Janine Lamy

Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!

Humungafoal on the right!

Humungafoal!

Where to start?! Well 2014 saw us gain two new family members in Rodney and Billy. You know when you order something on the internet and you think you clicked on the right size but when it comes you ordered an extra-large? Billy is like a big yellow antelope squished into the back of my little car with arms and legs awkwardly pressed up against the windows, and Rodney has been nicknamed humungafoal (measuring 15 hands at 8 months).

Tinka and Martin had a great year for the Groomsbridge Stud and breeders/owners Sally and Tom Forster, the highlight of which was a win in their Novice section at Firle BE. They are now qualified for a Novice Regional Final and a CIC* and on top of all that Tinka had an embryo flush to German jump stallion Diarado. Woo-hoo!

Lily progress

Lily progress

The thing that we are most proud of this year is small, angry and ginger. Lily has made great steps forward finishing her first season at BE80. It may sound insignificant but to come through what she has is testament to how tough she is. She is more opinionated and tricky than anything I know (as I write this Martin has a hoof-print shaped bruise on his thigh). It is just as well he is both patient and stubborn in equal measure!!

Little Lexi is slowly building up her skills, hopefully for some proper parties in 2015. Ivy, now 23 is still enjoying her retirement with Laura and Tina Reeves. Tiny, despite being 19 is doing a fabulous job competing with Claire Drury and Dartford and District Riding Club. They were placed at the Milton Keynes three day event this spring. Millie, now 2, looks quite smart and her mother Lexie is now home and back in work. It’s great to have her home but due to lack of space she will be looking for a loan home in the spring. It’s a shame as she looks amazing. That just leaves Ehren….

Well….starting high….she scored some 9s at the Winter Regionals. Wow, I knew she had it in her but 9s?! Go girl! We then lost much of the year with a virus that took months to clear and gastric problems, very frustrating. A recent return to form needs to hang around us a little while longer before I am cracking out the champagne, but I do have a bottle at the ready! Fingers crossed for 2015 Ehren.

Morgan National Side-saddle Champion

Morgan National Side-saddle Champion

Enough about us. Three horses went to the BD Winter Championships at Hartpury with Debbie and Morgan, a fantastic achievement. Lots of BD successes throughout the year from you all which is fabulous. Morgan also had an amazing side-saddle season, doing absolutely brilliantly to be the youngest ever rider to win National Side-saddle Rider of the Year. Wowsers!

The BE gang have also done brilliantly with Jules leading the way being placed in every event she entered including her debut at BE100 and a win at Munstead in the BE90. Great stuff, we love catching up with you all at events.

As usual lots of great show-jumping and cross country clinics with both old friends and new faces. We have used some new venues and tried some different things doing Workers clinics and Side-Saddle Equitation Jumping. Most of all they are always great fun and we are very lucky to have Louisa provide some excellent photography to accompany the day. We also did several camps at Adds Farm this year, plus my own camp at Bedgebury which possibly included one of the funnier evenings this year. If Carlsberg did camps….!

Herman doing his polework

Herman doing his polework

Our schooling liveries have all been lovely house guests. I thoroughly enjoy having your ponies to play with but I do hope that Rodney does not turn out to be quite as big as Herman!

My Pony Clubbers have done amazeballs. Elize passed her B test Care and Riding, and no less than six North West Kent members passed their C+ test. Top banana!

There is a lot to look forward to next year. Merry Christmas to everyone and kick on for the best of luck in 2015! If you can believe it, you can achieve it…

Janine and Martin

December 24, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ave Satani!

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

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

Wet from head to toe!

Wet from head to toe!

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

Morgan's write up in Horse and Hound

Morgan’s write up in Horse and Hound

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

Lois strutting her stuff sideways

Lois strutting her stuff sideways

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

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

Herman doing his polework

Herman doing his polework

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

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

Little Lexi's first dressage test

Little Lexi’s first dressage test

XC schooling at Bonfleur

XC schooling at Bonfleur

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

Lily and Martin Borde Hill BE80

Lily and Martin Borde Hill BE80

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

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

     

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

Shiver me timbers!

