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 .

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Abigail and the Appaloosas

Sounds like a good title to a children's book!LOL

Had a little visit with Miss Abby today , her daddy was out to  fix some electrical issues with the waterers before winter. So the little miss and I went for a walk to see the "hee heee's"
 Abby and the golden boys, they were pretty happy to snuzzle her
 Cat and Andee, were not sure at first, walked up,then stopped at the sight of this little person chatting away  with me, but  she won them over
Not so much the cows, they seemed to beleive Abby was a secret weapon and they took off at speed so Abby didn't get too close to the "moo's"
She also visited Fix, "Momma hee hee"and Harley "hee hee"As well as Cactus , whe we  decided was a Daddy heehee, and quick little Abby  recognized that he must be daddy to Comet and Quinn! 
All in all a good walkabout that I thoroughly enjoyed, I should have taken more pics ,but I was very  busy walking and talking with Abby and just enjoying the moment 
Hope all are having a great weekend 
Stay safe

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Friends, Fall, family ,Fun, and Fotos?Many many photos

I had another post started, but somehow I  did not get it to  make sense yet, give me time, maybe I over thought it , or ... but seeing as it was about , over thinking/over steering etc I may  just need to let it percolate some more .
Meanwhile, thank you all for your wonderful support of my writing , and all the nice comments. I never know what is  going to strike a chord in others when I put it out there, but it good to know I am  not alone in my feelings, and my dear friends,if reading that  caused a bit of  "dust" in your eyes know you are never alone. happens to me all the time .
But on to  the next  post.
I had another visit from Mel this weekend . She  came out on Friday, and helped me to  clean Martin's saddle and a few things  , then Sat we  saddled up Cat and Andee, I rode each and then she took a turn on both

Both are doing well, and very accepting of different riders/handlers . A few fine tuning issues, but they are very green  so that is not surprising , and actually what the other post is about so...
Took a drive out to my sister in laws  place and Mel met them and  Eastern Ruler , their lovely WB stallion who she is going to do a picture of . Then  back for chores and an early night (party animals I know!)
Today we decided to take advantage of the beautiful backdrop nature has  provided and go for a photo walk. I will let the pics speak for themselves

Later , sent Mel off with Deb(Greymare) and her hubby for a boat ride then home  , and I headed up to Mayerthorpe to see Angela's Arse!(LOL Eurus may be all grown up and a dignified handsome Canadian Warm blood, but he will always be Arse in my heart )
Took some still shots and video for her ,

 Back home in time to have dinner at my sisters home with her hubby and all 3 kids home at once! . A great weekend all in all !
Stay safe

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Words on Wednesday

First of all , let me say I am fine.The following poem might lead you to believe I am sad or melancholy . But I am not . Sometimes these poems just come to me, with other thoughts, or feelings unrelated.Or sometimes a series of events  conspire to awaken my muse.

 What started the thought was I received a card from the vet clinic today . Signed by all offering condolences on the passing of my dear old house cat. Such a sweet gesture, that I know many clinics are now doing ,but I remember the first card I got from these folks and the Vet that sent it. Many years ago , when she had only recently graduated . Dr Tammy (we will call her ) was the first to ever send a condolence card after euthanizing an injured filly of mine, that gal  is the sweetest ! and the tradition of acknowledging each of the creatures she and the rest of the clinic staff have helped has stood.
That and  then memories of that poor filly and other  beloved critters that  have passed through my life got me thinking . I have held them and made the choice to let them go far more often that I would like , and each time I do my very best to stay strong , and be calm. After  everyone has left , I  often either go out to the herd , or go for a ride , and there is where I shed my tears. My horses and dogs have soaked up a river in tears over their lifetime, and healed many a hurt .

Add to all that , a song came on the radio today "Cowgirls don't cry"
Now I don't claim to be a cowgirl , or not one. I am just who I am , but that series of events created  this...

Catch up a good horse
Get him saddled and ready
be sure he's  a good one
A fast one and steady

She will need him to run
And keep steady pace
To outrun the pain
And blow tears from her face

That cowgirl’s don’t cry  
Is a story not true
She surely will weep
But she won’t show you

She will let tears flow
As sometimes she must
But if you should see it
She will claim it is dust

But alone with her horse
On a wide open plain
She will soak up her tears
In his coat and his mane  

As tough as she seems
She is tender inside
So catch up a good horse
And just let her ride

 Stay safe my friends

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Just because

Not much to say , I did ride  both Cat and Andee this weekend and both went well, though Cat did show me  just a little "Appytude" with her "angry face" no other resistance to speak of ,just a little grumpy.I take it we will get though stuff like that just fine . Because either all these years with Appys or just because , I have a little "appytude' myself! 

 And then there is Andee, soft and just looking for the sweet spot . She is a very sensitive girl, and a pleasure  to work with 

the rest of the weekend went well, I  worked on Cactus then Sunday dragged Deb up to Barrhead to the rodeo  with me . Watched my cousin rope and had a nice visit with family. Then home to chores and a quiet evening .
 I took a few pictures over the last couple of days . I have been trying to get a few more good ones of Quinn, these are,while pretty enough not really well lit for adds. Not sure if these would help or hinder the add.But they are pretty so...

 This next picture is a lesson in what NOT to do , I was wrapping Cactus' leg and my back got sore so I took a seat . And while Cactus is a rock and a really  steady guy, I sure would never suggest this to anyone.A lot of ways it could have gone wrong. But as I said on FB it brings to mind a conversation from years ago, about stallions and how they  just get mean as they get older. Some do maybe , but if they are taught respect and trust , you get that back .
Oddly I did not get hurt doing that, but later in the weekend , while forking hay ,managed to stab myself in the knee with the fork! Seriously I have no idea how,I couldn't  do it again on a bet! (nor would I want to for that matter) Yup that's me , you can call me a lot of things, Sherry, Share Bear, Fern Valley , but I can guaran -darn -tee you , NOBODY has ever called me Grace! 
The knee isn't bad, just scraped the skin and bruised more  than anything .
 This last 2 are just because ,like the tile of the post , I was walking in from chores and the way the sun was over the trees ,and peeking through the clouds ,I thought is was  just beautiful ! 
Like a  window to Heaven

Hope everyone had a great weekend . 
And as always, do what I say not what I do, stay safe! 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Readiness is all

Well the title is a quote from Hamlet  but it fits this post well enough .
the next quote is the status I posted on FB this morning ,which will explain ,I hope where this train of though sprung from
"I have laughingly said in the past that horses are born looking for a place to die. Just because I was laughing doesn't mean I was wrong . Treating a lovely huge gouge in Cactus' leg for the foreseeable future.A long way from his heart but still..."

Got up this morning  at my usual time "sleepy o'clock" and started to have a cup of coffee, but the horses were talking already so I headed out to feed.Most are still on pasture but I have a few that are being supplemented with hay now . Fix did his usual morning dance and  Jewels and Harley were good .Then I got to Cactus , all seemed well with him as he rushed up to meet me,then I glanced down.He had a gash  above his knee about the sized of a deck of cards ,with a skin flap hanging .Sigh here we go !

I let him eat for a bit while I gathered supplies then  haltered him(though why I bother I don't know he is a peach to treat!) and set to work, he stood well and let me clean and examine the wound ,the skin flap may or may not slough off or may need to be cut off in time but because the wound was so fresh I decided to  dress it in place . 

which is where we come to the title of this post ...
I try very hard to keep a full first aid kit on hand for the horses(also for me ) .Dressing supplies , wound treatments etc. Why? because very often the faster you can treat a wound the better that chance are of it healing well. 
Not only by having supplies, but by having eyes on your horses as often as you can.The difference between seeing a wound in the first  hours to day that it occurs and a couple days in can be huge . As for that skin flap? well if it even stands a chance of adhering back it had to be dealt with PDQ, that said it still may come off, I just felt as angry and as fresh as the  wound was it was maybe kinder to let it be before poking around in it more,the fate of that flap will be decided in a couple days , but letting the inflammation go down for a bit won't hurt him.

Readiness is also in educating ourselves.

Educating in how to manage wounds, how to bandage , how to assess, whether the wound is in fact something we can manage on our own or whether we need veterinary intervention. 
And with that ,how do we report and request service from our vet should we need them. 
Yes they will weed though the ramblings of a panicked phone call, but they are far better able to help you if you can report clearly what has happened , the history of the animal as it pertains to the current incident . Vital signs etc. Building a relationship with your vet is also a good idea, (after all not everyone has an honorary niece as a vet! color me spoiled!LOL) Its very nice when they know who and where you are.
And readiness, in the handling of our animals. Cactus is a good boy , and due to the injuries he sustained before I had him , has had his legs handles A LOT.Plus  he is very trusting and  sensible 
But what about others, I have had a couple  situations over the years where a horse has been injured ,the horse panicked My old Jewels mare comes to mind and others ) what is the plan then? well I had a set up for the cattle that I was able to run her into get her in a small enough space without her panicking and we were from there able the ge the vet to sedate her. However you do it , you need to have some form of a plan , and some form of facility to make it happen. But the best course of action is to have them used to being handled and trusting you so that when they are injured and upset , you are the safe place .  Easy enough to do with the average pony or one you have raised, but what about the rescues or the adopted Mustangs? 
Have a plan 
Have a full kit 
Keep your eyes open
and as always 
Stay safe! 
That's it for me for the moment , hope everyone has a great weekend , and has  few or no occasions to  dip into those first aid supplies! 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Believing in dreams

 I have a couple  thoughts to share here, about believing in dreams and believing in ourselves . Yup its another fern Valley  ramble on the way !

That can be hard sometimes, when life  gives us a kick in the teeth.
Age, injuries, fear, or just then sense of complacency we get when we fall into a rut . I have been there, a lot! I rode that beautiful bay mare Catana for years, and as she got older and I was faced with the fact I needed to ge another horse going I panicked! No horse would ever be her! I was right  no horse ever would be her, but that didn't mean there would never be another good horse in my life .
I hemmed and hawed , convincing myself that I could not start a horse on muy own , and then that the horse I had chosen was too small, and that this and that would go wrong yada yada yada. Weird thing was is all the time I had Catana I had other horses, wonderful horses, that I trusted and adored , but somehow I hung all of my confidence on her more than able shoulders .
Suffice to say , I did find another horse , and a great one  Johnnie Handsome , brave  stout ,and just fine . I started him and amazingly enough,I did not screw it up royally! He is awesome .

Then there was Cat, (Whoa Dammit , the Fat Baby etc) I thought about selling her but really I  just could not.So this year she went in to training. And she too is awesome.I have to admit to some shaky knees  when I first stepped up, she is a snappy little thing and with age and some injuries , and arthritis , I was just not sure (well actually I was convince) I was going to fall on my face.
Same thing with Phoenix. and you know what ? I got up there, and amazingly enough ...
I can ride! who knew?
So today , am reminding myself that belief in ourselves being willing to give it a go , pays off. I have hopefull many more years of riding ahead, and some great horse to enjoy it with .
So as a reminder to me and to all of us who  face that fear or uncertainty ,BELIEVE!!
Live life by living it 

It hurts sometimes, this life of mine 
but I wouldn't change it , 
not one time 
The bumps the stings, the aches and pains 
It cost far less than what I gained 

We can live our lives and ride the ride
or wait and watch and let it slide 
I come from tough and stubborn stock
we do the work , not talk the talk

When each day ends I take my rest
and hope I was equal to each test 

Live life by living  every day 
don't wait and let it slip away 
Fear  can hold you back its true 
but don't let it take on all of you 

Breath the air and dance the dance 
And give this life you live a chance

Also I would like to celebrate another dream, this one not mine , but that of my friend Mel, talented girl, and I am gonna keep telling you all about her , because she is that great a gal , and that talented. She is doing a special project for me , that I cannot share for a while , but has also done some great work in the past . Most recently she did a graphite of a favorite picture of mine , and as a feature with her artwork she will now be sharing a cd of the process with her customers , of their very own  original ! 


How cool is that!
Stay safe my friends and remember to believe !

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Fridays for sale, on Saturday

Passier 17.5 inch general purpose. has had some use but remains in good condition. $300

\16 inch Argentine close contact Used , needs some love  but is still very usable and in good condition  . $200

2 horse  sized show halters, one light oil. one dark w/ silver accents.never used  $45.00
1 yearling  dark oil show halter w/ silver accents lightly  used $40.00

Drop dead gorgeous2011 Palomino Appaloosas gelding
FV Quicken the wind !
Solid classic palomino.Athletic, sweet quiet sane and did I mention gorgeous???

 I apologize for the weird sideways shots , blogger and I need to talk! 

To anyone who mentions seeing him on the  the blog in contacting me $1200

So there you go, that's what I currently have for sale. Harley will be weaned soon, but I am not sure what Martin's plans are for him so ,maybe...

I also seem to have a fairly large collection of 5 inch egg butt snaffle bits, copper mouth, sweet iron, and one  rubber covered french link. will sell  for $10 each
Any questions or interest either contact me here through the blog or at fernvalleyappaloosas@hotmail.ca
And as always my friends , stay safe!