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, 1 December 2011

Why Appaloosas?

I have raised Appaloosas for a long time now . Started when I was very young with my first Appy (you can find her story under honorable mentions ) And I not only fell in love with the horse , but as the years went on the bred itself.
I started out riding the typical stock type Quarter horses that most Alberta farm kids ride . Stout solid working horses, not all were particularly kind or gently (though many were ) But they were good dependable working horses .

I tell ya, when I came home with an Appaloosa, well to some  you would have thought the sky was gonna fall! Breed prejudice?? Oh hail ya! But slowly over the years the versatility and toughness of the breed began to win over the naysayers .It also did not hurt that my beloved Catana was ,well flat out gorgeous and truly able to do it all ! The biggest of the naysayers had to admit she was one heck of a horse !

The breed has been an interesting, and wonderful  one to work with, Appaloosas are smart and thinking horses, tough and stoic, and versatile as the competition Challenge of the breeds has shown over and over .
Ranch horse,trail, driving , dressage , hunter jumper , you name it (for give me here but I gotta )

"We've got an App for that"
It isn't where I started, but Appaloosas is where I will stay .
So what brought you to the breed you chose?


Janice L. Grinyer said...

That Catana looks to be one nice horse there!

I went from thoroughbreds to Morgans 12 years ago because I wanted a lively thinker, but a smaller lively thinker with good feet lol as i aged...

Now I am in the market for even a smaller, and shall I say it - a slabbier sided gelding...thinking that might go easy on hips/circulation issues right now for the condition im in...and we can then put kids/small adults on them to ride with us when I get healthier to ride my ahem big boned morgan again.

I must admit, Apps have never been in my radar because I am a vain and conceited person - those scanty tails do me in...but now that i am older and wiser and are more into disposition and conformation (and still demand good feet lol) I am starting to see the error of my horse racist tendencies and have been looking at ads for apps too. I just need a smaller horse who has a narrow barrel and has the disposition of mellower thinker...did I just type that??!! Dont show my old hunter/jumper buddies - ill be kicked out of the snob club for sure!!! :)

(this all said tongue in cheek of course ;) well okay...part of it is not fibbing...okay well all of it is not fibbing LOL)

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I can honestly say that I have never been a breed or color 'racist'. I love each and every breed for what they are.

I 'grew up' on a big POA named Flyspeck. Lord how we used and abused (not literally abused...but did all kinds of stupid kid stuff on) that pony. So I've always had a soft spot for the Appy coloring and that tough as nails/good as gold attitude. 'Course, I've known some rank buggers of the Appy persuasion too, but that is true of any breed and it has nothing to do with the breed/color itself. I get so mad when people blame an entire breed for one horse that didn't work for them. :(

I pretty much got stuck with my QH's because that is what the family had and I have become familiar with and love what we raise. The Paints we have are(were) just incidental purchases.

I still look longingly at other breeds though and think that maybe 'someday'...

Shirley said...

To me, all the horse breeds are good, and they all have their place. I'm not sure just when I fell in love with quarter horses, but I'm sure glad I did. As a kid, I read every horse book I could get my hands on. C W Anderson's stories of Man O War, and Ruffian, the story of Justin Morgan, and many more were my introduction to the various breeds, and lots of works of fiction from Will James to Enid Blighton- All I wanted was a horse; any horse!
I think I went with quarter horses because of their association with the western lifestyle, and their role in building the two great nations of Canada and the US. Cattle ranches and quarter horses naturally went together. (And it took a lot of beef to supply all the miners, railroad workers, and settlers.)
Also, I love the versatility of the breed. There isn't much they can't do, and most of it they can do very well. They are a horse for anyone from a kid, to a competitive adult, to special needs people.
Beamer is a perfect example.

Mikey said...

I think Mercy's going to be just like you. She's stuck on the appys, and while she loves the horse she's riding now, she's REALLY bugging me for an appy. I love appys, I think they're beautiful :) But I'm not buying her one just yet... I need to downsize a few head first.

Leah Fry said...

