  Edmonton(grabbing lunch on  the  way) for  Martin  to  stop and see his dad, I ran over to see  my mom and  dad. The  back  across  town to the  bus station (north East  side  ) with about a minute to spare  for  Martin to  get on the  bust  to head  back to work! But  we made it . I  then  grabbed a  few  groceries  on my  way home and made it here in time  to visit the ponies, and  feed  before  my new  toy  arrived! 
A nice  new  gator (way  easier  on my shoulder than  the  quad  for  hauling salt ,hay, etc! )

A few   discussions  on  who  was  calling  "shotgun" 
So  as   you see it  was a  pretty  busy  Monday,  but there is  always  time to spend with the  little  ones ! 

Stay  safe  everyone , and  have a  great week!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A little bit different

I have  not  posted any poems in some  time, and this  one is  not  really horse related, but here it  is,

For  those  who  suffer pain, emotional and or physical;

 On a  good day I can do anything
Just like I could before
On other days I try and fail,
As pain begins to soar
It comes and goes, from time to time
For no rhyme or any reason
Not from overwork or stress,
The weather or the season
Not from something I have done wrong
I did not rest too little
 Or too long
Day to day I walk a line
But if you ask me, I am just fine
Because I am overall,
The pain is a part of me that’s small
It does not change my heart or mind
It is simply not how I am defined
I am not alone, nor first to feel
This pain that is so very real
Judgement comes now and again
From those who cannot see
What is going on inside or
 How those words hurt me
Yet on a good day I can do anything
Just like I could before…

Stay  safe, and  be kind

Friday, 12 July 2013

We did it, and we actually did it pretty well

So  I am home  form the Double  Dan  Horsemanship  clinic (Ground  control 101) 
I quite  enjoyed  myself, met some great  folks and visited  with a friend , Linda ,of Starmryi Appaloosas  Who kindly ,not only agreed to take  the following photos  for me , but also "horse  sat " Cat so I could go  home and sleep in  my own  bed, AND  invited  me to join her and a  friend  for  lunch! The  horse industry is full of good  folks, great ones and well the not so  good. Linda? she is a one of the great ones. I also  have to give a  nod to the gentleman  parked beside , Steve, he and  Rosie (his  lovely  little welsh  mare  were  great  company, and he  stayed  with a  couple others  the first evening to help set up panels  for  Cats  pen. So nice for my  first  foray  back into clinics  after so  long  away to have  such a great group around .
The  clinic itself was  very interesting, Dan  James is a  pleasant and personable  fellow , with a great  base of knowledge and a  practical  approach.This  clinic  seems geared  mostly  towards creating  softness and  responsiveness  in hand  to progress towards softness and  responsiveness in  the  next levels , whether  that be under  saddle or at liberty . He  broke each exercise down  to simple and  sensible  parts to gradually  build  towards the end  result. I  was a  little  concerned that because  Cat had been  mostly untouched this  spring  she  might  bring out her well ,less than  soft  side (hence the  nick name  Whoa  Dammit) But  I was  pleasantly  surprised! She  was a  little  worried  the first part of the  day on Thursday but she  was  listening and  soft, not challenging the  lead  or  pressure. As the time  went on she  continued to be  a  good  girl living  up to her  actual name  (FV Catch  A Dream! ) 
It was  a long  couple of  days, and my back  does not  love me  right  now, but it was so  worth it ! 
Even  without  the  knowledge  gained , I got  to spend  2 whole  days  with my horse, doing  fun  stuff and enjoying  her company as well as  the  company  of  some  great people!!!
I call that a WIN! 

 A little  bonding time  over  lunch
 We  finished  the clinic  by  putting our skills to work  going  through and over a  few obstacles 
 Side  passing  over a rail 

 crossing over a tarp and  rails 

 And finally   our  little  jump , one  way  we   jumped  down off the  bank, then back and  jumped up . 

If nothing  else , Cat and I could  rock an "in  hand "  trail  class! 

Anyhow, I am, as I said  glad I went,I may have  more to say about it , but as  CutnJump  said  in  the comments on  the last post. I am  tired and have a  lot of info to sort through .
Have a  great weekend , and as always , stay  safe!