Janine Lamy

As tricky as a box of monkeys

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Action, action!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snow, frozen ground, then more snow

Firstly to let you know that Dad is back home and the lucky socks have returned to the drawer…

What a nightmare this weather is. The first time it snowed we managed to clear a track by moving the snow off the school at Carmen Court. So Harry was back into work, as angry as a bear. Nothing new there – you just have to stay cool, hold on tight and remember that it will pass. I shall have to get some pictures next time, it really is a spectacle!

Great timing, I’ve been testing an Ariat thermal top for Horse magazine. At nearly eighty quid it ought to have been warm, but I wasn’t particularly impressed. It had ‘thumb cuffs’ which I did try despite thinking I must look like a truculent teenager, and it meant the top got very dirty and worse, very wet. In minus three degrees, this made me very grumpy! Oops, there goes my Ariat sponsorship….

Martin had been busy preparing the Larkins Brewery meet at Chiddingstone with Master Sally Mack but it just didn’t melt in time so Coakham rerouted to a day on the South Downs at Jevington. I had a few lessons to do so couldn’t join them (first work I’d had in two weeks!) but sent Martin off with strict instructions to come back with a photo. I hear that Harry was Mr Responsible and led the field over the little XC jumps with his eyes closed (literally – see link!). He then had his ego dented when someone asked Martin “where’s that nice horse you brought to the Opening Meet?” (Otto). Poor Harry!  

With almost no teaching on, I nipped down to Golden Cross to watch a jumping clinic with Nick Turner, FBHS and Accredited BE and BD coach. What a lovely guy. He had some tricky lines set up and was encouraging riders to ride forwards to a soft hand – easier said than done if you are also making a tight turn. It’s a horrible time of year but I do have more time to watch from others and catch up on Trainer training, something that I think is really important if I’m to stay in touch and develop, but crikey it was cold!!

I had to cancel the Bedgebury jumping clinic tomorrow due to the snow. It’s such a shame as fourteen of you were coming. Let’s hope the weather is OK for the next one, only a few weeks away on Saturday January 8th

Stay warm and safe!

December 18, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Coakham Bloodhounds, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , | Leave a comment

From boy to man

Sometimes Harry behaves like a naughty pony….He’d been clipped on the Saturday, hunted on the Sunday, and was in a right hurry to get turned out on Monday morning. So there we are wandering down to his field, half asleep in the semi-dark, when I feel the rope go tight. I turn to look at him and he’s collapsed with a thud and is lying in the mud looking at me like a giant walrus! “I need to roll, and I need to roll NOW!” What is he like?! 

I have finally succumbed to seeing an Osteopath. It wasn’t the normal aches and pains but some freaky and totally painless crunching in my neck that I could not take any longer. It just felt too wierd and was keeping me awake. A tired Lamy is a tetchy Lamy and something had to give! I did feel a bit of a plonker explaining that I’d never done anything about my twenty year old back ache, cue some rolling of eyes and sighing about all horse people being the same. Then I had to marvel at the wisdom of fitting this appointment between finishing the horses and my first evening lesson – yes, I was standing there with only greying undies and woolly yard socks on while he pondered the finer points of my posture. Nice one!

On Thursday Harry had his second British Dressage outing at Step by Step. I felt a little under-prepared with only limited flatwork since he’s come back into work but needn’t have worried. In the first Novice he was a little distracted by imaginary hounds (the problem of mixing hunting and dressage!) and he dropped off the aids a little. Not a bad effort though with 66% and second overall. The second Novice was indoors, his concentration much improved and he tried his very hardest and won with a cracking score of 70%. What a clever boy. Go Harry!

Then on Friday both horses had flatwork lessons. Harry was first up, showing off sheets that said ‘elegant’ and ‘a pleasure to watch’ to his favourite polo provider. He hasn’t had a lesson since July so it was great to get some pointers. I find I need a bit of guidance with the trot work and Char always gives me plenty to work on between lessons. Next up was Lily. As per the last lesson it was all about me being softer in my shoulders and wrists, but it started well with Char saying she thought the contact looked better. Then we stopped as the saddle had slipped, Char did up the girth, and Lily (always one to wear her heart on her sleeve) was suddenly furious. I can only assume that the girth was too tight and had pinched her as she’s been normal ever since. One of them was looking at Char all doe-eyed, and the other was swearing like a sailor…and not the way round you’d expect!

Now I think someone is taking the p*ss. They have searched “every time the family day care worker is not looking Janine is in th….” The what?! Janine is in the what?! The cookie jar? The pub?!

U-hum. On Wednesday Harry made the transition from boy to man. His first proper hedge day with his daddy. Mark Cross is always a rather big day (I didn’t realise until afterwards but apparently they jumped no less than seventeen hedges!!) on pretty heavy going but Harry was fantastic. Martin had a great day and said he was absolutely fab to hunt – my baby is all grown up!!

I’m off to the BD National Convention at Hartpury on Sunday. The forecast for the weekend is freezing cold and possible snow. Brrr….I might just hibernate!

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , | Leave a comment