I am a sucker for spots, but I have also come to love the delightful temperament and personality of drafts and draft crosses. And now I have the best of both worlds with my Stonewall Daltrey. Big, but not too big. A little slow, a lot sweet, and easy on the eyes. His spots (and stripes!) make me smile.

Anonymous said...

I love all breeds, colors and types, and rode an amazing Appy named Peanut Butter when I was a child. But I've never owned an Appy - just chance more than anything I think.

Laura said...

I have a soft spot for appys - my first pony was a welsh pony/appy cross and she was the most solid little thing every. Hooves as hard as stone and a build to match. What a trooper she was! My last horse was an old appy gelding and he did wonders for my confidence.

I looked for appys to buy this time around, but there aren't many for sale around here, sadly.

I love all breeds though and dream of owning something outside of the appy/QH/arab world some day!

GoLightly said...

snork. Good one, FV!!

I'm stuck on Irish-breds, and you already know why..

GoLightly said...

(whispers) Don't tell Johnnie I said that.
He's my number one App!

Christmas-etc... said...

You've made a believer of me!! They are gorgeous creatures and I love visiting you and hearing about a small bit of your amazing life! So real and true and good!
Bless you for taking such good care of those magnificent horses!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

My favorite horse ever was the Appaloosa, Chalktaw Ranger Mist, my Dad gave me when I was in high school.

Thanks for the share!

God bless ya and have a marvelous weekend sweetie!!!

C-ingspots said...

I admire and love all breeds of horses, and wholeheartily adore the variations within those different breeds. Having said that, I started with a shetland pony, then a QH mare, then a QH/POA mare, then my hubby got me an Appy mare, my beloved Kadie. She was without a doubt, the smartest, most easy-going, most sensible and trustworthy, sure-footed horse that's ever breathed! I'm sure of it! Plus, she's so purdy!! :) And, she gave me my big, perfect boy Ladde! Does that answer your question?? Now, with my Harley boy (another Appy) having gone blind, I'm experiencing a wild-bred and captured Mustang. He's proving to be a very smart fellow, and so far, I'm impressed. A favorite? So hard, but I've never trusted a horse like I trusted my Kadie girl. Life just wouldn't be nearly as good without horses...of that, I'm so sure.

IanH said...

Interesting question! Our first 2 were a registered quarter horse, and a quarter horse/ Morgan cross, or as one ex farrier put it " one up from a plug". That latter was the kindest, most gentle horse I have come across. he seemed to know what to do, and not to do with a green rider. The third horse was a rescued App, and to date, my favourite. Kind, intelligent and the horse to lead others across a creek, tricky trail or whatever.

The last was a purchased registered Morgan.

All three were well suited to an elderly couple new to horses, all except the Quarter horse, as she can be a hand full.

I guess that we got lucky with our purchases, as none cost an arm and a leg and all had lots of training.

Nicole said...

I grew up on Arabians. My grandparents had the #1 stud to breed to in the US back in the 70's. Then when I was 5 my mom saw someone working a cutting horse one day... she came home, told my dad Rube (her gelding) was for sale and we switched to Quarter Horses. My dad said he's surprised my grandparents didn't disown us, but they stuck with the Arab's until they sold their farm, then the one last stud (the #1 dude) went to live with my aunt and uncle in Oklahoma. But my grandparents were there for the rest of us every step of the way whooping and hollering when we'd show :)

Robin said...

If I missed a way to reach you, I apologize...

I was a friend and reader of Carmon’s blog and I saw many of your comments there.
Carmon meant so much to me, though we never met in person. But that’s the way of the world, these days... you find you can truly love the intangible person.
Since she died I’ve visited her blog daily, out of habit and I’ve seen that you have visited often, as well.
I’ve logged in wanting to be there if Mike should write something. I wonder how he’s doing, how the animals are and I wish there were a place where I could speak to others who loved her. She left her blog with ‘approval only’ so whatever I or you have sent in the past couple of weeks... it goes into the ether....
People need a place to grieve and speak about the person they loved. I’ve created a blog, nothing remarkable... but a place where we can gather,
If you would like to have a place to go to talk about Carmon, say goodbye... whatever, the address is Carmonsrest.blogspot.com.
Write your comments, letters, whatever and if you have a photo or anything you would like to share send it to me..... robin_vice@yahoo.com and I’ll create a post with it.
I don’t expect this to be elaborate... just a quiet space for us to share our memories and love for her... and then leave her to ride Star into a new existence.

