Janine Lamy

Girls have done good!

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

Practising at Tom’s

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

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

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

Our second Advanced

Our second Advanced

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

Martin and the Bomber at LMEQ

Martin and the Bomber at LMEQ

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

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

 

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

Chicken Dinners!

The Black Bomber wins at Horseheath

The Black Bomber wins at Horseheath

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

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

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

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

Ehren wins the Medium Bronze at the Area Festival

Ehren wins the Medium Bronze at the Area Festival

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

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

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

Summer silly season

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

Lexi at the jump clinic

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

The ducks don't answer back

The ducks don’t answer back

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

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

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

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

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

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

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

Superstar Ehren

Millie scores 68% with Martin

Millie scores 68% with Martin

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

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

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

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

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

Ehren's first Advanced

Ehren’s first Advanced

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

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

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

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

Ponies with Prosecco!

4 year old Millie's first party

4 year old Millie’s first party

Another busy month although we did slip away to Norfolk for a few days with the dogs. Before that we took young Millie out for her first baby dressage outing. She was a very good girl and coped really well with all the new experiences. She has never been in an indoor school, or seen white boards, or a car at C and was very green and spooky but didn’t put a hoof out of place. Handling her from the floor however was a very different story with a serious case of ‘Tourettes of the legs’. Front and back legs flying about all over the place. You needed full body armour and a black belt in Taekwondo just to hold her. Her mother was a bit like that as a young horse. Amazing what you forget! After that she had three weeks off to chill. The plan is just to do a bit here and there this year. Since then she has had her first solo hacks, and is due her second dressage outing this coming weekend.

Both Stacey and Mark qualified for the Hickstead Masters Semi-Final so have been out and about practising their dressage. Stacey and Queenie won the prelim bronze and were 2nd in the novice bronze at Stilebridge BD, and not to be outdone Mark did two prelims at Speedgate BD winning one and coming 2nd in the other. Both went to the Semi-Final at Hickstead gaining marks over 68% in tip-top company with Mark finishing 10th. Particularly impressive on a Welsh D and an enormous half Shire-half Gelderlander!

Ehren is gaining in confidence at Advanced Medium

Ehren is gaining in confidence at Advanced Medium

Ehren has been plugging away with work both at home and in various different schooling venues. We have been concentrating on the tempi changes and canter pirouettes. The changes are pretty consistent although we find the 3s much easier than the 4s. The canter pirouettes are rather more tricky, especially going right. However, away from home they are both all over the place! She isn’t really as sharp or as in front of the leg and hasn’t been as confident about doing the changes at all. I know how her brain works and for the last year or so the message has been ‘Don’t you dare change!’ and now sometimes I want a change and sometimes I don’t. Very confusing for a girl! Will keep practising. With this in mind we went to BlueBarn BD yesterday for two more Advanced Mediums to see how we are progressing. She was pretty ridiculous in the first test but generally felt great; much more confident and finding everything easier. Still not always on the aids in the changes but in her first attempt at AM92 she got over 66% so very pleased. I did think I could have set her up more for better marks so will carry that forward to the next time.

A lovely day in the sun at LMEQ

A lovely day in the sun at LMEQ

We had an absolutely fantastic all day LMEQ clinic. It was such good fun made all the better by lovely weather and twelve very jolly people pleased to have the day off work. We jumped in the morning in their super arena, quickly stopped for a picnic lunch and then headed off onto the XC course in the afternoon. Louisa was also on hand to capture the day which always pleases everyone.

Unfortunately Lily is not right behind so was withdrawn from Borde Hill. She is off to the vets this week for further investigations. It is quite possible that she hurt herself at Chilham. If only she would listen!

The Black Bomber still has fluid in her hock two+ months later. We are slowly bringing her back into work to see what, if any, effect it has. Unfortunately she is so fat that her saddle moves forwards and is giving her girth galls so this has been a rather stop-start process! Would be nice to finish the season with some 80s given all the hard work we put in before the spring. The hock was re-scanned and x-rayed and there is nothing to see so fingers crossed we can crack on.

XC questions at Carmen Court

XC questions at Carmen Court

We have had two Carmen Court clinics since writing last. A normal ‘SJ style’ one and then this time we really got them thinking with lots of XC style exercises. From baby horses to experienced combinations everyone was tested and it turned out to be very productive. That same weekend was also the first camp at Adds Farm. As usual we did flatwork and SJ on the Friday and SJ again on Sunday morning. In between they had some glorious hacking on the Ashdown Forest and ate rather a lot. Let’s put it this way, they nicknamed their weekend ‘Ponies with Prosecco’ !!

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brave Pants

Lexi stays at the vets

Lexi stays at the vets

So the weather has been a bit mixed to say the least! South of England was cancelled along with many other events around the country so Lily didn’t get another run until Chilham. Little Lexi ended up staying at the vets for over a week with a very sore fat infected leg so no Munstead or Chilham for her. Getting on for five weeks later and there is still a huge amount of fluid in the hock so we have just rescanned and x-rayed it to make sure that there isn’t anything else going on (which thankfully there isn’t). Best laid plans and all that!

That meant that Ehren has had to fly the flag for the team. Gulp! It was with some trepidation that we headed off to BlueBarn for our first Advanced Medium. She is quite spooky in their indoor arena and for the first Medium test there was sunlight on the surface which always makes life hard. Approaching a spot of sunlight in extended canter requires serious brave pants! For the second test the clouds had arrived and I was trotting around saying to her “hey you can do this, look no patches on the floor!”. And she did. One mistake and an added circle just to reorganise ourselves. We could have danced in better balance but all in all very pleased to have got 65.88% in our first go at this level and winning the class overall. Wow! Ehren done good.

Riding Lottie at Oldencraig BD for Jasmine

Riding Lottie at Oldencraig BD for Jasmine

I then took Jasmine’s Lottie to Oldencraig for the Prelims. This was quite an outing as the Young Horse classes were on at the same time. I can only describe the car-park and warm-up arena as chaotic. Horses broncing all over the place, stallions everywhere, horses yelling and crashing about in lorries. Poor wine buff Jilly Goolden got bucked off right next to me. Fortunately, Lottie wasn’t at all bothered. She was an absolute saint and although rather green in the indoor arena she still brought home the reds and was much more confident in the second test. We went back two weeks later and she went much better in the indoor; more confident and won her test overall. She was rather hormonally challenged and very green in the International arena but didn’t do anything wrong so we were very pleased.

Ehren at Cobham Manor BD

Ehren at Cobham Manor BD

As we withdrew Lexi from Chilham I had the day free and decided on the spur of the moment to take Ehren to Cobham Manor for another go at Advanced Medium. She has never been to Cobham before so it had the potential to be an interesting outing but they do run the higher tests there fairly regularly so I was hoping that Ehren might like it, or at least not hate it! She was amazing considering how she can be at a new venue. Little bit spooky in the medium but really let me ride her in the Advanced Medium, so we were in better balance than at Blue Barn and won overall with 69.11% Amazeballs. Very pleased with the girl.

Lily at Chilham BE100

Lily at Chilham BE100

Lily went to Chilham for the BE100 but was about as awful as she can get. Snatching the reins out of Martin’s hands in the dressage, feisty as anything in the SJ, and continuing on the theme of ‘Lily is a know-it-all’ until she crash landed at fence 9 on the XC. Literally belly flopped onto it having taken a stride out. Luckily Martin just stepped off and she shimmied over the side of it. Oh Lily. With this in mind Martin headed off to a lesson with Nick Turner FBHS and a really productive and interesting lesson it was too. Nick had Martin riding with his reins 4 inches longer and pushing for a more forwards canter. Talking of brave pants! However, it got better and better with her arguing less and thinking more. Lots of homework for Mr Wright. Maybe I should buy him a set of those rainbow coloured reins?!

It has been great to see so many eventing clients picking up the frillies this year. Top marks to Hayley who has never evented before and has been working hard with the dressage and XC with her young horse Baloo. I was absolutely thrilled to hear they ended up 4that the Munstead UA, their first event.

Highlight of the month has to go to Jasmine though. Four years ago I started working with her and Kevin. They were competing at BD Prelim level and it was not entirely uncommon for them to get a below 60% score. He doesn’t find dressage particularly easy and still has the odd bad day but at BlueBarn he cantered down the centre line and performed his and Jasmine’s first Advanced Medium. I was so proud of them I could barely watch. What makes it all the lovelier is that he is a home bred horse and she has put all the work in herself. Top banana!!

May 13, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment

April Fool Dressage

Lily SJ at Munstead BE100

Lily SJ at Munstead BE100

I can’t believe that not only is the eventing season fully underway but we are already in April! Lily started her season at Poplar Park BE90 and was remarkably relaxed by her standards. She had a great run and finished on 39.0 after having a pole in the SJ where she was rather too keen. She then headed to Munstead for the BE100 and in contrast was a little hormonal and distracted and had two rather unnecessary poles SJ so Martin just gave her a slow school around the XC to get her thinking. She was absolutely awesome over the brown sticks and was really looking forwards to South of England as it would have been her first real test at this level, but unfortunately they have had to cancel.

Little Lexi SJ schooling

Little Lexi SJ schooling

I continued schooling outings with Little Lexi. We went back to Munstead to SJ school in their grass arena, XC schooled at Lodge Farm, and SJ schooled again down the road at Team Manhatten. I had made the decision after the pre-season combined training antics that I would put Martin on her for her first few events as he is much stronger and gung-ho than me and I hoped he would be able to pick her up by the scruff of her neck and fire her forwards. I am pretty sure once you get her thinking this way her confidence will grow and grow. So pick her up by the scruff of her neck he did! The 12 year old boy in him made an appearance in the SJ arena at Munstead BE80 but it worked and she jumped a clear. She also jumped clear around the XC, albeit rather too quickly where he was trying to keep her in front of his leg. So a very educational trip out for her, excellent. Love it when a plan comes together!

Galloping home at Munstead BE80 with Martin

Galloping home at Munstead BE80 with Martin

Next up I took her for a jumping lesson with show-jumper Vicky Gosling. This was brilliant and just what we need. She is absolutely lovely but totally kicked my butt. Constantly at me on my position and the quality of our canter flatwork. Then there was my position over a fence…..oh dear, rather a lot of homework. She thought Lexi was lacking mileage and it is time to get out more, plus I need to be MUCH more disciplined about her staying in front of my leg. This sounds easy enough but there was at least twenty-five minutes in canter, some of which was on an 8m circle drilling us both. Lots to work on.  I hadn’t appreciated just how much weaker my flatwork is in the jumping saddle. Discipline Lamy, discipline!

So then we had a mad morning back at Munstead for the hunter trial to see if we could keep repeating the forward message. Martin was on at 9am because he was needed at Addington Manor at 11am as Quiz Master for the PC Championships! It all worked out really well with her going much much better and Martin screeching into the carpark at Addington at 10.53am. Phew. Especially pleased with the Bomber. Sadly a few days later her off hind was fat and infected again. A little worrying that the abscess she had back in September, the fat leg in January and this are all linked.

Mille after her winter out

Mille after her winter out

Somewhere in the middle of all that we picked up young Millie. Bless her, she walked straight out of her field with her mates and straight up the lorry lamp. Since then Martin has been onboard and she has had her first canter under saddle. She has been a different horse this time; so much more relaxed and really sweet and friendly. She is now the proud owner of two front shoes!

We had a great SJ clinic at Eaglesfield but unfortunately lost most of the planned XC clinic at Bonfleur due to the awful Easter weekend weather. Fortunately, it had cheered up a bit for the Pony Club Area 11 Mock B Test day at Crockstead where I was assessing the SJ.

Ehren back out after 6 months

Ehren back out after 6 months

After six months away from competing due to my injuries, and then Ehren getting a winter cough, it was time to get back out there. We headed off to Oldencraig BD on April Fool’s Day no less, fully expecting fireworks. I am not saying my daughter is manipulative but she must have been fluttering her long eyelashes and nuzzling her Grandad because he very kindly has decided to join the sponsorship gang and support her dressage outings. As an aside Lily has the Unions involved and is mounting a campaign “equal rights for grand-children”! Anyway, I digress…..we have form at Oldencraig and I had visions of a wild one. Totally threw me to find that my pony was dozing in the sunshine, and even dare I say it, rather lazy in the first test. In hindsight I could probably have asked more from her, and didn’t really feel back on our game until the second half of the second test. However, we are new to Medium and were rather ring rusty so absolutely thrilled to get 65% in both tests and two red frillies, especially as I know there is much better work in there. What a good girl.

So plans as always are changeable with South of England cancelled and Lexi on three legs but we are hoping to do Munstead unaffiliated and Chilham horse trials. Ehren is hopefully back out next week, and Jasmine’s Lottie too. We have the first SJ clinic of the summer season at Carmen Court, more clinics at Eaglesfield and XC schooling at Lodge Farm and Bonfleur…..woohoo!

April 7, 2016 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In season Kung-Fu Panda

So the pre-season madness continues. Char has been up a couple of times putting us through our paces. Lily is going so much better at home but I can just imagine how she will be at Poplar Park. Last year she could barely stand she was trembling so much, and was loose within moments of coming off the ramp! We have been having a play with Ehren’s changes which is very exciting, but it struck me the other day that away from home I can barely touch Ehren in the canter. I will have to put my brave pants on first time of asking!

Lily practising at Tweseldown

Lily practising at Tweseldown

We have been XC schooling twice more. We had a great day at LMEQ knocking off some more rust. The girls were all a bit hormonal and clingy but we all survived it. It did remind me why I decided not to take Lexi and Lily to Poplar on the same day. There is enough temptation for Lexi to be bad without Lily egging her on (as we found at Munstead for the combined training). We also went to the new revamped Tweseldown and had a super day despite the freezing wind. The ground was amazing and there were loads of fences suitable for all levels in the new schooling area. Well worth the trip and the people there were lovely.

On the dressage front Stacey and Queenie did really well to win their Prelim section at Eaglesfield BD. I rode Lottie at Stilebridge BD in the Prelim for Jasmine and was really pleased with how hard she tried. She went as well there as she goes at home. Loads of clients and friendly faces were in attendance and plenty of ribbons picked up including a win for Doo. Stilebridge is always a really lovely relaxed day, all credit to Vanessa. Unfortunately we had to withdraw Ehren from the Merrist Wood Regionals as she only made it out of sick-bay two days before. There is winging it and there is eating sand. No thanks! However Big Lexie had an amazing time with 18 year old Beverly winning the Restricted Elementary Music Freestyle and coming 8th in the Restricted Elementary. Wowsers!! Off to the Nationals they go. So very proud of this horse; she has always been a complete superstar. Rodders and Millie have such a lot to live up to. As if this wasn’t enough, they then went on to become U25s Winter Elementary Champion at Bury Farm. They sure are on a roll!

Instead of going to the Regionals with Ehren we took Lily for a SJ lesson with Vittoria Panizzon at LMEQ. What a lovely lady, Martin has some new ideas to try and all very jolly being groom and watching in the sunshine.

Little Lexi Munstead CT80

Little Lexi Munstead CT80

Then our first trip out on grass; the annual pilgrimage to Munstead for the pre-season combined training. Having two in season mares on the lorry was a bit of a schoolboy error. The only way of getting Lexi out of the lorry park was at the ‘working gallop’. Lily was running sideways and backwards in the SJ warm-up she was so excited, and Lexi had no intention of leaving Lily in the warm-up to go and jump her round meaning rather of lot of Kung-Fu Panda impressions. Lily ended the day by putting a stud through Martin’s best boots. Ahem, you can only laugh.

Lily Munstead CT90

Lily Munstead CT90

Today I went to Hartpury for the BHS convention. I am really glad I made the effort as it was very interesting with Nick Turner, Stephen Clarke and Ben Hobday all doing sessions. We have more SJ and XC practises planned for Lexi, outings to Poplar Park and Munstead BE, lots of clinics organised and most scary of all Ehren will hopefully have her first outing in six months. Yikes!

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

Robert Redford at Eaglesfield

We have been very busy with pre-season outings. It is hard to believe that it is only five weeks before we start eventing but very exciting. All routine saddle and back check-ups are done. We are ready to rock!

