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 .

Monday, 30 June 2014

Odds, ends and summertime

Just another "catch up" post! I have been out and about working with the babies, and checking cattle.I try to remember to carry my camera, and have gotten a few nice shots of summer here at Fern Valley
A couple of favorites here are the beautiful wild roses . The first a show of what nature will and can do to beautify the marks we make on the land 
 The second, turned out a little oddly, taken at half light on my cell phone, but I still like it even though it is a bit blurry, makes me think of a watercolor somehow

Hubby was home this week so helped me with a lot of odds and ends we needed to do, I worked, her fenced and dealt with plugged up culverts and beaver dams , and life was busy  as it always is. 
But he did make a quick trip to town to get a few things, and one of them was this 

He is such a thoughtful guy! His birthday is next week mine was in May and it was I who got the gift?
Not complaining  mind you  but .
We had a BBQ Saturday to celebrate Martins birthday and his dads as well. Great fun with great people. And there is nothing that says summer like kids and ice cream! 
Great niece Abby, and great nephew Darian enjoying it thoroughly

 The weather has been off and on and that plays a bit of havoc with my joints, makes things just feel off. I captioned this  "When nothing seems to fit" and that is how I have felt  when the storms  fire up lately, just not quite right .But we persevere!

Today was a bit cold and windy but days like this are great for photos , I find overcast days can give great pictures . Deb was out for the first time in a fair while and was pleased that little Sprite had remembered all her lessons 

Added this little animation because it made me smile,I only wish I could get things done that fast anymore! lol

Young Tango, looking a bit grubby ,but behaving well and growing like a weed 

 Such a sweet boy
 And then there is everyone's fav, Maks! 
Striking , handsome and darn smart! 

 also however a bit grubby, but we are working on it 

And finally Miss Casey! she was the last one I went to work on haltering, and really she should have been first! Easy peasy, well more or less, took a little longer walking her down, but as soon as I got the rope on her we were done, just put the halter on and walked away! What a good girls! Very reminiscent of her half Sister Canadian Classic 

  big beautiful Classy!(I have always liked this picture of her )
That's about it for now, seems I cant seems to keep up to date these days.
Off to read about everyone else's week and weekend ! 
Stay safe my friends 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Well,its not California, but we do have us some CHROME!

Sorry folks I had to, especially in light of the fact that this kids dam is non other than "That Richie mare " Get Rich Quick, winner of  among others this  1997 Appaloosa Stakes race . And that way back he carries in his pedigree  "Whirlaway" the 1941 triple crown winner. No I agree  when it is a ways(5 generations ) back it doesn't carry that much weight it is still kinda cool and  maybe excuses the title of this post. add to that coolness we also see Northern Dancer on his 5 generation pedigree!

So who are we talking about ? well it could be Fern Valleys Phoenix,he is a full brother of his but no we are talking about our other Blue eyed wonder. FV WILD CARD 

He was out for the year with a dear friend Mel, who while working at a big barn was looking for a horse to ride/ project pony. Well my brother in law who owns Wilder has a bad  back,and Wilder needed a job, so we figured it was a good match. Mel did great work with him and kept him in fine form. She is on to another project for now so it was time to bring our wild card home. Marc and I headed out yesterday  to pick him up. (by the way, who had the bright idea to drive  all of the way across from here ,to the east side of Edmonton, on a Friday in construction season at 4 pm?? oh yeah mine! dummy!) Anyhow we got there and took a little time to visit and watch Mel take  the boy for a little spin. Many have seen this video on Facebook  already but here it is again.

 Now wilder is not the only horse we have with "chrome "(white markings) but he does have some nice ones, and the shimmer of gold in his coat has always just added that little something special to his look .

He traveled well and spent the night in the round pen,then this morning I turned him in with Stryker and Harley.

 Wandering in
 Retreating! Old man Stryker was giving him a little  working over 
 Just showing him who is boss. Stryker  did a lot more posturing than actual chasing ,if Wilder would move off then he let him be 

 I think he will be fine
 Matter of fact,when I got home this afternoon, he and Harley had buddied up and old man Stryker was  hanging out  under a shady tree.Probably relieved to not have that "kid " to keep up with.

Wilder is for sale , Marc is not likely to ride him much with his work and his back, and this is too good a horse to go to waste  so keep an eye out for  a for sale post  on him.

Meanwhile stay safe friends 

Monday, 16 June 2014

A little this, that, and the other . Many pics

 Happy Fathers day all! It has been another busy week, cant tell exactly what I was doing during the week, but I felt pretty busy doing it!
When the weekend finally arrived ,I got busy doing what it seems most of us do every week /weekend all summer. Yard work , housework, checking critters etc.
 Travelling partner Winston (still think I might need to change his name to Shotgun! seeing as he does tend to grab that seat on the gator if he can!
Checking cows? I thinks I smells them ! 
Then there is Skeeter , who rides in the back, but jumps out every time I get out to open a gate .Usually lies a few feet from the gator until I start to leave then hops back in .

Shuffled some horses around on Saturday to make sure all have plenty of feed.Cactus was sure a happy guy to get into this pen!

Harley and Stryker are starting to catch up to the grass they had so off to a new space for them as well

Then Johnny and the girls (these pics feature the girls ) were in the front lake  pasture which was getting sparse , they tend to hang around in front of my sisters house so time to shuffle them into another space as well to let the lake pasture come back .
 Another Photo bomber here 
 A couple of fancy fannys headed out to the green 
FV Dreamboat Annie , and FV Catch a Dream

All are out on pasture full time now except Phoenix and the yearlings. Once the bull and steer are out I will have more options for Phoenix and right now its nice to have the Kids in in the evenings to work with them. That is when it's not pouring rain ! yeesh, hard to believe how much of that we have had.
Between the rain and being busy ,I have not taken the time to handle these kids enough. Helped Deb halter break Sprite and started with the boys  a couple weeks ago,but did not get much done.

