Janine Lamy

Lily steals the show

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that you all survived the festive period and are looking forward to cracking on into 2016. We have kept very busy.

Little Lexi practises her dressage

Little Lexi practises her dressage

Little Lexi had her last hunt of the season with Martin at Larkins Brewery in Chiddingstone in some seriously heavy mud. It is fair to say she has the bug! Larkins is a big hedge day and she was well up for it. Interestingly hunting has improved her canter no end, not something I had envisaged happening. Plus, it seems to have opened her up over a fence. She has looked pretty scopey the last couple of times we have jumped her which is very exciting. Just still the problem of taming the brain! Her plan this year will remain the same; get out at BE80 and BE90 and start her eventing career.  Fingers crossed; she certainly is physically a completely different horse.

I am back to pretty much normal workload now (although I haven’t yet jumped), which means I have taken the reins back on Ehren. No surprise she has become a little confused about life and will just be gently prodded in the right direction to the Regionals in February. Never has an Ehren Regionals plan come to fruition yet so this one will be no different! She will hopefully go out at Medium this year, probably with Area Festivals in mind and then maybe the Winter Regionals again. Currently she cannot ever remember being taught half pass. I love her to bits but she really is simple.

Lily thrashes all of us at BlueBarn

Lily thrashes all of us at BlueBarn

Lily is back in work with a vengeance after her sarcoids were removed. She won both prelims overall at BlueBarn BD with amazing scores of 72% and 76% wiping the floor with the rest of us. There is rumour of a Horse and Hound “against the odds” appearing on the dressage pages next week! She also popped to Duckhurst BS for her first jump since September, and jumped really well. She will probably start the season with a BE90, and then go out at BE100. If everything continued to progress we would consider a Novice for her towards the end of the year. I will be sedated and hiding under a horse blanket in the lorry.

The young Millie will be coming home sometime around March to start her ridden life. She will be restarted, introduced to some hacking and gently work towards some low level dressage and jumping outings. She will probably XC school quietly at the end of the year, but won’t be doing too much of anything.

We are continuing with the Four Elms series of winter jump clinics and have five XC schooling dates that take us from January to April. I also have two camps planned at Adds Farm in the summer. I am always happy to put things on by request if enough people are interested.

This week I went on a great course with Charlie Unwin “Developing the coach as psychologist”.  Always very interesting. Coming up we have check-ups booked with both saddlers and the chiropractor. I am hoping to have my first jump since hurting my knee in September, and there is lots of pre-season practising planned. First XC school of the year looms in a fortnight!! Let’s go!!!

January 10, 2016 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why the long face?

Just after it happened

Just after it happened

Well you just don’t know what is around the corner. Four weeks ago I was kicked in the face when picking out a horse’s feet. He left me with three fractures so I have been trying to take it easy, and am still not back to full speed. All things considered I am very lucky that it wasn’t any worse. Everyone has been amazing; Louisa and Martin have picked up most of the work but also people have been great helping with jumps so that I have been able to do a little bit of jump teaching on top of the flatwork stuff which is easier and initially was done from a chair! Poor Louisa will need a holiday after a month of doing all my mucking out. Plus, I am incredibly lucky that Martin has managed to keep Ehren and Lexi ticking over. He doesn’t speak much German and almost no ‘Ehren’ so occasionally there have been problems in communications and twice he has been seriously told off, including finding himself clinging for dear life onto a bucking bronco who was heading home from a hack with or without him while he had lost both stirrups, ahem. Lexi has been loads better since her hoof abscess and seems to be having fun and not being too cheeky. Hunting seems to be doing her the world of good; she is even better on the flat. I think he quite likes this one! Then there is their neighbour…. Every time he leads either of them out of the yard to ride there is one hell of a ginger tantrum. Lily has not been happy. There will be hell to pay.

A nice bruise the day after!

A nice bruise the day after!

