Janine Lamy

My superstar

BarryBerry goes for a spin!

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

BomBoms Horseheath BE100

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

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

Chester Hall lap of honour

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

Winning the PSG Area Festival at Keysoe

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

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

Posing for Simple System

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

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

Lily takes me for a spin!

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

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

Girl Power

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

Bomber and Martin Rackham BE100

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

Bomber and Martin Eridge BE100

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

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

All day clinic at Parwood

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

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

Ehren PSG at Pachesham

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

Ehren PSG Pachesham

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

Millie’s first BE80 at Chilham

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

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

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

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

BarryBerry has work to do

BarryBerry starts work for Team Lamy-Wright

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

Great Wobbleberry training day at Comphurst Farm

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

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

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

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

Ehren at BlueBarn BD

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

Millie’s first event

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

Naughty horse fancied a dip at LMEQ!

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

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

Back to the 80s

Martin and the Bomber in the snow at Tweseldown

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

Playing with music at Saddlesdane

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

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

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

Infection stops play

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

Urf!

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

Ginger Rocket in her element

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

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

A very tricky time of year

Well Happy New Year to you all, I hope that you had a fantastic Christmas. Now it’s back to work starting with a big thankyou to Simple System Horse Feeds for agreeing to sponsor us again in 2017, and to Equilibrium Products for allowing us to be Product Ambassadors for another year. Brilliant news. Such lucky girls!

Ehren doing her winter homework

Ehren doing her winter homework

We are all fighting frozen schools and trying to keep the horses in work with pre-season XC schooling and the Winter BD Regionals both on the horizon! Ehren hasn’t been out for three months so we are planning to knock the dust off at BlueBarn in a few weeks. This could be a spectacular car crash but it needs doing with the Regionals looming. I also think a practise run at Merrist Wood is in order. Last time I competed her there I very nearly fell off!

The Black Bomber and Ginger Rocket both had a Christmas trip to Duckhurst BS with Martin. The Bomber was amazeballs jumping clear around the Clear Round twice, and then jumping double clear in the British Novice. Lily jumped really well in the British Novice but not so well in the 95cm so we are back to the drawing board with her to see if we can get her happy again. With this in mind the Bomber is going to have to step up and be Martin’s main eventing pony until Lily is back on form. Nobody tell her!! (And yes, I have plans to steal her back for the odd day when he isn’t watching.)

Wobbleberries Caroline and Amber

Wobbleberries Caroline and Amber

We have SJ schooled at Duckhurst, Blue Barn and East Bysshe, and had the first clinic of the year at Four Elms. The Wobbleberries seriously have the bit between their teeth and we have been busy with flatwork and gridwork training at Louisa’s. It is great to see the progress in these guys. I am so excited to be part of their challenge.

Millie first time out SJ schooling

Millie first time out SJ schooling

Millie is coming on really well. She was so slow to get the hang of a pole on the floor that we honestly wondered what we had bred. She is starting to look really smart now so we decided it was time to school around a course for the first time away from home and took her to Blue Barn. She walked straight through the narrow door into the arena and strutted round like she owned the place. She then warmed up with her ‘come on then, let’s crack on’ face and jumped like a star. She didn’t look at anything. Bless her, definitely a Groomsbridge Girl!

I am really looking forward to getting out XC schooling. I do hope frost doesn’t get in the way of our plans. I find January and February are always such a very tricky time of year for me. You see, I always take some time off to do my accounts and sort out the paperwork in the first couple of weeks of the year. On top of this there is often very little work because of frozen schools, or worse if it has snowed. It can go on for weeks and my mind wanders. I am not good without focus! In 2012 it snowed. Whilst meandering about on the internet I came across an advert for a lovely looking young bay warmblood mare going cheap because of some damage to one eye. Louisa was shocked “but you said you weren’t going to get another horse?” Louisa dear I told you in 2006 when we came to the yard that it was only for three months, that I would do my best to help and that I wouldn’t be any trouble. Still you believe the things I tell you?! In 2013 I bought a little Irish mare over the phone. An animal communicator that I had invited to a summer camp that year told me “oh wow, you are in for trouble with this one! Nothing you can’t handle but she is going to be very cheeky indeed and take quite a few years to get going” Not what I wanted to hear, YEARS?! Then in 2014 a friend popped into the pub one Friday with news of a lurcher litter and I really didn’t need another dog let alone a giant yellow antelope but we all know what happened next! So if you bump into Martin or Louisa it might explain why they have that look in their eye. Out of interest do you think Ehren would prefer a pig or a donkey for company, I have been wondering……

January 6, 2017 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A win for the Millipede!

