Janine Lamy

More than one way to skin a cat

It seems a while ago now but we had a lovely two weeks off on holiday. As soon as we got back my last schooling livery of the year ‘Holmes’ moved in. He stayed for two weeks to have his flatwork smartened up and a bit of boot camp for his mother, and he really made progress in that time. He was such a nice boy to work with, a real genuine chap who tried his best.

Also in our first week back Uncle Nick (Coles) came to do the horses’ teeth; just their routine six monthly visit. He has a great way with the horses so the girls are all very relaxed with him, even Lexi who hadn’t met him before. Am looking forward to this coming up on a Google search “Nick Coles, great with the girls”……!!

We had our last rather impromptu XC school of the year at Bonfleur with ten riders. Bonfleur is always great, the course is evolving all the time and we can school a very mixed group together. The weather was very kind to us and everyone had a fantastic day. The fake ducks in the water caused us a fair bit of drama but everyone got their feet wet in the end thankfully!

Tinka has gone home for four months and in her place we have the four year old unbacked Jasmine to play with. It has been a bit of a shock for her being at a new place and looking out onto a very different yard routine. That and the fact that Martin had boots, a roller, and a bridle on and lunged her on day one. On day two he leant over her and by the end of week one he had sat on her and had a walk around the school. That’s the easy bit done and now the hard work of educating her starts! On Saturday Louisa’s groom Ellie was working, and she had to go out to the far end of the field to check that Jasmine was OK. She was laying on her front with her head and neck stretched out forward on her chin in a most unusual position and Ellie was starting to panic. No need, she had crashed out sleeping!

Ehren and I decided to head off to Stilebridge BD; her first outing in three months with me being so busy during the Summer and also since getting a bit worried by the Hickstead Masters Semi-final and the Regionals at Addington. She knows Stilebridge and it is a lovely relaxed venue so I was hoping for a nice day out for her to boost her confidence. I was absolutely delighted that she won both the Novices overall with two scores in the 70% club. What a superstar girlie she is! I keep saying this but I have a renewed plan of getting her out and about to different places this autumn/winter to see a little more of the world.

On Saturday we were back at Bedgebury for the first of the winter series of jump clinics. A great day with loads of happy riders, including a few new faces which is always nice. The highlight of my day was the way that Lily behaved and jumped for Martin. Now I know there are bound to be lots more ups and downs but she was starting to look a lot more confident and quite the smart little ginger thing.

Yesterday I was at the BD Trainers Forum at the College Equestrian Centre, Keysoe. Alas I spent seven hours in traffic there and back and only about five hours at Keysoe. The M25 is a nightmare at the moment. Puts you off leaving home as living as we do almost on the hard shoulder it is hard to get anywhere without using it! It was an interesting day with three of the trainers having very different approaches.  There is always something to take away and possibly the message this time for me was that there is more than one way to skin a cat, so long as the skinned cat is what we are all working towards.

Coming up I have a lesson with Char, another trip out for Ehren but this time to the much busier and bigger Oldencraig where she has never been before, more work on Jasmine, and hopefully I can drag Martin and Lily out SJ schooling somewhere……watch this space!

October 8, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Festival goers rule!

Wowee! What a great weekend; fantastic results from the Area Festivals from Morgan and Debbie seeing them qualified for the BD Winter Championships in Prelim (Morgan and Henry), Novice (Morgan and Smurf) and Elementary (Debbie and Jazz). I am so chuffed, three horses through to the Champs, wow!

At fairly short notice I was not needed at Pony Club camp so a few text messages later and I had routine teaching organised around gridwork, SJ schooling and XC schooling. I don’t often have gridwork clinics but this was really popular and proved to be very worthwhile so perhaps something I should do more often. We had three SJ sessions at Eaglesfield, all proving to be very productive. It is always great to practise around a course away from home. Then two XC sessions; one at Bull Farm and one at Lockskinners with a real mixture of riders from first-timers to more experienced competitors.

During all this running around I have Dita back for schooling and for introducing her to jumping. I thought that I would introduce Ehren to the idea too in the hope that it might make her more brave. Dita has taken everything in her stride, is not at all bothered or at all spooky, generally has a real sensible head on her shoulders. Ehren has been utterly remedial, stopping dead in horror and spinning 180 degrees at the sight of a nine inch cross-pole! Dear God, what made me think this was a good idea…..

