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, 27 November 2014

Visit with Jack Frost , and catching up

It seems I have been neglecting the blog again! 
No real reason, it seems I have been just puttering around and doing things, and been a little tired of late, so when I am usually going to sit at the computer and write, I am laying in my bed and sleeping. I am continuing my work with the kids and coaching sessions, soon we will be moving Cat and Andee to a local barn where we can continue our work in an indoor arena, hopefully Martin and I will also be able to make use of this facility and do some winter riding.
Also I have continued to go swimming a couple times a week, and have increased my stamina to allow for 750 meters on my last swim, the shoulder is holding up well, and with the use of a tennis elbow braces so is my elbow. I feel confident I will achieve my goal of 100 meter by Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas,it sure is looking a lot like it around here lately, or at least like winter!
We have had several days with Hoar frost, which are cold but sure make for pretty pictures !

The boys are enjoying themselves 
 "That'll do little dog,that'll do"
 more frost 
 even makes the booby trap pretty 
 A different look at a favorite scene

 We celebrated a milestone birthday  for my sister last weekend , I even baked, not one, but 2 cakes ! 
One a gluten free Pumkin spice cake ( for my nephews girlfriend ) And an old fashioned carrot cake! YUMM

Today we had more frost, and an ice fog, which changed my plans to haul the girls, so it will be next week now, but I would rather wait and be sure we can be seen on the road, those two horses like all of them are precious cargo! So instead we have some pics of the gang frolicking in the mist. Well frist we have the kids, munching in the mist ...

 unfortunately I missed the real "money shot" here, as just a moment later Cat reared up then leaped in the air and kicked out !

  Boss mare looking regal ,Get Rich Quick, (That Richie mare) 
and the lights of my warm house where the wood stove was warming the kitchen and  home made soup! 

Stay safe and warm my friends 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

"work with the horse you have now" or the situation

Maybe a bit of a ramble again but I think it might be interesting;

I was working with one of my young clients the other day, one of the issues as a child in a home with foster and adoptive members, are struggles with acceptance of change and the dynamic in the home. Add to that the client  was not feeling great, and it was cold I wasn't sure how much we would accomplish , so instead of a specific "plan " we just went for a walk. I had  just moved the horses around, making room in a small herd for my new mare "Lacy".
In one pen we had Cat, Andee,Johnny, and added Jewel ,Ici and Richie. Johnny thought he was the mega boss and was about to take on Richie's little band with guns ablaze!
Those of you who have read the blog for some time, know Richie is the ultimate boss mare I write about  that here , and well essentially she handed Johnny his own ass! LOL
Johnny is not stupid, so he took his smack down then began to work for  his position as second in command. Respectful of Rich but maintaining his authority with the others, if he went too far, Richie took him down a peg and so it went, the whole integration took less than 10 min. Now that is some leadership Richie!
the two groups , together but separate 

still some division but the are all eating together and doing well 

By the time my client arrived, that was settled, but a couple things had changed. New horses in and Annie was no longer in with that group. Cat (Whoa Dammit) was struggling with that change, missing her friend and simply not a girl who accepts change well. She was leaning over the gate, calling her friend and very agitated, I was talking with my client and gently stroking Cats face, when I did that she settled  with the sense of the familiar ,but as soon as I stopped she became a  bit more anxious. Compared that situation  to my clients home and asked if she understood how Cat might be feeling? A huge YES in response , so we talked a little about how we might help Cat settle herself, and that little gal got right into it talking with Cat about change, stroking her face and just gently being with her . Then the light dawned for the client and the words continued to pour out.
We then moved over to Stryker and Harley ,while walking we talked about a younger sibling, new to the home  and how irritating he was to her. So I asked what irritates you ? she replied , he copies me, and follows me around , and tries to be with me and , and ,and ...
Fair enough, so as we walked over to the other pen we saw Stryker (boss of that group) moving the new mares Annie was new to that pen around , and Harley standing near but behind  and watching . Annie was letting the new girl close ,but not too close , and of course the new girl was on her own. Stood and watched a while as each horse took a time to check the other out. Harley was not aggressive but mirroring Stryker, The new mare Lacy was approaching ,in a submissive manner and also mirroring Annie, maintaining some distance but staying in the vicinity. We talked about the mirroring behaviour,I asked her if that looked familiar? she agreed yes, then I asked why she thought the mare was doing that? her answer  "to try to fit in?" and before I could lead her to it, she said "Oh I get it ! that's what X is trying to do at home ! " Sometimes the moment happens all on its own.
Moving forward on that  path we then talked about some of the behaviours we saw in this nice quiet group, that might translate for her and her family interactions. Will be seeing her again next week, hoping she was able to try putting some of that into practice.