Martin has been keeping busy with Lily and Tinka. They both went to Lodge Farm a while back for a XC school. Lily is still showing her inexperience but is making steady progress and behaved really well. Tinka and Martin were still trying to resolve their communication problems but he felt happier and entered Eridge BE90 in the hope of giving her a confidence boosting run.

Two recent schooling liveries Dita and Dylan have been out for their debut dressage outings. Dita and Terri were 2nd in their first outing with 62.17%, and Dylan and Michelle won their first class with 64.78% and were 4th in their second class with 65.41% I am so pleased and proud of all four, what a great start. I think Michelle has the bit between her teeth now and was out again getting a 2nd and 5th in big prelim classes with 66% and 64% and comments from judge Helen Webber “there is real potential here”.  Love the little man, he is so cute!

Martin then took Lily to Lucy Thompson’s for her first jumping lesson. Now that we are happy Lily is more comfortable it’s time to start doing a bit more. Lucy couldn’t believe how different the two girls are; Lily being more like a little nervy racehorse and Tinka an over confident bullock! However, although Lily and Tinka both share attitude, Lily also has a temper and was feeling a little hormonal that day…… she is your archetypal ginger, and regrettably the vet didn’t remove any of her character when she cut out bits of her back! When everything is going Lily’s way she is the sweetest pony…..on this occasion Pigtails was on parade. Lucy’s school fence is now totally trashed and laying in bits on the floor! I am no animal communicator but as Lily stood by the lorry afterwards steaming and dripping in sweat, the look on her screwed up little ginger face said “I HATE YOU BOTH”. Bless.

Tinka then went to Eridge for the BE90. She was beside herself with excitement and a little tricky in the dressage waving her under-carriage in the final halt at the judge for bonus marks. She had a pole SJ, to be fair she wasn’t really taking enough notice of the fences as it’s the smallest she has jumped in a long while. Then on the XC it happened again. Martin took a pull, made a turn and phtt, she halted. Argh! Maybe I need that animal communicator after all……

While we were at Eridge it was great to see Jules and Libby jump a double clear in the BE90. These guys are going great guns, Jules has never evented before and I am so chuffed when I look back to their first baby jumping clinic a few years back!

XC schooling is very popular at the moment and I had two more groups at Bonfleur in the sunshine, it was absolutely lovely and all the horses went really well. I had to laugh, when Emma told her friend Sarah that she was coming out with me the first thing Sarah said was “you do know that she will make you jump a ditch?” I didn’t realise I had a reputation for being such a meanie! So…not only did Emma jump the ditch but the whole rail ditch rail combo…. hah!

Last Friday was a Pony Club standard setting day at Crockstead covering E to A tests. I have to say it was another lovely day in the sunshine and one of the better courses I have been on. It was hosted by William Blane FBHS and Chairman of Pony Club training. A month or so back I felt strongly enough about a UKCC level 3 pilot course they are running that I sent him an email. It was lovely to put a face to the name, but he did look at Martin as if you say ‘you’ve got your hands full there mate’ and promptly gave me a clip-board and made me a team-leader for the day! I guess I had that coming….

Now ever the pessimist, when things are going well I start to get nervous. When Ehren got her great score at Speedgate, her little write-up in Horse and Hound and qualified for the Regionals I thought ‘Brace yourself Lamy, there’s something bad about to happen around the corner.’ Groan, sometimes I hate being right. We have a problem with Ehren’s eye, the one that already has some damage to it. We are not yet sure what the cause of it is but it’s been very inflamed and after a week still has a blue haze over the cornea. She has had a drug that dilates the pupil so is permanently in a fly mask with a gaffer tape patch over the left eye so that the sunshine isn’t painful. As you can imagine it’s all rather worrying as we aren’t sure what has caused it and after a week it hasn’t really gone away. Martin of course has a constant supply of pirate jokes. Poor Ehren.

Martin had a really interesting lesson with Francis Whittington this week and has been given lots of homework to encourage her to slow down and think. I am indeed honoured as I was allowed to suggest a few exercises earlier in the week for exactly the same reason. Now that I have been vindicated I shall step away slowly and go back into the shadows! Francis must have hit the nail on the head as Tinka jumped a double clear at Brightling BE100 yesterday. Martin was delighted and said she felt the best she has all year. Hurrah!