We had a great camp at Adds Farm organised by Sarah Glynn. They had some lovely hacks on the beautiful Ashdown Forest interspersed with flatwork and jumping lessons with me. Everyone had a fabulous time, and were thoroughly spoilt by Sue. This venue worked really well and Sarah has already provisionally booked two more weekends for 2014.

As expected my first Char lesson in months with Ehren was absolutely exhausting. Ehren is now in her teenage years and is being a little frustrating to say the least (no need to comment thankyou mother). Char spent much of the lesson trying to make me see the effort would be worth it while I swore at Ehren under my breath. I nearly slit my wrists when she said ‘you know she may be like this for three years’….three years?!

Tinka and Martin went to Firle BE100 and we bumped into Jules and Libby who were there for the BE90. It was a lovely day in the sunshine and this year Martin was not bucked off in the lorry park, bonus! Jules and Libby jumped a super SJ round but Libby wasn’t overly keen on getting wet so they picked up a couple of stops at the water in the XC. I don’t think I have ever seen such a big and technical BE90, but they were foot perfect everywhere else and I was very proud. Just some water schooling required before their next outing!

We then had another Char lesson and I am pleased to say that Ehren was more  co-operative (probably due to the grilling I gave her the day before!). I almost enjoyed myself and Char seemed relieved. I think the previous week she was worried that I would give her away to the first person showing an interest. At one point she had asked ‘you do love her?’ I think I probably had ‘that look’ on my face!

While we were jumping at Carmen Court for the last clinic of the summer, Martin and Tinka went off to BE Goring for their first Novice of the year and last event of the season. She had an early run out but on a course where half the fences were skinny she seemed to gain confidence as she went and finished up locking on and assessing the questions much better than before. Excellent, everyone very pleased with the girl!

Tinka is going home for a holiday and in her place we have her full sister Jasmine coming to stay who is four years old and unbacked. Hard to believe but she comes with the reputation as having plenty of ‘personality and attitude’…..oh and in case I forgot to mention, she is also 17 hands and currently built like a bullock.

September 9, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vee haf vays!

Busy, busy busy! I think I mentioned that I had a Connemara in for schooling ‘Rolo’. Well that was a short but intensive two weeks while his mum was on holiday.  He came on in leaps and bounds in that time culminating in a lesson with his owner Jenny grinning from ear to ear “I don’t believe this is the same horse”. Always great to hear, hopefully they will head out for their dressage debut sometime soon!

Lexie has had her next scan and all looks good. Fingers crossed there, very exciting. The young Millie has changed enormously and looks very much the weedy scraggy yearling, a real contrast to the buxom foal that she was! Lots of you are asking about Little Lexi; she is on holiday and being left for a while to mature. We are in no rush and both physically and mentally I think she would benefit from more time. She is a real baby at only just four and has already hunted and jumped her first baby course of fences before coming to us.

Tinka went to Chilham for the BE100 and delighted us with a great dressage test and clear XC to finish up 7th. If you remember Martin parted company from her there in the spring so we were particularly keen to see how she would go. Next event for her will be Firle BE100 and then hopefully she will have a go at a Novice at Goring. Gulp.

From the showing side Stacey and Queenie had a great weekend qualifying for the Great Bookham Sunshine Tour winning their Novice Ridden Showing and Ridden Mountain and Moorland. Unfortunately a sandwich distracted the girl (Queenie, not Stacey!) in her Workers but still managed a 5th place and ended up Reserve Ridden Champion. I am so pleased with the improvement in this pair.

Showing diva Morgan has also been out with Smurf side saddle. At Aintree they were Lady Champions meaning they get to escort the winner of the Topham Chase at Aintree in 2014 into the winners’ enclosure in front of Channel 4 Racing, plus get kitted out in a new habit. Cool prize! Then onto the National Championships; this was her first year in the Open Adult classes so brace yourselves – SSA Open Equitation Champion, Amateur Champion, and Reserve Reserve (3rd) Rider of the Year, also winning the Small Hunter, Open Working Hunter and was Reserve Hunter Champion. She’s not very good at it, not sure why she bothers…

Morgan had also qualified both Henry and Smurf for the BD Summer Regionals but due to all her other commitments decided that the Area Festivals would be easier later in the year. Ehren got the go ahead from the vets on the Monday to go to the Addington Regionals on the Friday. She was very much lacking match practise having not been out for three months but even surprised me with just how awful she was. Spooking at the markers and arena boards like she had never seen them, so six and a half hours in traffic for Ehren to be a plonker; great! Well Ehren my dear ‘vee haf vays of making you verk’!

