Janine Lamy

You plonker Rodney!

Millie Horseheath BE100

Millie had been very busy starting her event season. She’s been to Poplar and Munstead for the BE90s, jumping super slow double clears in both and picking up a 7th at Munstead. We then decided that it was time to try her first BE100 at Horseheath and she didn’t disappoint really trying her best with a pole SJ and clear XC. Millie can be quite tricky to train at home but she jumped a really measured XC round over what was a fairly technical and educational course. Absolutely delighted, and we were really looking forward to seeing what she made of Chilham the following weekend. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be….more on that later!

Bomber at Cobham BD

The Bomber completed her BD Area Festival and Regional qualification at Cobham in the Elementaries with around 69% in both tests and had a practise run for the Festivals at Pachesham with 67% and 68%. We’ve had some great flatwork lessons with Char working on her suppleness and getting her to carry herself; a bit of a working progress! She is doing a little of everything in order to see how sound she is, and keep it varied. She wouldn’t want to be limited to trotting pretty shapes. With that in mind we’ve been XC schooling, did the Munstead 80cm hunter trial, and have also done lots of clear round SJ practise at both Crockstead and Felbridge all with the aim of having a go at a BE80.

There’s been lots of busy clinics; XC schooling regularly at Lodge Farm, the regular Eaglesfield SJ clinics, and clinics at Carmen Court have started.

After the winter SJ clinics and pre-season XC schools it’s always brilliant to see everyone out eventing once the season gets going. The dressage divas have been out in force too and I headed up to Hartpury to support Heather and Okie at the BD Winter National Championships. I couldn’t have been prouder of Okie ‘Bad Boy’. He tried his very best and probably performed one of his best tests to date. What an amazing experience for them both.

Rodders at Comphurst XC

Young Rodders has a mixed school report, as seems to be the norm! He’d been ever so good with a trip out to East Bysshe to see the SJ arena, and XC schooling for the first time in a group at Comphurst. He really looks like he might have a proper pop in him. However, moving him onto summer paddocks saw him turn into a delinquent to turn out, being rather over-keen to get to the lovely grass. We’d just got to grips with this when he had what I can only refer to as a “you plonker” moment. It has been suggested that naming him Rodney has been a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy! Martin had stopped to check his girth and adjust his stirrups at the edge of the arena. Rodders didn’t want to stand still and struck out in temper with a front leg. Being a dufus, he put his giant soup bowl sized hoof through the fence. Uh-oh, panic stations, two metres of broken timber pulled underneath him, an unconscious Martin with a fractured rib and a broken collar bone. Stupid big idiotic creature. If Martin looks like he has put on weight next time you see him it is because I have lined all his clothes in bubble-wrap.

Bomber Borde Hill BE80

So with Martin off games, it was time for this rather rusty jockey to keep her promise to the Bomber and head off to Borde Hill for the BE80. I hadn’t evented for eight years and it was a rather gobsmacking twenty years since I last competed at Borde Hill so it’s fair to suggest I was a little apprehensive! The dressage was OK, a little unbalanced on the grass slope, but a tidy test. I found myself in the SJ warm-up (which is fairly steep) wondering when I last cantered downhill and decided since it was very much more than five years I had better focus on something else! Despite the cheeky pony halting on route to fence two we show-jumped clear, and then jumped a rather slow but great fun clear XC. It was her turn to help me out when I gave a masterclass in how not to come downhill to fence 6. Must keep thinking forwards next time!

Another month to go Ehren

Coming up the Beautiful One heads off to the Groomsbridge Stud maternity ward, gulp. BomBoms has the BD Area Festival at Pachesham, there are Stratford Hills and Brightling Park BE events, and our two summer camps at Lodge Farm and Comphurst. Young Rodders has thrown a small splint so he is having a quiet period of filling out and contemplating his misdemeanours!

June 7, 2019 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It never rains but it pours

Millie testing if Martin is up to the job

We’ve been mad busy since I last wrote. Our final XC school before we got going was at Tweseldown. The carpark was absolutely rammed with the world and his aunt all having the same idea. Seems like ages ago now. Millie was still testing whether Martin was up to the job but generally was starting to look quite classy over the brown sticks.

Ehren has been to her first competitions since October in preparation for the Winter Championships. Lots of new venues; Wix, Brendon Stud, Petley Wood and Essendon and Epping Forest Dressage Group. We’ve had a mixture of sunshine and the most digusting wet days I have ridden in for a very long time. She has moved seamlessly from anxious and fragile to hormonal and spooky. I have wondered if BD would consider moving the date of the Champs to June for next year?!

We have lost quite a few clinics which has seriously dented my bank balance. The final Four Elms SJ clinic was abandoned due to the snow, and a couple of XC days including my big Bonfleur day due to the wet. We have continued to plug away at home though. We must be mad but winter is for training and train we do!

