Janine Lamy

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

Ave Satani!

OK…it’s been a while as we have been so mad busy. Brace yourself as it’s a long one!!

I have done two more camps at Adds Farm; one in July and one in August. Everyone loves the facilities there and has a great time hacking in the Ashdown Forest in between seeing me for flatwork and jumping sessions. Sue’s breakfasts are legendary and quite how they ride afterwards is completely beyond me! We are already talking about dates for 2015 so give Sue a shout if you fancy getting some friends together. Everyone who has been thoroughly recommends!

Wet from head to toe!

Wet from head to toe!

Our own branch Pony Club camp was a little damp, with yours truly found standing in a field with thunder and lightning at one end of the week and ending up in the water jump in her Ariats at the other end. Not good, especially when you bear in mind that the wellies were in my car a few hundred yards away. Doh.

Morgan's write up in Horse and Hound

Morgan’s write up in Horse and Hound

Great to see Elize Zelenka pass both her B test Riding and Care this summer, always a great achievement that does not come without hard work over the years. Morgan Schive has also had an amazing year. She won the Alexander James  Side-Saddle Championship up at Aintree for the second year running meaning that once again she will lead in the winners of the Topham Chase in 2015. Then off to Addington where at 19 years old she was the youngest rider ever to win National Side-Saddle Rider of the Year. Totally amazing and thoroughly well deserved.  

Lois strutting her stuff sideways

Lois strutting her stuff sideways

I did two jumping clinics with Pippa Doran for the Area 8 Side-saddle Association at Eaglesfield. I find this really interesting and hope that we will do some more through the winter.

There has also been Carmen Court jumping clinics in July and August, the last ones this year. Autumn seems to be heading in early but we have a roof booked at Four Elms and Golden Cross for the winter. What a thought.

Herman doing his polework

Herman doing his polework

I have had two more horses in for schooling. Alpha came in while her mum was on holiday for a few weeks, just for general schooling work. Hopefully she left rather more supple and off the leg than when she arrived. Her tack certainly left looking more supple! Then a wee irish lad came to stay. At 17.3 hands Herman is quite the hulk. Fortunately he is a lovely lad as he came for some jumping work and my leg barely gets below the saddle flap! His brain is a long way from his feet and we spent a while just walking over tiny fences and trotting and cantering poles to get him to understand that those four legs were his responsibility and not mine!!

So what about our own horses? We have been continuing with chiro and acupuncture with Ehren. Her gastric problem seems to be under control, although historically it is the winter that causes us more problems. Her body has become very crooked and blocked and her lovely movement is somewhat diminished. I am told by those that understand more than I do that having her teeth out in July 2012 is the reason for her problems including probable headaches, jaw and TMJ problems, poor body movement, gastric issues, and balance/crookedness….Time will tell whether the needles will help. I have to say after the first two sessions she felt considerably worse. I did feel for Julia the vet who is helping. There was a ridden session before the third lot of needles where she was feeling awful, worse than before we started treating her. She made some suggestions about what to try and I could hear myself muttering and grumbling “I’ll do it but I really don’t think this will help”.  Oh Lamy you sound like a sullen teenager, get a grip! It had got to the point where I didn’t want to ride her any more. I am not a bully rider, it just isn’t our way, but in order to work Ehren through this I need to get at her a bit and I am hating every moment. She did feel slightly improved after session three and Julia was right, the transition work she suggested is helping. You have to trust your hired help. Will keep you updated. Two years of being wonky does not resolve itself in two minutes.

Little Lexi's first dressage test

Little Lexi’s first dressage test

XC schooling at Bonfleur

XC schooling at Bonfleur

Onto Lexi…..well, the young girl is now up and running like any normal baby horse. A year down the line she is physically and mentally recovered from whatever happened on her journey south. She is a terribly sweet, perky, feisty and fun girl; exactly what I ordered.  She has twice been to Eaglesfield to trot over some jumps and see the sights. Her first trip out she walked straight up the ramp, travelled well, took everything in at Eaglesfield, trotted round a little two foot course, stood on the lorry in silence for an hour while I did a lesson. Superstar! She then had an identical second trip to Eaglesfield before heading to Redlands one evening for the Sevenoaks RC informal dressage. Again, she was a total superstar taking everything in her stride and gaining 74.21% in her prelim. I was absolutely delighted (if rather shocked!). Then on Monday we took her to Bonfleur for her first XC school in what turned out to be monsoon conditions! Tinka came as a lead but was barely needed as Lexi jumped everything in front of her first time with just a little look at the water. Wowsers!