Dita has just arrived back at Carmen Court for four weeks schooling and also to introduce her to jumping. While I am doing this I have decided to start Ehren off too. I have a feeling I have been a little soft with her (‘awwww, bless her she’s had a bad eye’) and that I may be in trouble next time I see Char so I think a little jumping will focus my mind on whether she is really off my leg!

Loads of you were at Lodge Farm for the Riding Club one day event on Sunday. Mark and Harvey were 5th, Sarah and George 6th, Philippa completed her first ever ODE and Emma did me very proud indeed by taking it on after a 24 year pause. So very chuffed.

I hate to say it but Autumn is in our sights; there is a chill in the mornings now with dew on the grass and we only have one more jumping clinic at Carmen Court before moving to Bedgebury.  Must nearly be time for a holiday!

August 15, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No retiring the old man!

On the dressage front Debbie and Jasmine have been plugging away at their BD Mediums in order to get qualified for the Area Festivals. We more commonly see Tina and Percy at the jumping clinics but Percy’s sharer Sue has done her first few dressage outings and recently won her Prelim with 66.1% at Speedgate. This is a fantastic result and put a big smile on my face. Taking our time and having a system in place has really reaped its rewards. Competitions were banned for months and months, and now they are ready and really having fun.

We took a small group including Lily and Tinka to Lodge Farm for a XC school. Emma, Sarah and Jules joined us with Jules specifically wanting to get a better idea of the BE90 pace. Tinka looked much improved, Lily however had another ginger hormonal tantrum. I hadn’t realised but it was three weeks since Lucy’s school fence got a kicking. This time, and I kid you not, she hurled herself off the bank at Lodge Farm backwards. Martin just sat there. Lily you have no idea how stubborn he is. Seriously, give it up girl!

Fantastic news from Tinka; following her great run at Brightling it was Iping BE100 last weekend. Not a favourite venue of mine (although Martin loves it) and everything she has been struggling with. I walked the course and thought what a huge test it would be for her; hilly, twisty, spooky, ditchy and almost impossible to make the time. So on a scorching Sunday afternoon she stormed around it, was totally confident and fairly close to the time to WIN! Hoo-hah!! A win! Crikey, they don’t come along very often. As a one-horse working amateur rider getting a win is a serious achievement. We can count them on one hand in all Martin’s many (sorry Martin but I haven’t got over the commentator at South of England saying you first competed there in 1979!) years of eventing – there was a brilliant win in the Poplar Park Novice 2006 on a seven year old Lexie, again on Lexie at Eridge in the Pre Novice 2004, and ten years ago to the day on Debbie Garland’s Mannie at Iping in the Pre Novice 2003. So no retiring the old man, he has promised to carry on kicking!

In all this heat I have a rather overweight but otherwise lovely Connemara in for two weeks intensive schooling called Rolo. I think the poor fellow is wondering what on earth happened (as are my legs!). He is a friend of my favourite little man Dylan, and Dylan had better watch out as I am working on making Rolo a fellow Chelsham and Bromley Riding Club dressage contender! Another schooler ‘Dita’ has just posted her first win; it’s all getting rather competitive!

I have entered Ehren for the Addington Regionals. They are the last one this year, giving her eye the longest possible time to clear up. It does look better but is slow progress and the oedema is still there, albeit smaller. I have started to ride her this week in her fly mask. Quite the fashion aficionada she is…..I do feel for her in this heat though, it must be SO itchy.

Coming up Tinka has Chilham BE100, Ehren may or may not have the Regionals, and we have jumping clinics at Adds Farm, White House and Carmen Court. Dita is coming back to Carmen Court for a month and we have the added challenge of introducing her to some jumping, I have camps at Adds Farm and Ardingly, and I think it will be nice to squeeze in a few days off for Hickstead and Edenbridge. Ah the madness of summer!

July 25, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, 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

The Ginger Bullet

Well the silly season has certainly arrived. I have been really busy with private teaching and clinics and also lots of Riding Club stuff too.

Tinka Chilham BE100Tinka and Martin went to Chilham BE100. After yet another show-jumping clear it became apparent that Tinka was still feeling unsure about ditches after Ardingly. Unfortunately this didn’t become clear until Martin was flying over her head! Off to Lodge Farm for some ditch schooling and with their breakdown in communications sorted they were off to Keysoe BE100 the next day. Another show-jumping clear (I will never be bored of saying that!) but he had fired her up a little too much before the XC and although she jumped all the ditches she was really strong running past a fence . Otherwise she was on flying form so onto Borde Hill BE100 next, fingers crossed she is back on track.

Also at Chilham BE was Jules and Libby who were 5th in their second BE 80, and Gill Miller who was 7th in the BE 90. Great stuff! Libby was as green as grass when she came to her first jumping clinic with me and Gill didn’t believe me when I said she should be aiming for 90s. Really chuffed for them both.

Dita has been progressing really well. It is less like skidding off-course on a shopping trolley and more like the first baby steps towards a walk and trot dressage test. She hasn’t put a hoof out of place.

Having only been back for two weeks we then decamped to Norfolk for another five day break. We were really lucky with the weather and had a super time with lots of doggy walks and visits to the coastal pubs. Can someone please explain to me how Martin can drink as many pints as he likes and if I drink two glasses of wine at lunchtime I look like someone has been blowing up my belly with a bicycle pump. It’s so unfair!!!

Back to work with a vengeance, we had a Carmen Court jumping clinic on the Saturday. Morning slots were to be recommended as it rained cats and dogs in the afternoon.

The dressage divas had a good day at Hadlow BD; Mark Powell and the huge Harvey won their Prelim with Morgan and the tiny Henry in 3rd (would love to have a photo of them standing together!!). Then Morgan won her Novice on Smurf with a cracking 70.3%. She has also (we think) qualified for the Summer Regionals – wooooooooo!

Despite being very underworked due to my holidays Ehren is off to Speedgate BD. This is also a new venue for her. In her few outings over the winter she has qualified for the Southern Hickstead Masters Semi-Final. I have decided to compete there to give her a taste for the bigger atmosphere and busier venues. She won’t qualify for the Summer Regionals this year but it will stand her in good stead for the future.

Tinka is off to Borde Hill for the BE100, then I’m not sure which two choices of Mattingley, Rackham and Eridge. However, bigger than any Ehren or Tinka outing is the unveiling of the Ginger Bullet. We are not sure quite how it will go (no standing martingale allowed!) but Lily is off to a RC ODE at Coombelands. Gulp! She has XC schooled twice and jumped at the clinic at home like a star. Flatwork progress is more tricky but we wouldn’t have ever dreamed of a May event so in itself that shows you how far she has come. It’s a very big training day for Lily.

I have also been trying to persuade Martin that we need some more four-legged friends in our life….. Lexie has already had a date with something posted to her from boyfriend Med Night Mahout….quite the handsome fellow he is. I also had in mind something that might make a nice event pony but progress has been slow….I must find a way around this….I wonder if I can bribe him with a puppy?!

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whistling like a kettle

I can’t believe a whole month has passed since my last update. We’ve been pretty busy with the horses but have also managed to escape to Suffolk for a few days with the dogs for a lovely non-horsey break.

Over Easter ‘Dylan the SuperDude’ came to stay. He has come such a long way since last summer, Michelle has done a great job and it was very easy for me to give him a two week top-up, tweak the canter and send him on his way ready for his dressage debut. He is a total charmer and everyone on the yard misses his big white face looking over the stable door. My legs on the other hand breathed a sigh of relief; he is pretty wide and walking like John Wayne is never a good look! Check him out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E76k3mWRQI

Tinka and Martin headed off to South of England BE100 for what turned out to be a learning experience…..Martin committed the cardinal sin of listening to the XC commentary and changing his mind on how to ride the ditch to skinny. Tinka likes to be ridden to a fence and Martin didn’t, so it wasn’t the skinny that caused him a problem but the ditch! Ah, so easy in hindsight and we never stop learning. He won’t do that again though!

Dylan and Michelle stay for the jumping clinicWe had the first Carmen Court jumping clinic of the year and for the first time ever I got soaked! A good day though with lots of new faces and everyone going home happy. Even Lily and Martin jumped a few fences…

I think I mentioned that I had handed the reins over to Martin. Although she has been more robust since seeing Jose she still had put the wind up me. I am perfectly happy to admit it. You don’t see it coming, you have no idea what is going to happen next and by the time you catch your breath you don’t know which way is up and your heart is beating hard in your mouth! Within two weeks of him taking over she had broken his nose. The middle bit (septum?) is now loose and he whistles like a kettle!! It was though, a bit of a turning point….in an effort to stop her rearing he has put her in a standing martingale and this appears to be doing the trick. They even went XC schooling to Bonfleur last weekend……fingers crossed that we can show her how much fun life is…..