Millie showing Ehren how it is done

Millie made her affiliated dressage debut at Hadlow BD, and boy she showed the home team exactly how it should be done scoring two unbelievable scores of 78%. Wowee!!!

Millie looking classy over the sticks

We also lost the Munstead Combined Training on grass so it was straight to Poplar Park BE90 where there were still piles of snow out on the XC course. Millie was a star. Running on a little too much in the dressage just losing her balance a bit but scored a very respectable 32.3. Amazingly she jumped a clear SJ round, by far the best round that she has jumped to date. Long may that continue! Then a super clear XC with a few time penalties to finish 8th. What a fantastic start to the season. Clever Millipede. She then went to Munstead for another BE90. This time she was rather excited to be there and was very bright in the dressage for an expensive 38.5. The SJ warmup and arena was very wet; conditions that she has never jumped in before and she went rather green but kept going rolling one pole. The XC going was super and she jumped a lovely clear with a few time faults. Very much a learning day for the young girl. We have been so very lucky to have had two runs with so much cancelled so far.

The Bomber has been back to the vets for a check up. After six months off, including four months restricted to her bedroom she is now allowed out. Hurrah! Hopefully she will relocate soon for some proper R&R mooching about outdoors and come home in September. The theory being that young Rodney will come home in May for some light work for a few months through the summer and he will go back out for the winter. He’s too big for much this year.

Poor Lily does not seem to be happy. My gut feeling is that this has been bubbling away for 18 months or so now and despite our best efforts has reached a point where she can’t do it anymore. I don’t have a crystal ball though so we will see what the vet says in a few weeks and hope I am wrong.

Millie is all entered for HorseHeath BE90 next but has spent the week in her bedroom with a big hot fat bandaged front leg. It never rains eh……

I have a busy Easter holiday with Pony Club assessing, training and coach training. We then have a mini break in Gloucestershire with Ehren. The first Carmen Court SJ clinic of the year is on the horizon…..I have a couple of Wobbleberries at Horseheath, and hopefully Millie will have Chilham BE90. Everything crossed that she is basically OK or I will have to Google ideas for what normal people do at the weekend….

April 8, 2018 Posted by | Carmen Court, Our Horses, Pony Club | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My superstar

BarryBerry goes for a spin!

Let’s head back to the end of August. Millie spent the weekend at Horseheath with the Bomber and stayed overnight at the Groomsbridge Stud with friends Sally and Tom Forster (who were responsible for bringing Millie into the world). Both girls did us proud with the Bomber finishing 8th in her BE100 section and the young Millipede finishing 4th in her BE80. Way to go girls!

BomBoms Horseheath BE100

We have over time convinced ourselves that the Bomber isn’t right, then she does seem OK (like at Horseheath) but eventually I made the decision that she wasn’t herself and although sound I took her to the vets for further investigations. Unfortunately this revealed some problems with her hind suspensories which would certainly account for her lack of power and now I feel like a really mean mummy. She has been trying so hard all summer and was even placed in her last event. Fingers crossed that she will make a full recovery. She deserves her chance to show us what she can do when fit and well. Everyone loves BomBoms.

To finish the season Lily and Millie went to Tweseldown for the BE90. This was Millie’s first attempt at this level and Lily’s first trip out since April. Millie is very green but did her best. Some tension in the SJ arena meant a few poles dropped but bless her she jumped clear XC. Lily jumped a nice SJ round for one pole and just had a mis-communication on the XC which resulted in her trotting past one fence but otherwise lots to like and a great way to finish the year. 

Chester Hall lap of honour

Ehren has been very busy indeed. She qualified for the Area Festival Semi-Finals at Advanced Medium via the Chester Hall festival. On walking over to the arena Southern RDO Sharon Walker accused me of looking too laid back. “Pah, what could go wrong?!” I joked. Well I did go wrong, and a proper blank moment it was too. That’ll teach me!  Fortunately we still came third and qualified. Phew.  When will I learn?!

Winning the PSG Area Festival at Keysoe

Then the following weekend I had the hare-brained idea of taking her to Keysoe for the PSG Area Festival. She had only done two PSG tests but I thought if nothing else riding at Keysoe would be good practise for somewhere busier. She was such a good girl; the novice prizegiving was after my test so the gallery was full of people waiting and very noisy. This was about three feet away from the end of my arena and caused a very expensive whoopsie in our 3s, but generally she held it together very well and I was astonished to find that we had won and qualified for the PSG semi-finals!! OMG!!

Whilst riding the crest of a wave we then popped to Cobham for the Freestyle Dressage to Music Advanced Medium to start gathering points towards qualifying for the Winter Regionals. That she did, gaining 68% and winning her class. Crikey Ehren!

Posing for Simple System

She then had a well deserved three weeks off, chilling out and taking full advantage of her all day buffet and with only five days work we headed off to the Area Festival Semi-Final for Advanced Medium at Codham Park. Simple System gang Stacey and Rosie came to cheer us on and take some video and photos and Ehren did them proud coming 3rd and qualifying for the Winter Championships at Hartpury. Wowee! Once again a new venue and she coped without blowing up. She seems to be getting the hang of this and was very happy posing for the camera afterwards…

Next up on the Tuesday was the Area Festival Semi-Final at Widmer Equestrian for the PSG. Obviously we are very green at this level in this company but we decided to go for the practise. Ehren also struggles in the Autumn with her hormones and was rather tight in her back meaning we lacked the self carriage needed. One big spook but otherwise a good effort given how she was feeling and I was really chuffed with 5th place. I just cannot fault her efforts this year. Time for a proper break now for her. My superstar.

Lily takes me for a spin!

To finish the season off Simple System popped to the yard for some more photos and videos. This was great fun and I am pretty sure they saw each of the girls for who they are. The cheeky Bomber tried her best to please with any requests, especially as they all revolved around food! Ehren wafted about looking beautiful and got a little bit sniffy about her routine being turned upside down and things not being as they should. Millipede was quite jolly but was very well behaved. And then there was the Ginger Rocket. Oh my! Let’s just say it’s been six years since I last took Lily for a hack and it will probably be another six before I try again…..

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , | Leave a comment

Girl Power

Apologies for not writing sooner but we’ve been a tad on the busy side….

Bomber and Martin Rackham BE100

First up the Bomber …. She went to Rackham for her second try at BE100. It was an absolutely scorching hot day and bless her, she was very flat. Her dressage suffered a bit, but she jumped pretty well for one pole, and was clear XC with a few time penalties because the jockey briefly got lost (ahem!). We were very pleased with her efforts but a little concerned that she was so blah, so did some bloods to check the basics and were pleased to see all looks OK. We are also aware that we are rather up against it at this level with Martin away from home so much and basically just jumping on for competition, added to which she isn’t Martin’s normal fiery ride.

Bomber and Martin Eridge BE100

She then went to Eridge BE100 which is a much bigger event with the Country Fayre and Dog Show on the Sunday the whole place is buzzing. The XC too is much more of a challenge and the undulating hilly ground really takes it out of them. She was 6th after the dressage, had a pole showjumping looking at someone dismantling a marquee instead of the jump in front of her, then was a little green on the XC having a step back at the ditch gawping at everything around her and not seeing it until the last minute. She has lots to learn at this level and is having to learn it on the job but jumped well around most of the course. She seemed to run better than at Rackham but we were still not entirely convinced.

After Eridge was Chilham BE100 where it became apparent that things are definitely not right. How she jumped clear around the showjumping I don’t really know and she actually dropped to trot out on the XC. Bless her, you could see how hard she was trying and there was just no petrol in the tank. So we have been administering TLC, and will see how she feels in a week or two before investigating further. Poor BomBoms.

All day clinic at Parwood

We have been very busy having fun with lots of SJ clinics, XC schooling, two Adds Farm camps and all day clinics at Tweseldown and Parwood.

Poor Ehren went to Cobham BD on the hottest day of the year so far. We warmed up for less than 15 minutes, trusted that our work at home would carry us through and did our first PSG!!! I was absolutely over the moon with 63.81%. There were a few spooks of course but she did all the tricky stuff and tried her best in the heat. It almost felt a bit surreal. PSG? Me and Ehren? Wowsers! To say I am proud is an understatement; proud that I have done it – to have trained her from Prelim to PSG but also what a girl. I am so lucky that she has been so generous and so utterly beautiful and clever.

Ehren PSG at Pachesham

While riding the crest of a wave I thought it was time for another debut; this time our Dressage to Music. We headed off to Saddlesdane BD to flick our toes to some 80s tunes and I was not disappointed. She really didn’t worry about the music coming out of the speakers at all and danced her way through Eurythmics and A-ha for just over 70%. Cool bananas!  

Ehren PSG Pachesham

So next up another PSG just to make sure that the first one wasn’t a fluke or a kind judge! And, get this, a totally new venue for her Pachesham BD. She was such a good girl. We parked on grass and it was very open; no drama. We warmed up with other horses; no drama. We went a little anxious in the trot-work in the test losing our self-carriage and going a little against the hand, but we did our thing without any drama and came away with 63.42% and a red rosette as winner! Without going on and on I shall just say wow!

Millie’s first BE80 at Chilham

So last of the home team to venture out was our homebred five year old Millie. She has been a little slow to get the hang of her jumping but we felt she was ready to have a go at Chilham BE80 and boy she did not disappoint finishing 9th in her section and looking absolute class. Amazeballs. She didn’t take any notice of anything going on outside her SJ arena and jumped around the XC like she did it every day. It had started raining hard and the completion statistics for the BE80 were dreadful at 48%. Typical Groomsbridge Girl, she just got on with it. Proud to say the least!

Then awful news on Tuesday morning this week. Our friend, Wobbleberry and client Chloe found her superstar of a horse Rocky in the field with a fractured hock. They had an amazing partnership for a short 13 months and he was the kindest, most generous chap you will ever meet. Totally devastating and utterly unfair. A reminder to us all to live life to the full as you just never know what is around the corner.

Coming up we have Horseheath BE for Millie, maybe some dressage for Ehren if she feels the urge (she has has been having a little rest after that lot), and then anything else depends on how Lexi and Lily are feeling. Holidays are calling too, and I hear a certain ginormous feral three year old is being tamed as we speak. Must dig out my step ladder!

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BarryBerry has work to do

BarryBerry starts work for Team Lamy-Wright

Crikey, where to start?! We were lucky to get a few days away at the Badminton Grassroots where we collected BarryBerry. Barry is wearing my XC colours (well someone should!) and has got straight on with his Wobbleberry duties. Three Team Lamy Wobbleberries have completed the challenge so far; first up was Chloe at Keysoe, then Chloe, Ingrid and Catherine did Borde Hill where the organisers made a real effort to support them and gave them special prizes for completing. Fortunately they had also put all WBs together so I could support them in all three phases. They were all awesome, really rode their socks off and deserved to complete their challenge. Seeing them through the finish line was quite something! These people are pushing themselves, training hard and achieving such amazing things. In my gang alone one had given up riding after her horse was killed out hacking on the road, the oldest is 71 years old, and one is so anxious she is actually sick. I have nothing but admiration for them #kickingcancersbutt

Great Wobbleberry training day at Comphurst Farm

So no surprise we have been even more busy than normal with clinics. We had a great one for Wobbleberries at Comphurst. A lovely day in the sunshine with SJ in a grass arena in the morning, some time with Martin talking through how to do a BE entry and what to expect on the day, an amazing lunch provided by Comphurst’s owners Tanya and Will Reid during which I did a short chat on the psychological side of things, then some speed training with Tanya, and some XC schooling with me. We’ve also had the usual Carmen Court monthly clinics, XC schooling at various venues, and another all day clinic at LMEQ.

During this time the Black Bomber has been very busy! Firstly, there was Tweseldown for the BE90. She was quite beside herself warming up for the dressage which is most unlike her but still managed to pull out a 29.0 dressage. The SJ collecting ring was a little chaotic and Martin was being nagged to jump 20 minutes before his time. Unfortunately this seemed to cause a short circuit in the SatNav wiring and he went from Jump 1 to Jump 6. Donut brains!! Luckily the lovely judge let him start again from the second fence and they jumped a lovely clear and were allowed to go XC hors concours. The XC course has had quite a revamp and looked amazing but asked a few questions and caused a fair bit of trouble. The Bomber was rather looky but she did keep going and jumped clear meaning that she would have finished on 29.0 and been in second place. I was really pleased that she had been allowed to run as it was a very educational day for her. Good BomBoms!

She then went to Borde Hill for the BE90 and had another really consistent day jumping like a star. She finished again on her dressage score of 29.0 which was good enough to win her section. Wowee, you should have seen her swagger off the lorry to tell Ehren all about it!

So with two wins, a fourth and a ‘would-have-been-second’ in her BE90s this year we thought it was time to try a BE100 so we headed off to Berkshire College. She got 29.0 dressage, two poles SJ (in a very tight spooky arena that really didn’t suit her), and jumped a super clear XC taking all the straight routes for 0.8 time finishing on 36.8. Very proud!

Ehren at BlueBarn BD

Ehren has been a bit out of sorts. The list includes struggling with her spring seasons, needing a saddle revamp, having another bad reaction to her flu and tetanus vaccination, then just when I thought we were getting back on track the dentist found a fractured tooth, and there is always the need for work on her poll after seeing the dentist….! Hopefully with that lot sorted we can get some consistency in her work again and crack on with getting her confidence back. I have been schooling her away from home with this in mind and also took her to BlueBarn BD for the Advanced Mediums to get her out again. One the plus side she did feel more relaxed and confident, and coped with the warm-up arena much better than she has in ages. However (!) there was this pesky stripe of light on the floor at K. All these stories she has heard from the Bomber about ditches the size of the Suez Canal and she was convinced it was a hole in the floor. So we gathered two 1s, two 2s and a handful of 4s gingerly walking across it when we should have been in canter. At one point I was in extended canter heading right towards it, the sun had gone in finally and I dared to breathe a sigh of relief. Silly me, as I was about three feet away it suddenly reappeared ‘ta-dah!’. Bless her. Really do need to find her some brave pants from somewhere…..

Millie’s first event

Then talking of wearing brave pants, young Millipede went to the Riding Club ODE at Coombelands and trotted round the 80cm like a total pro and finished in 10th place. Awww…..the first homebred does her first event, such a good girl.

Naughty horse fancied a dip at LMEQ!

Coming up we continue with lots of XC schooling and clinics. We have another all day, this time at Tweseldown and the first Adds Farm camp of the year. Little Lexi has another BE100 at Rackham, Ehren will be out and about and will maybe make her music debut somewhere (although this may prove a little too uplifting!). The Wobbleberries continue their training and BarryBerry continues to provide support (maybe he is the man to sit down and chat with Ehren?)

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to the 80s

Martin and the Bomber in the snow at Tweseldown

As I type this Spring has most definitely sprung. My arms have actually left the confines of their many winter layers and seen the air this week. It is almost inconceivable to think of us XC schooling at Tweseldown a month ago in the snow, but we did and it was absolutely freezing! We had suffered with a mild virus on the yard and so only took the Bomber who was on fine form jumping a lot of BE100 fences and looking quite the star. It was our last pre-season schooling day and although there was actually snow on the ground and light showers all day the carpark was full of other like-minded loonies!

Playing with music at Saddlesdane

Unfortunately Ehren’s version of a mild virus included a very good impression of a dying swan, bless her she really is a lightweight….needless to say my hair is greyer, my wallet is lighter and we haven’t been out practising between the boards. We have however, managed a dressage to music clinic with Gaynor Colbourn. Now I wasn’t sure this was really my thing, and unlike your normal clinic Gaynor plays the music live on her keyboards in the corner of the arena. Everyone told me that I was quite bonkers to take the beautiful one, there was no way she would cope and I was sure to hit the deck! Well not wanting to be predictable she was an absolute star. She really didn’t put a hoof out of place, at a venue she didn’t know, and who knew but Ehren is a bit of a music fan and very soon will be the proud owner of an 80s megamix and floorplan!! It was a really cool way of doing it. I couldn’t stop smiling afterwards. Great fun.

The WobbleBerries have continued with great enthusiasm, we’ve finished the SJ clinics at Four Elms for the Winter, and we have lots of clinics, training days and camps planned for the year ahead.

Unfortunately the weather turned very wet and the Munstead pre-season combined training was cancelled so we took Lily and Lexi to Duckhurst BS instead. They both jumped some super rounds and we were really pleased that they seemed very much ready for the start of the season at Poplar BE the following weekend. Exciting!

Infection stops play

However, having a plan and things going to plan are two very different things…..at almost exactly the same time of year that  Lexi spent a three week spa break at Bell Equine last year, another infection and bout of cellulitis struck her down. With no wound that I could find, what started as a capped hock very quickly turned into something infected hot and nasty. I am hoping that as we were on it so quickly this time, we might still be OK for Munstead next weekend. She is back in work, all seems back to normal apart from a slight cap…….here’s hoping.


So that meant a very early start for Poplar with only the Ginger Rocket on the truck. True to her name she was well up for it with an OK dressage test (quite calm as the XC hadn’t yet started), two poles SJ (the XC had started!), and a fabulous confident clear inside the time XC looking like a pro. It was so nice to see her enjoying herself and she finished 11th. It was also lovely to be back eventing; the weather was very kind, the ground was amazing and everyone looked relaxed and happy.

Ginger Rocket in her element

So coming up I really need to crack on getting Ehren out before the Winter Championships, hopefully both girls head to Munstead BE, we have the first SJ clinic back at Carmen Court, we carry on XC schooling including a long day with 18 riders at Bonfleur and are really looking forward to getting to a new venue Comphurst Farm which looks absolutely amazing. After that it’s the Easter holidays which are absolutely crammed with Pony Club training and examining and finish with a little family mini-break in Gloucestershire…..well that’s what I am telling Ehren…..it’s a holiday right?

March 17, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer silly season

As always the summer months are jam packed busy. With this in mind and since Ehren had lost a bit of weight she has had an easier time and I have concentrated my efforts on getting Little Lexi back up and running.

Lexi at the jump clinic

First of all, as she had been off for so long, I took the opportunity to have back specialist Rob Jackson come and take a look at her. I had heard some interesting things about him and wasn’t disappointed. He threw the Bomber around her stable, pulled and yanked her body parts and when he left she was an inch taller at the withers and two inches wider between the front legs. Wonder what he could do for me?! She feels much looser, much easier to straighten and all together more ‘normal’. I am really pleased with the difference. A few weeks later Martin jumped her at the clinic at home and she looked awesome. I took her for a jump lesson with Vicky Gosling and she said she looked like a different horse, athough I must admit there was a fair amount of drama asking her to walk through the yard to get to the arena. I also have to admit to a hack with her that resulted in me leaving one of my spurs broken on a fence three quarters of the way round, ahem! Next she was off to Felbridge with Martin for Clear Round, and then she went XC schooling to Lodge Farm with me where she was on fire, and then jumped like a star at Petley Wood with Martin. This is a new venue to her and quite spooky. She was only let down by the old man having a ‘specsavers moment’ and going from fence 7 straight to fence 11. Fortunately, she thinks she did a fabulous job and I am hoping that we have done all the necessary preparation for her second BE80 which is at a new venue Horseheath this weekend. Tune in next month to find out how it went!  

The ducks don't answer back

The ducks don’t answer back

We have been very busy on the clinic front with several SJ clinics at Eaglesfield, Carmen Court, and Felbridge, plus a super all-day clinic at Tweseldown. Finally, a fun Friday without the drama of an accident on the M25. Just a shame that Louisa was still in hospital so there are no pictures of the day. Tweseldown are keen to promote training and are changing the XC course every month with this in mind. We had a great time! I have also been XC schooling at Nurstead which is always good for a top up, and regularly at local venue Lodge Farm where you can guarantee good ground. The Pony Club camp season has started and I had a day with the Ashford Valley doing dressage training. Some of them were so well informed on test riding they should have been teaching me! Plenty more PC days to come….

So many regular clinic clients are having a fun and successful BE season. I love following their progress and seeing them at events. The dressage divas have been a little quiet but are soon to be out in force too with the Area Festivals coming up.

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

So what of the Ginger Rocket? Lily went to Tweseldown BE90 to knock the rust off. This turned out to be the right decision as although she was second after the dressage, she took one SJ out at the roots and had a silly stop on the XC (although that seemingly straightforward fence did catch out 40 odd other competitors). Next they headed off to Eridge for another BE90 and she was totally awesome coming 3rd with a double clear inside the time. So it was time to step back up to BE100, which she did at Chilham; the very place that she crashed in the spring! No such error of judgement this time, she jumped a super clear inside the time and had one unlucky pole SJ. She looked great, and was having a ball again. So nice to see her with her ears pricked galloping and looking for the next fence. What’s more I managed to get permission to drive Louisa around in my car so we had photos. Yay!  It almost made up for the carpark assistant saying to me “you can park your car over there sir”.

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

Lots more clinics coming up to finish the summer, Horseheath BE for both Lily and Little Lexi, some PC camps, PC examining, and Martin will be off to the PC Championships. There is also adult camp at Adds Farm, and hopefully both clients and Ehren are off to the first of the BD Area Festivals, then I think it is time for a holiday!

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ponies with Prosecco!

4 year old Millie's first party

4 year old Millie’s first party

Another busy month although we did slip away to Norfolk for a few days with the dogs. Before that we took young Millie out for her first baby dressage outing. She was a very good girl and coped really well with all the new experiences. She has never been in an indoor school, or seen white boards, or a car at C and was very green and spooky but didn’t put a hoof out of place. Handling her from the floor however was a very different story with a serious case of ‘Tourettes of the legs’. Front and back legs flying about all over the place. You needed full body armour and a black belt in Taekwondo just to hold her. Her mother was a bit like that as a young horse. Amazing what you forget! After that she had three weeks off to chill. The plan is just to do a bit here and there this year. Since then she has had her first solo hacks, and is due her second dressage outing this coming weekend.

Both Stacey and Mark qualified for the Hickstead Masters Semi-Final so have been out and about practising their dressage. Stacey and Queenie won the prelim bronze and were 2nd in the novice bronze at Stilebridge BD, and not to be outdone Mark did two prelims at Speedgate BD winning one and coming 2nd in the other. Both went to the Semi-Final at Hickstead gaining marks over 68% in tip-top company with Mark finishing 10th. Particularly impressive on a Welsh D and an enormous half Shire-half Gelderlander!

Ehren is gaining in confidence at Advanced Medium

Ehren is gaining in confidence at Advanced Medium

Ehren has been plugging away with work both at home and in various different schooling venues. We have been concentrating on the tempi changes and canter pirouettes. The changes are pretty consistent although we find the 3s much easier than the 4s. The canter pirouettes are rather more tricky, especially going right. However, away from home they are both all over the place! She isn’t really as sharp or as in front of the leg and hasn’t been as confident about doing the changes at all. I know how her brain works and for the last year or so the message has been ‘Don’t you dare change!’ and now sometimes I want a change and sometimes I don’t. Very confusing for a girl! Will keep practising. With this in mind we went to BlueBarn BD yesterday for two more Advanced Mediums to see how we are progressing. She was pretty ridiculous in the first test but generally felt great; much more confident and finding everything easier. Still not always on the aids in the changes but in her first attempt at AM92 she got over 66% so very pleased. I did think I could have set her up more for better marks so will carry that forward to the next time.

A lovely day in the sun at LMEQ

A lovely day in the sun at LMEQ

We had an absolutely fantastic all day LMEQ clinic. It was such good fun made all the better by lovely weather and twelve very jolly people pleased to have the day off work. We jumped in the morning in their super arena, quickly stopped for a picnic lunch and then headed off onto the XC course in the afternoon. Louisa was also on hand to capture the day which always pleases everyone.

Unfortunately Lily is not right behind so was withdrawn from Borde Hill. She is off to the vets this week for further investigations. It is quite possible that she hurt herself at Chilham. If only she would listen!

The Black Bomber still has fluid in her hock two+ months later. We are slowly bringing her back into work to see what, if any, effect it has. Unfortunately she is so fat that her saddle moves forwards and is giving her girth galls so this has been a rather stop-start process! Would be nice to finish the season with some 80s given all the hard work we put in before the spring. The hock was re-scanned and x-rayed and there is nothing to see so fingers crossed we can crack on.

XC questions at Carmen Court

XC questions at Carmen Court

We have had two Carmen Court clinics since writing last. A normal ‘SJ style’ one and then this time we really got them thinking with lots of XC style exercises. From baby horses to experienced combinations everyone was tested and it turned out to be very productive. That same weekend was also the first camp at Adds Farm. As usual we did flatwork and SJ on the Friday and SJ again on Sunday morning. In between they had some glorious hacking on the Ashdown Forest and ate rather a lot. Let’s put it this way, they nicknamed their weekend ‘Ponies with Prosecco’ !!

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

April Fool Dressage

Lily SJ at Munstead BE100

Lily SJ at Munstead BE100

I can’t believe that not only is the eventing season fully underway but we are already in April! Lily started her season at Poplar Park BE90 and was remarkably relaxed by her standards. She had a great run and finished on 39.0 after having a pole in the SJ where she was rather too keen. She then headed to Munstead for the BE100 and in contrast was a little hormonal and distracted and had two rather unnecessary poles SJ so Martin just gave her a slow school around the XC to get her thinking. She was absolutely awesome over the brown sticks and was really looking forwards to South of England as it would have been her first real test at this level, but unfortunately they have had to cancel.

Little Lexi SJ schooling

Little Lexi SJ schooling

I continued schooling outings with Little Lexi. We went back to Munstead to SJ school in their grass arena, XC schooled at Lodge Farm, and SJ schooled again down the road at Team Manhatten. I had made the decision after the pre-season combined training antics that I would put Martin on her for her first few events as he is much stronger and gung-ho than me and I hoped he would be able to pick her up by the scruff of her neck and fire her forwards. I am pretty sure once you get her thinking this way her confidence will grow and grow. So pick her up by the scruff of her neck he did! The 12 year old boy in him made an appearance in the SJ arena at Munstead BE80 but it worked and she jumped a clear. She also jumped clear around the XC, albeit rather too quickly where he was trying to keep her in front of his leg. So a very educational trip out for her, excellent. Love it when a plan comes together!

Galloping home at Munstead BE80 with Martin

Galloping home at Munstead BE80 with Martin

Next up I took her for a jumping lesson with show-jumper Vicky Gosling. This was brilliant and just what we need. She is absolutely lovely but totally kicked my butt. Constantly at me on my position and the quality of our canter flatwork. Then there was my position over a fence…..oh dear, rather a lot of homework. She thought Lexi was lacking mileage and it is time to get out more, plus I need to be MUCH more disciplined about her staying in front of my leg. This sounds easy enough but there was at least twenty-five minutes in canter, some of which was on an 8m circle drilling us both. Lots to work on.  I hadn’t appreciated just how much weaker my flatwork is in the jumping saddle. Discipline Lamy, discipline!

So then we had a mad morning back at Munstead for the hunter trial to see if we could keep repeating the forward message. Martin was on at 9am because he was needed at Addington Manor at 11am as Quiz Master for the PC Championships! It all worked out really well with her going much much better and Martin screeching into the carpark at Addington at 10.53am. Phew. Especially pleased with the Bomber. Sadly a few days later her off hind was fat and infected again. A little worrying that the abscess she had back in September, the fat leg in January and this are all linked.

Mille after her winter out

Mille after her winter out

Somewhere in the middle of all that we picked up young Millie. Bless her, she walked straight out of her field with her mates and straight up the lorry lamp. Since then Martin has been onboard and she has had her first canter under saddle. She has been a different horse this time; so much more relaxed and really sweet and friendly. She is now the proud owner of two front shoes!

We had a great SJ clinic at Eaglesfield but unfortunately lost most of the planned XC clinic at Bonfleur due to the awful Easter weekend weather. Fortunately, it had cheered up a bit for the Pony Club Area 11 Mock B Test day at Crockstead where I was assessing the SJ.

Ehren back out after 6 months

Ehren back out after 6 months

After six months away from competing due to my injuries, and then Ehren getting a winter cough, it was time to get back out there. We headed off to Oldencraig BD on April Fool’s Day no less, fully expecting fireworks. I am not saying my daughter is manipulative but she must have been fluttering her long eyelashes and nuzzling her Grandad because he very kindly has decided to join the sponsorship gang and support her dressage outings. As an aside Lily has the Unions involved and is mounting a campaign “equal rights for grand-children”! Anyway, I digress…..we have form at Oldencraig and I had visions of a wild one. Totally threw me to find that my pony was dozing in the sunshine, and even dare I say it, rather lazy in the first test. In hindsight I could probably have asked more from her, and didn’t really feel back on our game until the second half of the second test. However, we are new to Medium and were rather ring rusty so absolutely thrilled to get 65% in both tests and two red frillies, especially as I know there is much better work in there. What a good girl.