So Tinka is off to Iping next week, whether Ehren makes it to the Regionals I can’t predict but she certainly won’t be getting a practise run anywhere…..everyone please cross everything!

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Little Lexi

The Budget announced a penny off the pint and I have saved enough for a new pony……so all I need to do is persuade Martin….hmmm…..need to come up with a clever plan….. OK I’ll agree to a puppy……but that won’t be enough……need to find a horse that’s right up his street……oh look, a  little black mare called Lexi – tick! Job done and so much easier than I had thought….

Little Lexi arrivesLexi (that will be Little Lexi) is a little 15.2 black ISH mare and she is 4 yrs old. She has come to us having been in Scotland for 6 weeks, previously having been in Ireland where she was bred. She has been backed and jumped her first fences but is obviously still very green and young (she’s not actually 4 yrs old until July) but we hope that she will carry me over some brown and coloured sticks.  She is currently chilling out after a rather stressful move south, and has just started some lunging in her new home. Watch this space!

Ehren Speedgate BDEhren was a total superstar at Speedgate BD. In the first test she was a little distracted and spooky but she still managed to win overall and get 69.64% In the second test she was amazing, she really let me ride her and won overall again with a stonking 75.52% On top of a fantastic score she has qualified for the Summer Regionals which we weren’t expecting this year. What a clever girl, she even got mentioned in the pages of Horse and Hound! Next trip out was to the Southern Masters Dressage Semi-Final at Hickstead. This outing was always going to be more for exposure to a bigger occasion than anything else, however I wasn’t expecting her to be so frightened of the large open spaces! Poor girlie got terribly upset by the view in the lorry park, was totally on one in the first test and then rather flat by the time the Masters test came. However it was all experience for her and she didn’t disgrace herself with a 6th and an 11th with 67% and 65%. She will probably now have one local trip out and then we are off to Addington for the Regionals. Again, this is more about her seeing these bigger days, building blocks for later on.

Lexie has had her first two scans and is in foal to the Jumbo sired stallion Med Night Mahout – wooo, very excited!

Lily and Martin headed off to Coombelands for the Riding Club ODE. We decided that I would lead her out to the dressage field (a good ten minute walk) to avoid any confrontation, then lunge her down there before putting Martin up. My word, I have never led a colt at the races but I suspect that was close! This was a huge day for Lily, never having experienced anything like it. She was obviously anxious but coped with everything and didn’t misbehave once. In a very tactfully ridden test her trotwork got 8s, but her jumping showed up her inexperience (Martin fell off twice!!). Bless the Riding Club rules, whatever happened they just allowed you to continue which was fantastic and Lily got her training day! She has been to see her chiropractor this week who says she is in much better shape than three months ago, and I cross everything when I say this; she hasn’t spat the dummy in about 6 weeks……come on Lily, we are all rooting for you…..

Tinka went to Borde Hill BE100. She posted her best dressage to date and was lying second, had an unlucky pole show-jumping, and set off on the XC like a steam train again. Unfortunately as soon as a question was asked she shut down. Tinka is a very genuine jumper and has obviously become confused, so some schooling and training days beckon. She has so much ability; it is just a case of untangling her brain. So off to Lucy’s for a lesson they went, and a very interesting lesson it was too. It ended with Tinka zipping around a course of 1m25 with some very scary jump-off style turns like a serious superstar speed horse. It started with Lucy watching him pop a 90cm rail with a placing pole and thinking ‘this mare is never going to cut the mustard’. So what happened in between? Once Lucy got Martin to ride her like a 12 yr old boy on a 13.2h jumping pony the mystery was solved. As soon as you try to set her up, her attention goes to the rider and she stops looking and thinking. Point, kick and leave her alone and she is absolutely fantastic. Now to take this new found knowledge onto the XC course…..

Talking of lessons I saw Char this week for what turned into a thoroughly exhausting grilling. I shall be more careful what I say about her in Horse and Hound in future!! It looked like someone had poured a bucket of water over my head by the time we finished. Louisa watched the lesson and said afterwards “that looked like such hard work it has put me off wanting to do dressage again”!

