Friday, November 20, 2015

Flax And Plague, Or: What I've Been Up To For The Last Few Weeks

My new meds make me tired all the time, and it feels like I haven't been doing anything. And I haven't been doing anything as far as training my horses up the levels in dressage goes, but when I sat down to write up what I have been doing it was actually kind of a lot.

"G'day, mate."

I bought an Australian Stock Saddle. It was a steal of a deal, and a real Brisbane made one, so I couldn't pass it up. I've been trailering Spider out to the local State Parks with a friend of mine almost every week to trail ride, and I needed something that wasn't my super expensive dressage saddle to trail ride in. Also, dressage saddles are really hard on the knees if you're spending several hours on a trail ride, and that gets ouchie for me. The Aussie is way more comfortable. It seems to fit Spider well, or at least he doesn't complain. Although, Spider loves to trail ride, so I don't think he'd complain about anything, really.

Spider trying on his Halloween costume. Jack was not part of the costume, even though he really wanted to be.

For Halloween, we went on a costumed Hunter Pace! Spider and I dressed as Nazgul (the bad guys) from Lord of the Rings, because I am a giant nerd. Two of my friends also went, one dressed as Eowyn (also from LOTR) and the other dressed as Melisandre from A Song Of Ice And Fire. It was a totally awesome nerd mashup.

Spider and I are in the back being "menacing", AKA: putzing around.
Despite our nerdly awesomeness, we ended up coming in 3rd in the costume contest. We lost to children in princess costumes and adorable ponies. You can't beat adorable princess ponies, especially as a group of 30 yr old geeks. But, my Nazgul costume did manage to spook several horses and make a small child cry, so I consider that a win.


As far as the actual Hunter Pacing went, we came in 17th of 27. That's actually not bad, considering we were dressed like idiots and had no clue starting out that it was an 8 mile Hunter Pace. They're usually 3-4 miles, and we were so not prepared for 8 miles! (We would have brought snacks and wine) But, we survived intact and did totally mediocre, so that was cool.

Then I got the cold from hell, that I still have. I'm not sure if the cold is actually worse because of the immune suppressant drugs or if it's just a really bad cold, but I've been out of commission for about two weeks. I had to have bloodwork run when I got sick, because apparently that's a thing you have to do when you get sick on immune suppressant drugs, and the blood work came back "not going to die, this time", so that's all good. Now if I could just stop making snot....

While I recover, I'm spending my free time grinding flax. It's even less interesting than it sounds. 

Why am I grinding flax? Because I bought the wrong bag at the feed store while hopped up on cold meds, and ended up with whole flax instead of ground, that's why. I thought it would be OK, I'd just throw it in the big food processor and it'd be quick work.  Turns out the food processor just stirs the flax up, so I'm stuck using the little tiny coffee grinder. It holds 1/3 of a cup. I have to grind 50lbs. 

1/3 cup is this many pounds. 

And that's why there's a 50lb bag of flax seed and a bucket in my kitchen. 

New rule: Everyone who comes over has to grind some flax.

On Sunday, Spider and I are going to a jumping clinic, if we can tear ourselves away from the fascinating process that is grinding flax 1/3 of a cup at a time. I've only ever had two formal jumping lessons, and they were about 15 years and even more beers ago, so I don't actually remember them. Well, I do remember that the instructor said I should probably stick with dressage, but I don't remember how I was supposed to jump. (Those two things might be related) Anyway, it should be pretty fun, because the clinic is all dressage riders with little to no formal jumping experience.  

So, while I haven't been doing anything to move my horses forward in their dressage careers, I'm still getting out there and putzing around. We'll get back to dressage one of these days, but for now I'm just putting one foot in front of the other.


  1. Great costumes! The Nazgul scared the shit out of me when I read LOTR as a little kid. Sounds like there's plenty of pony action happening, despite getting used to your new meds. Hope you feel better soon. :D

  2. lol i love the costumes - sounds like a fun ride!!! exciting about the clinic too :D

  3. OMG. Love the costumes! Nerds unite!!

    Why not just feed the flax whole. It honestly digests the same (according to studies) and is less likely to spoil. I've always fed it whole.

    1. I have never considered this, because the crotchety old farmer who lives in my brain always says, "Dagnabbit, girl! Ya can't feed flax whole, yer horse'll just shit it out!" I will have to investigate this.....

    2. Lol! Investigate! I always thought that, too. Except for getting stuck to the side of my horse's mouth, I've never noticed they work act differently.

  4. I'm over here thinking that even though I'm almost 30 and a nerd I would still like to dress up like a princess on a pony;) Can't wait for a jumping lesson recap!

    1. We seriously considered stealing a couple adorable princess ponies to guarantee ourselves a win next year.

  5. Love the costume. I have one of the statues here. You and Spider look just like it. *G*

    Looking forward to the jumping report. Meanwhile, have "fun" grinding. *sigh*

  6. I would love to be a Nazgul. Your costume is fabulous.

  7. Love your costumes!

    And yeah, I've heard you can feed flax whole. Given the choice between grinding 1/3c at a time and feeding whole, I'd at least give it a whirl. ;-)

  8. Does the flax seed coat digest in the stomach or intestines? I have eaten those bad boys and definitely made some poop observations that suggest no. However, I am not a horse. I would love to come over and grind some flax if you were closer though.

    I cannot believe you could see through your nazgul hood/veil thing! Wah I would be terrified.

    1. Isn't it amazing how all equine related conversations eventually turn to poop? LMAO!

      I know we can't digest them properly without them being ground first, and horses are pretty inefficient digesters. But, some stuff I saw said horses are able to eat them whole because they are much more efficient at chewing than we are, all their big, grindy teeth end up doing the same job as the coffee grinder. I also saw a pamphlet from the Canadian Flax Association (that's a thing) that said if we chewed them better, we could also eat them whole. Pffft. Ain't nobody got time for that!

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