Janine Lamy

Crazy Frog

Last week both my horses lost the plot and my ever supportive husband opened a book on which one bucks me off first! I am starting to feel a little like a stunt rider….even Lily has had moments of behaving like ‘Crazy Frog’.

Harry has been to Sally’s for his first lesson since August last year. She was amazed when we took his rugs off to reveal the new improved bodywork – he’s so much fitter and stronger, she said he looked like a different horse. Thankfully he jumped like a star (much to my relief as I’ve only jumped him four or so times) but he bucked his head off at every opportunity in between. It was like riding a giant version of Rose! She made some comment about me being attracted to ‘quirky’….who, me?! However she also said that he was jumping better than when we left it in the Summer – praise be to the medicine of hunting with his daddy!

Onto Lily….my generally sane little orange friend (well, until her sister arrived and Mrs Mischief and Little Miss Silly reunited the double act)….I jumped her the following day and to say she was a little over-enthusiastic was an understatement. Boinging about three foot higher than necessary (“Tinka, look at me!!”), landing pretty steeply with her head between her knees and broncing like a bull with me hailing a cab! Oh she is feeling very perky indeed and we are now jumping twice a week until it is less exciting…uhum.

On Sunday Harry hunted with Coakham at Little Horsted. He got a great school report and by all accounts continues to give Martin an amazing ride over some enormous hedges. To quote Martin ‘you just point and let him get on with it’.  I hope eventing him proves that straight forward!!

Chris Caden-Parker came to do the horses’ backs this week. I am delighted to report that Harry and Lily were both in tip-top condition. Tinka was a little sore so a few days off for her. It’s really perfect timing, only two weeks into work we can now crack on in earnest, knowing everything should be OK. Chris commented on what a great sort she is, and so easy in the stable – or maybe that was just relative to the swearing from Father Jack next door?! We really are pleased with the progress she has made in three short weeks. Lily on the other hand wants her gone. And soon.

What planet was I on when I decided that going to Duckhurst for some jumping would be a clever idea today? I was absolutely FREEZING. Yikes, I’m not sure I will ever recover! There was much sighing from Harry, and you can see how impressed he was from the photo…but….he did jump clear!

Coming up; Tinka has her first jumping lesson with Martin at Lucy’s, Harry hunts at Chiddingstone, both horses have a Char flatwork lesson and we all get to blow the cobwebs away for a XC school at Munstead. Hoo-hah!

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January 28, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Our Horses, Schooling livery | , , , | Leave a comment

As tricky as a box of monkeys

Continuing on the food and drink theme we had a lovely lunch with Tina and Laura Reeves a couple of weeks back, before heading off to see ‘The Wonderful Ivy’. She looks absolutely amazing. Tina is doing a fantastic job as groom while Laura is away at Uni, and best of all Ivy is sound and has some dressage competitions pencilled in for later in the Spring. Go Dumpling!

I have to admit to some trepidation at getting on both horses for the first time, but need not have worried as they were both on their best behaviour. Louisa was ready with the camera to capture the Harry antics and obviously this appealed to his boyish humour as he trotted round with his ears pricked looking all angelic – typical! The day after however, Harry had no audience. He bucked and he bucked and he bucked and he bucked while I held onto the neckstrap for grim death. Bless his little cotton socks…..

On the Saturday we held a Bedgebury jumping clinic for a very select group of five. Most people had not managed to get their horses fit enough, but those that came had fun and we knocked some of that winter rust off. While I was at Bedgebury, Martin took delivery of Lily’s sister Tinka. She has come in to be schooled and sold. I shall keep you up to date on progress here…

The Coakham Bloodhounds met at Nurstead on Sunday with Martin as Fieldmaster. Harry managed to clear a big space at the meet during Martin’s speech. Not at all embarrassing! The ground at Nurstead was amazing, it is so well drained there. Despite his ‘airs above the ground’ at the meet, Harry is absolutely loving the hunting thing and would be a fantastic Master’s horse. Alas we have some dressage and showjumping to practise, as the new eventing season looms…poor Harry!