Diane Daynes talks muscles at campI have been really busy with all the usual clinics and teaching. Lots of people have been out and about having fun and doing really well at shows and the recent Riding Club dressage qualifier. On top of all this we have just about recovered from Adult Camp at Bedgebury. A laughter filled weekend full of fun. Everyone had a fantastic time and the only problem was the alarm clock going off on Monday morning, ugh! We had an animal communicator come in on the Friday with some hilarious snippets from the horses and dogs. One word of advice from Louisa’s Labrador Keira “don’t knock mice until you’ve tried them!”

Coming up Tinka has a run in the BE90 at Eridge to trial out their new technique over a smaller course, hoping to give her a happy run before going back to BE100 somewhere like Brightling Park. I have two more grillings with Char and a trip out before Ehren heads off to Addington.  Lily has her first jumping lesson with Martin at Lucy’s. We have all the usual clinics including some more XC schooling, plus there are the Pony Club Area Dressage and SJ competitions. The longest day is today so we’ve got to cram everything in before winter comes…..!!

June 21, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best Wishes for 2013!

Well another year is over. I will remember it as the year Horse magazine published an article about me saying that I don’t go to the pub as often as I used to….ever the professional Lamy!

On the dressage side we had lots of wins, riders at the BD Summer Regionals at Prelim, Novice and Elementary, and rosettes at the Area Festivals. The girls and boys have got some great scores this year; it is great to see the 70% club getting new members – 70% is no mean feat and puts you out there with the professionals. There have been a few horses sold and possibly a couple more looking for homes next year but hopefully also some new babies to work with, very exciting!

Tinka Borde Hill PN 6thTinka had a great year jumping five double clears in her BE100s and picking up several placings. Her dressage is getting better and better with results at BD good enough to qualify for the Winter Regionals were she registered. Who would have thought it, even the Stinka made it into the club! A winter of homework and hopefully they will be ready for BE Novice next year…and to think Martin thought he was retired!

Ehren at Stilebridge BDPoor Lily was eventually diagnosed with Kissing Spine, resulting in surgery in June. She is slowly recovering with lots of lunging and physio. Ehren joined us in February, what a lovely sweet horse she is. She amazed me with a 75% result this year, my personal best. Hopefully we can put her teeth problems behind us and look forward to 2013.

Millie WrightRosie is happy and looking forward to meeting a new handsome husband next year. Ivy has been in the dressage ribbons and is still very feisty despite her 21 years. Tiny has been as active as ever, including a 7th place at the Milton Keynes three day event, lots of team success for Dartford and District RC and a cracking 84% dressage score with her loan mummy. Back in June Lexie gave birth to the cheeky brown pony ‘Millie’….I feel sure she is going to be a little monkey! I have found Lexie another husband for 2013, all I need to do now is find a sponsor!!

We have added a few new venues to the clinic list but carried on with the favourites; Carmen Court during the summer and Bedgebury during the winter. The clinics continue to grow in popularity and seeing the progression of horses and riders over the years is just fantastic. We also have three early dates for XC schooling organised too.

Morgan and Smurf, HOYS 2012Clinic regulars Morgan and Jules both qualified for HOYS Search for a Star classes; Morgan in the Working and Ridden Hunter, and Jules in the Riding Club Horse. Both combinations have come on enormously and make me very proud. Morgan also won Adult Intermediate Rider of the Year, Equitation Champion and Open Working Hunter Champion at the National Side-Saddle Championships. Top effort!

On the Pony Club side I was chuffed to bits that Lilly Ward passed her B Test Riding (having already done her Care), Morgan passed both her B Test Riding and Care, and I passed my probation to become a Pony Club B Test Examiner….phew!

Beccy taking camp very seriouslyIt was a crazy summer squeezing everything in; some people having lessons at 6.30 am – who says horsey people are mad?! Of course we can’t forget Adult Camp at Bedgebury….another brilliant weekend full of laughter. No-one who was there will ever forget the session on the peanut ball with Lena Pearson-Wood, just hilarious. A month or two afterwards I had an email from Ira who came to camp having never jumped a fence before. Her superstar pony Honey and her had won their first little one day event. Wow!

