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Sep 19 2012

In Which Pumpkins are Hurled. Plus, a Horse for RQ.

Deary me. It seems all of you can hardly wait for the moment where you get to sit on the edge of your seats and watch Trebuchet and I launch pumpkins from, well, trebuchets. I’d meant to inflict horses upon you today, but never let it be said I neglect my readers. Well, not badly neglect. I’ve done the hack-and-slash on the video I shot, and here you are: two trebuchet vids!

Mind you, the camera was left sitting on a trailer hitch, it’s a bit tilted, and you can’t always follow the pumpkin. But you do get to see nearly all of this first one’s flight:

That was the tiny trebuchet, with an unknown boy firing. That one’s just about my speed. I could store a trebuchet like that on the porch, and use it to annoy – ah, I mean, entertain – my neighbors. I’ll bet you I could reach the treeline from where I am. May have to remove the porch roof, though. The new owners of the complex may become upset. Perhaps I should have Trebuchet introduce them to trebuchets first…

Right. This next one is not, alas, the record-shattering hurl. The record-shattering hurl was not captured on video. But this was a respectable hurl, and I got to pull the trigger for it, too, and you might enjoy it anyway, although you unfortunately don’t get to see the pumpkin go splat at the end. Hire me a camera crew the next time we go out and I’ll get you pumpkin-pulping action.

For now, this is what you get:

And really, it’s close enough to that trebuchet’s personal best as makes no difference.

So there ye are. My first experience at pumpkin hurling, and we set a record for best distance achieved by that trebuchet, and the weather was glorious and the pumpkins abundant. If I figure out how, I’ll delight you all later with some gifs of the large trebs launching. And Trebuchet himself can discuss some of the technical details.

I’m going to go pretend I never put a video on YouTube of myself participating in a pumpkin hurl now. Must… find… distraction…

Oh, look! Here is a very lovely Friesian for RQ:

A Friesian Freelancer at the Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl and Medieval Faire.

This is where I admit a particular weakness for “those spindly, fancy, dancing warmbloods.” Draft horses have always been a kinda meh thing for me – I mean, they’re horses, and for that reason alone I squee when in their presence, but they seem plodding and oversized and those huge hooves are frankly comic. I go weak in the knees for the Thoroughbreds, the Arabians, the Paso Finos (no, I know you’ve never heard of a Paso Fino – don’t look at me with your mouth open like that, click the link). I love sleek and elegant horses that look like a zephyr and run like stilettos. And I like Mustangs and quarter horses and Morgans and all those bread-and-butter breeds, those home-on-the-range, cowboy-rides-away horses. I quite like Standardbreds, too, and for sheer oddity, I loves me a Tennessee Walking Horse – you’ll never forget your first sight of that bizarre gait of theirs.

And if you ever need to bribe me, you can make it a Black Andalusian.

Now.

I will admit that draft breeds are entirely awesome. When the Budweiser Clydesdales are passing by, it’s like a substantial mobile earthquake. Before John Deere, there were Shires. They’re the early tanks and tractors, and they’re wonderful. Admittedly. They just don’t make my heart flutter whilst going pitter-pat.

Until.

Until.

You show me a Friesian, and then it’s like the best of all possible worlds.

The Friesian again. Drool.

Power, grace and style. Oh, yes.

And then someone came along and seems to have said, “What will make RQ and Dana both go utterly speechless with helpless adoration?” and, after some brainstorming, bred this. But that’s a story for another day…

25 comments

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  1. 1
    rq

    THANK YOU.
    By the way, by warmbloods I meant the fancy-pants aristocrat horses. Arabians – don’t count. Too much Arabian in a lot of world breeds for them to still be fancy-pants. Besides, they were the ‘work horses’ of the desert world, and while they ARE a bit spindly for my taste (the Shagya type, at any rate), the fact that they’re a lot smaller and more short-coupled than other horses makes up for it. I like compact, in a horse. Probably because I’m not tall myself. And this is where I agree with your list of bread and butter horses. I’m on the fence about Thoroughbreds. My dream (another one) would be to take a more heavy-set horse like an Andalusian with full Andalusian mane to a dressage competition (with all those Dutcch Warmbloods and Trakehners and blahblahblah fancy horses) and win. That being said, I have yet to begin attending riding lessons. :) And acquiring an Andalusian (or other sturdy horse, for that matter).
    I faint for Shires for the sheer size and majesty in the slow-moving strength of their movements. It’s like watching a whale swim, or a tanker maneuver into port. It’s huge, it’s somehow clumsy, yet at the same time, it’s so incredibly graceful, like it just FITS its size…
    And yes, I checked out the warlander description yesterday. *sigh* Can’t wait for that story (and I once again prove how easy it is to sidetrack me with horses – that, and books…)

    Oh, and by the way, I would love a technical run-down by Trebuchet about how the trebuchet works. The video looks awesome. Something about releasing tension like that is extremely entertaining. :)

  2. 2
    Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare

    I live in an area with a large amish population. This gave me the opportunity, last year, of twice-a-day squeeeeees over the Percheron foal pastured along my commute, for quite a while.

