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 .

Friday, 12 January 2018

Goodbye to the Guardian

This is a farewell post. Not so much a sad one but certainly melancholy.

 28 yrs ago was born the first son of my old stallion  Chips, and out of  my good mare Sherry's April Sunshine. "Stryker", or  Lucky Stryke ,the name, a combination of a movie(BL Stryker) I had seen and a pack of american cigarettes lol)

He was an awesome horse! Never really had a lot of saddle time  for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is he was a giant! lol .I started him and he taught me so much in return. He taught me about patience, loyalty, and the ever present reality that if you are not clear in your mind and actions you will not get what you (think ) you asked for.
Stryker, the king of the "if you don't do anything, you don't do it wrong" lol  When he was learning ,if he got confused at all he would simply stop moving altogether. Not bad from a walk or a jog but at higher speeds it got a little dicey lol .
I got hurt not long after I started him and sent him out for more work. When he returned he was great but as I said  for one reason or another he started his retiremnt early.
Not to say he didn't have work...

He was herd guardian, mentor to young ones,






Teacher, and manners police! and the old man had some moves! 

A brief, but stunning career as an equine super model lol . Only ever stood for this one photo shoot but he was all over the project!

And finally he was a friend, to me to the herd and to many  people who came to know him




I was fearful that Stryker would one day go down and not be able to get up. He was not thin or ill , just old and losing muscle mass and having difficulty maintaining his weight, I felt rather than risk him suffering...


I saw a video not long ago  in which a gentleman who was a Psychiatrist , and an indigenous scholar said (an forgive me if I butcher this in paraphrasing) That it is Okay to die on a good day, that when you die there is a party where your ancestors gather to greet you. And you should feel good for your party! . Not to say this should be rushed. just not feared.
Well I chose to believe this, and to that end,  We sent my sweet old boy to his party with a belly full of grain, a fresh brushing and our love.
He was the last of the old guard, I will miss him. But I did my best for him and that gives me comfort . This poem is older but it fits, and it is shown on my calendar on his photos.
Give me a horse
Give me a horse
With good heart and mind
Yes give me a horse
And I’ll find the time
Give me the knowledge
To manage his care
To teach and to train
In a manner that’s fair
Give me the space
And days in the sun
To first learn to walk,
Then learn to run
Give me the push
To do what I need
To earn both our keep
And pay for his feed
Give me the courage,
When he’s done his best
When his time is done
To put him to rest
Leave me the horse
In my mind and heart
The joy and the memories
Right from the start
Yes give me a horse
And I‘ll do the rest
As he does for me
I’ll give him my best

Stay safe my friends. and I will get back to that "in my next 50 yrs post " soon! 

Friday, 5 January 2018

2017 review

So 2017 has come and gone, and it was a year.
A year of joy and tears and growth.
I didn't blog much ,and I have come to grips with the fact that at  2017 was not a year for me to be writing, at least not on the blog. But I am not giving up.I had a pretty big bobble in my spirits with the loss of my beloved johnny Handsome  this year. But life is a constant circle. Because before that heartbreaking loss came a time of great joy, that carried through and continues to bring this family smiles of wonder and pure joy with the birth of my great niece  Birdie Patricia!And let me tell you, through all of this year she has lit up our world!





 I got a new mare this year,from a fellow breeder, Jenny's Spirit Hawk. She is bred to Phoenix for a 2018 foal! 

Speaking of foals, on May 02 (my birthday at 12:05 am  "Imagine That" daughter to FV Sparks image was born. Not my horse but in my care for her arrival, kind of a grand foal, since her Dam is Maggie ,a mare I raised here.


Oh yeah, my birthday...
I turned 50! and had not one but 2 birthday parties! 


Then another visit with Birdie for Mothers day , or Aunties day depending on your perspective! 


HAd a guest here on the farm for a while , Eurus the Quiet Giant came to stay for a few months 


I was blessed to attend a special wedding, Katie and Mark, Katie is the daughter of a dear friend ,and as honorary Auntie I wouldn't have missed it ! 






We have come a long way together Katie and I , from ponying her and sister Amy on their little Rio, and I on the "solar powered" Boomer! 

The boys continue to be ,just who they are and the rest of the critters seems to be doing well











Happy New Year Everyone! As always  stay safe! 
Hopefully a new post soon. I can tell you my plans for my next 50 yrs! 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Christmas plans

It’s a few days yet till Christmas Eve, but here is my plan;
As you close your eyes on Christmas Eve 
What do you wish 
What do you 
believe 
Do you pray for the
little ones
That they be safe wrapped in love
Or for help to the lost ones
from angels above
Dream of peace in this world of darkness and war
Or that very first Christmas that promised us more
The creatures, the shepherds, the magi came from afar.
To honour the miracle under that
holy star
On this Christmas Eve as the darkness descends
I’ll pray for each of my family and friends
I’ll pray for the wanderers, the lost, and alone.
I’ll pray that those souls find comfort and home.
I’ll pray for the little ones for their world is brand new.
And I’ll wish all Merry Christmas
Yes that’s what I’ll do

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Picture this

Because I seem to be the absentee blogger these days. There are a LOT of photos that I have taken and not shared  over the summer. Having just completed the 2018 Fern Valley Calendar, I decided to share some of the pictures here. I have done something a little different with the calendars this year, adding some thoughts/ quotes  to each page. What my nephew Robert calls "Auntie Sherryisms"

Over the next few posts I will share some of the pictures and thoughts from the summer.











Just  a few t get started, lots more to come! 
as always, stay safe! 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

International Girls day

Not a horse or farm post. In light of today being international day of the girl I thought I would share this


"For the girls " 
Who is this woman?
Who is this girl? 
She's somebody's daughter,
she's somebody's world.
She is meek she is fierce. 
She shy she is bold. 
A she wolf or angel 
She is young
She is old 
She's not just her looks
or the hue of her skin 
she is,
special,
for magic, 
comes from within.
Who is that woman 
Who is that girl 
She's somebody's daughter 
She's somebody's world.

So for all of the girls! Mothers daughters , sisters friends! 
Its your day! 
Stay safe 


Friday, 6 October 2017

Giving Thanks


It’s been a pretty tough week for many,
And catastrophic for others.
As we in Canada go into our thanksgiving weekend, it might be a little hard to see the rainbows in this world. We are daily deluged with images of the evil that mankind is capable of.
We are also offered images, if we look past the horrors, of kindness, grace, joy, love and faith.
Of babies, and heroes, of nature and beauty.
If we take the time to look…
I was asked the other day if I watched the game on TV?
 Nope, I was outside watching the moon rise and the stars dance.
I committed early this week to a daily thankfulness “what went right” ritual. I have not posted actual statements, but I have tried to share some of the beauty that surrounds me.
Going forward into the weekend, I am thankful, thankful for the beautiful area I lie, the eyes to see it, and heart to feel it.
The family I will see, and those I will think of on this weekend.
The heritage recipes that my mom, and grandmothers, and friends have taught me as I prepare the dinner for many of my loved ones.
That my grandma Horricks taught my sister heather to make the world’s most wonderful pastry, so that she can bring her amazing pumpkin pie, and that while I am blessed to have my very own “Kitchen MacGyver” as a sister, I will likely never have to subject folks to my pastry making skills!

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian family and friends. 
And to all of my family and friends, stay safe! You are my blessings