I can’t close the year without thanking Louisa for our constant supply of fantastic photographs. I am starting to think they have far more to do with the popularity of the clinics than my teaching!

I am very much looking forward to what 2013 has in store. Bring it on!

Happy New Year to you all,

Janine and Martin

December 31, 2012 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loaf and Spurt

Having been mean to Morgan last time, I can admit to being proud of her now. She passed both her B Test Care and Riding this summer. It was the Care that was giving me kittens, but it turns out Morgan is a crammer. I wouldn’t admit it whilst training the girls but my history of preparation for exams is very ‘Loaf and Spurt’. I recall two winter holidays in the sun on the beach reading up for my Shipbroking exams because I had not yet opened the books and had eight weeks to cram in eight months work. Always worked for me, I find it helps you focus!

We have been away on holiday. Firstly we camped at Blenheim in the sunshine, then it was off to Norfolk for some doggy walks and pub lunches. While we were away Tinka had the snots and splutters but appears OK on our return. She went to Lucy’s for a jumping lesson and was on fine form. The jumps have got bigger and ‘The Ego’ was there to show how easy it was.

Just before heading off to Blenheim I went up to Groomsbridge Stud to see Lexie and Millie. Millie has really grown and filled out, and was more confident with these strangers with their cameras. There is a lot of Lily and Tinka in her face, I am not sure you would know that she is related to Lexie at the moment. She’s a right little chunky monkey!

First day back at work we had a Carmen Court jumping clinic in the sunshine. As always a lovely relaxed day with the regulars and some new faces. It was hard to believe that it was the last one, but now the weather has changed I am very pleased to be moving to Bedgebury clinics under cover! I have the dates on my clinics page all the way through to the end of 2013, including the date of camp.

While we were away Tinka-cam arrived in the post http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIzhl5x0hZs&feature=g-upl. Her owner Sally had asked me at Firle if I missed jumping and I honestly said that whilst I had an enormous amount of fun with Harry I actually wasn’t that bothered about not jumping at the moment. That was until I saw Tinka-cam! (Martin wears a hat-cam from 3 mins 50 ish). I watched it, watched the lines he took, the super flow and rhythm they had and thought ‘God I miss that’. Suddenly I was reminiscing about Harry and everything that goes into preparing them for an event. I even found myself looking at Irish Geldings in that weeks Horse and Hound…..

Lily is now working pretty hard on the lunge and over poles. She goes back to the vets for her post-surgery check-up in a week or so. Fingers crossed. Ehren had the full two weeks of our holiday off. She is only five, has just recently had her teeth out and I felt would benefit from the break. I hope to get her back on form and head to Bedgebury for some dressage in a few weeks. There is a bit of left-over tooth sticking out of her gum, let’s hope that doesn’t cause me a problem…

While I was away Jasmine has been working with Kevin’s flying changes, something we had just introduced before I left, and to his credit he seems to understand. He went to Oldencraig BD this week and scored a much improved 65% in his Elementary for a blue ribbon. His improvement has been a gradual process but he certainly is going much better at the moment. Jas is thinking of getting some help from Jane Lavington and doing some dressage to music with him. Surely he will trot down the centre line to a James Bond theme tune?!

We took the big step and entered Tinka for the Novice at South of England BE. She did the worst dressage test I have ever seen. She cantered. And cantered. And cantered. She came last. She then jumped a super clear round SJ and had an educational trip in not great light around the long routes on a pretty stiff XC. Three quarters of the way round she had gone a bit green and Martin pulled her up. She will be all the better for the experience we hope and looking forwards to the next one.

Coming up Tinka has Little Downham and Pulborough Novices, Ehren is back to work, Lily is back to the vets and I will have hit the big 40. You hear people say that they feel just the same as when they were twenty. Absolutely! Apart from the incontinence, the whiskers and the need to sit down more often!

September 23, 2012 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A enter in working trot

Well it has certainly been a busy summer!

Ehren’s gum seems to be growing back well and hasn’t caused her any problems yet that I can see. It doesn’t look pretty but certainly hasn’t put her off her food, and due to her decreased workload she is looking rather fat! She has had an easy time of it recently but had a lesson with Char last week and I was pleased that she thinks we are slowly progressing in the right direction. Well I say ‘we’, I mean Ehren is. As usual I got a right grilling. It seems I am now riding with my shoulders around my ears. There is photographic evidence and you are not seeing it!

Lily has now done four weeks walking and is on her second week of trotting on the lunge and has been allowed some very restricted turn-out. True to form we either see ‘Lily Lazy-bones’ or the charming ‘Pigtails’. Trotting can be oh-so-boring or wowee exciting and with Lily there is no grey….. She saw her osteo today for the first time since her surgery (now 10 weeks ago) and he felt that everything was progressing in the right direction and ‘looks promising’ so keeping everything crossed.

There has been Pony Club camp, lessons around the clock and numerous jumping clinics. It is hard to believe that the last Carmen Court clinic of the year is not that far away and we then start the winter series at Bedgebury. I am already in the process of organising 2013 dates.

We mustn’t forget the BD Southern Regionals at Oldencraig. Jasmine and Reggie were a little tense and this was reflected in their marks. There were no mistakes though, Jasmine was delighted to be there, and they will be all the better next year. The swans in the lake arena caused some chaos and much discussion on the BD Forum pages. It isn’t every day you have to ride a test with a swan flapping its wings hissing at you! I should go back to the earlier test though. Morgan was first up….picture the scene if you will. Up early and off to Oldencraig, cautiously excited as I really felt that they had a chance of being placed and maybe even qualifying if everything went their way. What would the day bring I wondered? The time has come, Morgan is in the arena, the moment is here, the bell has been rung, the stomach does a little groan. Right, here we go…but no, no! Morgan no! I look at her mum, eyes like saucers in disbelief. Oh crikey, Morgan is heading down the centre line to start her test from C! Erm, Morgan my dear, the judges are behind you. Oh pants! Brain meltdown and elimination followed. She wasn’t alone. Philippa, who finished up 6th in the Prelim, was in before Morgan. She too got lost, her brain went to mulch, and was heard in a schoolgirl voice (and school was quite a few years ago) admitting to head judge Helen Webber ‘I don’t know where V is’. Oh how we laughed!

News from Dylan. He went to his first ridden show with Michelle and was placed 2nd in his Mountain and Moorland class and qualified for the Balanced Horse Feeds Championships, what a clever boy! Mark and big-boy Harvey were placed at the Sevenoaks ODE at Lodge Farm, they have had a great year and really improved their jumping. Laura and Fizz were also there and jumped a rare clear round in the SJ proving that all her hard work in this phase is really paying off. Debbie and Jazz also decided to have a go at some showing and qualified for the Balanced Horse Feeds Show Hunter Championships. And thankfully Morgan made up for her ‘Regionals Whoopsie’ by having a fantastic National Side-Saddle Championships. They ended up Equitation Jumping Champion, Open Working Hunter Champion and Adult Intermediate Rider of the Year. Top job!

Tinka has been jumping like a star. They headed off to Borde Hill for the unaffiliated PN and stormed round to finish 6th. Then it was off to Firle BE100 where they jumped their fifth double clear of the year and were just outside the placings for 11th. Five double clears in seven events is no mean feat and just shows her class in her first season at BE100. When she arrived 18 months ago knuckling down to school-work was not a priority of hers. These days she just wants to show the world how wonderful she is. Unfortunately there was a teeny weeny slip of the halo….with owners and groom out of sight she forgot herself for a moment and quite spectacularly bucked Martin off in the carpark on the way to the XC…..naughty brown pony! She is so much like Ivy…

Great news from North West Kent pony clubber Lilly Ward. She passed her B test riding this week. She had put a lot of effort into her preparation and deserved to pass. I am very proud of her!

Is it time for a holiday yet?!

August 30, 2012 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , | Leave a comment

SatNav for Martin!

It has been a while since we had room for a schooling livery but just recently we had a lovely little Welsh Section D going by the name of Dylan stay. He was the perfect saint and despite his mother saying he couldn’t canter, wouldn’t bend, was a lazy so-and-so etc, he went out of his way to prove her wrong and didn’t put a hoof out of place. The only problem I had with him was his width, by day two I was walking like John Wayne!!