I wanted to share this, just because as much as we plan sometimes I think the moment creates itself , and you need to go with it !

Monday, 10 November 2014

Welcome to my snow globe

We knew it was coming, but somehow the longer it took the more we were able to dream that it might not.
But in the end , Old man winter never lets us down ! Arrived with a vengeance on Saturday . 
But for once I was ready, I had the horse all set up in winter quarters, and the pens ready for the cows. 
 I went out on the gator , to call them in, I should have had video , the cows were more than ready to coma but Bully! well he rivaled California Chrome the speed he came in! He is not even seen in the abocve pic, but shortly after I took it he came out of the bush on the run, passed the cows and me and pretty much met us in the yard! 
 The new girl (who as I type this it occurs to me I haven't yet told you about ) was not too sure about the cows but she and the group she is with settled quickly.
The new mare is named Bright Eyed Beauty, Lacy is her barn name .She is a 9 yr old registered Appaloosa mare who came to me via a friend and fellow appaloosa breeder ,Linda of Starmyri Appaloosas   Lacy belonged to her sister. Linda contacted me in the spring about this mare and initially my response was to decline, but then I saw her, and her pedigree, and well, you don't often get offered horses of that caliber and with the background she has (Linda is a very reputable gal) so I agreed. Her pedigree, suits my program as thought she was bred to be here! 
The pictures I have are not great as she was fairly excited as she met the new herd and then once settled I just could not get far enough away from her to get a photo! Another pocket pony offering free horse hugs!

The other group getting warmed up to face the storm ! 
 All were pretty revved up 

 but it makes some pretty pictures 
 After all the moving and sorting things out it was time to go in and warm up. Hot chocolate with caramel espresso, and Baileys! That will fix you right up! 
 I stayed home Saturday night and for the first time in forever it seemed I was not going to go to the Canadian Finals Rodeo! I have attended since I was a kid. Dad and I were planning to go , but the roads were poor and we decided against it,m sent the tickets along to an honorary niece, Cara,and her boyfriend. I hope they enjoyed it .
But as luck would have it I got a text the next morning from a friend who had a spare ticket to the Final ! I didn't even have to drive far, met her halfway and her hubby drove! Yay for second chances!
Pictures are difficult at best and on a cell phone more so, but this snappy chestnut caught my eye 

Put me in mind of this guy. Though Badger was a bigger horse and had one less stocking.

Anyhow that is the goings one currently her at Fern Valley. So again welcome to my snow globe! and the Winter of 2014/15 ! Lets hope its a short one! 
As always , stay safe my friends, and now I will add, stay warm! 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Photo Shoot

A while back I mentioned I had agreed to do something a little out of my comfort zone, no not the presentation , which was also out of character for me , but by the way went very well! 
Not quite ready to join Toastmasters, but I got the job done and had great reviews .
No this was something a bit different.  
  I got a message some time ago , that there was a photographer looking to take some photos of Appaloosas and their person. 
Well I am not a huge fan of having my picture taken but you all know how proud I am of my beauties!
 So I signed up.Small world , I actually know this gal, I gave her riding lessons when she was a child. So what a great time I had visiting and catching up, didn't feel like a photo shoot at all!
She emailed me the link to the photos yesterday, and I am very pleased! The horses look great, and actually I think so do I! 
Not really the cover girl type, but I think Megan captured me and who I am quite well 
 My boy Johnny! 
 My beautiful girls 
 Annie with a guest appearance by Johnny
 Oh my! Andee looks like a big girl here! 

this is a sampling the link to the rest is Here

ANd I Am not avoiding telling you about the new horse  I mentioned in the last post, I just need time to take a few pictures of her so stay tuned! 
and as always stay safe !