So talking of Ginge, she had three weeks of box rest then Martin started to walk her in hand. In true Lily style she regularly waved her belly at him (I assume she wanted him to check the progress of the sarcoids under there?). The Spanish Riding School? Pah! Then with some trepidation I decided it was time to take her stitches out as they didn’t dissolve. I couldn’t bend down at that point but hoped that Lily and I had an understanding. Indeed she stood like a statue while I sat on a stool next to her plucking at them. Bless her I thought as I took the stall, scissors and tweezers out of the stable. Crash! Opportunity seized (she was tied up but the door was open behind me), Lily broke loose, galloped straight out of her stable to her field and galloped and galloped and galloped…..”sucker!”. Since then she is back to a normal routine, was lunged for two weeks to see how the wound under her girth would cope, and is now back in quiet work. Lily has 2016 in her sights.

Martin and Lexi at Heaverham

Martin and Lexi at Heaverham

Martin took Little Lexi to the Coakham Bloodhounds meet at the St Clere Estate in Heaverham. True to her nickname she dragged him about for a few hours having the best time jumping both timber and hedges. Fingers crossed that she is getting bolder; she seemed braver when we took her to Four Elms to school over some showjumps there.

The December Four Elms clinic went really well. Unfortunately I had to cancel the November one as I was spaced out at East Grinstead waiting for an operation that eventually they decided against doing. We have done a bit of jump schooling at Duckhurst and Eaglesfield but I had to admit defeat and not make the drive to Hartpury for the BD National Convention. I have cancelled all planned Char lessons for the rest of the year as I am not yet riding, plus dressage outings had to be postponed with Lexi, Lottie and Ehren. Thank goodness I got Ehren qualified for the Regionals!

In my absence the dressage divas have all been doing a fantastic job. Mark was second in his Prelim at Hadlow BD and 4th at Eaglesfield BD. Stacey did her first ever BD Novice at Stilebridge and won, and won a very large Prelim section at Eaglesfield BD. Morgan won the Elementary at Hadlow BD on Henry and was 2nd at Eaglesfield BD, winning it on Smurf. Plus news from (big) Lexie; she and Beverly won their Dressage to Music Elementary at Merrist Wood and qualified for the Regionals! Yee Hah! Best medicine ever!!  Plus I can’t help but point out that list consists of a part shire, a welshie, a 12.2h gypsy cob and a TB. Who says you need a warmblood to do dressage…..

Looking forward our pre-season XC schooling dates at Munstead, Littleton Manor and Tweseldown are all organised. Jump schooling at Saddlesdane and BlueBarn is in the diary, plus a possible Christmas dressage date. Small matter of my knee to sort out, but the shortest day isn’t far away now….

December 6, 2015 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dressage divas and hedge hoppers

Lily practising her dressage

Lily practising her dressage

Well I have to say the dressage divas have been out in force this month! Morgan and Smurf qualified for the BD National Winter Championships through the Area Festival class at Elementary, Ehren qualified for the Winter Regionals at Elementary Open, Andrea and Blue qualified for the unaffiliated Hickstead Championships with a 70% club win, ‘bad boy’ Okie and Heather won the unaffiliated Speedgate Novice Championships, and Lily and Martin picked up a red and a blue frillie at Hadlow BD in her prelims! Oh yeh!!!! Also I was delighted to hear that a horse I helped get going ‘Dita’ also qualified for the Winter Championships at Prelim with her mum Terri. Even though I no longer help these two it is great to see a horse you started go on to do really well.

I am particularly pleased with Ehren who really went well at Stilebridge BD winning both tests overall with no blips to pick up two whopping scores of 74.48% and 76.25%. Fingers crossed she is getting her confidence back in the arena. Lots more practise at new venues to do but lovely to show the world what she is really capable of.

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

Little Lexi went out puppy hunting for the second time with Martin and the Coakham Bloodhounds. I am still unable to ride with short stirrups after hurting my knee. Actually she completely disgraced herself and I was jolly pleased that it was Martin onboard!! She was rather over excited, completely unstoppable and very rude indeed. A few weeks later I managed to persuade him to try again on a full hunting day with better brakes and more jumping to keep her occupied. She was still strong but behaved really well and flew everything in style including some bigger hedges. Thankfully the B jockey was delighted, and she looked really smart jumping out of her stride in all ground. I am determined to somehow turn my juvenile delinquent into an event horse!

We then disappeared off on holiday to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and came home to fog, rain and Maabof! He is staying for a week of boot camp while his mum is on holiday. Ehren and Little Lexi feel tiny after I have ridden him, but as always he is being a gentleman.

Ehren's sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

Ehren’s sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

Lots of SJ clinics coming up through the winter at Four Elms, Eaglesfield, Duckhurst and Blue Barn. Hopefully some more hunting and dressage for Lexi so long as this mixture works OK – I have to say her canter has improved enormously since she started hunting. Ehren hopefully will get out too, but I think a new venue is in order. Now we are qualified it is back to homework. Mille moved from Carmen Court about a month ago to her winter digs with Ingrid Dubrow just up the road, and Rodney will be leaving Groomsbridge Stud this weekend for life at Stud UK Euro for a bit. Poor Lily has had some sarcoids surgically removed and is in sick bay for a while, but hopefully will be back in work sometime before the end of the year. Unfortunately given their locations we were backed into a bit of a corner as to what to do with them. Creams and feed supplements were unfortunately not an option. We had a prolonged virus on the yard two winters ago and both Ehren and Lily developed sarcoids after this had compromised their immune system. Ehren has been fed Eclipse Recovery for a while, and after three or four months her largest sarcoid just dropped off so both girls are now on this to try to keep the dreaded things at bay. Such a nuisance!

Suppose I had better stick my nose into the leaflet that just came through the door “BD Competition Structure 2016”…..I may be gone a while…….

November 4, 2015 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s all about Lily

September started with our end of summer holiday in Blakeney; a lovely relaxing break recharging the batteries. When we returned home it was off to Munstead BE100 for Lily’s last event of the year. Much like Chilham she was in season and completely beside herself. Oh goody, here we go again! When we got back from walking the cross country course we were horrified to find her podium dancing on the tack locker. Not a good sign it has to be said, and only fortunate that she didn’t hurt herself. Suffice to say I think it was the worst dressage test I have ever seen her do, but nothing compared to her exuberance later on in the SJ. Once she was on the XC course though she relaxed into her rhythm, waited, listened, used her brain and gave Martin an awesome ride. Oh Lily.

This has to be taken in context. Three years ago she had three spinous processes removed, and suffered colic and ongoing gastric problems from the stress. It has taken three years for her to trust her body and her jockey. There have been some seriously tricky times. She broke Martin’s nose, kicked her way out of Lucy Thompson’s school leaving broken wood and nails everywhere, and threw herself off the bank at Lodge Farm backwards for starters! We’ve had serious hormonal problems too. Two years ago she couldn’t be ridden when she was in season as she was too dangerous (and yes she was checked out by the vet). A year ago she could be hacked but not taken in the school. Yet this year she has completed her first two BE100s while in season. She has also gone from always looking very light and poor to looking like a show horse. At Firle this year we bumped into BE steward Debbie Melville who hadn’t seen her this year and she genuinely thought it was a different horse!

Last year she was eliminated in her first BE80 and had 28 SJ faults in her other three. This year she jumped 5 clears out of 7 runs in her 90s. We always have an A, B and C plan for the horses but as Lily has finished her season now we can genuinely stamp A* student on her school report. For her this has been an amazing year and we are absolutely delighted. She has been placed several times at BE80 and BE90, and completed her first two BE100s.

Without a doubt she benefits from her Equilibrium Massage Pad before she does any flatwork, and has needed lots of time and patience. Martin happens to be stubborn and patient in equal measure and has done an amazing job with her. The biggest difference to her general well being though has been changing her feed. She looks amazing, her gastric issues seem to have gone away (fingers crossed) and her hormones are considerably improved since she has been on Lunar Eclipse. I genuinely wouldn’t have believed it….

Lily 2011-2012

Lily 2011-2012

Lily 2013-2015

Lily 2013-2015

Lily 2015

Lily 2015

Unfortunately I had a little crash while schooling a horse a few weeks ago, going through the school fence and being laid on. I haven’t been particularly active on the riding front since but I have just about managed some flatwork and dressage outings. Ehren clocked up a few more points for Regional qualification at BlueBarn BD, and Little Lexi was quite the grown up winning her Prelim open section at Eaglesfield BD. This was two days after Martin took her puppy hunting for me! She has been a star since coming back into work after her hoof abscess. Fingers crossed everyone 🙂

Lexi puppy hunting with Martin and the Coakham Bloodhounds

Lexi puppy hunting with Martin and the Coakham Bloodhounds

Lexi winning her Prelim at Eaglesfield BD

Lexi winning her Prelim at Eaglesfield BD

October 7, 2015 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Our Horses, Results | , , , | Leave a comment

Tinka Stinka Winner!

Tinka jumping the Intermediate Novice at Pulborough

Tinka jumping the Intermediate Novice at Pulborough

Crikey I am late writing this! Where to start? The end of the summer has been and gone and it is now feeling very autumnal….

Tinka had an amazing day at Firle Place and won her BE Novice on her dressage score.  Wow! When she gets it right she gets it very right. She then went to Goring and South of England for good consistent runs, then finished the season at Pulborough in the Intermediate Novice. She has learnt so much this year and is now qualified for a Novice Regional Final and a CIC* so lots to look forward to next year.  Go the Stinka!

Morgan took Smurf and Henry to the South East Dressage Championships. Henry was to shine on this occasion and took the prize for best score of the day out of 168 tests. 76.56% in an elementary is pretty cool for a 17 year old 12.2h cob! Bless him…

Lily has also now finished her season at Pulborough in the BE80. She has gained in confidence throughout the year and is thoroughly enjoying herself, possibly a little too much! Joking aside it is amazing to see Lily out competing and testimony to how tough she is after everything she has been through. The flip side of this is that she is an unbelievably opinionated ginger. Just as well she is so pretty, something I am often found thinking as I run after her when she is frequently loose!

Little Lexi popping logs

Little Lexi popping logs

Lexi has had a few escorted XC schools, one of which was to Bull Farm. That was an interesting day! Suffice to say that we don’t really have any hills at home and I was suddenly aware that my pony may as well have been on roller skates, she was all over the place!! She then went to Underriver for a Puppy day with Coakham to get her head around hills. She was an absolute superstar but it has become apparent since that it has blown a fuse in her brain and so she won’t be going again until she is older and more established. She had her first jumping lesson with Sally Thurloway on her grass arena and was very good although it was back to real basics which was rather frustrating. Since then we have hired Duckhurst twice and are making progress again with keeping everything calmer.

Little Lexi out with Coakham Bloodhounds

Little Lexi out with Coakham Bloodhounds

We’ve had the first winter jumping clinic at Four Elms and that worked really well so fingers crossed for a future there.

Ehren is in sickbay just by way of a change….groan. When I came back from holidays it was really clear that she still is not right and all the chiro and acupuncture is making a difference but not addressing whatever is wrong. Turns out she now also has fluid on her chest to add to her long list of complaints. Let’s not even go there, she has pretty much been out of work all year. I have come to the conclusion that Ehren and I would never be drinking partners. She is an absolute lightweight!

Not to be outdone, young Billy puppy thought it was a great idea to eat an empty Diet Coke can. What planet?!  Fortunately for him it all seemed to come out the other end with no ill effects other than to my bank balance. Unfortunately for me, someone needed to check its passing…..eww.

Char has been in for flatwork lessons. If you see Martin around and about you need to remind him “to ride more like a girl”. I am not sure “has Janine ridden this horse, I would be interested to see how she goes for her?” went down particularly well. Put it this way I keep finding my knickers are full of horse hair…..! They were very interesting lessons as she hasn’t taught Tinka before or seen Lily in about three years, plus lots to work on with Little Lexi who is getting more and more rideable on the flat. In the first lesson Char said “well she is what she is”. OK, not a fan of my irish pony then! In the second lesson we rose to the dizzy heights of “you know I think this might have potential”. Ooh!!

Tomorrow I need to clip Lily just as I see a reminder saying that my personal accident insurance is unpaid. Not good timing. A&E and Lily are words that hang very easily together…..all going well we then have another Lexi jump lesson with Sally,  jump clinics at Golden Cross and Four Elms, another Lexi schooling session at Duckhurst, more Char lessons and I was thinking about taking Lexi to a dance party to see the white boards and learn the rules. At some point Tinka will go home for a winter holiday and her sister Jasmine will come back to play with Martin…..no rest for the wicked!

October 18, 2014 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hold in the fart!

Well Happy New Year to everyone, I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas, it seems like ages ago now.

Going back to before Christmas Lily went to Bedgebury to school around the SJ course. She was starting to get a little keen but jumped very well and has certainly gained in confidence, which is really pleasing. On Christmas Day we had a lovely pub lunch in the George and Dragon in Ightham with Martin’s father. We probably didn’t need to eat again for a few days but on Boxing Day we saw the Old Surrey and West Kent Hunt off from Chiddingstone Castle, and it seemed only fair to follow it up with a few beers and another pub lunch with friends….

Bright and early on the Tuesday morning Lily went to Duckhurst to jump around the Clear Round. I am making an effort to keep getting her out and about. She is so quick and clever, just a little on the opinionated side sometimes! The more I can get her out the better I think, it’s just fitting it all in. Since then she has also been on a Regumate trial to see if we can tame the hormones, but so far not a huge success so we are wondering if there is also an underlying soreness somewhere given our year of one step forwards and one back in 2011…

The dressage divas were out in force at Bedgebury BD on the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year, and what a fab job they all did! Martin and Tinka made their debut in the two Prelims with a win and a second in their sections. Morgan and Smurf were also making their debut, winning their Prelim overall and being placed in their Novice with just under 70% in both tests. Then not to be outdone Bonnie came over from Essex and trashed everyone with 74% winning the first Novice overall and then got over 70% for a third in the second Novice. Wowee, 74% – you don’t see amateurs getting scores like that very often. With that Oliver is now out of Novice points so it’s Elementaries from now on. I am hoping they will be ready to contest a Medium later this year. What a fantastic day for me, three winners in the first three classes! Hoo-hah!! Not a bad way to end the year. We rushed home for Christmas dinner with those who must be obeyed (aka the biddies) and my brother and his family. I can’t tell you how many times my young nephews joked about the bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey. Seemed to be the cause of much hilarity!

By the Friday before New Year’s Eve I had a charming cold but found the energy to catch up with our friends Gail and Reg for more beer and food. I was starting to grow a squidgy lump over the waistband, not a good look….by New Year’s Eve I felt all partied out but lasted in the pub until about 12.30am when I almost ran the five yards home and crashed into bed! I must be getting old….

On New Year’s day we had (another) lunch with Tina and Laura Reeves, and popped in to see the wonderful Ivy. She looks amazing, you wouldn’t believe she is 21 this year. Still just as humorous as ever!

Then eventually Tuesday 3rd January arrived and the eating out and drinking stopped! Apart from anything Martin was moaning about the huge dent in his bank balance. Grumpy old man.

So starting the new year as we mean to go on we took Lily to the vets for a quick palpation and scan of the ovaries to make sure everything is normal, and it is. We decided to take her off the Regumate until she has seen an osteopath in the hope that he will see the full picture. However this meant that she was on a Regumate ‘come-down’ at Martin’s Coakham meet at Nurstead. Possibly not the best idea! She was fairly feisty at the meet, having not been out for two months, but jumped well on the first hunt. Then before the second hunt started Martin took her up a footpath to wait with one of the whips, and she must have thought that she was missing out because Little Miss Hothead lost the plot and when they did move off she dragged him round Camer Park with her head up his nose and had an epic tantrum in front of everyone after they stopped. Pigtails was well and truly in the house, and embarrassingly had flipped her lid in front of everyone. I then spent the whole of the third hunt worrying. As it turned out she hunted up the front and although strong, was much better behaved and jumped really well. Phew.  Martin ended up with a grazed face, his chin is black and blue, and I have to admit he wasn’t very impressed! I too did not escape unscathed despite only being a spectator. Whilst washing her off she spooked at something, went several feet up and came down on my toes. Yeouch! The following day it became obvious that she had a very sore mouth, I know that plastic bits can cause friction but I have never seen anything like it. It looks quite nasty. So that explains the tantrum at least, out of proportion as usual but justified. Now about my foot….

Now I’ve been wondering what you think……During a recent flatwork lesson and after some discussion with the client, I heard myself say ‘sit up, brace your groin and hold in that fart’. I wonder if anyone reading has the faintest idea of what we were doing?!  It worked a treat. Maybe I should copyright the fart technique…I could write an article and sell it to the BHS!

Coming up Lily sees the osteopath so I expect a quiet few weeks for her, and we have the next Bedgebury jumping clinic which is full again. The 2012 Carmen Court and Bedgebury clinic dates are all updated on this website, and I shall be organising February pre-season XC schooling soon….

January 11, 2012 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , | Leave a comment

Hunting or dressage?

It was great to be back at Bedgebury for our first winter jumping clinic of the year. They continue to make huge improvements there and the new surface rode really well. You should see the new horsewalker – wowee! We had quite a few new faces which is always great, as usual the small ponies and children showing us adults how it should be done!  It was a lovely afternoon, everyone seeming to enjoy it and take away their homework. The November date is full already – fingers crossed no nasty white stuff stops play this year!

Lily was given the choice; she could go hunting with daddy or do some dressage with mummy…..so off they headed to Montague for the St Hubert’s day meet with the Coakham Bloodhounds! I had been worrying. On St. Hubert’s day a local priest always comes to bless this year’s hounds. I had this vision; mid-prayer, heads bowed, hats off, Pigtails does ‘Crazy Frog’. Thankfully she was very quiet, well until the hounds moved off that is. As is usually the case on the third or fourth day out, Lily was pretty full on, quite the feisty ginger pony having a total ball. How could mummy have even suggested dressage as an alternative?! I have no need to worry what this wild partying in the mud will be doing for Lily’s dressage prospects as Martin tells me that she has a spanking medium trot. This was after he told me about the race that his point to point friend Paul was trying to get him to sign up to. Uhum. I can see that I am going to have to split those two lads up!

I did go to Stilebridge BD the following day, but on foot to support Louisa and Strider. Only their second or third affiliated novice outing and he scored a very respectable 67% and a 2nd place – what a good boy!

On Tuesday Harry went back to the vets to be assessed after eight weeks of walking, lungeing, trotting poles and regular dates with the chiropractor. He now looks like an old man. He is very stiff and sore, still unrideable, and looks very uncomfortable. The vet and I made the decision that we have done all we can. We brought him home but at some point in the near future he will be put to sleep. Poor Harry, he is only seven, we had made such progress and had so much more fun to have.

On a lighter note Lily had a lovely day out with Martin hunting at Attwood Farm with Coakham again yesterday. A really busy day with 55 out, I thought she might be really feisty again. She looked a bit like a greyhound when she got off the lorry but was as quiet as a lamb at the meet standing watching everything go on around her. Martin said she was much better behaved, and much more rideable. In her keeness I think she was a little disrespectful of some of the timber fences (well OK, he said she hurdled a couple!) but generally jumped really well, especially the hedges, including a rather large drop hedge. I hunted Harry a few times at the same age and he was pretty scary. A big uneducated young horse dragging his small jockey around the countryside like a rag doll seemingly totally unaware of where his legs were. At least Lily is quick and clever. I’d want danger money to do that again!  We firmly believe in hunting them though, they learn so much.

November 14, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , | Leave a comment

Daddy’s little racehorse

I know it’s starting to get colder but we had the most amazing bright sunshine at the last Carmen Court jumping clinic. Lily and Jazz did some gridwork with me in the morning, both jumping really well. Jazz hasn’t been jumped since February and was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. Then a few groups in the afternoon. As usual it was a very relaxed day, everyone really seeming to benefit from coming out and schooling round a course or doing some exercises away from home. I can’t believe that’s another year over.

Martin took Lily to the Kent and Surrey Bloodhounds opening meet. There were nearly 50 out and she was a total star again. She took everything in her stride; jumping ditches, timber, water, and what Martin described as a ‘Junior Hedge’. Doesn’t look that ‘junior’ to me….very proud of my little girl! In our house she is now referred to as “Daddy’s little racehorse”.

While Lily was galloping around the countryside Morgan and Smurf swapped their jumping tack for dressage tack and went to Eaglesfield unaffiliated. Having seen their flatwork in the week I had suggested that maybe they were ready to take the plunge and affiliate him. To prove a point Smurf won the Prelim with 74% and the Novice with 71%…..ooh we do love a winner!

Winter must be approaching as the Eaglesfield BD series has also started. In the first one on Tuesday Debbie and Jasmine were both in the Elementary. Despite having barely ridden in two months due to a bad back Debbie posted a win, only narrowly pipping Jasmine who has only had two rides on Reggie at this level. So a first and a second for Team Lamy – Hoo-Hah! Maybe it was the threat of thumb screws….

Then on Thursday I went to Mount Mascal for a BHS course on how rider position and anatomy affects the horse’s way of going. These courses are always very interesting but I think the biggest thing I took away was probably about my own wonky body and how it affects my horses rather than anything to do with my clients!

Coming up we have a busy half term, the first Bedgebury winter jumping clinic, Harry’s third chiro session, and a possibility of a day out with Coakham for Lily and Martin. Fingers crossed I can actually go and watch this time!!

October 21, 2011 Posted by | Carmen Court, Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , | Leave a comment

Pigtails and freckles

On Saturday last week we had the final winter jumping clinic at Bedgebury Park. First up were the Groomsbridge Girls (travelling with a big gap between them!). I was delighted with Lily – she travelled well, was quiet to tack and untack, jumped what she was pointed at and overall much more grown up about everything. Tinka’s attitude to fillers and a course of showjumps was amazing. Totally unfazed. She really is a cocky whatsit! There were three other groups, which included some new faces which is always really nice. I also jumped Jazz who was beside himself having not jumped since October. You certainly wouldn’t have thought he was a dressage horse, and I am only thankful that Sharon Hunt wasn’t about while I was hooning around the arena jumping Jazz who was part helicopter part stag – not a good look!!

Then on Sunday Harry and Martin had their last Coakham meet of the year at Brookers Farm. Harry was rather bright but totally in his element and jumped like a star over some very impressive hedges. He has thoroughly enjoyed his hunting, the boys have had a party!

On the Tuesday Louisa and Debbie were both at Eaglesfield BD, picking up a 2nd in the Prelim, a win in the Novice, and another 2nd in the Elementary. My dressage clients are getting fantastic results but I am starting to feel a little under pressure. Maybe when I take Harry out I’ll head off a long way away and in secret?!

Talking of dressage divas, Martin and Tinka had their first dressage outing on Saturday. You all know how much I love doing the babies and this is no exception, although she is Martin’s project. Seven weeks before this outing she arrived unwilling to accept any contact and didn’t understand canter at all. On Saturday she tried her very best, was easy to have out and came home with a second rosette and 68% in a Prelim. I am SO chuffed with her progress. Big Lamy grin!

Tuesday both Harry and Lily went to Sally’s for a lesson. I was rather apprehensive as it’s the first time I’ve taken them together and my trusted help was at her accounting course that day, but needn’t have worried as they were immaculately behaved. I was really chuffed with how relaxed Lily was. Sally said that both of them were like different horses this year. Lily is both physically and mentally more mature, so we are able to crack on with asking more from her. Harry too got the thumbs up, now looking better balanced and more athletic. Hunting has done him the world of good. She also admitted to thinking “and what exactly are we supposed to do with this” the first time she saw him – poor Harry! The rider on the other hand was in front of the movement on Harry, behind the movement on Lily, twisted, not looking where she was going and didn’t even have her foot in the stirrup right. Ahem….plenty of homework then!

Then it happened yesterday, and not the way round I had been expecting….I fell off! Before my dismount I had nearly been knocked out, had done something most horrid to my thumb and had a bloody nose. And no, it was not Harry. It was his sister having a ginger pigtails and freckles moment.

Then today, Char came up to give the horses a flatwork session. I was delighted with them both. Harry is nearly back to his former Totilas self, and Lily is making big steps forward. Yesterday (thankfully) seems to have been forgotten….

Tomorrow I have a group XC schooling at Littleton Manor and Sunday is our pre-season Combined Training outing for Harry at Munstead. In our infinite wisdom we decided to fill the lorry and take the Groomsbridge Girls too, so we may have our hands full! Harry has more dressage planned at Stilebridge BD (oops, now I’ve told you!) and we also have another XC school planned to see if I can get back into the swing of riding across country before Munstead BE100 at the end of the month….phewee!

March 4, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Frog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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