    1. 2.1
      rq

      Jealous. :)

  3. 3
    movablebooklady

    The Paso Fino Association has a meet right here in Asheville NC every year, and I go when I can. Aren’t they gorgeous? I’m partial to Morgans myself. And while I admire Tennessee Walkers, I’m unhappy with the way they’re “trained” for the show ring (shudder). On the other hand, if you ever get to ride one who hasn’t been overtrained, it’s like riding a cloud while high on something, soft and smooth and exhilarating at the same time. But yes, that Warlander is yummy.

  4. 4
    Trebuchet

    Awesome! I’ll add some technical details a bit later, I’ve got to go get dressed before the contractor comes.

  5. 5
    heliconia

    Can we see any close up pics of trebuchets? I mean, horses are great and all, but they can’t hurl pumpkins. Though if anyone can prove me wrong I’d be amused.

    1. 5.1
      Trebuchet

      There are three of four zillion of them on the internet, just put “trebuchet” into Google Images. Or, if you want the ones I hang with, put in “Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl” or “Burlington Pumpkin Pitch”.

      I’ve posted some videos which are awaiting moderation.

      1. heliconia

        Nice. I may be inspired to dust off the mini-trebuchet I made for a high school physics project and wreak havoc on the neighbourhood now.

  6. 6
    Trebuchet

    OK, Dana, you’ve shamed me into opening a YouTube account and posting my videos! For your viewing pleasure:

    My treb a little closer up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik0tptRd4OU

    Jousting!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC7rhOYfg3k

    A Traction Trebuchet:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phD39aUI2iU

    An Air Cannon:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSwnfZCL33k

    This will no doubt be in moderation for a while due to the links, until Dana, who says she is NOT a morning person, gets around to releasing it.

    1. 6.1
      rq

      I like how the traction trebuchet is people powered. If your slaves are too weak, you will never make the distance. :)
      Also, the jousting: whatever happened to those lenghty movie pauses between runs to stare meaningfully at your opponent? Or is giving the evil eye no longer in vogue among knights? :) Very nice, all round – have once again confirmed to myself that I really DO want to go to a medieval fair sometime. Very soon. Thanks for the vids!

  7. 7
    Worldtraveller

    Adding that medieval fair to the list of renfairs I’m attending next year. Wish I’d known about that one. The fair in Bonney lake is quite good!

    1. 7.1
      Trebuchet

      I went to that one as well! This one is not nearly as big a faire, but has treubchets!

  8. 8
    thebobs

    I see that my fellow engineers at Janicki have once again destroyed the competition. Burlington awaits the Squash-O-Fire.

    1. 8.1
      Trebuchet

      Only due to the absence of the mighty TreBarbaric! On to Burlington!

      1. thebobs

        You’re going to beat us in our backyard? I think not.

        1. Trebuchet

          I’m not going to beat anybody! And I expect S-O-F to dominate, as long as they don’t beat themselves by making pie like last year!

          Note to the uninitiated: “Pie” in pumpkin hurling is a no-score, which happens when the pumpkin breaks or goes backward.

          1. rq

            After this little show of gauntlets, I expect full video coverage that Dana can post on the blog for everyone’s viewing pleasure (in the guise of some highly scientific point she’s trying to make, of course – I’m sure the engineers in the room can help her out with the finer detail).

          2. thebobs

            If I go (which is likely), I will shoot some video. I’ll use the new HD camera we bought for the lab.

            If I see Dana there I will introduce myself.

          3. Trebuchet

            Introduce yourself to me as well! I’ll be down the line in the dinky division!

  9. 9
    Marie the Bookwyrm

    Horsies! Squee! I have indeed heard of the Paso Fino. The Warlander, however, is news to me. I am absolutely drooling over all the horse pics & links.

    Oh, and the pumpkin hurling is cool, too. :)

  10. 10
    notscarlettohara

    Granted this is all anecdotal, but most of the Friesians I’ve met (including my own) have been genetic disasters, that only seem to come down with the strangest never-before-seen illnesses. It is my (totally not based on any evidence) theory that Europe keeps the nice ones and ships all the rejects to the US. Which is not to say that they’re not lovely, wonderful horses, just… buy a major medical policy the moment your lovely new Friesian steps off the trailer.

  11. 11
    h. hanson

    I am assuming movablebooklady means soring and stacking of the Tennessee walkers rather than over trained. Soring and stacking are vile practices indeed. I used to show light shod naturally moving TWHs while I worked for a trainer. We were one of the only “clean” light shod barns in the PNW. I have to agree there is nothing like a good natural TWH. I still own three which I ride for pure pleasure. Having been a farrier for twenty years and I can tell you which breeds are a pure pain in the ass to shoe. It is a broad generalization to be sure but Pasos, Morgans and thoroughbreds are not my favourites. The best breeds for me to work on have been the TWHs and the Arabians. QHs tend to not be as flexible and may lean on a shoer.

  12. 12
    rowanvt

    I don’t think any breed will ever replace my love for the gypsy vanner. :3 But the gaited horses are especially intriguing to me.

  13. 13
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    Not horse related, but there’s a Youtube user you might like by the name of Falchion49. He does a delightful mix of swordfighting training videos, period acting, and absolutely brutal creationist debunking. (He’s been a little quiet lately as he recovers from being shot in the face with a crossbow, but he says he’s going to be doing more soon.)

  14. 14
    kitkimberly

    Andalusians are awesome, no doubt.

    But are you familiar with the Gypsy Vanner? They’re like something a top-notch fantasy writer dreamed up:

    http://lakeridgegypsy.com/

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