Janine Lamy

Off games

Well it’s been two very busy weeks fitting in Lily and Harry around normal lessons and teaching at camps. Normally I give the horses most of August off as I find it hard to do it all, but this year I have been determined to keep them going. The consequence of this is that I have been tired and tetchy, thoroughly delightful to be around, growling at Martin whenever he starts a sentence with ‘have you managed to…’!

Last week was my fifth year doing the jumping sessions at Chislehurst and District Riding Club camp. It’s a lovely camp to teach at, everyone trying their very best and they are always really supportive of each other. I always get lots of enjoyment seeing the progress through the week, and the lunches are amazing!

Part way through the week we got news that Lexie’s 28 day scan had revealed a heartbeat – woohoo! I mustn’t get too excited as I know things don’t always go to plan but this is fantastic news.  I also hear from Stud UK Euro that Rosie was scanned in foal, so everything crossed for things to go well there too. On the Saturday Martin moved Lexie from West Kington Stud in Wiltshire (where there is no winter broodmare accommodation) to Groomsbridge Stud in Cambridgeshire (where Lily came from). We know that Sally Forster at Groomsbridge pampers everything like it was a favourite pony in her back garden, and that is exactly what we want for our girl. She’s still looking rather fit and I imagine a rather well bred, curvaceous broodmare taking her to one side “this place is fabulous darling but you really must eat your greens…you’re eating for two now sweetie…”

While Martin was driving around the country in the lorry, we had a very busy Carmen Court jumping clinic. Debbie’s Jazz jumped like a star again, maybe a trip to Felbridge for the boy is looming after all. He had saddle trouble and was a little sore two months ago when he nearly had his Aunty Janine eating sand, so it’s good to have that behind us and be back on form. It’s great to see the progress in the regulars but also lovely to see quite a few new faces this time. I also jumped Lily in a group which is a completely new experience for her and she behaved brilliantly. Although very green, she’s feeling really confident now and at times was a bit of a cocky show-off!

Then came our Pony Club branch’s camp at Judd Wood nr Tonbridge where I have been teaching all week. Only a small number of Pony Clubbers in attendance but for me, one of the best camps we’ve had in years. A great bunch and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. By Monday lunchtime there had been a finger shut in a lorry door, and a trip to A&E for a key helper with a bang to the head. Fortunately the rest of the week mainly concentrated on keeping everyone dry overnight – not really the best weather for camping. Then on Thursday, a horrible incident….I managed somehow to put a salt and vinegar crisp in my eye instead of my mouth, not something I would recommend! Now I don’t want to get anyone in trouble but between you and me, I have picked my way through the camp Risk Assessment and nowhere does it assess the Health and Safety issues regarding crisp eating….

Harry made an appearance on Wednesday, the hack had been cancelled as my ‘sweeper’ had concussion (!) but he was still lined up to teach them how to lunge. I had started to question my judgement and was worrying he’d snack on some poor unsuspecting child, but he was an utter star, totally on the charm offensive, and I think he would have trotted circles around them even if they were doing headstands! Unfortunately when I came to ride him on Friday he was slightly unlevel. It looks like he’s throwing a splint which at six he’s a prime age for. There’s a rather large hot lump in the splint area on the outside of his near fore. So Harry will be off games for a while and I expect Smiths Lawn will turn out to be his last event this year – I’m glad he went so well and proved that he’s learnt so much. He will be one for the future… but so much for working my butt off for the last four weeks to keep him in work, typical – where’s the justice in that?!

Bonnie Kerr had a great result at Brook Farm BD this week with a win in the Elementary with over 67%. We took Oliver back to basics about a year ago and Bonnie has been very patiently waiting to see the upshot of her hard work. Typically the results got worse before they got better and I’m sure she wondered if we were doing the right thing, but she’s had two wins recently so I would say we’re back in business, plus some! I also hear from Zalena and Claire Carter that they have qualified for the Riding Club Championships at Lincoln in the riding test. That’s a fantastic effort. Zalena came to me as a rehabilitation following an injury and was re-backed and slowly brought back into work over the summer last year. She was a smart young horse and we sold her onto Claire on behalf of her owner Zoe Squirrel who also had an injury, and in less than a year together they have really got it together – top effort girls!

Today we took Lily to Felbridge to school in their arena over some jumps. She was a bit overawed by the arena there and very spooky, but after a little while really got into her stride and grew in confidence. More of this planned!

So that’s it, August is nearly over… I have to admit that I’m looking forward to the slightly slower pace of life that the autumn will bring, but am disappointed they’ll be no Harry parties for a while. That’s horses though…

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Schooling | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black not Green

Well my little dumpling has left home again. On Sunday we moved Ivy to a paddock down the road to be with Laura and Tina. She has a new friend Ludo who seemed to understand from the outset that Ivy is in charge. We’ve rather got used to her being at home and miss her perky little face and welcoming squeaky neighs every day but we don’t have room for her to winter with us, and I think Laura was keen to have her back for some Reeves style TLC.

Monday we had a Pony Club jumping rally at Felbridge with NZ International event-rider Joe Meyer, who was brilliant. Sometimes the top riders aren’t the best teachers but Joe was fantastic. We will try to use him again in the winter when he has more time.  In the afternoon Chris Caden-Parker came to give the horses their routine six-monthly back check. I am delighted to report that Harry and Lily were given the thumbs up, so back to work as normal.

On Thursday I decided to swap Lily for Harry and took her for her first Sally lesson. Only her third trip out, she travelled well and was more relaxed. She was not at all bothered by whatever Sally built for her, including a coat hanging off the wing at one point! Lots of positive comments – Sally thought she had a good canter, was quite reactive and rideable, and tidy over a fence. To summarise she said “cute little ginger thing”!!

I was dreamily filling the lorry at Pease Pottage services, thinking about what a star Lily had been when I noticed the green funnel sticking out of the fuel tank…SH*T!!! Oh Lamy, you donut. I felt sick. What on earth was I thinking?! Fortunately I had only put half a litre of petrol in and the man in the garage (looking at me like I was a complete idiot) said that it wouldn’t be a problem if I filled it full with diesel. Louisa sat in the lorry shaking her head. Even the dogs looked embarrassed. And I really looked forward to telling Martin…not!

Next week is Chislehurst and District Riding Club camp where I am doing the jumping sessions in the afternoons, and we have a very busy Carmen Court jumping clinic planned for Saturday. Then I am at our branch’s Pony Club camp all the following week, and I hope to get Lily out again for some more schooling somewhere over the bank holiday…busy busy busy!

August 13, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club | , , , | Leave a comment

Dressage Diva Harry

I’m wondering whether a Google search ‘tiny janine lamy’ is a reference to my size or one of my horses…

Anyway, Otto and Martin went XC schooling at Lodge Farm last Wednesday. The first time he saw a ditch he popped it like a pro. The third time he saw that ditch he stopped dead and tipped Martin over his head!! Some quiet discussion followed but fairly quickly they were back in business popping fences, steps, banks etc. I think water schooling must be next?! When he was good he was very very good…

On Thursday Martin and I headed off to Hickstead for the Royal International Horse Show. A lovely day off, we watched some showing (those horses were NEVER under 15.2!), the Eventers’ Grand Prix, some of the Grand Prix dressage, and some window shopping (Martin is obviously saving himself for Burghley!).

Harry had a pre-event XC school at Lodge Farm Saturday. We normally wouldn’t be there twice in a week but decided Harry and Otto together might just be more testosterone than we could handle! It was a 15 minute affair reminding ourselves what this XC mallarky is about and getting our feet wet again.

Then Smiths Lawn BE100 with Harry on Tuesday and what a good boy he was! He was lying third after the dressage with 28.5 (oh yeh!), just rolled a pole SJ and jumped a super clear XC. We were a bit slow as we haven’t done any fittening work in months due to the ground, and at 17 hands he is pretty tricky to steer around those woods but I was absolutely delighted with him. He ended up fourteenth but would have been placed with less time penalties. Go Harry! I am so pleased that the hard work looks to be paying off and there is such an improvement. He has earned fun-time hunting this winter!

Then today we were off to Eaglesfield to school Lily around the arena and over some fences. She was pretty perky at the sight of an arena filled with jumps, a grandstand, and advert boards all around etc but took it all in her stride and jumped everything we asked of her. I had promised not to complain when it eventually rained but I really wouldn’t have chosen my Lily at Eaglesfield slot for thunder and a torrential downpour! Typical.

Good news from Hannah Bartholomew, posting a 6th in the BE90 at Little Mattingley – her fourth placing in her first season. Debbie Reeves has been to Stoneleigh for the Trailblazers Championships and although Jazz was initially a bit taken aback with the journey and staying away from home for the first time, he scored two good placings in the Consolation Ride Off on the second day including a 2nd in the novice with 73%. I am so pleased for them. Jazz is only 6 years old and has achieved so much already. He has the BD Southern Regionals on Saturday, another big experience for the boy. It is a fantastic part of my job seeing the young horses you have helped with from the start come through and do so well.

Tomorrow I am off to cheer on the North West Kent branch of the Pony Club at the Area Horse Trial at Pulborough. We also have a Pony Club rally with NZ Olympic rider Joe Meyer booked next week which should be interesting. Pony Club camp is now only a few weeks away too…Harry doesn’t realise this yet but he’s going to be a lunge guinea-pig, then he’s taking charge of a hack in the woods (I must stop drinking wine at Pony Club committee meetings!)

Everyone cross your fingers, toes, hooves and paws. Lexie was scanned in foal at 14 days….another scan on 28 days to come…

August 4, 2010 Posted by | Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling | , , | Leave a comment