 FV Shall We Dance (Tango)
 FV Rainmakers Quest (Maks ) 
 They are getting out and getting their excercise 

 As I said, hadn't gotten much time with them , so even though I was a bit tired  on Saturday evening I went out to have a go. Have I mentioned that these kids are GREAT MINDED!! If I haven't I sure should! This session took about 90 min total, and that is for both colts!
First Maks.A little move the feet, and learn the whoa and we have a caught colt! I grabbed the wrong halter so I had to fake it for a bit. I know folks laughed at Harley's pink  halter but it is the only one I have in pink so if I grab it  I know I have the small one . Shirley from Ride a Good Horse made me some last year, and I honestly thought one was green so I grabbed the green one and oops! not the right one .

 Made it work for Maks after all and he was a good boy, a little bracing but as I stated in a post a while back, Resistance is Futile  I did not brace against him, I just waited and let him put the energy in and soon I had him walking along steady and calm .

Forgive the shaky video, its short as I am exceedingly bad at selfies, and worse at video  over my shoulder !

Tango was much the same , a little longer to get him to find his whoa and calm but once we had it  he was a great boy. Followed so quickly and easily I had a hard time getting a photo! 

While he doesn't look particularly amused here it is a trick of the photo as well , what I see and am pleased about is he is looking at me and nice and soft , not fighting with his head flung up, or set back and bracing against me . A really good session. I did not get to Casey, but she is on my radar too! 
BTW both boys picked up all four feet for me as well in this session (but to be honest they have done that for some time weird I know picking up the feet before halter breaking ,but I take the opportunities that present to handle them in any way they come )

Other than that , had a nice lunch BBQ with my dad,mom, sister Heather and brother in law Marc along with my nephew Brendan to celebrate fathers day . I had intended to go out again this evening to work some more with the boys ,but an old friend stopped for coffee and a long overdue visit . And the "kids" will be there tomorrow.
That's all for now. Stay safe my friends.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Muddy Monday

Yup, more  rain, we have had a bunch of rain the last few weeks. It is sure green around here though so no complaining (well not much ) after the walk last week, we were back into rainy days again for much of last week. I did get out for a day trip last Monday down the "Cowboy trail" to Markerville Alberta ,for a meeting. And yes while they say there are cowboys out there you just cant see them from the road, I did in fact see several on my drive .Seems it was a good day for moving stock.Sadly I missed some great shots as I didn't have my camera. One in particular was a fellow  in a corner of a field with a group bunched, must have been waiting for another group, and he was just sitting there leaned over the horn , hat tipped back a bit ,looking pretty wilted .It was a hot day and with all the humidity ,I really felt for him. Hope there was a cold one waiting when he got done!
Got home in time for our pasture renter's cattle to  arrive and dad and I trailed them out  to the first pasture in the gator. Would have been nice on horseback, but besides the fact it was after 8 at night , and the calves are not used to being worked with horses. We needed to take salt , and I cannot  take 1, far less 5 blocks of salt on a horse ! Got some nice views all the same

 A fun little animation of what I thought was  a Loon but not so sure(and it is a cell phone pic so hard to get good detail ) I have heard them here so ....
 Happy critters hitting the biog field !

Then the rains came again , on and off all week. And also for me ,back to  work and the regular day to day shuffling paper at work and critters at home. The grass is coming on nicely and I try to get as many as I can out on pasture . The young ones and the stallions are still in on feed but for the most part even they are getting grass part of each day . 
A sunny  day most of Saturday, and  a quick trip out west to take  my cousins horses to my honorary niece Katie for training. Lucky I took my own vehicle ,or Kirk would have been stuck all day waiting for Katie and I to stop chatting! Then a nice little get together for supper with Kirk and Amber, and Heather and Marc  joined us after dinner for a visit.It is so nice to have time to visit in the evenings outside and enjoy just a peaceful warm evening .
Sunday was my mom's birthday and we all gathered at  the lodge for a picnic style lunch. Heather's fried chicken, home made buns and cake , I made Potato salad . It was a great time . As I said before , there really is no hat my mother looks bad in LOL 
 The birthday girl 
 Below is mom and her sister my Auntie Elsie. We tease one another after she called me once on my birthday or a day later and introduced herself as my demented Aunt for getting the day wrong. Well I missed her birthday this year so we are a pair. Demented Niece too! 

It was a nice day, but mom has always said it rains on her birthday , she wasn't wrong. We got home around 6 and Martin and I scrambled to get the lawn cut before the storm hit, and hit it did ! 

We got it done and only moments before the deluge came. Today was a wet  day with the rain falling steady most of it  I went into town to take Martin back to the bus , and because we had extra time we stopped at the Enjoy Centre (Holes family garden centre ) it is truly the most wonderful place ! And well I "enjoyed myself thoroughly , coming home with an herb garden, some heirloom tomato plants and of course I fell for a Begonia hanging basket again !

 And from a past post the Ogo Pogo(Sea Serpent)  and fountain I got form mom and dad's yard set up in mine. The serpent is actually going to my niece Tara some day when she has a place to put it,but for now its is nicely placed in view of the redneck dipping pool! 

So its just me , the dogs , Delilah and the ponies for another 2 weeks. They aren't Martin but they are pretty good company , and I do love taking pics of my gang! 
Johnny and company were providing the photo opp today.

Yeehaw ,or as I captioned it on FB 

"That's when I fell for , the leader of the pack!" 

That's all for now . 
Stay safe my friends !