Lily and Martin Borde Hill BE80

Lily and Martin Borde Hill BE80

So onto Lily…..after the Felbridge BE80 combined training she was back to Chilham BE80. Woo-hoo!! After thousands of pounds in vet bills, blood, sweat, tears and three trips to Darenth Valley hospital between us Lily has completed her first BE80!!!! She was very nearly placed, finishing on the same score as 10th. We must be stark raving bonkers but what an achievement!!  A week later at the next Carmen Court jumping clinic Martin was laying in the sand in a cloud of dust with Lily’s bridle in his hand. There will be enough Lily stories for a book soon. You can’t tell Pigtails anything. The week after we were at Borde Hill BE80 and it was the Ginger Bullet that came of the lorry. She was on fire. The most appalling dressage test ended a warm up that had Martin screaming at passers-by as Lily lunged towards them on two legs. This was followed by a very gung-ho SJ round, and she stormed around the XC with Martin not even breaking a sweat. She ended up 14th and we were delighted as she seemed so much more confident, had most importantly had fun and hadn’t even got loose in the lorry park. She saved that for a few weeks later at the Carmen Court jumping clinic…

Now it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit to Tinka’s latest misdemeanour. I was a little nervous when she was invited home for a holiday mid-season because that meant Tinka going home in party mood. I sat her down, and we chatted about Tinka’s attitude to life “let’s have fun now and worry about the consequences tomorrow”.  I thought the message had gone in. It hadn’t. Tinka got pregnant whilst holidaying in Newmarket. I am told the father is a charismatic handsome young German lad called Diarado, but he is not admitting anything. The humiliation for the family! Could we imagine Tinka in a Catholic-run home for unmarried girls? I don’t think so! The decision was made to flush the embryo. Her stay-at-home sister will carry the child, do the messy stuff and be mum. Tinka gets to come home and carry on with her career. The 42 day scan has just been done and all is well. So on the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month in 2015….


August 28, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Am I bovvered?!

Rolo hacking round the fields

Rolo hacking round the fields

Rolo restarting his jumping

So where to start? We had the lovely Rolo stay with us for four weeks. He was a very welcome house guest, doing everything we asked of him. He hadn’t done much since last Autumn and turned up in a very bolshy spooky mood. Hopefully he has gone back to the Rolo that Jen enjoyed so much last year and they can enjoy their summer now. In his place we have a larger, wider version called Bailey come to stay with the plan of getting him jumping and progressing his flatwork while his mother is on holiday.

Tinka on fine form at Keysoe N

Tinka on fine form at Keysoe N

Tinka went to Keysoe BE for her first Novice this year. Unfortunately the course had been revamped and was very strong, not at all what we wanted for her first one of the year. She stormed round nearly all the questions but right near the end of the course they had a disagreement at a skinny. Back to the drawing board with bits and steering ideas! They then dropped back down to BE100 at Borde Hill to make sure that she hadn’t lost any confidence. It was hideously wet and caused utter  carnage but The Stinka said “am I bovvered?” and stormed round in the mud to finish 3rd, what a star! Next stop Stratford Hills to try Novice again…

Jules and Libby were also at Borde Hill for the BE90. They had another really consistent performance for 2nd. So proud of these two, they do their first BE100 at Stratford Hills.

To highlight just how well both Tinka and Libby have started their 2014 campaign they are leading four of the South East Eventer League rankings between them! Unreal! I know it’s early days and both are looking to upgrade but wowee, am very proud! Tinka is leading the GG’s Tack BE100 list and the Wow Overall Grassroots list, and Libby is leading the Poppinghole Farm mares list and the Thermal Imaging (Kent) BE90 list. Amazeballs!

Lily was rerouted to a lower key riding club one day event at Coombelands, a perfect event for her. She was top 5 after the dressage, had one pole down being very green SJ, and a fantastic bold run around the XC for a few time faults and an 8th. Just what the doctor ordered. She had been foul at the jumping clinic at home which turned out to be three weeks after Chilham so we now have a black skull and cross-bones marked on our calendar to mark her hormones! Martin still hasn’t quite worked out that telling an angry woman to ‘calm down’ is like lighting the blue touch paper so I will do my best to protect him from himself!!

Adds Farm campers May 2014

Adds Farm campers May 2014

We have been very busy with clinics; several visits to Bonfleur XC schooling, our first jumping clinic at Carmen Court, a couple of SJ schooling sessions at Eaglesfield, then the first of my adult camps at Adds Farm and some XC schooling at Lodge Farm squeezed in!

Ehren has been back in work for two months now and has been hideously spooky. At first I thought it was just lack of work but this week I found myself clinging round her neck with my right knee left of the pommel. It is only a matter of time! At the moment the school fence is being creosoted so there are dark bits and light bits which change as more is painted. I kid you not, this is way too much for Miss Autism to cope with. Frustrating as hell! She also is still not 100% herself so we continue the search for a supplement that sorts out her gastric issues…..

Rodney looking quite beefy at 8 weeks

Rodney looking quite beefy at 8 weeks

Little Lexi is now walk, trot and cantering, starting her first hacks and doing some polework in the school. She is pretty green having not seen poles and wings in such a long time so I am starting to fill the school like a child’s playroom so she has to go through, round and over things. Young Rodney looks a million times stronger and also quite the chunk. The stud have nicknamed him the ‘Foster foal’ as he doesn’t look anything like Lexie! Then there is Bilbo. Our mad lurcher puppy. Another day, another four legged lunatic in the family…….

Bilbo lets off steam

Great to hear of so many of my clients enjoying their Milton Keynes three day event, despite the dreadful wet weekend they had. Top effort from Tiny and Clare who stormed around in the mud to finish 2nd in their class. Go girls! Also fab news from ‘bad-boy’ Okie and Heather who continue to make great forward steps in their journey with a win in the Chilham Combined Training – fantastic effort!!

Coming up we have Stratford Hills BE Novice with Tinka, our adult camp at Bedgebury, Ehren has her first Char lesson in about 7 months (oh dear God that is going to be ugly!), Tinka will also head to Eridge BE, there is a possibility that Ehren will go to Stilebridge BD, and Lily is entered for the UA Tweseldown 80…..

June 14, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting the dining room sideboard through the bathroom window

Young Rodney

Well we have been keeping busy as usual! Lexie gave birth to a bay colt “Rodney”. As usual it was a stressful delivery for Sally and I can assure you all, Lexie’s last. She will be sewn up and never allowed near semen again! Another red bag delivery, and to make matters even worse this time the foal got stuck too. Eventually a rather large boy was dragged out, cracking a few ribs on his way and leaving his mum very sore indeed. In Tom’s words ‘it was like getting the dining room sideboard through the bathroom window.’ Thankfully mum is a tough old bird and Rodders has strong ID ancestry and both are recovering well.

The latest blood tests were good for Ehren so she was allowed to try Gastrogard again. Not for long though, within five hours of being given a pretty low dosage she was lumpy, so now we are sure she is allergic to something in it. According to the drug company she is the only horse ever in the US or here in the UK to have an allergic reaction. Well personally I think that’s as likely as a fish driving a car. I don’t believe it. She is special but she can’t be that special!  I do understand though that if these things aren’t logged with the drugs companies they may not have it documented. Anyway we think her gastric problems are only really a winter issue so I am bringing her back into work now without anything and will see how she goes. Unfortunately it means we will have the gastric issue to solve at the end of this Autumn. This is starting to feel like Groundhog Day!!

Tiny and Clare try their hand in the show ring

Tiny and Clare try their hand in the show ring

Tiny has been masquerading as a show horse. She looks amazing for 19 and is having a great time with Clare.