Great news from Jules; she has joined Morgan by qualifying Libby for HOYS. She has qualified for the Search for a Star Riding Club Show Horse class. Go Girls!

Lily has been a superstar on box rest but it did start to take its toll on her hind legs which swelled right up and are now bandaged. It was already time to start her walking so Louisa and I are now trudging around the arena with her twice a day for twenty minutes. I did put it to Louisa that if she won’t provide me with a horse-walker, she should be doing all the walking!

Ehren had gone for two months without any sign of pus coming out of her gum, but unfortunately it made a re-appearance three weeks ago. So off to the vets we went for x-rays again, hopeful that we would find something else but half knowing we might be extracting a front tooth soon. What I didn’t expect was that we would be extracting TWO front teeth that afternoon! So that’s it, Ehren’s modelling career is over. Her promotional work for Colgate is a thing of the past. Let’s hope the infection hadn’t spread anywhere else and it isn’t too much of a pain maintaining the ones that are left!  It comes at a very busy time for me so I will keep her ticking over for a few months and hopefully start competing again in October.

Tinka and Martin headed off to Carlton for the BE100. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go with them, but I left Tinka’s owner Sally Forster in charge for the day. We had thought after all this time without a run Stinks might come out a bit green but she was on fantastic form pinging around a XC course that caused quite a lot of trouble. I last allowed Martin to go eventing by himself five years ago. He went to Goring for the ON with Lexie and was leading until he took the wrong fence on the XC. It’s a bit like going through the start before the bell, not the sort of thing you do twice. Uhum.  Well Tinka thinks she jumped her fourth double clear of the year. She would have been 0.1 behind the leader if he had taken the correct step out of the water……

On Tuesday this week we were lucky enough to head off to Greenwich for the eventing showjumping. It was a lovely day, but rather surreal watching them jump with a rather grey gloomy Canary Wharf in the distance. My previous life appeared in the backdrop with my current one in front of us. Bizarre!

Today Tinka has been flouncing with the dressage fraternity at Hastingwood BD. It was like something out of The Omen. He trotted down the centre line in the torrential rain and as he passed X there was a huge clap of thunder and lightning! Bless the Little Winky, she was an utter star, ever determined to prove to Ehren that she is best at EVERYTHING she stormed straight into the 70% club with two wins. She got 72.27% in her Prelim and 70.69% in her first Novice. What a superstar!

Coming up I have our branch Pony Club camp and numerous jumping clinics around and about. Morgan and Jasmine are waving the flag for Team Lamy at the BD Southern Regionals, and Tinka goes to the unaffiliated Borde Hill 100.

August 5, 2012 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling, Schooling livery | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tinka-The-Ego

Well life is certainly starting to get busy again!

Ehren has started hacking in company and has been really relaxed. She isn’t too sure about sheep, and even worse baby lambs but she has been very sane and sensible about the little fluffy white things. Tinka and her saw Tina the chiropractor for a routine check-up, and all was well. Then Ehren had a date with uncle Nick the dentist, and what a superstar she was about that too. However (!) I had noticed a little sore in her gum above her front teeth and apparently that is a fistula oozing pus from somewhere. So she may have an abscess that needs the vets to take a look, maybe x-ray to make sure there is nothing untoward going on. Don’t get me started!

However she isn’t at all bothered by it so we took her to Bedgebury to hire the arena last Thursday to see how she would be and start getting her out, seeing a bit of the world. She was very well behaved but very different to the quiet little girl that pootles around the arena at home. I was driving the Mercedes-Benz Sport all of a sudden. All of the controls I have been mastering in the last month vanished and I quickly had to find new buttons! It’s funny how they are all different, and Ehren being warmblood couldn’t be more different to the Groomsbridge Girls who are thoroughbreds. Those girls may be sharp but they would never be spooked by a tap at the side of the arena. Every, yes every single time we went past it I think it must have hissed at her in German. Oh…purlease….get over it!

Tinka then headed off to Munstead for her second BE100 of the year. Her dressage warm-up was a sight to behold, and not really sure how Martin held the test together. She was very excited to be out again and added an exuberant flying change to the test for good measure – ‘look at me!’ We all breathed a sigh of relief when it was over and she then did us proud by jumping her socks off for a double clear to finish 10th. We are really pleased with her progress and she is off to South of England next.