Doing our homework

Doing our homework

Well winter is for training! Ehren has been working hard mastering the movements we need for the PSG test so that we can give this a go next year. Who’d have thought I’d be saying that, very exciting! I have been attempting to knock the rust off my jumping technique with the Bomber. We have been hard at it schooling at Eaglesfield and Duckhurst, plus lots of lessons with Tom Crisp who has been giving me hell. We had originally planned to hunt her but now that I have started to ride her differently it doesn’t seem quite the right time for galloping around the country in a gag with Martin. Poor Bombie, I hope she doesn’t mind!

Char has been up and given me lessons on both. What with her “that was your fault” and Tom’s “I think the problems you are having are down to your riding” I may need counselling by Christmas….

First XC school

Millie’s first XC school

Last time I wrote I was talking about the older three girls’ progress this year versus their plan. So last but not least is our four year old homebred Millie. We don’t do a whole lot with them at this age but always like them to have popped a course of SJ, been XC schooling and done some local dressage before having a little holiday at the end of the year. We took her to Bonfleur and were really pleased when she jumped everything first time of asking including steps up and down, ditches, a baby coffin, the water, everything! She was absolutely amazing, a real natural. With this in mind and with the help of Lucy Thompson, we have started working her over fillers at home and have been very pleased with her progress. She is unbelievably bold, just needs to learn to slow down, think and co-ordinate. While I was at the BD National Convention Martin took her to Hadlow for some dressage and she didn’t put a hoof out of place winning her prelim. What a clever baby pony.  

Millie learning to jump

Millie learning to jump

We have started the first of the winter Wobbleberry flatwork and gridwork clinics. Everyone seems very keen to get going on their challenge and we are very much looking forward to working with them. There were a couple at Hadlow doing their first ever dressage tests. I am very impressed with their determination; they’ve got the bit between their teeth!

From the dressage divas Doo and Mark did really well at Eaglesfield BD in the prelims. Doo and Archie won the Gold section and Mark and Harvey won the Bronze. Next outing was Stilebridge BD for Doo again. Archie very much lacks confidence at the moment in the arena but they picked up some more frillies in their sections. I was riding Lottie for Jasmine. She hasn’t been out for ages again, but won both her prelim tests and is now ready to have a go at a Novice.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Millie – winner winner chicken dinner!

The cold weather seems to have made all the girls rather feisty. Lily has been clipped, is back in work and looks a picture. I have been planning my clinic dates for next year with pre-season XC schooling, SJ clinics and Wobbleberry training dates.

So all that is left for 2016 is to wish you all a “Very Merry Christmas”. We will catch up in the New Year with a new plan for those girls!

December 4, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Girls have done good!

After a long and busy summer we were very lucky to be on holiday in the UK in the most amazing hot weather in the middle of September. When we got home it was time to start the Winter series of jump clinics indoors at Four Elms. I had been thinking it seemed too soon as the weather has been so nice but it absolutely hammered down with rain all day; it was like a monsoon! Although it means winter is coming I quite like the change as it means doing different things and seeing some different faces. 

Practising at Tom’s

While I was teaching at Four Elms, Martin took the Black Bomber to Little Downham for another BE80. It was her worst nightmare with tents and tradestands up close to the dressage and SJ arenas but she was a big brave girl and jumped another double clear to finish 4th. Very pleased with the girlie. So it seems timely to begin Operation ‘Steal Back the Bomber’. This started with a jump lesson at Tom Crisp’s. He was pretty clear about the amount of homework I have and even did some little demonstrations of just how bad my riding is. Not to mention the fact that he had me jumping a large rail from trot; something I really hate. Sally Thurloway would make me do this with Harry and it is interesting how easily it disappeared from my schooling repertoire!!! How my clients would laugh. Payback!

For the dressage divas Jasmine has now ridden her first Advanced. A serious achievement for anyone to produce a horse to this level but all the more so on a homebred who really does not find it easy. We were absolutely delighted that young Jessica was chosen for the Pony Progress Squad after the viewing day. What an opportunity. Then Mark has started the winter season at Eaglesfield BD with a win in his prelim. No stopping them all!

Jasmine’s Lottie dusted off her glad-rags for a day out with her Auntie Janine and went to BlueBarn BD for the prelims. She was a little distracted but has improved enormously this year and the good bits were great. A few mistakes dropped her marks down to 67/68% but very pleased with how she is going as she could easily be in the 70% club.

Our second Advanced

Our second Advanced

So then it was Ehren’s turn to go partying again, this time to Step Aside BD which is a venue she took a serious dislike to the only other time we ventured there. However, she was a superstar holding it together when not at all sure about that little white picket fence and the gremlins at the C end of the arena. It was our second attempt at Advanced, this time a harder test A102 and she really tried her best gaining 65.44% meaning that we are now eligible to ride at PSG. Oh wow, how lucky am I to have such a special pony. I am so proud of what we have achieved. We also did an Advanced Medium and have now qualified for the Winter Regionals. She has had an amazing year and totally blown my targets out of the water. As always there is much to work on, not least of all the jockey’s test riding at this level. More practise required!

Martin and the Bomber at LMEQ

Martin and the Bomber at LMEQ

Talking of this year’s targets, Lily’s season has not gone to plan. She was not herself at Goring or South of England, I think perhaps feeling the ground, so has been given sick leave for six weeks. Another pony that has gone better than expected is the Black Bomber. She went to Littleton with Martin yesterday for her last BE80 of the season and jumped another double clear for 2nd place. She has done four events this year, not had a single jumping penalty and has been 1st, 2nd and 4th. Wow. She is still very spooky but her confidence has grown and grown over those four events. Absolutely delighted with her progress.

As the end of the season approaches it is so nice seeing what clients have achieved this year. Last month Sarah and her horse Kamanchi had their first ever BE placing with a 9th in the Firle BE90. They have struggled making the time as he used to panic and bolt, and are now very close to coming home on zero. I am so pleased for her. Jules and Libby are back out after Libby’s injury and subsequent foal. In true Libby style she has been placed at every event she has contested. Jules has been bringing Libby’s younger sister Vardon to clinics. What big shoes she has to fill! Hente and Mouse have also had a great year with placings at BE90 and BE100. All the more brilliant when you understand that she has come back to riding after a twenty year break! Next year is looking very exciting with eighteen Team Lamy clients having signed up for the Wobbleberry Challenge. That is riders over the age of 25 who have never evented before committing to ride at a BE event in 2017 in aid of the Hannah Francis charity Willberry Wonder Pony #kickingcancersbutt. That should keep us busy!

 

October 9, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Dinners!

The Black Bomber wins at Horseheath

The Black Bomber wins at Horseheath

Well that’s quite scary. The summer has been and gone and we are now experiencing the first of the autumnal mornings. I am so pleased with Little Lexi’s performance at Horseheath BE80. She and Martin only went and won it!  She led from the front on her dressage score of 22.0 with a double clear inside the time. Absolutely amazeballs! I know there will be lots more ups and downs with the troublesome child but finally a little sign of how good she could be. Hoo-Hah!!! Go the Black Bomber!!

Lily also went to Horseheath and was rather more affected by travelling with another horse. Also the dressage was right next to the XC and Lily was very feisty, hot and ginger! I have seen worse dressage tests from her but certainly not her best. Her SJ round in contrast was the best I have seen her do at BE100. She looked a class act and really confident now. Then on the XC she just jumped in too big at a combination not really giving herself room to get out. She still has a bit to learn having not done many at this level. The result may not look great on paper but we are really pleased with how much more robust she is now.

We had a super last camp of the year at Adds Farm. A really great bunch of ladies and some amazing weather to boot! All the Pony Club camps I taught and examined at were also very lucky with the weather. It has been a very dry summer. We’ve also been jumping at Eaglesfield, Bonfleur, and Carmen Court. It’s hard to believe that the next jumping clinic will be the first one of the winter series at Four Elms.

We were so very sad to say goodbye to Ivy in August. She was such a character and will be very much missed. Laura and Tina did an amazing job of looking after her. She was 25 years old and had started to get recurring laminitis as a result of Cushing’s Disease. It was her time. We all have so many fun memories of a very feisty but generous mare.

