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, 29 March 2015

The art of compromise

That is the title I gave this photo I took of FV Catch a Dream and the young fellow I am working with.

 This boy has come a very long way with his Teachers Tango, Cat and Andee. He has struggles and still finds things difficult by times but we are learning new ways to approach conflict in his life. And in mine (funny how that works ).

Very often When Cat first comes into the arena, she has some "ya ya's " to run off. I used this as a way to show that sometimes in life we don't get exactly what we want when we want it, but with patience and intention we can find a way to make it happen.

In  this exercise, we first let her run, then we start by simply asking her to change direction, no change in speed , just changing trajectory, then the other way. Asking then for her to speed up, and taking off pressure to slow down, releasing pressure altogether with the whip, or hand down, asking for the stop. and Finally hand or whip straight up, and she comes to the shoulder.
I demonstrated this first  for clarity , then asked him to try. He was skeptical but wow the look of his face when it worked for him and she came across the arena to his shoulder was awesome!
In terms of working horses , to many of you this is obvious, direct the feet , change the trajectory, then you gain  the mind and focus in a soft and responsive manner . Can this be forced? maybe but like life and relationships if it is forced it likely wont remain consistent.
Doing it this way we never essentially put her in a corner and "Control " her movement , we more direct it, offer choices that ultimately end in a positive outcome.

 How does this translate to life , conflict and relationships?
Sometimes the more we want something , that harder we try and the more energy we put into MAKING it happen, well energy and effort are wonderful , but they need to be a certain kind of energy. Like the "rope trick" as my clients call it . the more we pull the harder often other resist, but if we instead direct the course of action ,changing trajectory or speed first allowing the opposing force (in this case a brother with a very strong mind of his own ) room to move while working towards a common goal. There is the potential for a calm and positive result.

Again offer choices,and freedom while still directing towards that positive outcome.
It might be worth noting that all the work he is doing with the horses is at liberty. So there is no short cutting for him, which often earns me an eye roll from  him, but he seem to really "get " his achievements and know he has done the work

That's all for now ,other than I visited Henry again, he will be home here in 2 weeks! I cant wait to watch him grow and see what he has to teach me !

Stay safe my friends

Friday, 20 March 2015

It was...

This is a long post with many pictures so grab a coffee and take a seat!
As promised, some pics from our yearly journey to Mexico. We returned to my favorite area , Puerto Vallarta. Such a beautiful and welcoming place to go! It was amazing
We actually stay in our residence club condo in Nuevo Vallarta , about 20 minutes the other way from the airport, but in the same area. It affords us the opportunity to go in to old Town or travel in other directions like to Bucerias, San Jose, and many other area, which  is just what we did this year.

We have met  this particular cab driver a few times over the years, he is friendly and kind and has often offered a private tour.Well this year we took Hector up on his offer, and I am so glad we did!
He took us out for an authentic Mexican breakfast at a local cafe, homemade tortillas , and the most wonderful cinnamon infused coffee. then off to a tequila distillery for a tour and tasting! (yay they finally let me go to one! ) Then to an artisan market in Bucerias and  up through the jungles and over the hills to San Francisco and Sayulita! What beautiful scenery! Stopped on the way to let us taste some Jack fruit at a roadside stand and show us one of his many friends shops.Then back down the hills to show us the farming areas ,and a quick stop back into Bucerias for me to purchase a Mandela puzzle.

Originally made by Tibetan monks as a tool for meditation and relaxation, the puzzle can be manipulated into many shapes some signifying the formation of the world, or some that just give the bearer comfort and peace. A coworker has one in her office and asked if I could bring a couple more home. I asked hector, and after his initial shock that I knew what it was he gladly took me right to the artists store to buy them! 
He then took us to his home town of San Jose, where he purchased us a sample of what he claims are the best tamales in the state! we agreed and bought more to take home for supper! 
After such a big and wonderful day we enjoyed tamales, and home made (by me) Pico de gallo, and guacamole, just like the sweet lady from the grocery store last year taught me! 
I would highly reccomend Hector, and if anyone is going to Puerto Vallarta, I have his card so feel free to email me for his contact info, you wont regret a day spent with this wonderful guy! 

Before going out with Hector we had another outing, to Pipi's restaurant in old town to celebrate my brother in law Marc's birthday , and as you can see it was wonderful! 

We had a few nice days hanging around , relaxing at the beautiful Grande Luxxe resort 
 Enjoyed the lazy river

 the views, 

 the breathtaking sunsets 

 fine dining 

 even breakfast got fancy from time to time 
We took a trip into old town to the waterfront market, and another favorite place ,Oscars bar! A great place to recharge after walking the Malecon

We had one final adventure before returning home, with a cruise to the Marietas Islands, volcanic formations in the Banderas bay. You cannot reach them except by boat and by swimming! My brother in law Marc and I chose to try the swim to the Hidden beach, we were advised if you can swim 200 meters it should be Ok , well 200 was a low estimate  it was more like 250 each way in a cross current through the cave, but we got it done, and it was wonderful! tiring but wonderful, and i am so pleased that I did it without having my brace on and suffered very little other than some sore muscles the next day, and well some minor humiliation. As we went back into the water to return to the boat we needed to back in with our flippers on and catch the wave to take us out, well I was not paying attention or something and got wiped out by said wave, and essentially a** surfed back to shore, not once , not twice, but 3 times! They say you are not allowed to take souvenirs of sand or rocks from the islands, and I swear I did not intend to,but I am awfully glad the federales were not around to check my swimsuit when I got back to the resort lol ! 

The return trip had its thrills as well with Wale sightings and a mock rock concert from the crew! 

 We were very saddened to hear of the lady who lost her life on a tour near Los Cabos, the wales are so massive and in a smaller boat I can certainly see how dangerous it could be!The beauty of nature is only equaled by its sheer power.Prayers for her family and loved ones who must be so very lost and heartbroken at this time

So that about wraps it up, our 2015 trip to Mexico.
and It was... AMAZING! 

A little snow tonight but otherwise it looks like spring is finding her way to Alberta, such a nice treat to come home to. 
Back to work and into a routine and I am happy to be here, the critters were well cared for by our good friend Mel. So we are rested and rejuvenated and ready to see what 2015  has to bring! 
Stay safe my friends