Reddunappy said...

I grew up on little 14.2h bulldog Quarter horses. Good little horses they were, carried my sister and I safely for many many years. During that time we used to go visit a friends house, they had and Appaloosa, and they had many many issues of Appaloosa News. I loved those magazines! I looked through all of them I could find when we were at their house. I fell in love with Appys.
My first horse as an adult is another bulldog QH/1/4 morgan mare, Mickey, she is soon to be 23. I bought two ponies, lost the first one to colic. My Dad gave my oldest daughter a nice QH mare, Easy, who will be 27 in March.
Then Meghan started to outgrow her little pony Sugar, so I sold her and bought my first Appaloosa! Emma. I have many years left to ride this little/big mare! LOL Emma is 14.3, may be 15h now, but she is about 1200lbs! she is a big mare! But short! He he he he. I kinda like that. I finally got my Appaloosa!!

aurora said...

We chose Appy's & Quarter Horses for all things mentioned. For us, it's really about personality.

I don't think of myself as breed specific. I love most of them for their respective characteristics. There are a couple draft breeds we would enjoy owning as well, as long as they've got "it". However, I'm perfectly okay enjoying them as others.

I passed up buying a draft horse I rode & loved for years. Thinking "if I only get one horse, she's not it". Instead, I chose an Appy. The versatility and beauty (inside & out) of an Appaloosa is tough to beat.

Our Appy's have made me fall in love with the breed, which tops my list.

sally said...

Well I just love your spots and Dandy would be in my paddock for sure if I lived closer.....but alas I have my colour in the form of Gypsy cobs and my gorgoeus half clydesdale 'Eve'. I have always like the part Clydes or something with a lot of bone ....not sure why. It is the opposite of what I rode right through my teenage years -pure bred arabs.

4RRanch said...

A good horse is a good horse no mater what the breed. I have an app, 2 paints, 2 quarter horses, a TWH and a grade. But I've always loved the spots and loved your pun.

Crystal said...

I love the quote that it helped that she was georgaous and able to do it all. I always figured that here is quarter horse country if you are gonna have something different it better be prety and better be really good at all the quarter horse stuff. And my Razz fits that way too.

But I like all breeds, I really liked my Belgians when I had them and sure wouldnt mind another one someday, but right now I am cutting so its the stock breeds for now.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I don't know why, but I've never been drawn to Appys, although I do think they are beautiful, especially the all over spotted horses.
I'm not fond of how many appys seem to lose the markings they were born with as they age. Even if they were born with a gorgeous blanket, many seem to turn mottled all over.
Your Cantana was gorgeous. I love her dark legs and distinctive blanket.

As for me, I don't have a favorite breed. I learned the hard way with my flashy paint mare, that coloring and markings don't guarantee a good horse.


Janice said...

First let me say.....and yes I am being objective ....and no I'm not an expert on Appys.....but yours have to be the prettiest Appys I have ever seen. I grew up on mutts though, didn't know what they were and didn't care .....a horse was a horse and I would have been happy with anything.I started really thinking about Morgans though....after reading and watching....yada yada.In my teens I started noticing that Morgans just weren't really living up to their reps. I started seeing some really unattractive, bad dipositions, conformation, just kinda knotheady. I decided one day I was going to breed Morgans and try to improve on what I was seeing. I managed to put some really great foals on the ground, three of which I kept.In these three I see the things I liked most about Morgans. Sweet disposition, tough as nails....no quit in them and tireless.As you said The Battle Of The Breeds pretty much says it all ( 3yrs running).....they do it all....so for me all breeds have their place ...and to each their own.