Lily having fun at BonfleurWe had a brilliant day in the sunshine at Bonfleur on Sunday. I had 18 to teach and we had such good fun. Really great to see so many smiles!

Jasmine and Debbie have been out doing some BD Mediums. I hear news that Tiny and Clare jumped their socks off at the British Riding Club National Championships and their Dartford and District RC team came 4th.  Mark Powell has been out and about flying around posting clear rounds, including a brilliant double clear and dressage score of 30 at the unaffiliated Tweseldown 80 recently – top banana!

Ehren had got quite worried about working with other horses so we changed our plan and worked on developing her confidence at home. I came back from Suffolk ready to get some entries in only to find she had capped her hock doing something silly in her bedroom. Argh!

I currently have a nice five year old Dimaggio mare called Dita in for schooling. She was backed last year I think but has not been in work much since so it’s like riding a shopping trolley at the moment! She seems keen to learn though, is terribly sweet, and I do love them as babies.  Shall keep you posted!

April 26, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dressage Divas!

So after three months left to our own devices Ehren and I had a long overdue Char lesson. Back in November she had got very tight in her back after all her teeth problems so I hadn’t booked another lesson giving me time to do all the usual vet checks, chiro, massage and even a new saddle (ouch!). She has felt much better for a while so I was very much hoping for a thumbs up. Big smile, apparently it’s time to crack on! Really pleased but most pleasing was that without resorting to thumb screws or kneecapping she said……out loud….. that my hands were better! Woooooooo!

We then had another busy Bedgebury jumping clinic and Tinka and Martin went to the pre-season Combined Training at Munstead. This is a great opportunity to ride on grass before the eventing season starts and knock off the rust. Usually you leave reminded of how not to ride!

Tinka and Martin warm up in the mud Tweseldown BE100Next up was Tweseldown BE100. The internet was full of horror stories about how wet it was on the Friday but fortunately for us Tinka is not at all fazed by a bit of mud (and there was quite a bit!) and Martin has hunted enough not to give a monkeys either. The Tweseldown organisers made an amazing effort moving the SJ warm-up, SJ arena and some of the XC fences. She was an absolute superstar finishing on her dressage score of 35.5 and getting a third place. Top start to the season!

Over the last few weeks we have been making an effort to ride Lily again. This has not been plain sailing and Lily has made not very gentle suggestions that she would rather not. I have to admit that I have bailed out and Martin has taken over, but with her being so unhappy I decided to take her down to see the chiropractor and vet Jose Gomez-Garcia for his opinion. Lily it appears, had a few reasons to be upset. Following 9 months of rehabilitation, regular physio and osteo, Jose still had his work cut out. Fingers crossed for the little ginger one that he can work some kind of magic….

I am so chuffed….in two separate outings Jasmine and Kevin have gained their first point and first win at BD Medium. This is a huge achievement; only something like 12% of all registered horses have Medium points but when you take into account that just over two years ago they were struggling at Novice this is a real wow moment. Kevin is a lovely chap but not entirely straight forward to train and Jas has made a huge difference to his way of going. Onwards and upwards!

Talking of dressage divas, Morgan went to Hadlow BD with both boys; won the Prelim with little Henry on 70.4% and won the Novice with Smurf. Then today she was strutting her stuff at Bedgebury BD winning the Prelim and Novice on Smurf with both scores in the 70% club – what superstars!!

Also out today was Sue from Louisa’s yard on Tina’s Percy who they share. Only their second outing but a win at Stilebridge in a Prelim, great stuff and most importantly Sue is starting to enjoy her competing. The psychological side of things is something we regularly work on. With me being ever so touchy feely and patient it often starts with “For God’s sake Sue, what on earth are you thinking?!”

Ehren - Bedgebury BDI too have been trotting circles with Ehren at Bedgebury BD today in the freezing cold. I was really pleased that she was much more relaxed than her last outing with Tinka, not quite off the aids but a nice day out was what we needed and that’s exactly what we got. She was second in both classes and I am hoping I will be able to ask for a little more next time. A day for building blocks!

Unfortunately Munstead BE100 has been cancelled tomorrow so no run for Tinka until South of England in a few weeks. Ehren has another Char lesson and some more dressage outings planned to see if we can get her more confident in the arena. If you remember the little welshie Dylan, he is coming for two weeks schooling again for his Easter holidays, so cool to have a pony to play with!

March 23, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , | 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