Janine Lamy

Carpark Supremo

Crikey it’s been a busy few weeks. Last week started with a Char lesson on Monday. Not a good day for Grumpy Boy as I rarely get time to ride him at weekends so Monday would normally be a relaxed hack as two days off is all it takes for him to return to ‘feral child’. Char won him round with her ready supply of polos and we spent a fair while concentrating on the walk as this has lost us marks in our tests. “How can you expect the walk to improve if you aren’t working it at home”. Fair comment and funnily enough exactly the conversation I had with Bonnie Kerr a few days before. A clear case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’! Lily also had a 20 minute session to make sure we are moving along correct lines. She was such a good girl, tried her best and Char said ”Hmm, quite a smart little package”. Praise indeed!

The following day Harry went down to Sally’s for a jumping lesson. I was reminded on several occasions not to get in front of him (here we go again, how many times do I say that?!) I think because he is slower moving than the little sharper horses that I am used to, I seem to move before him. I really need to learn to stay behind him as it does make a difference to how he jumps. I wouldn’t mind but when I first started jumping him I was so defensive I was nearly sitting on his tail!! More homework.

Our first Carmen Court jumping clinic was a very busy affair on Saturday in the most gorgeous sunny weather. Thankfully Jo Unwin turned into CarPark Supremo while she was there and organised the coming and going of everyone. She’ll be wanting a discount next month! The day went very well and Louisa took pictures for everyone which are posted on facebook, always a great aid to learning. The camera never lies, although sometimes I wish it would!

On Monday Harry, Louisa and I headed off to Leicestershire for EHOA Spring Camp. After three hours travelling Harry started yelling his head off. Maybe he thought he was going back to the homeland! It probably didn’t help that one minute we were travelling round the M25 in a narrow corridor of cones, and the next I was heading up the M11! It turned out that we weren’t the only ones to make this schoolboy error and fortunately it was fairly quick to the first junction so we could turn around. After four hours travelling and all settled in, he seemed a little embarrassed by the sign I put on his door “Please stay away. This horse may bite” and to show I had him all wrong he could often be found lovingly licking the nose of the mare next door. Hmm…

Off to the pub for dinner Monday night, a fairly cold night in the lorry, and onto Tuesday morning for our flatwork session with Tracie Robinson. Harry is normally a little stodgy to start with so I canter him off his back until he loosens up. Still upset about the sign outside his stable, he stuck his head between his knees and bronced for Ireland. Very funny! Tracie worked very much along the lines of Char so this was great, and spent quite a lot of time helping me with his walk. I also got time to watch her helping others which is always great to do with lots to learn. My favourite quote of the day was Rider “I’ve never used my legs so much”, Tracie “Well that makes you plain lazy”. I really must get tougher!

Next came our jumping session with Kenneth Clawson. Kenneth wanted silence as we worked over some poles on a circle. Harry did a pretty good job. Unfortunately we weren’t quite so silent when we started jumping but Kenneth was quick to reassure me that Harry needs more time to develop. Patience Lamy! He was also the second person within a week to have to regularly remind me to stay behind him. Agh!

Tuesday night Gillian Higgins gave us a brief overview of some of her ‘Horses Inside Out’ lecture, focussing on soft and supple backs. I recommend her lectures to everyone. They are an excellent way of improving understanding. After some food in the house and a few beers Tuesday evening, a freezing night in the lorry, we were off cross-country schooling with J-P Sheffield Wednesday. J-P is so laid back he is horizontal and somehow this rubbed off onto Harry who was previously convinced we were hunting. J-P stressed the importance of a light seat and relaxed, slow early ditch and water work with young horses. Harry was the only horse to put his foot IN the ditch but I guess that’s relaxed for you! JP was great in his explanations and being mounted he showed us what he wanted before asking us to do it. Harry looked visibly relieved to be home on Wednesday evening and has earned a few days off.

Coming up next, Lexie and Martin are off to Nurstead for the Intermediate Novice on Saturday. I then have two groups at Chilham schooling on Sunday, Lily gets some more lorry practise and possibly a trip out! 

 When I asked Martin if the dogs were missing me he sent this from his phone. Enough said!

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April 22, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses | , , | Leave a comment

May I offspring beats The Humdinger!

Martin and Lexie were due to go to Goring last Saturday but it was cancelled due to waterlogged ground, so I rerouted to Stilebridge to watch Louisa and Strider. Their second attempt at prelims and they didn’t disappoint with a second and 66% in the first test and a qualifying win and 68% in the second. Strider seems to have benefitted from a few months off over the winter. I think he spent it studying British Dressage Magazine!

Lily is now looking a bit more grown up on the flat, has had her first little jump under saddle, has had some loading practise on the lorry, and has been down our busy road outside the yard – Harry calling from his stable the whole time “Lily! Be careful! It’s not safe out there!!” She continues to take everything in her stride and I’m thoroughly enjoying her. Another four year old by the same stallion ‘Groomsbridge May I’ had his first outing under saddle at the BSHA Southern Spring show, became the surprise winner of the Coloured title, and beat none other than last year’s Horse of the Year Show champion The Humdinger! Keep your eyes peeled for Wilderness May Pageant, he’s obviously one to watch (see this week’s Horse and Hound page 77). No pressure then Lily….

On Easter Monday we left the horses and dogs behind and ventured into London to see War Horse.  We had a fabulous meal and I thought War Horse was very clever. You really did believe that a puppet with three people attached to it was a horse. How did they do that?! Despite what everyone said I came home with dry hankies, not so however after watching AP McCoy win the Grand National on Saturday – I honestly thought he’d never do it!

Lexie was at South of England yesterday doing the Open Novice. Another feisty dressage test but jumped her socks off for a double clear and 9th place. During the day I had lots of texts from people asking if I was really selling Viagra. What?! Seems my email has been hijacked, what a nightmare!

Oh God, this month’s Local Rider. Apparently I’m married to the “Wonderful” Martin Wright. Can you imagine the pain and suffering this has caused me?! It’s not that his head is big but he now needs a mattress as a pillow….Sophie Etheridge, you have a lot to answer for… 

Next week I have both flatwork and jumping lessons, we’ve got the first Carmen Court jumping clinic of the year, then Harry and I are off to Kenneth Clawson’s Leicestershire yard for EHOA Spring Camp. Let’s hope this lovely weather continues, at least while I’m camping!

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , | Leave a comment