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 .

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Puddle jumping anyone?

Sit  down  and  grab a snack , this might be a  long one ;
We got  rain!!, bunches of it! And while it was raining? what was I doing?
As usual , I was out  playing in the mud. And yes Feral, I was out  playing in puddles with my good friend  Deb, again.
If anyone is  wondering, in my  last post Go west Feral  woman  was teasing me and asked if Deb and I play in the mud too. I answered , oh yes we do and said I would  tell her a story about  just that.

First though , why were  we playing in the rain  yesterday? we  were moving horses, trying to get as many out  on  grass as we could and  get the "ladies in Waiting " separated  into a pen up  close  for me to watch. We dodged the early  part of the storm, and were  lucky to be safely ensconced in my sister Heather's  house for  coffee and snarfing  biscuits (hungry girls ) when the hail hit, but that is where our  luck ended. Went  back out  to move the geldings and essentially got as  far  from shelter as  possible , before it his again with a vengeance! Totally soaked  we made our  way back slowly toward the house, stopped to fix a board on the fence (why not  you can only  get so wet before it stops  mattering ) on our  way. Laughing about some of our  past adventures in the  rain and  mud ...
 Some of the ponies  who were moved 

Many years ago, we had a particularly wet spring, and when I say wet I mean gooey slippery sink the pickup to the axles  kind of  wet , and no end in sight!
We had a couple incidents with calves  getting stuck in a bit of low ground  that  had  gotten  boggy(we have  since put in a culvert and it is  much  better) And I am  glad there are not  photos of me ,up to my hips in bog, dragging a calf out  while  my sister fended off the fire breathing momma!Or the second indecent  which involved me pulling the calf out , my brother in law Marc, dragging me out and Heather on dry land  pulling all  3 of us out !!! I tell you , mud is the worst thing ever, I know how  draining  being stuck in the mud was  for those calves , when you are in over your knees and can't even bend them it is pretty easy to panic.
Figured enough was enough and we  needed to get the stock out of  the close  pens . and out to the open  field, wet and cold are  deadly to  young  calves and even our  rotational  feeding  program seemed not to be  preventing it that year. So Deb and I saddled up, and headed out with the herd. Sunny  spring  day ,all good right?
Wrong  the  clouds rolled in and it began to pour again! Plus  we had a straggler fall behind . I stepped off  Catana to help the calf and promptly  fell on my ,um yeah you  know, on the  creek! Nice, Deb stepped off to help me and fell in too!
Perfect! we are now soaking wet, the straggler has  caught up to the herd and  we are back on horseback and good to go. One  good thing about being soaked through to the skin,is wet jeans and a suede seat on the saddle means. dang ! can you stick a buck!! Catana, my wonderful horse, got a wild hair,and decided to get a little  broncy  for a minute, I didn't even move, couldn't have  come off if I  had  wanted to!
In the fracas , we did miss one more  calf  who was lying in the shed, so when we  got back, cold wet and tired we decided to call in the cavalry (my dad) and  take the calf out in a truck. Got the horse unsaddled and went out to bring the calf into the barn till dad  got here  with the big 4X4 . Keep in mind  this is several years ago, and at this time I could still easily sling a calf over  my shoulders and  carry it in , if it was not a real  big one. Well, after all we had  done I was pretty tired, so I got Heather (my sister in case  you missed it ) to bring the  truck out and Deb and I headed across the pasture to the calf  shed. I got  down on one  knee and got the calf over my shoulders and could  not  for the life of  me stand up. So (again so glad there are no photos ) Deb  grabbed me around my waist and hoisted me to my feet with the calf on my shoulders , meanwhile Heather was  frantically looking  for the truck keys , and finally met us at the gate. Got the calf to the  barn and headed into the house to get  cleaned up and  dried off while Heather made hot toddy's and we  waited for dad.

Now you may be  wondering, why we  did things the way we did, and how we missed that last  calf, At the time I bet so were we, but keeping in mind this started to be a ordinary deal moving the herd and the storm  blew in and hit hard and fast , and critters tend to scatter  in a storm or just hunker down somewhere to wait it out.We had some of each .

There is more to this tale,about how  we  got the calf out in the end and a little about a Blue bird,yet  another about a bunch of us  building a makeshift bridge out of railroad ties when the road washed out and I might tell it all someday but for now we will leave it at, Yes.my friend  Feral , we do play in the mud, and do some puddle  jumping  from time to time, and you would be  more than welcome to join in if you are ever up this way.

Stay safe my friends


aurora said...

A real "mud run"!! Have you heard of them? Races are getting creative, Mud Run, Color Run (where they throw color on you, and you end up looking tie-die). Little do they know, you were already doing mud runs! Great tale & memories.

Thanks for commenting on my blog Sherry. I always look forward to hearing from you. Much appreciated!

greymare said...

Gawd, that story brought back memories. Made me laugh. I can still see the pictures in my head. We never really complained. We just laughed it off, patted ourselves on the back. Remember the one in the blue truck with the calf in the back and me sitting on it. another day for that one. Thnaks for the memories.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

I have heard of mud runs Aurora, never thought about it being that, but I think you are right. Hope you and Koda hit your stride soon

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Crazy stuff. Nothing to do but have fun with the mess, I guess. One of my fondest memories involves being knocked down by a mud slide when I was drunk and sliding all the way down the hill. I was much younger then. Ha ha.

Shirley said...

I guess you aren't a real cowgirl if you don't get muddy a time or two! I'm sure glad it isn't as wet here as it was last year.
Isn't it something how tough we were when we were younger?

Willow said...

Gives a new spin to "Here's mud in your eye" lol

Cut-N-Jump said...

I just wanna know how you manage o keep your boots on? Our mud, though not nearly as deep, can be sticky enough to dang near yank them off if you aren't paying attention or careful.

Ah the fun times...

Reddunappy said...

Cows and horses, there is always something! LOL

It has been wet wet wet!! Yeck! This weekend looks better!

The mud was all dried up, its back! yeck.

Nicole said...

This has been one absolutely CRAZY Spring! I wonder if the seasons are swapping places?1?!

Crystal said...

Yuck I hate mud! I hate that feeling when you are stuck and cant move too! Sounds like quite the times you guys have though, always better when there is someone to share it with too.

Rising Rainbow said...

I hate mud too but I'm am still getting a very strong visual of your dad pulling you out with a calf across your shoulders. Dang, girl! You've been holding out on us.

Where's the poetry on this tale? It's gotta be in there.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Good point Mikeal, I have never found the poetry in that one but you never know it might still come to me

Rising Rainbow said...

Funny cause I can see it oozing all over the place. It makes me giggle just thinking about it.