On Monday we turned Tinka out next to Lily for the first time, and what a nightmare that was. Lily was bottom of the heap at stud and clearly was having none of it in her new home. She walked out to the field on her hind legs with absolutely no respect for the small person underneath. She squealed, leapt and reared on the end of the rope until I let her go, got her legs through the electric fence and double barrelled the metal gate between them, ending up hopping about on three legs. This is my quiet little Lily who usually staggers out of her stable, stretches, groans, and wanders out to her field as if she can barely put one foot in front of the other. Lily is not a morning person. Who is this monster?! Ah, two sisters living in the same house….I think I made a schoolboy error.

Harry had his first flatwork lesson of the year with Char yesterday. He’s as tricky as a box of monkeys when he first comes back into work but I was reminded of all my bad habits which is never a bad thing! I jumped both horses on Thursday and was delighted with them. Lily jumped through a simple grid but was like a little rubber ball, and Harry (all fired up by the hunting) was really taking me to his fences and using his body much better.

I now have the pre-season XC schooling dates confirmed as Sunday February 13th (Munstead) and Saturday March 5th (Littleton Manor). I’m really looking forward to blowing the cobwebs away. Harry has a jumping lesson with Sally next week (the first in FIVE months – oh my God, it’s going to be carnage!), and if we live through that I think we’ll head to Duckhurst the week after….

January 15, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Instruction, Our Horses, Schooling livery, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Action, action!

Well Happy New Year to you all. Fingers, hooves and paws crossed for a fantastic 2011.

Like everyone else during the snow I have been bored rigid and entertaining myself with food and far more trips to the Red Lion than is healthy! I have to admit to starting 2011 needing a bigger girth – Lily will buckle at the knees when I get back on!

In between eating and drinking with family and friends we went to the OSBWK Boxing Day Meet at Chiddingstone Castle. Due to the ground conditions they were only able to meet on foot but it was lovely to be off the sofa and show our support. I’ve been moaning my head off about not earning anything for four weeks but you have to spare a thought for the hunt staff – they only have the winter and a month not hunting is pretty crippling. As always we bumped into some friendly faces and stopped at the pub for a few beers with Lucy (Thompson) and Chris (Caden-Parker). Ted was particularly impressed to find some sausage leftovers on the table!

You’ll remember Harry had been hunting on the Downs at Jevington? Well the following morning he had a rather large lump under his knee on the tendon. It didn’t go away after a few days and although he was perfectly sound I thought we’d better get it scanned. Unfortunately that’s when it snowed so I confined Harry to barracks whilst waiting for the roads and yard to clear. I didn’t want to risk him out in the snow and on the frozen ground. By the time we got there the lump had very nearly gone and they looked at me like I was making it up! Anyway, I am very pleased to report that there is no damage to any tendons or ligaments and they suspect he had burst the blood vessel. So back to work for Harry!

You may be able to help me out on this one – on Thursday night we were out with friends in Chislehurst when a rather worse for wear chap stopped me and yelled ‘hey, it’s you!’. I kept moving (thinking LOON!) and I heard him say to his friend ‘look, it’s her from Emmerdale’. What on earth?!!

On Friday Harry was turned out in the small paddock by the school and predictably was beside himself. It was all I could do to hold onto him on the way out there, leaping and rearing, and looked like he was about 25 hands high! Lily too has been airborne several times on the lunge after a month off – she’s feeling very bright! It’s fantastic to be out teaching and working the horses again, I feel like a different person!

I had a new group of faces for a jumping lesson at Bedgebury on Friday, which was lovely. We have the next clinic there on Saturday. I will be organising the first cross country schooling dates soon. We are crossing everything that Martin’s Coakham meet at Nurstead happens on Sunday – it has been cancelled for the last two years. It’s all action action again, hurrah!

January 1, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , | Leave a comment