Little Lexi in particular has been very busy. Between Martin and I she has been out jumping, has XC schooled, done combined training, BD dressage, Eventers clear round and been to the gallops! She needs rather more practise than the others but I have now taken the plunge and registered her with BE. Gulp.

Lily had been suffering with a bit of a cough but Char came and did my two. First lessons since October and wowsers I am unfit; rather disappointing I have to say! Ehren is slowly making steps in the normal direction. Her balance for being happy is fragile to say the least and although Martin riding her for me meant that she wasn’t wild when I got back on, there is a bit of a rehabilitation going on. Bless her. He has nicknamed her “Fraulein Loopy” and is point blank refusing to ever sit on her again. To be fair the feeling is mutual.

Lily schooling with Martin at Munstead

Lily schooling with Martin at Munstead

We had a fantastic first XC school of the year at Munstead. The ground was absolutely amazing, it stayed dry and we all had a blast knocking the rust off! We are never very ambitious first time out, rather we are there to remind ourselves what XC riding is about and give the horses confidence for the upcoming season. The Black Bomber was much better behaved and seemed more confident for her hunting over the winter. My knee lasted longer than I thought it might and Martin swapped onto her for the last run of fences home. For the first time in over three years I jumped on Lily to hack her back to the lorry. The look on her face was a picture! Seriously unimpressed!

Lexi jumping the BE80 at Felbridge

Lexi jumping the BE80 at Felbridge

Lexi then went to Felbridge for the BE80 combined training. She was like a runaway steam train but I was really pleased with her SJ round as she was taking me to the fences and really thinking forwards. Hurrah! Fingers crossed hunting with my gung-ho husband has fired the girl up!

Lexi at Eaglesfield BD

Lexi at Eaglesfield BD

A few days later she went to Eaglesfield BD for a prelim. I knew that she had been anxious warming up in the little indoor at Felbridge and she seemed to walk into the indoor at Eaglesfield and say “you have to be joking if you think I am going through that again?” She was a right minx rearing and napping, really quite a nuisance. However she did relax when she entered the actual arena and held it together for a good 69% score and a win overall. My 74 year old non-horsey father had to drag me from the middle of the warm up into the main arena like a small child on a naughty pony. At least that is how I saw it. After seeing our score he went around telling anyone that would listen (and those who weren’t) about how he taught Robert Redford everything he knew. Later on when we were due to go home we found him autographing dressage sheets as ‘The Horse Whisperer’ in the cafe…..

Lexi at LMEQ Eventer CR

Lexi at LMEQ Eventer CR

The following day Lexi went to LMEQ for the Eventers clear round and again she jumped really well over a mixture of show-jumps and portable XC fences. She also got to play on the gallops afterwards and it was interesting that she is a lot more forward and balanced after her days out hunting.

Lily at Hadlow BD

Lily at Hadlow BD

Then today we took Ehren and Lily to Hadlow BD. Lily was really good again, winning the first prelim overall and a slightly more tense second test for third place. She has been very consistent this winter. We then took her home and polished and plaited Ehren for her first outing since October. Unfortunately on arrival Ehren heard the phrase “regionals in two weeks” and decided it would be prudent to hot-foot it to sick-bay as fast as her German hooves could carry her. She started coughing quite badly in the warm-up so I had to withdraw….

I don’t want Millie or Rodney to feel under pressure in any way but their uncle Willy was in Horse and Hound this week. He is (big) Lexie’s brother ‘Willy Do’ (both out of Bonnie Lane who herself was Advanced) and is ridden by NZ rider Lucy Jackson. His career highlights include placings at Pau, Badminton, and Boekelo. She is now aiming him at Rio. It got me thinking….I wonder if I should be researching companies that provide joint supplements for humans. Martin isn’t getting any younger and young Rodders is only two…..

We have received the amazing news that Simple System Horse Feeds are sponsoring us again in 2016, and that we remain as brand ambassadors for Equilibrium Products. Woo-hoo!!

 

February 7, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Lily steals the show

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

Little Lexi practises her dressage

Little Lexi practises her dressage

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

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

Lily thrashes all of us at BlueBarn

Lily thrashes all of us at BlueBarn

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

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

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

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

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