I have had my first Biomechanics/Pilates session and have a couple of exercise to do three times a day for two weeks before going back for a progress report. They require me to turn very slightly one way, then the other a few times. Then a little bit of pressure on both legs for a bit. Am intrigued to see if this makes a difference! I am also sporting a Bioflow magnetic wristband. You must give one of these a go. Mine is made of Copper; it has made my wrist go green, made me feel like I had flu for the first weekend, and gave me a cracker of a headache for ten days…..uhum.

As the clocks have changed and the ground is dry, all the horses at Carmen Court have moved onto ‘Summer Turnout’ meaning different paddocks for everyone and longer days out in the fields. Ehren seems to be slightly institutionalised and was not entirely comfortable out there in that big space despite having horses on every side and being close to the yard. She decided the little ginger in the field next door was to be her comfort blanket. If Lily went too far away Ehren panicked and much to my amusement Lily would keep walking back to the fence, have a little chat, then go away again. I can imagine her rolling her eyes and thinking that this German girl was quite obviously ‘care in the community’ but she is so sweet she kept it up all morning. It was hours before Ehren plucked up enough courage to go the hundred yards to the other side of the field to say hello to Strider, winging her way back to Lily at full pelt to tell her all about it….

This additional sunshine prompted the girls to come into season and my oh my, they are seriously in season! My lovely new Mercedes has turned into a runaway Sherman tank, and you know how much the Germans hate it when you mention the war…

Coming up we have a busy day XC schooling at Bonfleur, I have another Char lesson, an Easter Carmen Court jumping clinic, lots of Pony Club stuff over the holidays, some B test Care examining, then Tinka-The-Ego heads to Ardingly.

I have just noticed that someone came to this website after searching ‘fat slob in the corner of the Red Lion Swanley Village’. Now I know I put a little weight on over winter but really?!

March 30, 2012 Posted by | Carmen Court, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

26 years old

How changeable is the weather? One minute I am dressed for summer and the next I am sitting in the little Picanto in just my jumper and socks having got soaked….

Tinka and Martin had a great start to the season at Tweseldown BE100 last weekend. She was much more relaxed in the dressage for a really pleasing score of 34, was never going to touch a showjump and jumped a super clear cross-country. Martin was thrilled to finish on a double clear. She looked so much more established, and was really easy to have out. Next stop is Munstead…..

Well you knew it was coming, on Thursday I had my first flatwork lesson in a year with Char. Many of you expressed delight at the thought of someone giving me hell and you would not have been disappointed – “Give your hands to the horse, ride the horse to your hands”….”Shorten your reins!”……” Sit on your bum!”…..” Soften your wrists!”…..and on it went. When I rode Ehren the following day she was like a different horse, as if I had managed to explain things properly the day before. Must get April’s lesson booked! On the plus side I have much needed homework and Ehren got the thumbs up.

Like all my horses she is living in hand-me-downs. Harry’s turnout rug is at least 6 inches too big, and her outer night rug is at least three inches too short. Poor little girl looks like orphan Annie and I should think she wonders where she has ended up. Daddy Warbucks we are not! I was pondering this when I realised the dandy brush in my hand was over 26 years old. It came with my second pony ‘Cheetah’. It hasn’t seen a lot of use recently, for reasons of personal safety you would not approach either Lily or Harry with a dandy brush. So I started thinking….I had already owned this brush for ten years when the current gang of North West Kent pony clubbers training for their B test were born. Oh dear, Lamy you saddo!

I haven’t really said much about Lily recently. She continues to see the osteo every month. The vet agrees that she is obviously in pain, and we will be continuing investigations to find out what is wrong. It is horrid to see her look so poor and unhappy. Fingers crossed we can make her better soon….

This week both Ehren and Tinka are due to see the chiropractor for a routine check-up, Nick Coles is coming to do Ehren’s teeth, Ehren then has a little outing to Bedgebury to hire the arena (yikes!), and Martin and Tinka are off to Munstead.  Horror upon horrors I am off to see a biomechanics/pilates expert, and we have 18 for xc schooling at Bonfleur!

March 17, 2012 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment