Janine Lamy

Dumdedumdewhoops

Oh dear, banana skin alert. Just as we were basking in the glory of having all the horses home and back in work Martin had a bit of a whoopsie with Rodders. Eight fractured ribs and a punctured lung, and we were only in walk! Out for a quiet hack in the field and the big lad was spooking at the cars on the road. No biggie but being a dufus he then fell over on a bank, Martin tried to hold onto him and bang. A neat soup-bowl shaped section of ribs moving and a rather disconcerting bubbling feeling. An ambulance, chest specialist, helicopter (unused), few days in hospital and short period of box rest later we are back in business. I always say it’s just as well you have no idea what’s heading your way when you wake up in the morning. Martin was very lucky.

As you can imagine I was rather busy trying to keep his horses ticking over and carrying on with all the normal activities. We’ve been busy with the last XC school of the year, lots of SJ clinics, an Arena eventing clinic at Pyecombe, and some Pony Club B+ assessing.

Progressing to ridden work

BomBoms has also been very busy. I’ve continued with the groundwork and am now onto ridden work which she has taken to well. I’m finding it really rather interesting and can see small benefits already in her reactions elsewhere. She’s been quite the dressage diva with two BD outings and four red frillies. She did two prelims at Eaglesfield BD winning them both overall and one test well into the 70% club, then at Hadlow BD we ended up doing her first Novice and Elementary. This rather bold move could have left me with serious quantities of egg on my face but she tried her very best winning her Novice section with 66% and the Elementary overall with nearly 68%. There is lots to work on and plenty of room for improvement for higher marks but bless her she’s only been back in full work for a couple of months and has never been asked for medium trot. Go Bomber!!

Bomber turns diva

Worried that she wasn’t the centre of attention Ehren has developed non ulcerative keratitis in her damaged eye and then she also came into season. The vets were a little concerned that although pregnant mares can come into season, it was quite early in her pregnancy. Fortunately the scan was fine but we have decided not to treat her eye until later on unless we have to (as it isn’t in any way sore). Oh Ehren, always keeping me on my toes.

Last weekend was the annual BD National Convention which was as always very interesting. Lots of relaxed, supple, happy horses. A blueprint for us to aim for. I try to fit in training through the year when I can but am really pleased to be accepted on the Centre 10 Applied Psychology for Equestrian Coaches course next year, something more meaty for me to get my teeth into and an area that I’ve always been very interested in.

Coming up BomBoms really will be put to the test with a music clinic, there’s some more BD on the horizon and I expect we will drag Martin out for some BS practise over Xmas. XC schooling dates are already set for January onwards – it won’t be long now!

November 29, 2018 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dumdedumdedum

Starting work with a flag

Walking over tarpaulin

Well I can’t tell you how nice it is to have everyone home where they belong, and especially good to be riding my girls again. The cheeky little Bomber is home looking like she made full use of the all inclusive buffet on her year out. Next door is her bestie; a pregnant Ehren (yahoo!). She has been scanned in foal to Furst Toto (Furstenball / Totilas / Londonderry) and has also had the all clear to return to work as her suspensory has healed. She won’t be doing much, and certainly nothing stressful, but some gentle work to keep her moving and help strengthen her leg properly until she tells me that she’s had enough. Saying that she came back into the school like something from a wild west movie. Serious brave pants were required and a leap of faith to actually get onboard! I have also started some groundwork with Bombie to see if I can help her trust the human world a bit more as she is generally frightened of her own shadow. Quite how successful this will be for her bravery I don’t know but I’ve tentatively suggested we might do some winter dressage in the place of Ehren who I’m guessing will be on the sofa in her dressing gown eating gerkins straight from the jar.

Rodders goes log jumping

Rodney has been such a good boy. Where to start? He’s jumped his first weeny fences, worn his first rugs, had his first shoes, and even had his first trip out on the lorry. With only four or so jump sessions at home we took him down the road to go up and down hills and pop some logs. He was an absolute star and we have seen lots of benefits back in the school already. One of the reasons that we have gathered a few horses over the years (ahem) is because I love having youngsters. They are so rewarding! The giant dufus is gathering a little fan club #dumdedumdedum

Millie loving her XC

Millie is back in full work and after a XC schooling session at Lodge Farm to assess how she was feeling after her enforced summer holiday she has been to Keysoe, Little Downham and Tweseldown BE90s. We are delighted with how she has performed as she looks so much more robust now at this level. Her dressage has been rather tense but she has really jumped well, especially XC which appears to be her strength. She is now off to Horseheath to finish the season.

Fingers crossed Lily seems a lot happier on her feet and has been XC schooled a few times. The biggest problem we have now is her know-it-all gingerness. We are never going to tame her but even having a say is proving elusive! So good that she is feeling better though. We will see what a winter of training brings….

Clients have had a great year. I love seeing how everyone progresses and it’s always great to see the ones that put in so much effort being rewarded. We’ve been blessed with good BE results, BS results and fingers crossed we are hoping that Heather and Okie may have qualified for the BD Winter Nationals at Hartpury with a great result in the Festival Semi-Final at Codham Park. It’s also fantastic to see Mark’s Harvey back out after eight months in sick-bay, and Debbie and Jazz’s first outing in three years; both riders straight into the 70%. Back in the game!

As always there is lots on, perhaps including an indoor dressage outing with BomBoms. Her last was three years ago. She got to X on the centre line, reared, spun and legged it back to the warm-up. I’ll let you know how we get on!

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Broken Black Bomber

Lottie at Stilebridge

So the dressage divas have been out in force. There have been lots of red rosettes and 70% club scores at the recent Eaglesfield, Sadlesdane and Stilebridge BD between Mark, Heather and Doo. Jasmine’s Lottie too has now done some more novices with me after a long break from competing gaining 65% and 67% at Stilebridge which we were delighted with.

We always say that winter is for training, and most unusually Ehren and I had gone six months without a lesson so it was long overdue. I was expecting Char to give me hell and was pleasantly surprised that only my elbows and outside contact were the subject of some regular reminders. I really look forward to having her nag me for a while.

Lily practising her flatwork

Martin has taken both Lily and Millie to see Douglas Hibbert for flatwork help at Four Elms so they have plenty of homework too. They have also been practising at Hadlow and did some great tests in the 70% club. Just shows you what Lily can do away from the atmosphere of a horse trial!

They also both went to Petley Wood BS for some SJ practise with Millie jumping around her first British Novice. She had a few poles down behind through tension but boy, her jumping has come on a very long way this year. Only her mother could say this but she was truly remedial!

Millie at Hadlow dressage

Four Elms SJ clinics have started, as have the outdoors ones at Eaglesfield. Coming up we also have clinics at East Bysshe and a New Years Eve clinic at Blue Barn. We believe in keeping the rust at bay! It won’t be that long and we will be out XC schooling again.

We’ve had a great year, both having fun with our girls but also supporting the Team Lamy Wobbleberries and other clients. The Bomber started the season on fire with two wins and a 4th in her BE90s, then she upgraded to BE100s and finished 8th at Horseheath2. Although sound there were question marks over her performance through the summer and investigations found some hind suspensory problems, then just as we were bringing her back into work she fractured her pedal bone. So disappointing, she has yet to show the world how brilliant she is. Poor BomBoms, fingers crossed for a full recovery. The Millipede has started big girl competitions with a 9th and a 4th in her two BE80s, and having a go at a BE90 at Twesledown4 and jumping clear XC. She has come a very long way, but has lots to learn yet! Unfortunately the Ginger Rocket has not got her jumping form back but we carry on ticking her over and keeping her jolly. The star of the year goes to the Beautiful One. Ehren never ceases to amaze me. She has now done four PSGs including winning the Area Festival at Keysoe, and has qualified for the Winter Championships in the Advanced Medium Festival class. Bless her, we are now having a go at learning the dance moves required at Inter I. Talk about the blind leading the blind!   

WobblePub

My Team Lamy Wobbleberries were awesome. What a great bunch of committed brave ladies. Several started the year frightened to canter on grass and ended the year entering a BE80. There has been lots of tears and thankfully only a small amount of vomit, all sorts of fears to overcome but such a dedicated bunch of people all supporting each other. A team spirit like I have genuinely never seen. They are truly inspirational. If you decide you can, you can!

On that note I wish you the very best of luck, fun and success for 2018 and a very Merry Christmas x

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

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…..

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

Busy busy

Team Lamy overseeing some XC schooling

Wow, we’ve been just a little bit busy! I have been doing loads of clinics and teaching. We have XC schooled at Lodge Farm in the evening, had 18 riders at Bonfleur in glorious sunshine, another 12 riders at a fantastic new XC venue Comphurst Farm, the first Carmen Court SJ clinic and a SJ clinic at Eaglesfield. My Wobbleberries are carrying on with preparations for their first BE80, Chloe and Rocky are leading the gang with a placing in the UA 80 at Munstead. They are off to Keysoe next weekend for their first BE event and I shall probably be more nervous than them!

Pony Club candidates at Timbertops

During the Easter holidays I examined Pony Club D, D+ and C tests at our local Pony Club Centre Timbertops. The kids were really keen, their turnout was amazing, and they were a real credit to their centre and the Pony Club itself. A couple of them were quite certain that a healthy pony has a temperature of 56 degrees but you can’t have everything!

Ehren has been busy too. I was hoping that a few outings would help to get her ring confident again for Hartpury. So we went to Bury Farm (already scary as it’s new to her) and the weather was absolutely hideous with the rain coming sideways. She did hold it together reasonably well for her tests but was quite upset by someone in the warm-up who insisted on riding at her even when it was obvious the effect it was having. This made her really anxious in the warm-up at Step Aside a week later and horribly tense in the two tests…..Then a week later at Bluebarn she was still very fragile in the warm-up meaning that we didn’t really do enough then was quite wild in the arena rearing and spooking. The judge leaning out of the box and saying “rather you than me” rather summed my whole Hartpury preparation up!!

Ehren practising at BlueBarn BD

Which brings us to the Winter Championships. Let’s be positive – she has never stayed away from home before and gets very stressed at home if everything isn’t just so. She was in a temporary barn at Hartpury with a flappy canvas roof, rattling walls, a neighbour that banged his stable door continually, and mayhem going on with horses being fed at different times, being ridden at different times and everyone coming and going. Munch munch munch……totally chilled!

So onto the warm-up……obviously this was a concern. I needed to keep her safe somehow and it was really busy, at one point with riders screaming at each other (I kid you not). Again, very calm and relaxed. In fact I needed to fire her up a bit!

So we are left with the test itself. 50% chance of getting the arena next to the noisy walkway and tradestands, or the quiet arena on the other side. So no prizes for guessing! As we walked towards the tradestands between our arena and the fence her eyes were on stalks. For starters one of the tradestands had a working mechanical horse in it, jeez! Her heart was pounding and she was not at all convinced by my efforts to tell her everything was OK. “Spsssssss!!!!” someone opens a coke can. Ehren stood right up, spun round and legged it. That was all the proof that she needed and the start of much nonsense. About half way through the test I decided that enough was enough and retired. Never before have so many people come over to talk to me about my performance. Half an hour later and munch, munch, munch. Totally chilled. Bless her, life is just all too much for Ehren sometimes.

Lily and Little Lexi had good runs at Munstead BE90. Lily was very tense in the dressage and warmed up like a loon for the SJ (not for the first time at Munstead!) but then jumped a lovely clear. Unfortunately the loon reappeared on the XC and she locked her jaw and ran past a fence. I was happy though that she still looked really keen and happy to be out. This was Lexi’s first BE90 and she  did a good dressage which is quite something when you take into account that Martin rarely rides her. She then had a pole SJ where she went a bit green having not jumped outdoors since last season, and then a super clear XC.

Lily and Martin were lucky not to be more hurt.

Onto their next party we headed to Horseheath BE90. What can only be described as a day of two halves! Lily was off her rocker again running backwards in the SJ warm-up and being very difficult, and again, despite a lovely SJ round it all fell apart on the XC resulting in a fall and a nasty bang to her knee. Both were very lucky not to be more seriously hurt and it certainly means no more eventing for Lily for a while. It also meant that we had fifteen minutes to get Martin passed as fit to ride by the doctor, get Lily seen by the vet and all the paperwork filled in, get Lexi dressed and get Martin back onboard! BomBoms really tried her best all day and despite still being very green XC she jumped double clear inside the time to win from the front on her dressage score of 23.0. Absolutely amazeballs!! What a clever Bomber!!

Another great run at BE90 for Little Lexi

This meant that I was almost dreading Chilham BE90, feeling like she was under pressure to perform again. Chilham is by far the biggest challenge that she has faced to date. The SJ arena is surrounded by tradestands and there were noisy flags flapping in the wind. She did another great dressage for 27.5 and I was unbelievably nervous watching her zigzag and run sideways as she trotted down one side of the SJ arena. Bless the Bomber, she made all the right choices and jumped a rather spooky clear round. Onto the XC, again much more of a challenge than anything she has seen, and although rather lookie she kept assessing and jumping and galloped round a tiny bit too fast to finish the day in 4th place. Wowee!! Much love for the cheeky black pony!

Even young Millie has been out and about. She has done two SJ parties at Felbridge. The first time we really didn’t know what to expect but she was mega cool. Handling her remains a nightmare with all the tourettes kung-fu, but she was very good in a really spooky arena with lots of fluffy 12.2 ponies for company.

Riding Lottie at Oldencraig BD

I also fitted in a dressage outing for Jasmine’s Lottie; the first one in five months. She was also a very cool customer having a go at her first novice at Oldencraig BD and feeling a lot more rideable.

Coming up we are cheering on our friend’s daughter in the Badminton Grassroots 90 Championships, carrying on with lots of clinics including some all day ones, Little Lexi has Tweseldown and Borde Hill BE90s and Millie hopefully will attempt to trot round her first RC ODE. On it goes!

April 30, 2017 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, 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 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