Ehren wins the Medium Bronze at the Area Festival

Ehren wins the Medium Bronze at the Area Festival

When I was injured back before Christmas I realised that I would not be able to qualify Ehren in time for the Summer Regionals at Elementary so I decided to try the Area Festivals at Medium instead and maybe work towards her first Advanced Medium. As it has turned out; not only has she done her first Advanced Medium but has also done her first Advanced, and she qualified for the Areas at both Medium and Advanced Medium. She has had an amazing year. Oldencraig is really not her favourite venue but it is local so we thought it was worth a try. When she is good she is very good and she amazed us by winning the Petplan Equine Area Festival Medium Bronze class qualifying for the BD Winter Championships at Hartpury. Oh wow, what a superstar. The realisation of a mounted prizegiving, wearing a sash and doing a lap of honour was cause for some serious putting on of brave pants. A whole host of friends and clients were lined up with their mobile phones all hoping to be the first person to post on Facebook the video of Janine getting bucked off!! Thankfully we were a huge disappointment and although it was the slowest lap of honour you have ever seen (a large portion of it was in walk!), we lived to tell the tale. What a good girl. A constant rollercoaster keeping her happy and healthy but so worth it. Mind you, quite how I am going to help her cope with Hartpury I don’t know!

Coming up there are a few more horse trials left; South of England, Little Downham and Littleton. Ehren’s efforts will be concentrated on having another go at Advanced when we are ready. I expect we will also think about some Autumn Hunting for the Bomber. She’ll like that.

September 5, 2016 Posted by | Camp, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer silly season

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

Lexi at the jump clinic

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

The ducks don't answer back

The ducks don’t answer back

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

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

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

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

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

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

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

Superstar Ehren

Millie scores 68% with Martin

Millie scores 68% with Martin

Another packed month passes. Millie had her second dressage outing to Speedgate and was much more relaxed about the whole affair. She looked pretty smart scoring 68% in both her Intro and Prelim tests picking up a blue and green frillie. Bless the baby pony!

We have been SJ schooling at Eaglesfield, XC schooling at Lodge Farm and had an all-day clinic at Parwood. This was a great day despite the M25 doing its worst. It took most people over four hours to get to there but it was well worth it as we had great fun in the sunshine. The weather had been so hideous up to this point. The facilities at Parwood are great and well worth a visit. They are just starting evening XC schooling there if anyone is keen.

Ehren has been out schooling every week and has seen Char a couple of times too. We are plodding on with practising our changes away from home; hopefully increasing her confidence. Char keeps telling me off for my lack of concentration in the tempis. Must learn to focus. My brain just seems to go AWOL part way through and she says “that was your fault” !!

Unfortunately, Louisa had a fall from her horse and has been in sick-bay. This means we are all covering the yard at the moment between the normal day job. When Ehren is in sick-bay she gets an unlimited buffet and cold towels for her forehead as required. She has a little bell and I run backwards and forwards attending to her every need.  I have told Louisa she needs to suck it up and take more painkillers. She has stopped answering my calls.

Lily has been coming back into work after she was declared fit to go at the vets. She is entered for Tweseldown BE90 this weekend to get her going again. Everything crossed! Lexi is the size of a broodmare and her saddle is still shooting up towards her ears giving her girth galls despite many attempts with various girths and fluff.

Ehren's first Advanced

Ehren’s first Advanced

Then finally the big day arrived. Although we are very new to Advanced Medium I had taken the big leap and entered Ehren for her first Advanced at Oldencraig BD. Not an ideal venue for her, and as it turned out not ideal weather with the wind blowing the flags about down in their International Arena. However, she tried her best and held it together. Although the canter was very fragile and tense we got a very respectable score of 65.15% I am so very proud of her. What a superstar. Prelim to Advanced in four years despite all the problems she has suffered. Love her.

Then it was Jasmine’s Lottie out next to BlueBarn BD for the Prelims. She has been feeling much more established and rideable at home and we were not disappointed with a 72% score and red and blue frillies; her first score in the 70% club. Woohoo!

So looking forwards we are very busy. I am hopeful that Ehren may go out again at Advanced. All the schooling away from home has taken its toll on her weight though so she will probably have a few easy weeks now to recharge the batteries. Lily has Tweseldown and Eridge and I am ever hopeful that the Black Bomber will start to jump now and get ready for a late summer or autumn event. Teaching wise we have the BD Area Festivals to prepare for, more SJ clinics at Carmen Court, Eaglesfield and Felbridge, XC schooling at Bonfleur, and an all-day clinic at Tweseldown. Kick on!

July 7, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment