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, 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 !


kden said...

Good post today and loved the video! I can't even draw a stick man.

WishIHadAHorsey said...

Thank you, your poem was what I neede at this moment.

Jeni said...


Shirley said...

She has a very interesting technique and some tools that I'd like to try. Loved the poem, and that photo of Cat, man that horse is built!

Crystal said...

That is soo cool, a video of the drawing. And that Cat sure is a nice lookin horse!

AlmightyMarshmellow said...

Shirley, I'm self-taught and have developed a lot of different bits and pieces from watching other artists and reading a lot of books, so I am a little odd in my approach haha! The biggest thing I do is layer, especially with something as complex as fur. I will lay down a base and then work some texture through it with smudging and erasing. When the lighting switches I also took the kneaded eraser and lifted a bunch of the graphite, keeping all of my work but making it a few shades lighter so I could work in the contrast. I usually work dark to light and then come back and re-enforce the dark before finishing up with a few lighter highlights. I might do that same thing over the same area a few times with different pencils and textures, but it's usually in the same order.

As for tools, I used a series of different smudge sticks from really big to really narrow, one end loaded with dark and one for the lighter areas, then an 3H, HB, 3B, and 5B pencils from different brands that I enjoy (the lime green HB is a recycled staedtler that I highly recommend, I used one and then bought 10 more they are very nice, sharpen beautifully, and the green is a bit grippy/rubbery AND they're recycled material!).

Then there was an electric eraser (the big grey thing) that I think EVERY graphite artist should own. It makes those super fine erased lines in the graphite. Also had a large rubber eraser and a kneaded eraser. I use the ones that come together in a pack. The board is a sand paper board for sharpening the electric eraser and also when I'm drawing hair I rub the pencil on it every few seconds to keep the tip super sharp.

I wipe the drawing with a small, very fine piece of sheepskin, which is the cloth you see hanging around.

I hope that helps you find some good/new tools to try out!

C-ingspots said...

It's Winston!! Dang, that gal is incredibly talented...just amazing!!! I'm in awe - truly. Beautiful work.
And Sherry, oh bless you for posting this message today. I sooooo need to hear this. Every. single. day. For I have so little confidence in myself anymore, it's scary. Like you, I can ride. Been riding all my life. But, I am immobilized by my fears lately. As you know, I've been working with Eagle, a lot. He's ready. Me? Not so much. Every time I get up there on the mounting block and think about getting on him, I'm overwhelmed with fear, insecurities, what if's. It paralyzes me. If I don't do it soon, I fear I may never have the guts to do it. I don't know how to take that first step. I tell myself to just do it. After that first time, it'll be easier...blah blah blah. Sure wish you were closer. I loved your post, and your poem. Well timed my friend, thank you. Is that last photo of Cat? I can't seem to keep them straight. Gorgeous!!! That horse has some hams going on, and a beautiful blanket too! Perfect package!!

kestrel said...

Wow, amazing stuff. So much talent on one page, art, poetry, horses, just wow!

Reddunappy said...


Wanting to get back to my horses has gotten me through, being hit head on by a drunk! (10 years tomorrow!) and brain tumor surgery and the long recovery!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I loved this heartfelt post. It truly spoke to me.
It's so true about not giving up and not allowing fear to take over and take away your dreams.
For me, its a little different, though.
I started off with lots of confidence and virtually no fear. And I started off with a horse that did everything she could to destroy all of my confidence while building up a thick layer of fear after trying to hurt me on many occasions.
I had a horse I couldn't trust, although I thought we had a relationship, but soon realized she was just tolerating me.
I didn't know any better and believed that fighting and arguing with a horse on every ride was what you were supposed to do.
I didn't truly know that riding could be fun, joyful, and satisfying. I didn't understand that a horse could be a trustworthy, willing, gentle, kind, patient partner.

But I do now.

I used to feel sorry for myself and felt like giving up, believing that my dreams would never come true and that I was destined to make a visit to the hospital every few months if I kept following my dream of horse ownership.

But then I found the horse I have now and started opening up my heart to her, and allowing our relationship to build trust and a bond. I began to really learn what my horse wanted and needed and didn't just focus on my own desires and wants.

I have often wished that I had found the horse I have now first, instead of starting off with that first horse that injured me so often. But now I realize that even that horse taught me so many things that I needed to know. Maybe I had to hit rock bottom to truly appreciate the next horse that would come into my life....my Apache mare.

So, every day my horse greets me, or every time she allows me to ride her, I am thankful for what I have now, and am grateful for the difficult journey that got me here.


Cut-N-Jump said...

Great post! My riding may have taken a back seat lately, but I can still manage to pull it off once in a while... The driving? I had only ever trained my pony mare and now with Kat- in just a year we have come a such a Looooooong way. Unbelievable what you can do when you just go for it!

Looking back- it really was NOT as hard as anyone may have expected it to be. We are often our own biggest obstacle, worst enemy and toughest critic. And to that we can all call bullshit! Wahooo!

Nicole said...

So wish I could see the video but at work I can't... have to watch it another time :(

GoLightly said...

Ooooooh, JohnnnnnieeeEEEEEEE.
Made my day.
Thanks, Fern!

GoLightly said...