We had two groups XC schooling at Bull Farm in the rain. It’s always lovely to school somewhere you don’t go to very often and everyone had a great time. Both Tinka and Lily headed to Chilham BE. Lily is a complex little character and needs to feel within her comfort zone, so her first event always had the potential for disaster. She was a good girl all day to handle, did a good dressage test for 31 but bailed out in the SJ of the BE80. She was in season and away with the fairies, went to charge at the fourth fence, then went to stop and skidded into the bottom of the filler sitting on her little ginger backside. I don’t need to explain that once that had happened all was lost! Fortunately she did no harm to her jockey who was able to bring her bold as brass sister out the next day for the BE100. The Stinka jumped another double clear inside the time to finish up third for no other reason than to show Lily what a pansie she was I think!

Also at Chilham were Jules and Libby who produced another consistent result of 6th in the BE90. Jules is planning her step up to BE100 soon and has the Grassroots Regionals to look forward to. Very exciting!

That same weekend Leanne and Dennis won their Discovery at Felbridge BS and have picked up lots of ribbons in recent weeks. When Leanne first came to me it was for flatwork lessons. She “used to jump but wasn’t up for it anymore” and thought she might try her hand at dressage. Well “shall we just try some poles on the floor then”?! I am absolutely delighted to see her having so much fun in the show-jumping ring again. Really really chuffed and wish her the best of luck with her new boy!

Bilbo takes it easy

Bilbo takes it easy

Alice and Magic

Alice and Magic

We then headed for Norfolk for a few days to take a deep breath before our new lurcher puppy Bilbo arrives. While we were away I was delighted to hear that Stephanie had won her Intro dressage with Bailey. He is really coming along now. When he comes to stay this summer we will also start his jumping up again. Something for him to look forward to! Alice and Magic were also out having a fantastic day at the South East Connemara Show. They won and qualified in their Performance Connemara class with a clear round, won and qualified in their Junior Mountain and Moorland NPS class on the flat and jumped a couple of fab rounds in the Novice & Training Stakes. Anyone who is a regular at our jumping clinics will know just how hard Alice works and how much this is deserved. Top banana!!

Little Lexi has been on box rest as her fetlock blew up again. She is like an unexploded bomb. I am now walking her in hand and turning her out in a tiny paddock but she has perfected some serious break-dancing moves, none of which are good for her fetlock! Will keep you posted. She has nearly been with us a year, and looks a much stronger more mature girl now but it would be nice to do something with her!!

Rolo has arrived for four weeks flatwork and jump schooling, Tinka goes to Keysoe BE for her first Novice this year, I have some XC schooling at Bonfleur, we have our first jumping clinic at Carmen Court and some SJ schooling at Eaglesfield , Lily goes to a lower key riding club one day event at Coombelands and Tinka heads to Borde Hill BE. That gets us to half term. And breathe…..

May 6, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Spring has sprung, hurrah! OK, so we are still having hail in between sunshine but it does feel nicer weather to be working in at last.

Michelle and Summer practising for Workers

Earlier in the month we had a Working Hunter jump clinic over a course at Blue Barn in their outdoor arena. It was surprising just how spooky the horses found it and clear that it was something they need to practise more often!! So with that in mind we are going back with four groups in a few weeks….

Ah the Ehren saga. She pulls more sickies than your average Australian near a Bank Holiday. Plus I am sure she is convinced that two months looks more plausible than one….oh that old chestnut! OK here goes….she was back on the Gastroguard last time we spoke, then the lumps came back under her stomach, so we took her off the Gastrogard again worried as before that she was allergic to it. However after a week I noticed that Lily had developed some very subtle lumps and oedemas too. On further investigation half the yard had either oedemas or lumps, some very mild, so we called the vet in. Blood tests from four of the horses showed that they were fighting off some infection. Swabs thankfully were all negative, but more recent bloods show that some of them are still fighting something off. Ehren can’t try the Gastrogard again until her bloods are 100% and has been in sick-bay for a month already with the next bloods planned for three weeks time. We have decided that while some of the horses have a reduced immune system it is best to close the yard to strange horses. This means no April jump clinic, no schooling liveries and no lessons coming in until May. In the meantime Sicknote looks like a broodmare!

Lexie 3 weeks before due date

Lexie 3 weeks before due date

On the subject of sick-bay, Little Lexi has twisted her fetlock in the field and has been off games for three weeks. And on the subject of broodmares, Lexie is looking fantastic with three weeks to go before her Med Night Mahout foal is due. Am thinking Chestnut colt….we will see!

I am delighted to tell you that Morgan has been accepted for regional assessment on the Pony Club Rider Development Pathway for dressage. This is a BEF Excel Talent Programme supported and funded by Sport England to help Pony Club members that show ability to progress in their chosen sport.  The standard for this will be set very high and the most talented riders from the regional assessments will be selected for a national camp in the summer. At the end of this camp only six riders nationally (and across three disciplines) will be selected for the Rider Development Squad. Even being selected for regional assessment is fantastic and will be an amazing experience for Morgan.

Tinka jumping at Felbridge

Tinka jumping at Felbridge

We decided not to take the Groomsbridge Girls to the Bedgebury jumping clinic with the virus freshly diagnosed, but they were OK to take to Felbridge a few weeks later. Wow, they were on fine form jumping four clear rounds between them over the 70cm, 80cm, 90cm and 1m courses. I did giggle when a lady came up to me in the collecting and asked if Lily was mine. She said how smart she was and I kid you not “she looks like a push button school mistress.” I believe the expression is ROFL!!!

Absolutely fantastic news from Jules and Libby; they only went and won their BE90 section at Munstead. What a way to start the season, so very proud of them. They hope to upgrade to BE100s later in the year. Then on the dressage side Stacey and Queenie were crowned Eaglesfield Senior Dressage Champions 2013-14. Go girls!!

Coming up we have 18 horses XC schooling at Bonfleur (wowsers!), Tinka is off to South of England BE100, Lily is going to the HDRC hunter trial at Coombelands, there is the BlueBarn Workers clinic, XC schooling with two groups at Bull Farm, then Tinka goes to Chilham for the BE100 where her little ginger sister will join her for her debut over the BE80. Hopefully Lexie will have given birth by then but given the last two times I will keep my head firmly in the sand until I hear news…everything crossed.

March 29, 2014 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bring on 2014!

Well another mad year is nearly over….

Ehren has continued to be a superstar. At six years old and in limited outings she qualified for both the Hickstead Masters and the Summer Regionals, including an amazing 75.52% in her Novice qualifier at Chester Hall BD in May. She then went on to qualify for the Winter Regionals in two trips, has started her first Elementaries and is nearly out of Novice points. She has only left home fourteen times!

Other dressage divas have continued their run of form. Morgan Schive and Debbie Reeves have qualified three horses for the BD National Winter Championships at Prelim, Novice and Elementary. Jasmine Forsdick has made her mark at Medium with Kevin. Those of you that know these guys will know what a great job Jasmine has done, a real turnaround and proof of what a mixture of hard work and a ‘can do’ attitude will achieve. There have been lots of other successes both at BD and unaffiliated. So many combinations have done so well and improved so much. Some new entries to the 70% club, and some others striving to get there! At the other end of the scale, two schooling liveries Dylan and Dita went home and made their dressage debuts with their mothers. Both brought home red frillies, wow!

We had quite a few schooling liveries this year. They were all lovely house guests and always welcome back. I thoroughly enjoy playing with other people’s ponies for a few weeks and seeing them go home to their owner a little more polished than when they arrived. I will never cease to be amazed by the reaction to their previously cardboard stiff tack being clean and supple, as though I am some miracle worker. No, it is called saddle soap. You lot should try it sometime!!

On the eventing side Martin and Tinka had a fantastic year for The Groomsbridge Stud. She started the season at a horrendously wet Tweseldown BE100 with a 3rd, she won at Iping BE100, was 7th at Chilham BE100 and finished the year jumping round a Novice at Goring before heading home for a winter holiday. We are all very much looking forward to competing her next year. Clinic regular Jules Izzard also had a great season with her young horse Libby with placings at several BE80 and BE90s. They are new to eventing and doing a fantastic job. I have been lucky enough to be at some of the events and see them compete, always makes me very proud as I remember their first wobbly jumping clinic!

All the jumping clinics remain very popular, and adult camp too. They are always a lovely supportive and fun environment. I get a huge amount of pleasure from texts on a Sunday night telling me how well Pony X jumped that day.

Tiny is still having a great life with Clare Drury competing for Dartford and District RC, recently jumping like a star at the BRC National Championships for team 4th. Ivy is still as mad as a fruitcake and being pampered with the Reeves family. I sold Rosie to Lauren as she is very much loved there, fingers crossed for a lovely foal for them next year. We are hoping Lexie will have a foal by the Jumbo sired Med Night Mahout next year too. Her yearling Millie goes between looking like something a child has drawn with a crayon and looking quite smart. Who knows how she will end up! The most recent recruit Little Lexi has been chilling out but it’s now time for her to start work, and currently living in Tinka’s stable is the Groomsbridge Stud’s four year old Jasmine who came to be backed and is looking forward to her dressage debut after Christmas.

Following her Kissing Spine surgery last year, Lily is back in work with Martin onboard. There have been ups, there have been downs and boy there have been tantrums! She broke his nose, she threw them off the bank at Lodge Farm backwards, and she kicked her way out of Lucy Thompson’s arena leaving fence and nails scattered everywhere. She got attacked by a dog, and with customary aplomb she put that in its place too. Lily is not for the faint hearted but boy is she a character! She is slowly learning to tolerate Martin’s rough ‘boy-style grooming’ with the grimace of a child whose grandma has just reached to the bottom of their handbag for a tissue to lick…and her field antics recently went global! She has made huge progress this year when her future was seriously in doubt. Fingers crossed for the Ginger Rocket.

Something for you that Martin stole from a book “What the world needs is a little less sense and a little more faith”. If you believe you can do it, you will be amazed by what you can do.

On that note, we both wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Janine and Martin

December 21, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Festival goers rule!

Wowee! What a great weekend; fantastic results from the Area Festivals from Morgan and Debbie seeing them qualified for the BD Winter Championships in Prelim (Morgan and Henry), Novice (Morgan and Smurf) and Elementary (Debbie and Jazz). I am so chuffed, three horses through to the Champs, wow!

At fairly short notice I was not needed at Pony Club camp so a few text messages later and I had routine teaching organised around gridwork, SJ schooling and XC schooling. I don’t often have gridwork clinics but this was really popular and proved to be very worthwhile so perhaps something I should do more often. We had three SJ sessions at Eaglesfield, all proving to be very productive. It is always great to practise around a course away from home. Then two XC sessions; one at Bull Farm and one at Lockskinners with a real mixture of riders from first-timers to more experienced competitors.

During all this running around I have Dita back for schooling and for introducing her to jumping. I thought that I would introduce Ehren to the idea too in the hope that it might make her more brave. Dita has taken everything in her stride, is not at all bothered or at all spooky, generally has a real sensible head on her shoulders. Ehren has been utterly remedial, stopping dead in horror and spinning 180 degrees at the sight of a nine inch cross-pole! Dear God, what made me think this was a good idea…..

We had a great camp at Adds Farm organised by Sarah Glynn. They had some lovely hacks on the beautiful Ashdown Forest interspersed with flatwork and jumping lessons with me. Everyone had a fabulous time, and were thoroughly spoilt by Sue. This venue worked really well and Sarah has already provisionally booked two more weekends for 2014.

As expected my first Char lesson in months with Ehren was absolutely exhausting. Ehren is now in her teenage years and is being a little frustrating to say the least (no need to comment thankyou mother). Char spent much of the lesson trying to make me see the effort would be worth it while I swore at Ehren under my breath. I nearly slit my wrists when she said ‘you know she may be like this for three years’….three years?!

Tinka and Martin went to Firle BE100 and we bumped into Jules and Libby who were there for the BE90. It was a lovely day in the sunshine and this year Martin was not bucked off in the lorry park, bonus! Jules and Libby jumped a super SJ round but Libby wasn’t overly keen on getting wet so they picked up a couple of stops at the water in the XC. I don’t think I have ever seen such a big and technical BE90, but they were foot perfect everywhere else and I was very proud. Just some water schooling required before their next outing!

We then had another Char lesson and I am pleased to say that Ehren was more  co-operative (probably due to the grilling I gave her the day before!). I almost enjoyed myself and Char seemed relieved. I think the previous week she was worried that I would give her away to the first person showing an interest. At one point she had asked ‘you do love her?’ I think I probably had ‘that look’ on my face!

While we were jumping at Carmen Court for the last clinic of the summer, Martin and Tinka went off to BE Goring for their first Novice of the year and last event of the season. She had an early run out but on a course where half the fences were skinny she seemed to gain confidence as she went and finished up locking on and assessing the questions much better than before. Excellent, everyone very pleased with the girl!

Tinka is going home for a holiday and in her place we have her full sister Jasmine coming to stay who is four years old and unbacked. Hard to believe but she comes with the reputation as having plenty of ‘personality and attitude’…..oh and in case I forgot to mention, she is also 17 hands and currently built like a bullock.

September 9, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vee haf vays!

Busy, busy busy! I think I mentioned that I had a Connemara in for schooling ‘Rolo’. Well that was a short but intensive two weeks while his mum was on holiday.  He came on in leaps and bounds in that time culminating in a lesson with his owner Jenny grinning from ear to ear “I don’t believe this is the same horse”. Always great to hear, hopefully they will head out for their dressage debut sometime soon!

Lexie has had her next scan and all looks good. Fingers crossed there, very exciting. The young Millie has changed enormously and looks very much the weedy scraggy yearling, a real contrast to the buxom foal that she was! Lots of you are asking about Little Lexi; she is on holiday and being left for a while to mature. We are in no rush and both physically and mentally I think she would benefit from more time. She is a real baby at only just four and has already hunted and jumped her first baby course of fences before coming to us.

Tinka went to Chilham for the BE100 and delighted us with a great dressage test and clear XC to finish up 7th. If you remember Martin parted company from her there in the spring so we were particularly keen to see how she would go. Next event for her will be Firle BE100 and then hopefully she will have a go at a Novice at Goring. Gulp.

From the showing side Stacey and Queenie had a great weekend qualifying for the Great Bookham Sunshine Tour winning their Novice Ridden Showing and Ridden Mountain and Moorland. Unfortunately a sandwich distracted the girl (Queenie, not Stacey!) in her Workers but still managed a 5th place and ended up Reserve Ridden Champion. I am so pleased with the improvement in this pair.

Showing diva Morgan has also been out with Smurf side saddle. At Aintree they were Lady Champions meaning they get to escort the winner of the Topham Chase at Aintree in 2014 into the winners’ enclosure in front of Channel 4 Racing, plus get kitted out in a new habit. Cool prize! Then onto the National Championships; this was her first year in the Open Adult classes so brace yourselves – SSA Open Equitation Champion, Amateur Champion, and Reserve Reserve (3rd) Rider of the Year, also winning the Small Hunter, Open Working Hunter and was Reserve Hunter Champion. She’s not very good at it, not sure why she bothers…

Morgan had also qualified both Henry and Smurf for the BD Summer Regionals but due to all her other commitments decided that the Area Festivals would be easier later in the year. Ehren got the go ahead from the vets on the Monday to go to the Addington Regionals on the Friday. She was very much lacking match practise having not been out for three months but even surprised me with just how awful she was. Spooking at the markers and arena boards like she had never seen them, so six and a half hours in traffic for Ehren to be a plonker; great! Well Ehren my dear ‘vee haf vays of making you verk’!

Dita has just arrived back at Carmen Court for four weeks schooling and also to introduce her to jumping. While I am doing this I have decided to start Ehren off too. I have a feeling I have been a little soft with her (‘awwww, bless her she’s had a bad eye’) and that I may be in trouble next time I see Char so I think a little jumping will focus my mind on whether she is really off my leg!

Loads of you were at Lodge Farm for the Riding Club one day event on Sunday. Mark and Harvey were 5th, Sarah and George 6th, Philippa completed her first ever ODE and Emma did me very proud indeed by taking it on after a 24 year pause. So very chuffed.

I hate to say it but Autumn is in our sights; there is a chill in the mornings now with dew on the grass and we only have one more jumping clinic at Carmen Court before moving to Bedgebury.  Must nearly be time for a holiday!

August 15, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment