Janine Lamy

I’ve not changed much

A few weeks ago I received a text message from an unknown number. It started “Hello Miss Lamy. It’s been a very long time since I last spoke to you, nearly thirty years I guess…..”

Oh my god, it turns out that this message is from my very first riding instructor! I’ve been helping someone on the yard where she keeps a horse and after all these years she hears my name in conversation (I didn’t change it when I got married) and remembers me – talk about a blast from the past!

So I include a picture for you, dressed ready for my first lesson aged nine, the image she has in her head of me. Well it’s not like I’ve changed much….

Last Saturday I went to Speedgate BD for a day of dressage while Martin delivered Lexie to stud. Three clients (Debbie Reeves, Gail Le Milliere and Bonnie Kerr) were all there on the same day and I thought it would be a good idea to watch them away from home. It can be enlightening watching people in a competition environment! Anyway, turns out they don’t need me interfering, they all did really well with Bonnie and Debbie really pulling out the stops to get exactly the same score and jointly winning the large Novice Qualifier – what’s the chance of that happening?! Two people trained by the same person winning on exactly the same score?! I was so chuffed!

We have decided to start hacking Ivy to see if we can loosen up those stiff old joints. Hah! What a joke that is. I haven’t ridden Ivy in ten years and had completely forgotten what I was letting myself in for. She jogged the whole way yelling and tossing her head, sending flobber all over me. We had set out for a sedate walk and arrived back at the yard a hot frothy mess and looking like we’d been hunting. Never underestimate that fat little dumpling! Martin is slightly nervous as he’s worked out that over the years he’s the only one she hasn’t had off…..I reckon she’s been biding her time…!!

It was off to Sally’s for a lesson on Tuesday. The morning started well with Harry having a tantrum about staying in and getting loose for the first time in ages. He galloped towards the fields where Lily was first to spot him. She wasted no time telling everyone “hey, look at Harry, he’s in the playground in his pink nighty!!” (am I a bad mother, it was cheap?!). He wouldn’t let me anywhere near him, Louisa had to catch him, then the strop got worse and he kicked me while I tried to groom him. To add insult to injury he then point blank refused to load. Mother lost her temper, I won’t tell you what I called him…..but he loaded. Fortunately when we got to Sally’s he jumped like a total star despite his jockey who must have left her brain back at home in the morning mayhem. I was on another planet and he really dug me out of trouble a few times. It seems to be making a huge difference taking him there to practise on a hill and round a course on grass. I was so pleased that I forgot all about his morning misdemeanours and gave him an apple…ahh….

Then today it was off to Felbridge to see if we could reproduce this work at a competition. I had wondered what I had let myself in for when I saw the spooky new arena. Harry also wasn’t sure and hot footed it back the way we had come in “I’m not going down there!” But I am pleased to report that his jumping was very much improved. Good day at the office for Harry!

I am hoping to get back to Sally’s and have a few more BSJA competition practises before heading off to Smiths Lawn for our next BE100. Lily is back from her holidays and back in work so hopefully we will get going with her soon too….

June 26, 2010 Posted by | Instruction, Our Horses, Results | | Leave a comment

Upside down dressage

Harry had his Char lesson in some serious heat last Friday. Some of his work is really starting to improve and I’ve even been thinking about taking him out for some dressage practise…although…..someone came to my website this week after searching “upside down dressage” – maybe I should take the hint?! I did raise an eyebrow when someone searched “horse riders’ bums”. How that got linked to my site I’d rather not know. And another one that makes me smile is “Janine jerk”!

Last Saturday we headed off to the Stud UK Euro open day. It was an interesting afternoon looking at their stock and watching the loose jumping. Some of the horses were a bit worried by all the spectators and one mare was described as “having her feet stuck to the floor”. Guess who I thought of?! If Rupert hadn’t told me that Rosie was in the field we were walking through I swear I wouldn’t have recognised her. Talk about beefed up. Crikey with her long mane and pendulous belly she certainly looks like a broodmare, let’s hope she can actually start producing the goods!

Then on Sunday I went to Stilebridge to groom for Louisa and Strider who won both the prelims and qualified for the summer championships. His canter is really starting to come together now and it won’t be that long before I’m prodding her to start down the BD route with him.

Harry then had two days at Sally’s. On the first day we loose jumped him to see what he did for himself and how he chooses to jump. We did little, we did bounces, we did wide and we did tall and it turns out Harry is far more balanced and capable than we thought! So onto the second day where we tried to recreate the jump we saw loose with me onboard. In short, get his head up, plenty oomph in the canter and no contact whatsoever. I struggled to achieve this all the time but when I got it right he was super. Plenty of homework as usual! Also we decided he’s not fit enough and when he gets tired he quite simply starts jumping a foot lower. So given the fact he had already done the dressage, then spent three hours on the lorry and it was 28 degrees, it rather explains his lacklustre performance at Mattingley so we have our work cut out trying to put more work in. I have to say a very worthwhile, interesting and productive two days. Not only that but he stayed the night and didn’t eat anyone!

We had another Carmen Court jumping clinic in the sun yesterday. I don’t have a picture for you but I was a whisker away from falling off in the morning. I was so close I could taste the sand! Jazz stopped at the last minute, scattered poles and fish fillers everywhere and I was clung around his neck watching the floor get nearer. Boy do my legs ache today from gripping on!  Everyone else had a far more successful day and we’ve decided to go for cross country exercises in the school next time for a change…

A little bit about Lexie’s husband-to-be ‘Up With The Lark’ (Max to his friends). He’s ten years old, graded Advanced and is a 16.1h bright bay, aiming to do his first three star in 2010. Bred in the purple for eventing he is himself by Welton Apollo (placed at Badminton and represented GB at the Europeans) and is out of an Advanced mare Magical Lark. His eldest progeny are four this year so as yet is unproven as a stallion although his young horses have been doing well in the BEF Young Horse Evaluation classes. Lexie’s parents are also both Advanced (she’s by Sarah Bullen’s Rock King out of Bonnie Lane, bred by Jemima Johnson) so if all went well the foal would have all four grandparents Advanced, an Advanced father and an Intermediate mother. How exciting is that?! Probably means it will jump like a donkey or have a twisted leg!

Many of you are already asking – What will Martin ride while Lexie is away at stud? Knowing his penchant for little TB mares, I just want to reassure you all that Lily’s door has a huge padlock on it and only I have the key!

June 13, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | | Leave a comment

Fee Fi Fo Fum

Harry has two days at Sally’s booked for next week. I know he will take more time and I need to be patient, and he is jumping so much better at home, but I do still feel a bit at sea with him. He quite simply isn’t small and female, and since that is somewhat unlikely to change, I guess I need to! I built a big corner in the school after our run-out on the XC at Mattingley and he didn’t miss a beat. I think I was just enjoying the ride far too much and needed a good wake-up slap. He did feel tense in the showjumping, and from the photos I can see I was not always behind him (how hard can it be?!). I’m sure I will leave Sally’s with more homework!

Over the last few weeks I have been starting to play with the three year old Jasper (he belongs to Louisa’s mother Sandy). The original intention was for me to back him but with Ivy coming home I’m not sure I will have enough time so I’m getting him lunging so that Hayley Crush can pick up where I leave. I did a bit with him last year as he was needing something to occupy his brain, and he has pretty much started where we left off. He’s already lunging in tack and ready to have someone lean over him.

Debbie Reeves had a great day at the South East Dressage Championships at Hickstead last Saturday. When I started teaching her a few years back I was under very strict instructions that she had to do better than 16th (no pressure!). Thank goodness her 6 yr old finished a very respectable 9th and hopefully I am employed for a little while longer….

Our little black patterdale Pippa was a little overdue a haircut…I kept meaning to get it done but eventually Martin decided he would do it (uh-oh!). Mostly it looks OK (she doesn’t seem to mind the tramlines) but he’s clipped her really short then left her with hairy legs. She looks like an extra from ‘The Kids from Fame’ and I’m half expecting her to burst into ‘Hi-Fidelity’ in her leg-warmers. Poor pooch, best I find the scissors…

Hannah Bartholomew had a fantastic day at Borde Hill finishing 7th in her 90 section. Both Martin and I are absolutely thrilled to see one of our PC members going on to compete through BE with success. Just between us, at twelve years old Martin could barely rise to the trot!! 

As you know Lexie is now trialling regumate and Borde Hill was the first of several outings planned to see if it makes any difference. Unfortunately not, she said no thanks again in the showjumping, this time twice throwing Martin through the jump – she really meant NO and he has some lovely bruises! So we are none the wiser and after much conversation between Martin and our vet Karen she now has a planned meeting with something that stallion ‘Up With The Lark’ left in a test tube….

NEWSFLASH!! My favourite pony in the whole wide world is home!! My little dumpling with her curly mane, she makes me smile every time I look at her. Harry on the other hand was very disturbed. He walked through the field she had stayed in overnight sniffing the ground and paced around his own field giving it “Fee Fi Fo Fum”. He is an odd ball, he’s unbelievably territorial. 

He was Mr Rodeo in the school on Tuesday, the spring grass and a bit of rain doing its magic again. He has a Char lesson and a few days at Sally’s planned – that should concentrate the mind! We’re off to see Asbo Rose at stud this Saturday, I’m at Stilebridge with Louisa and Strider on Sunday, there’s a Carmen Court jumping clinic next Saturday and depending on Sally’s advice I may take Harry out for some jumping practise on the Sunday…no rest for the wicked!

June 5, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , | Leave a comment