Janine Lamy

Pinky pointing West

The week we disappeared off to Blenheim Lily had me a little worried as she had developed a puffy hind fetlock. Our side of the yard was starting to resemble ‘sick bay’ with Harry on box-rest, Lily with a fat ankle and Louisa’s old horse Glenn had moved in with an eye infection and a puncture wound to the knee. I could feel the panic setting in! There was no heat and she was perfectly sound but I immediately reduced her work to hacking just to be sure. I felt more relaxed when the other hind started to swell (unlikely to have damaged both I hoped), then even more relaxed when Louisa reported that the fronts were slightly swollen (hey, this is looking good for a skin problem) and positively delighted when some scabby muck turned up – hoorah (OK I’m easily pleased!) Turns out she has a problem with harvest mites. Well that’s a new one on me. She couldn’t be further from a hairy cob and other than that I’d only heard of cereal mites causing problems in the feed shed. You live and learn…

On Saturday we had another sunny Carmen Court jumping clinic. This time I think a disproportionate number of horses started the day on another planet. Both Jazzes were in la-la land. Smurf and Polar came out like they had hangovers. Lily on the other hand was totally wired which is completely out of character. We had a proper tantrum, very nearly had me on the floor and dislocated my finger – never a good look in your own clinic! Claire wasn’t so lucky – she actually got to taste the sand as Malakai celebrated his performance by throwing her at the sandschool fence. Sounding like an advert for a nice day out?! Actually it was; all the horses jumped really well, we had great weather, and everyone went home happy. There’s only one clinic day left now (October 16th), then I shall organise a couple through the winter at Eaglesfield or Duckhurst to keep us going.   

Fortunately Nick Coles our horse dentist was already booked for a six monthly check-up on Tuesday. Harry’s teeth are always pretty good and despite being locked in his stable for over three weeks he stood quietly and said ‘ahh’ like a good boy. I decided to give Lily some ‘chill-out gel’ because I thought she would be sore and didn’t want the experience to put her off her Uncle Nick. She’s been such a good girl, I felt sure she hadn’t gone over to the dark side, or at least ‘hoped’ she hadn’t! That turned out to be a good plan as she was pretty uncomfortable with caps and sharp bits rubbing her mouth. The moral of the story? Next time you think Lily is starting to feel a bit sore in her mouth, call Nick out BEFORE your pinky is pointing West….

On Thursday Louisa had her affiliated debut at Step by Step BD with Strider. They did me proud with two wins in their Prelim sections and high placings overall. Last Sunday Donna took Otto to his first competition in 18 months and was over the moon to bring home a red and a blue rosette with some cracking scores. Also on Sunday Bonnie Kerr got some great scores at Hastingwood BD with Oliver, including over 69% in the Elementary. To use the words of her mother, he’s looking “right proper”….(Essex people, honestly…!)

We had planned to trot Harry up when we got back from Step by Step but it was not to be. He shuffled out of his stable like he needed a zimmer frame, then as soon as we suggested trot he exploded. So I decided to turn him out and watched in horror as he leapt, reared, bucked, and galloped at the fence. He was in the little paddock next to the school and didn’t know what to do with himself. At one point he chose to amuse himself by dive-bombing Lily while I was riding her. Bless her, she just carried on up the long side and looked at him like he was an idiot. She’s so cool. When we got him in we still struggled to trot him up, but this time it was because we couldn’t get him out of walk!!  

I am thoroughly looking forward to the hell that will be bringing him back into work…

September 24, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , | Leave a comment


Well the Harry update is that the vets suggested four weeks box rest. He’s pretty chilled so long as the food parcels keep arriving, but poor Martin had been promised him as a hunt horse and had just paid his subscription when uh-oh, no pony. Fingers crossed that we can get him fit and hunting in a couple of months – we’ll see what emerges from the stable in two weeks – anyone know any friendly zoo keepers?!    

I was a bit grumpy about missing Harry’s planned outings but Debbie Reeves held our side up at the South of England BD with a second and a win with over 68% in the Novices. Jazz is really quite established at Novice level now and I’m hoping they will qualify for the Winter Regionals.

On the Friday of that week we headed off to Burghley to support one of our friends and North West Kent Pony Clubber, Sophie Etheridge, in the Burghley Young Event Horse 4 year old final. Sophie’s horse Soloman has been injured for nearly a year and she has very recently been given the ride (along with a ready-made BYEH qualification) on a horse belonging to local livery owner Janet Shears – what a lucky girl!

I have to admit to fighting back tears as Sophie trotted into the arena. Our Soph at Burghley! I rode every turn and jumped every fence with her. Her mum felt so sick she disappeared. I don’t think I have ever seen Martin in such a flap. Sophie on the other hand was predictably calm, a totally focussed competitor. She went in there and produced the goods. A good dressage and a clear round on a horse that she has only had the ride on for six weeks. Her non-horsey father seemed not to understand the occasion until he saw all the people on the grandstand. Hello! This is the most prestigious Young Event Horse Championships in the country, and your daughter is only eighteen!! I can see where Sophie gets that steely determination from….

As an added bonus Steve Bartholomew (a North West Kent pony club parent) was at Burghley as an official photographer. Without much prompting he was dragged away from the main arena and Sophie had her very own official paparazzi! Apologies to Mark Todd who will be missing some snaps.

On Sunday I went to Stilebridge to support Louisa and Strider in the Hadlow Riding Club Dressage Championships. They did me proud to win their second championship class this year. They will have their affiliated debut this autumn.

And while I was supporting Louisa, Martin and Donna took Otto to Lucy’s for another lesson. I am pleased to report that the boy tried his best and everyone was very pleased with the progress that’s been made. Felbridge next we hope….

Last Wednesday Martin, the dogs and I headed to Blenheim for a weekend camping in the horsebox. Not being one to risk getting wet and cold I had packed five pairs of trousers, two pairs of waterproof trousers, three coats, three hats, four dog coats and an umbrella. Suffice to say it was pretty sunny and I looked like some kind of deranged and suntanned coat woman…

Today Lily’s breeders Sally and Thomas Forster came to see the little ginger one. Sorry mum, the Lily-head thing slipped out….and boy did Sally find that funny……

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Burghley Young Event Horse, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment