Janine Lamy

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!

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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.

Urf!

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

A little too fond of Bell Equine

Tinka looks amazing at beautiful Chilham

Well we are definitely full steam ahead now. Tinka started her year at South of England Novice, only seven weeks after arriving back with us. She did a good dressage, slightly rusty SJ for two poles and a good robust slow clear (due to fitness) XC. We were delighted that she started the season so well despite not having the jump or flatwork practise. She then went to Hambleden Novice and was very feisty with spring-fever, still producing the goods but again Martin decided to school her round the XC, with later events in mind. This weekend she went to Chilham Novice where Martin was able to let the hand-brake off and finished up 9th after one pole down SJ. A great start to 2015.

Lexi has been quite tricky, pushing the boundaries and eventually being a very naughty black pony. Firstly we went to the Coombelands hunter trial where she was very nappy at the start and taking forever to get going. Once she got past fence three she seemed to really get the hang of it so not all bad but not great. I was dreading taking her to Felbridge as I felt sure she would find that very scary and just to confuse me she jumped two super clear rounds. She felt great and appeared very confident. I have been schooling and jumping at home with my car in the arena and she has become more accepting of it, however at Munstead unaffiliated 80 she rather let the side down by having a meltdown in the SJ arena, napping and rearing and eventually being eliminated. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was with her. After all the work and outings she was more than ready, but yet again bailing out when coming across a new situation. She is so frustrating and currently not popular.  It’s time to give assertive parenting a try, I need to be the senior partner and the teenager with the opinion has to tow the line to some degree. So we are doing things that may be confrontational. No surprise that I was last seen galloping down the road outside the yard with absolutely no control having asked a little too loudly if we could go past a dustbin…..yeh it’s going really well!

Ehren's first Medium at Oldencraig BD

Ehren’s first Medium at Oldencraig BD

At last my back is good enough to ride Ehren (with a slight tweak to the balance of her saddle) so with our usual lack of fitness and match practise I made a last minute decision to drag her to Oldencraig BD for two tests. She was a little flat (in complete comparison to last time when she was so wild I had to retire!) but did me proud winning the Elementary overall with a qualifying score and bumbling her way through her first medium for a yellow frillie. I just wanted to try a medium to see how she would react and as a training exercise for where we are. I can confirm there is much to work on but I was delighted that she tried her best. Awww……I love my beautiful bay pony. I then headed off to Hickstead for a practise run for the Masters. She isn’t a fan of open spaces and a loose horse in the car park really got her heart pumping. Unsurprisingly her first test was wild but she did manage to hold it together for the second test and scored well enough for second overall and qualified for the Open Elementary Regionals. What a good girl, as usual scooting in sideways at the last minute with very little practise. Worryingly I had noticed there was more of a cloudy mark than usual on her left eye, and although it didn’t look sore we headed straight to the vets on our way home.  She’s a superstar but she is a little too fond of Bell Equine. If you know anything about Ehren you won’t be surprised to hear she is being treated for a very rare form of non-ulcerative keratitis. That’s my girl.

Going through the dressage test with Lily

Going through the dressage test with Lily

The day after Hickstead Lily and Martin went to Chilham for the BE90, her second go at this level. She too was fairly wild. Girls in the spring eh! Her dressage and SJ were both carried out with a ‘let’s get this over with as fast as possible’ theme, but she galloped around the XC much less green than Munstead with a big grin on her face. At the very least she is having a ball, and she didn’t get loose!

Teaching wise we had a long day XC schooling three groups at Bonfleur in much improved weather to the previous month. We had a lovely day. We’ve also had the first Carmen Court clinic of the year; it is always nice to be holding these from home.

The dressage divas have been out and about picking up the frillies. Jasmine and Debbie got a red and a blue for their mediums at Oldencraig, and Morgan has tried her first unaffiliated mediums on Henry and Smurf. No holding them back!

Our Simple System branded clothing has arrived so we are all now walking billboards! I did suggest that Lexi might have to grow up before she is allowed to wear hers again. Probably not the kind of advertising they had in mind; dealing with the teenaged delinquent!

May 5, 2015 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment

On a hamster wheel

Crikey the girls are a bit wild at the moment….don’t you just love January and February. The dentist has been, vaccinations done, we are all set ready to go!

Lexie's stable upside down

Lexie’s stable upside down

Many of you will have seen on Facebook that one very windy and wet night (big) Lexie’s stable blew away. How she wasn’t hurt is a complete mystery, but she suffered nothing more than a freezing cold wet night in soggy stable rugs. It was a mobile stable on earth, and the message I happily send out is not to trust them. It had rotted skids and blew straight over. If this happens to your field shelter the chances are that you horse will not be in it. A stable is a different matter.

Jasmine sees XC jumps for the first time

Jasmine sees XC jumps for the first time

We took a lorry load to Coombelands for some Arena Eventing schooling. Lily had a fat leg (only mud fever it turned out), so at the last minute we dragged (big) Lexie along with Jasmine and Little Lexi. All girls jumped really well. Big Lexie was delirious to be out again, Little Lexi was somewhat distracted by horses using the gallops but jumped really well, and Jasmine was amazeballs. She is such a smart pony.

Jasmine and I discuss tactics!

Jasmine and I discuss tactics!

Next up we took three girls to Stilebridge BD. Ehren was rather bright in her Elementaries; a whole host of fours in the first test as she leapt about like Batman. She still managed 64% so not too shabby. Less ‘Ka-pow’moments in the second test for 68% and two blue frillies. I am so pleased to be out partying with her again. Also at Stilebridge that day was Jasmine with Kevin. He went the best I have ever seen him go and she went home with a great big grin and a red and blue frillie. Not a bad day at the office!

Jasmine's first BD outing

Jasmine’s first BD outing

Back at Stilebridge BD the next day it was the turn of (big) Lexie and Jasmine in the Prelims. We wanted to see how Lexie would react being out again so that we could loan her with as much current knowledge as possible. She won both tests. Good answer Lexie! Young Jasmine was always going to be green compared to the other horses and as it turned out quite feisty in the cold too, but still showed some really nice work and will be stunning later on.

Little Lexi went for another loose school at Sally’s; her little indoor schooling barn resembling something out of a handy pony show with plastic hanging over jumps, water trays everywhere, cuddly toys, you name it! I have also been filling the school at home like this. Ever popular with the liveries!!! Just recently we went back for a ridden lesson and this followed the same vein; we are in spook busting mode!

Little Lexi in her flatwork lesson

Little Lexi in her flatwork lesson

Char came up for the first flatwork lessons of the year. I was called a ‘curb crawler’ and made to tie my bottom rein in a knot and not allowed to pick it up for the whole of Ehren’s lesson! We were working on my position in the half pass, so I can help rather than hinder my pony. Should be easier than I found it, plus a revelation that I was riding the Dutch way and my pony has been reading all the German books….for goodness sake! The Black Bomber also got to play, literally, as we need to keep her mind occupied at the moment….bless the little cutie!

Emma schooling at Munstead

Emma schooling at Munstead

We were all very disappointed that LMEQ was closed due to snow for the first XC school of the year, but a week later we got out to Munstead. It was a lovely sunny day and the ground was amazing. Lily was fabulous, Little Lexi also had her sensible head on and was a very brave bold girl, and Big Lexie was on fire popping everything like she had never had a break. Plus a group of 80/90 riders all knocking the rust off with a big grin.

We ‘think’ Tinka has qualified for the BE National Restricted Novice Championship Final at The Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe. Wow! Fingers crossed, we’re off to Gatcombe! Get your mini-bus booked!

I have recently had groups at BlueBarn and Eaglesfield, plus the regular SJ day at Four Elms. Only one more indoor date, then we are back to Carmen Court so surely that means springtime?!

I have made the difficult decision that we do not have time for Lamy camp this year but I am doing three camps at Adds Farm again. http://www.holidayswithyourhorse.co.uk/news/janine-lamy-adult-camps-at-adds-farm-in-june-and-august-2015

Some brilliant news to start the year; we are now product ambassadors for Equilibrium Products. We have used their boots for years and look forward to trying out some new products too. Now that we have a few horses on the go, every penny saved helps and this will make a big difference. We are delighted.

Coming up we have more Char lessons, Lily and Big Lexie are off to the Merrist Wood JAS90, Little Lexi is off to Duckhurst, Tinka is coming home, more XC schooling at LMEQ, and before we know it we will have a lorry load at the pre-season Munstead combined training. And breathe….

I do feel a bit like we are on a Hamster wheel that we can’t get off but am very much looking forward to getting the horses up and running for 2015. You know you are tired when you find yourself using haylage for bedding instead of straw!

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Not too shabby

Butter wouldn't melt

Butter wouldn’t melt

Crikey, summer suddenly feels a long way away! Again a delay in writing but this time due to something tall and yellow chewing through my lap top’s power cable….that’s two days after chewing the top off the lorry’s handbrake….and on it goes…..

Loose jumping Little Lexi

Loose jumping Little Lexi

Little Lexi has been continuing with her jumping homework. Not only is she learning at home, but she has twice been loose jumped at Sally’s, had two trips to Duckhurst and one to BlueBarn for a trot round. Hopefully we can learn as much as possible through the winter. She has also had a few flatwork lessons with Char and is improving on every lesson so I decided to take her to Eaglesfield BD for a prelim to show her the white boards and get her a grown up outing. She was very scared of the judge’s box but managed to get just over 70% so not too shabby! She is such a cutie, and just like Harry she is great fun and I love riding her.

Little Lexie at Eaglesfield BD

Little Lexie at Eaglesfield BD

Also at Eaglesfield BD were Mark and Harvey who came 2nd in the Prelim Restricted, Morgan and little Henry who were 2nd in the Elementary, and Debbie and Jazz who won the Medium overall! Not a bad day eh?!

We have had two jumping clinics at Golden Cross on their lovely new surface. As always, great to see some new faces. Plus the second clinic at Four Elms which was really busy with 24 riders. I have also done a few private lessons at various indoor venues, and had a great fun group at Eaglesfield and have more coming up. Plus we had a clinic over the Workers course at BlueBarn, with some SJ schooling coming up there and another one over the Workers jumps which again looks like 20+ riders…..and there’s me thinking that winter will be quieter!

Planning ahead I also have some dates set up for pre-season XC schooling…..something to look forward to. These are on the ‘Clinics’ page if you want to pencil them into your diary.

Ehren too has seen Char….who knows what is around the corner but I have changed a few things and Ehren seems much happier in all ways, especially in her work but also in her stable. I’m not saying she is 100% and we all know how many times I write here that she feels better then everything changes again but currently she feels significantly better than she has all year. More about this next time if we have maintained it for a month!

Tinka has gone back to stud for her holidays (hopefully no scandals this time) and the lovely Jasmine has come back to boarding school. She has already had her first canter in the arena and has settled into life back at Carmen Court like she has never been away. Also on the lorry was Martin’s Lexie, all done with having babies and slowly coming back into work after four years off. Bless her, he hopped straight back on and she didn’t even blink. She is so smart, you forget when she looks all hairy but as soon as you sit on her you feel like you could conquer the world. Such a huge swinging walk….if only there were more hours in the day, more stables at Louisa’s and more money in my bank account!

Great news on the final South East Eventer League rankings – despite an injury stopping play mid way through the season, Jules and Libby ended up 6th in the Poppinghole Farm Mares ranking, and 8th in the Thermal Imaging (Kent) BE90 ranking. Not to be outdone Martin did his bit for Help the Aged and Tinka finished up 8th in the Rachel Lamb Veteran Rider ranking….snigger snigger.

Coming up Char is up for more lessons, and Lexi goes to Eaglesfield BD to see the monsters in the judge’s box again. Then she is back to BlueBarn and also to Sally’s for another loose jump. Lily goes to Duckhurst BS and possibly Stilebridge BD, we have the next jump clinic at Four Elms, a group at both BlueBarn and Eaglesfield, then our school is out of action for a few weeks and it’s Christmas!

November 27, 2014 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , , | Leave a comment