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, 4 August 2011

June 2010

Sunday evening already ! Wow , the time goes by if you aren't watching closely ! Today's post is a mix up of lots of goodies going on this weekend .
First a couple shots of a "Dandy" behind!

Actually momma Jazz has an OK behind as well

Then of course , Young Justus
He kept Martin busy this weekend , calling for fresh cut grass every time he saw him go by!
Martin grumbles but I think Justus has him pretty firmly wrapped around his hoof (LOL)
Some good news about Justus and Badger ,but the details will have to stay under wraps for a few days . Suffice to say , my "Fridays for sale " list is considerably shorter!

I also could reasonably have entered the Sunday Stills Challenge Which was History , anything over 60 years old . Below we have some of the very few milk bottles left from my families Dairy . Horricks Dairy was founded by my Grandfather and great Uncle in 1927 and ran through to 1977. In that time Grandpa was President of the NADP (Northern Alberta Dairy Pool) for 4 terms and sat on the Board of Directors for many more .The first job I ever had was working for the partnership ,(Grandpa Dad and his 2 brothers ) washing bottles and delivering milk around the farm ,I was 9, I don't recall how much I made , but at the time I thought it was huge , that money and some babysitting money eventually paid for my first horse . So in fact not only am I the "milk mans " daughter ,but The dairy industry in its own way brought me to where I am with horses too!

The labels read "Horricks Dairy ,
Natural Milk , Naturally the Best!"The phrase coined by My Grandfather George Horricks
Each of us grand kids were gifted with a set of 3 of the remaining bottles a Quart , Pint and half pint, all with the old cardboard stoppers
Also Martins dad's old tractor and behind the trees atop the hill in the barnyard is the old log house that was the original home on this property( I don't know the name of the original family ) .who' residents over the years included
included a lovely old gentleman named Mr.Jack, he worked for us for several years ,and had raised 7 children in that house !

The rest of the weekend held its usual ,farm chores , hauling water , checking stock , gazing at baby etc.I also am still treating Andee's leg , she is improving steadily and much easier to catch ,even in the big pen. Martin took on a project of siding the shed with the leftover siding from the house reno.It's going to look so good ! I offered to help ,but this is HIS project so I kept busy doing other things.

Had company Saturday night, visiting around a fire with a few cocktails (maybe a couple more than I needed ) So took my tipsy giggling self off to bed in the wee hours
More of the same today until the heat got the best of us and Martin and I headed into town for a few groceries. On the way home drove into a huge summer storm ,thunder and lightning and heavy rains . By the time we got home and got the groceries unloaded it had changed to a sun shower and we were greeted with the most beautiful rainbow.

I have a few friends who could use the promise that a rainbow brings as they are going through some of life's storms , so Love hugs and brighter days ahead to you all!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yup, he is a Dandy

Here we go ! I am officially joining the ranks of the foal parents for the year. Which means you will all be subjected to all the pictures I can take of my sweet new Dandy! (Just like last year lol) I know I never get tired of looking at all the foals that my fellow bloggers are posting about so hope it works that way here . Dandy is still a little wobbly on his pins , but Momma is carefully heping him "leg up" keeping him moving around the pasture . He did manage a fairly adorable gallop(?) but I was to busy watching to video it , I will try to better . Meanwhilee ...
I think he likes his name choice too!



Charlie's Horse

So this really belongs on "Fridays for sale , but the sooner I get it out there the better for exposure so...

This horse belongs to a friend of mine , and he has asked me to help him out with some advertising . Took pictures and a video last week and have spent a little time putting the add together for posting . Charlie is a regular working cowboy , not much for "shining things up" , so although the horse would show better with his bridle path trimmed and a little touch of Show Sheen, he is seen pretty much in the raw. Still and all a decent looking horse with a great mind and a nice settled temperament. And to quote GL "a good using horse"
I think the photos that we got and the video make a decent showing of the horse .
Here is the add so far , any input would be appreciated . Maybe if I get good at this, a sideline in photography and sales could be an option?


Well broke ranch gelding .He is a sane quiet horse with a great ground covering walk .Neck reins and works well off leg aids . Trailers ties trims. A great choice for a family ranch horse,penning , pleasure riding . Safe for a novice rider ,but has the speed and ability to please the more experienced rider . Has worked cows ,and been used for pasture roping . Easy to catch, steady and solid. No vices . An all round great "using horse".

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

She's "Dun" it again!

He is a little early , and his legs will need some time to "get under him" but all things considered my Jazzy girl has out "Dun" herself again and produced a beautiful baby boy.If you look at my side bar FV JAZZ TIME was her first colt and his day old pictures are darn near the same!

Yup, I think he is just fine

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good Morning Monday!

I feel good!
For the first time in a long time , my shoulders and back are feeling strong and not terribly sore . I was able to load hay,mow the lawn, walk out to get horses.and do most of the regular things around the farm more or less pain free. Even late last night ,Maggie cast herself in the shed and I was able to roll her over and get her upright ON MY OWN ! with no residual pain this morning!
I still get stiff muscles with over use but my recovery time is much shorter.
Still trying to be a bit careful , but it feels so good to be a little more like my old self !

I was very tired when I woke up this morning ,but walking out to feed in the warm sun, smelling the wild roses and strawberry blossoms ,I just felt ready to take on the world(once I got both eyes open) So nice .
I will have a new post up soon ,about some stuff I am doing ,but this morning i just wanted to share my "happy"


Just my size!

Skeeter just wants everyone to see his wonderful new "built just for little guys like me" dog bed .

And Say a special Thanks to his "Auntie Debbie "(Never Too Old ) and the kind peoples at her job that gave it to him. He luvs it!

Saw Chance Classy and their new family this evening, and as I said before ,those two horses hit the Lottery! Caring, kind folks who want the best for the horses. Makes me very happy!They have had a few "growing pains" and "getting to know you" issues , but things seem to be going well over all.Classy has decided Ravie is absolutely "her girl "
Also Classy's girl(Ravie) has started her own blog , and I will be linking to it!
Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are , And a happy fathers day to all the dads, grandads,& the Uncles too!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The good life

Enough said.

Strawbellies , Round bellies and roses

So today's post is a little random, just a few shots around here.Saw this little beauty in a place I won't disclose (I don't like to share these treats ) in a few weeks this little patch will be loaded with Wild Strawberries ! tiny little things but a taste that is unbeatable. They would probably make wonderful jam ,but frankly I eat them as fast as I pick them so it isn't likely to happen here . Strawbellies is what my mom has often called them (works for me ,its where they wind up )

I put the boys out on the road today to clean up the ditches , as I walked down to get them I saw this handsome fella peeking out from the Wild roses, they are almost as pretty as he is!

As you can see by their physiques,I continue to starve these poor horses!

Andee, gazing out at what used to be freedom. She is in "jail " a smaller pen where she has less opportunity to be evasive . She will get over this hard to catch thing ,once the wound is healed,but for now she and Cat are in to make it easier on us all.I plan to hand graze her and Cat so they still get green grass.It just feels wrong somehow to keep them just on hay when there is grass available

And finally one more "round belly " Jazzy. My only Lady in waiting this year . time is coming soon for her . This is mom to Maggie , and also the colt Jazz Time in my side bar. Wonder what she is building this time?
A quick update , "Classy's Girl ", Ravie102 has posted ,and things are going OK , A couple of bumps for mom , but she says they are happy . So welcome Ravie ! hope to hear more soon

Cat 'n Andee

Funny how my last post was about "thank you " and remembering reward each horse for giving you their trust. I had a little fun(?) with Andee tonight. She and Cat got a little revved up and went over a fence on Monday night ,Andee has a cut on her foreleg/forearm about the size of a baseball. Skin only and no muscle or tendon damage ,but it requires some treatment , Cat has a tiny cut on her chest that I have been treating as well. Went out to work on them tonight and Andee has decided she has had enough of her doctoring and would not be caught . Add to this Cat who was dogging my tracks and offering to put her head in the halter at every opportunity it was very hard not to get frustrated and chase her off .But I prevailed .Deb showed up for a ride and I had her hold Cat while I worked on getting Andee. Once caught she is a dream to treat ,but she is young and I think she is feeling a bit of pressure from being in the "sick pen and having me muck with her daily. Cat on the other hand is lapping up the attention to the point that she wound up having a bath while I was hosing Andee's leg ,No halter she just stood there trying to be a part of things so I hosed her off.Guess she wants to be a show horse "Look Mom! I cleans up good! Sorry no pics of tonight I had my hands full!

Here are a few of them though, as they often are ,together.

Andee and I on a happier day
And by the way ,yes I did thank Cat everytime she offered. ANd Andee when she finally gave in.
Walked through them a few minutes ago and Andee was her sweet self coming right up to me again. In the end this will have been good training for her ,adn Cat ,but gosh I wish she hadn't gotten hurt! Poor darlin!


Say Thank you first

OK look out gang, I have been thinking again!
Thinking about many things and how we work with horses .And do we remember to "thank" the horse for what they do right, we are all ready to correct a mistake ,and most will reward a good ride , but what about the little stuff?

Many of you have commented about how cool it is that I can just call my herd and they come on the run.That comes from thanking them, what I mean to say is when my horse come to me I always reward them with a pat or a snuggle , sometimes , but not always a cookie , but I NEVER brush them off even if it is not the horse I want in the moment.

My Uncle (who I adore ) was a great hand and a cowboy to be reckoned with ,he has forgotten more about saddle breaking a horse than I will likely ever know. That said he never had an easy to catch horse . He very often either had to run them in to a pen or rope his horse to catch it . He is not a bad man ,just a product of his generation where there was "no time to pamper a horse"Though I think I have been a good influence over the years , I have caught him in the past few years petting a horse just because it was there! and his latest effort ,a 6 yr old (have I mentioned he is in his late 70's?) is much calmer and easy to catch .

Even as a kid I could catch the self same horses that he would have to rope, why? I am not nor have I ever been magic or special, I just took the time ,went out and just hung with them .When a horse approached me in a friendly manner I "thanked him by sharing some affection before I asked to catch him. As simple as it sounds it makes a difference, when a horse gives you his trust ,even briefly, say thank you , by taking pressure off or offering a reward a pat a kind word or if it is your way a cookie.

When we are in a hurry and just keep asking for more without acknowledging what we have received... Well I have said it before ,but it bears repeating .


So there you go, today's little meander through my mind! It fits for horses , and for life .

Don't forget to say thanks for the little things , and when you say your prayers ... Say Thank You First!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Welcome Home

Just got home from Classy & Chances new house .She and Chance have hit the lottery for owners ! What a lovely group of people ! A beautiful lush pasture ,rail fences the works! I have agreed to go back and give a couple lessons on Classy So I will see her again,which will be nice as I am going to miss that little dolly. And Chance as well who settled in brilliantly with his new boss as well.

Classy and her New Girl!

Sorry about the quality of the photos.I forgot my camera and these are cell phone shots.Classy received yet another compliment in that they say her photos don't do her justice ,she is much prettier in person... I think so too!
In the foreground is Gordon ,Chance's new boss and with Classy is Jay , dad to Classy's girl.
BTW yes I do know her name , but while I have permission to post her pictures I would rather maintain this young lady's privacy

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