So plans as always are changeable with South of England cancelled and Lexi on three legs but we are hoping to do Munstead unaffiliated and Chilham horse trials. Ehren is hopefully back out next week, and Jasmine’s Lottie too. We have the first SJ clinic of the summer season at Carmen Court, more clinics at Eaglesfield and XC schooling at Lodge Farm and Bonfleur…..woohoo!

April 7, 2016 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life’s banana skin

So just when the diary is full of plans and everything seems to be going well life’s banana skin just can’t resist interfering! Tinka was going great guns at Keysoe; a clear SJ and was jumping well on the XC when she misjudged a straight forward fence on the way home, banked it and couldn’t get her legs out in time. She had little option but to use her head as landing gear. Ouch! Fortunately neither of them were seriously hurt. Tinka has been back at her owners’ stud for a few weeks where she has had a vet check-up, physio and acupuncture. They are still concerned about her neck and poll so she won’t be back with us any time soon meaning that there will be no one star, NRF or Corinthian Cup at Gatcombe this year. This game can be so very disappointing.

Pea on a drum!

Pea on a drum!

After that we disappeared to Norfolk briefly for a few days with the dogs. When we got back the 17hh Maabof was waiting for me in Lexi’s stable for a week of ’learning to jump’ boot-camp. He most certainly can jump, he showed great natural technique over a fence on the lunge and was a star under saddle. He has not really seen any jumps before and trotted around a little 70cm course with water tray, plank and filler first time without even blinking. How cool is he?!

Jade and David schooling at Coombelands

Jade and David schooling at Coombelands

We have had SJ clinics at Eaglesfield and at Carmen Court, plus an all day clinic at Coombelands with SJ on their surface in the morning and XC schooling in the afternoon. I love it there; such amazing facilities and spectacular views over the downs. We have also schooled a few groups at Bonfleur and Lodge Farm. It is always a very busy time of year but we love it that way.

Little Lexi SJ at HDRC ODE

Little Lexi SJ at HDRC ODE

The naughty black pony has been hacking for the last month, mostly because we need to get over ourself and we meet quite a lot of things we don’t like out hacking, but also I decided that she is still so immature both mentally and physically I would back off a bit and give her some time. We had already entered the riding club ODE at Coombelands, and decided we would still go as a benchmark for where we are after a month of hacking. I must say she did try a lot harder. She was 5th after the dressage (it still felt like wheeling a shopping trolley round an ice rink but she did try and there was no nonsense about the judges car, hurrah!). The SJ was better. Make no mistake it was messy but we got to the finish and it was hugely improved on Munstead. Then at the XC we had the usual napping to go into the start-box, leave the start-box and get to the first fence but really a token effort compared to some of our epic hacking moments. Most importantly once we got over the first fence a switch clicked in her brain and she was off, taking me…..woo hooo!!! A clear round no less! So yes it’s all very much a work in progress but also a much better effort so I have temporarily stopped calling her the Black Brat…..well, until the next time we find ourselves on two legs in the middle of a field…..

Lily Borde Hill BE90

Lily Borde Hill BE90

Lily has been ‘star of the month’ with a trip to Borde Hill for the BE90. She posted her best dressage to date and a double clear with a few time penalties to finish up 7th. She is doing so well and looking pretty robust at this level, particularly on the XC. What a good girl, showing the world what she is made of. She looks amazing and everyone comments on the difference in her condition.

Ehren at the Hickstead Masters Semi-Final

Ehren at the Hickstead Masters Semi-Final

Ehren on the other hand is in disgrace! The Hickstead Masters Semi-Final was always going to be touch and go but with the rain coming sideways and Ehren in season it was all too much. Sometimes I question my sanity and this was one of those days. As always with Ehren, the good bits were lovely but there were lots of mistakes, stroppy bits, and bits where I just daren’t touch her. I need to learn how to ride her when she is like that, if there is a way. Until then we are trying the snaffle again, working on getting out at medium, and starting to work on our changes at home which I have to say is great fun!

You all know how much I love riding the babies and just recently I took the lovely young mare Lottie to BlueBarn BD for her first ever outing for owner Jasmine. She was not there to be competitive but just for the trip out and bless, she tried her very best coping with the whole thing really well. She was just a bit anxious and dropping the canter, but we were all really pleased. She will be very smart later on.

Lots coming up but top of the list is the arrival of a VIP schooling livery. A young lady is coming in for a couple of months to be backed. My biggest concern with this one is her owner as some are easier than others. We have the ‘dump them and run’ owners, we have the ‘four pages of A4’ owners, and we have everything in between. I am very happy with these guys. Then we have my husband. Oh dear, divorce just before our 20 year anniversary.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Carmen Court, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment