Janine Lamy

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

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

Why the long face?

Just after it happened

Just after it happened

Well you just don’t know what is around the corner. Four weeks ago I was kicked in the face when picking out a horse’s feet. He left me with three fractures so I have been trying to take it easy, and am still not back to full speed. All things considered I am very lucky that it wasn’t any worse. Everyone has been amazing; Louisa and Martin have picked up most of the work but also people have been great helping with jumps so that I have been able to do a little bit of jump teaching on top of the flatwork stuff which is easier and initially was done from a chair! Poor Louisa will need a holiday after a month of doing all my mucking out. Plus, I am incredibly lucky that Martin has managed to keep Ehren and Lexi ticking over. He doesn’t speak much German and almost no ‘Ehren’ so occasionally there have been problems in communications and twice he has been seriously told off, including finding himself clinging for dear life onto a bucking bronco who was heading home from a hack with or without him while he had lost both stirrups, ahem. Lexi has been loads better since her hoof abscess and seems to be having fun and not being too cheeky. Hunting seems to be doing her the world of good; she is even better on the flat. I think he quite likes this one! Then there is their neighbour…. Every time he leads either of them out of the yard to ride there is one hell of a ginger tantrum. Lily has not been happy. There will be hell to pay.

A nice bruise the day after!

A nice bruise the day after!

So talking of Ginge, she had three weeks of box rest then Martin started to walk her in hand. In true Lily style she regularly waved her belly at him (I assume she wanted him to check the progress of the sarcoids under there?). The Spanish Riding School? Pah! Then with some trepidation I decided it was time to take her stitches out as they didn’t dissolve. I couldn’t bend down at that point but hoped that Lily and I had an understanding. Indeed she stood like a statue while I sat on a stool next to her plucking at them. Bless her I thought as I took the stall, scissors and tweezers out of the stable. Crash! Opportunity seized (she was tied up but the door was open behind me), Lily broke loose, galloped straight out of her stable to her field and galloped and galloped and galloped…..”sucker!”. Since then she is back to a normal routine, was lunged for two weeks to see how the wound under her girth would cope, and is now back in quiet work. Lily has 2016 in her sights.

Martin and Lexi at Heaverham

Martin and Lexi at Heaverham

Martin took Little Lexi to the Coakham Bloodhounds meet at the St Clere Estate in Heaverham. True to her nickname she dragged him about for a few hours having the best time jumping both timber and hedges. Fingers crossed that she is getting bolder; she seemed braver when we took her to Four Elms to school over some showjumps there.

The December Four Elms clinic went really well. Unfortunately I had to cancel the November one as I was spaced out at East Grinstead waiting for an operation that eventually they decided against doing. We have done a bit of jump schooling at Duckhurst and Eaglesfield but I had to admit defeat and not make the drive to Hartpury for the BD National Convention. I have cancelled all planned Char lessons for the rest of the year as I am not yet riding, plus dressage outings had to be postponed with Lexi, Lottie and Ehren. Thank goodness I got Ehren qualified for the Regionals!

In my absence the dressage divas have all been doing a fantastic job. Mark was second in his Prelim at Hadlow BD and 4th at Eaglesfield BD. Stacey did her first ever BD Novice at Stilebridge and won, and won a very large Prelim section at Eaglesfield BD. Morgan won the Elementary at Hadlow BD on Henry and was 2nd at Eaglesfield BD, winning it on Smurf. Plus news from (big) Lexie; she and Beverly won their Dressage to Music Elementary at Merrist Wood and qualified for the Regionals! Yee Hah! Best medicine ever!!  Plus I can’t help but point out that list consists of a part shire, a welshie, a 12.2h gypsy cob and a TB. Who says you need a warmblood to do dressage…..

Looking forward our pre-season XC schooling dates at Munstead, Littleton Manor and Tweseldown are all organised. Jump schooling at Saddlesdane and BlueBarn is in the diary, plus a possible Christmas dressage date. Small matter of my knee to sort out, but the shortest day isn’t far away now….

December 6, 2015 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

On a hamster wheel

Crikey the girls are a bit wild at the moment….don’t you just love January and February. The dentist has been, vaccinations done, we are all set ready to go!

Lexie's stable upside down

Lexie’s stable upside down

Many of you will have seen on Facebook that one very windy and wet night (big) Lexie’s stable blew away. How she wasn’t hurt is a complete mystery, but she suffered nothing more than a freezing cold wet night in soggy stable rugs. It was a mobile stable on earth, and the message I happily send out is not to trust them. It had rotted skids and blew straight over. If this happens to your field shelter the chances are that you horse will not be in it. A stable is a different matter.

Jasmine sees XC jumps for the first time

Jasmine sees XC jumps for the first time

We took a lorry load to Coombelands for some Arena Eventing schooling. Lily had a fat leg (only mud fever it turned out), so at the last minute we dragged (big) Lexie along with Jasmine and Little Lexi. All girls jumped really well. Big Lexie was delirious to be out again, Little Lexi was somewhat distracted by horses using the gallops but jumped really well, and Jasmine was amazeballs. She is such a smart pony.

Jasmine and I discuss tactics!

Jasmine and I discuss tactics!

Next up we took three girls to Stilebridge BD. Ehren was rather bright in her Elementaries; a whole host of fours in the first test as she leapt about like Batman. She still managed 64% so not too shabby. Less ‘Ka-pow’moments in the second test for 68% and two blue frillies. I am so pleased to be out partying with her again. Also at Stilebridge that day was Jasmine with Kevin. He went the best I have ever seen him go and she went home with a great big grin and a red and blue frillie. Not a bad day at the office!

Jasmine's first BD outing

Jasmine’s first BD outing

Back at Stilebridge BD the next day it was the turn of (big) Lexie and Jasmine in the Prelims. We wanted to see how Lexie would react being out again so that we could loan her with as much current knowledge as possible. She won both tests. Good answer Lexie! Young Jasmine was always going to be green compared to the other horses and as it turned out quite feisty in the cold too, but still showed some really nice work and will be stunning later on.

Little Lexi went for another loose school at Sally’s; her little indoor schooling barn resembling something out of a handy pony show with plastic hanging over jumps, water trays everywhere, cuddly toys, you name it! I have also been filling the school at home like this. Ever popular with the liveries!!! Just recently we went back for a ridden lesson and this followed the same vein; we are in spook busting mode!

Little Lexi in her flatwork lesson

Little Lexi in her flatwork lesson

Char came up for the first flatwork lessons of the year. I was called a ‘curb crawler’ and made to tie my bottom rein in a knot and not allowed to pick it up for the whole of Ehren’s lesson! We were working on my position in the half pass, so I can help rather than hinder my pony. Should be easier than I found it, plus a revelation that I was riding the Dutch way and my pony has been reading all the German books….for goodness sake! The Black Bomber also got to play, literally, as we need to keep her mind occupied at the moment….bless the little cutie!

Emma schooling at Munstead

Emma schooling at Munstead

We were all very disappointed that LMEQ was closed due to snow for the first XC school of the year, but a week later we got out to Munstead. It was a lovely sunny day and the ground was amazing. Lily was fabulous, Little Lexi also had her sensible head on and was a very brave bold girl, and Big Lexie was on fire popping everything like she had never had a break. Plus a group of 80/90 riders all knocking the rust off with a big grin.

We ‘think’ Tinka has qualified for the BE National Restricted Novice Championship Final at The Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe. Wow! Fingers crossed, we’re off to Gatcombe! Get your mini-bus booked!

I have recently had groups at BlueBarn and Eaglesfield, plus the regular SJ day at Four Elms. Only one more indoor date, then we are back to Carmen Court so surely that means springtime?!

I have made the difficult decision that we do not have time for Lamy camp this year but I am doing three camps at Adds Farm again. http://www.holidayswithyourhorse.co.uk/news/janine-lamy-adult-camps-at-adds-farm-in-june-and-august-2015

Some brilliant news to start the year; we are now product ambassadors for Equilibrium Products. We have used their boots for years and look forward to trying out some new products too. Now that we have a few horses on the go, every penny saved helps and this will make a big difference. We are delighted.

Coming up we have more Char lessons, Lily and Big Lexie are off to the Merrist Wood JAS90, Little Lexi is off to Duckhurst, Tinka is coming home, more XC schooling at LMEQ, and before we know it we will have a lorry load at the pre-season Munstead combined training. And breathe….

I do feel a bit like we are on a Hamster wheel that we can’t get off but am very much looking forward to getting the horses up and running for 2015. You know you are tired when you find yourself using haylage for bedding instead of straw!

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swing low sweet chariot

So what have we been up to? Well Jasmine has continued to improve over the eight weeks she has been with us. She has been for her first solo hack and her first session jumping under saddle was particularly impressive. She was totally unfazed and very bold but also showed a super natural technique. I would say what a clever pony but I think we will hold on the Mensa application….once she settled in she quickly earned the status of ‘nice but dim’. Just recently she has started using her water bucket as a foot spa, regularly standing with her backside in the corner of the stable and one leg in the bucket. Albert Einstein she is not!

On the subject of jumping I have started to jump Ehren again. This is in no way impressive as she is not at all bold. However, I do believe it is good for her!

The dressage divas have been on top form….Sue and Percy from the yard and Stacey and Queenie headed to Eaglesfield. Both scorched into the 70% club in their Prelim and were 3rd and 2nd respectively in a class of 29! That same day Hadlow BD was on and Mark and Harvey had their first run as fully fledged BD members and came 2nd in the Prelim. Morgan was there too with Henry and Smurf in the Elementary, getting a 5th with Henry and a 2nd with Smurf and another 70% club score. Wowsers!

Lily and Martin had their first flatwork lesson with Damian. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go and watch but it sounds like she was a superstar and didn’t put a hoof out of place (proud mummy!). Damian said she was really nice, moves really well and has an amazing hind leg and hock action. The plan of action is to now teach her to be better balanced. Yesterday she was attacked by a dog whilst on a hack. It ran at her from about 100m, leapt up at her and tried grabbing her saddle cloth and flanks. She reared and span, Martin fell off but managed to keep hold of her, and on her first attempt and without pausing to think she then booted it in the head and kicked it into the distance as if she’d run out at Twickenham and had a thing or two to show Jonny Wilkinson. Martin was horrified as it appeared to be dead. He said it dropped like a stone and was laying on the floor for a good 3 or 4 minutes before it moved. Fortunately it had a muzzle on so hadn’t hurt her and she was totally unfazed standing there half asleep watching it regain consciousness. Thank goodness it got up and trotted away looking OK. I appreciate the dog was totally in the wrong but I don’t think we need to add ‘Killer of Dogs’ to Lily’s ever growing CV! Never a dull moment eh….

A week or so ago I took the opportunity of a spare hour and some dry weather to do some loading practise with Jasmine. She was very good, not at all worried. With this done she is threatening a trip to the next Bedgebury jumping clinic and some dressage after Christmas.

Talking of dressage, Ehren and I went to Oldencraig BD for more practise indoors and her first Elementary. Not long after we unloaded her someone walked up the carpark with a pushchair, fair enough you would think. Luckily for my father I had just taken her off him when she totally lost the plot and bronced around the carpark with me clinging to the end of the leadrope! Everyone else seemed to be staring like time had stood still! It didn’t get much better in the warm-up with reasons for silliness everywhere, and her Novice test started with a 3 and a 4…..thankfully she settled more for the Elementary and did a calm, if rather fragile test to win her section with 66.2%. A day of ups and downs but I can’t complain about her first attempt at Elementary! Also at Oldencraig were Jasmine (the person) and Debbie. I was particularly chuffed for Jasmine; she and Kevin got their best score to date in their Medium with 64% – this combination were struggling at Prelim and Novice a few years back. They have had some journey!

Little Lexi looks like a little black furrball so has had her first junior haircut so that work can begin. I have just started lunging her in the last week or so…..will get some pictures of the new girl starting work for next time….

On Saturday I was at the BD National Convention with Adelinde Cornelissen as host. I find it a long day driving up to Hartpury but always worth it. This year Adelinde’s message was very straightforward and easy to understand. One of the things she focussed on was the rider’s responsibility to the horse; being fitter both mentally and physically. We expect if from our steeds yet so often it is lacking from our side. Oh dear, am I soon to be found watching the telly balanced on my knees on a pilates ball, juggling cheese and biscuits whilst trying not to spill my wine?!

November 25, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Team Lamy win!

Ehren at Step Aside BDAs part of getting Ehren out to some different venues we headed off to Royal Leisure for Step Aside BD. Let’s say right here at the beginning it was not the rider’s finest day (hangs head in shame).  Ehren was a little tense and jittery in the first warm up but not as worried as her previous outing which was great. She then was quite rightly rather shocked to have two (?!) men on crutches at A during her test, what on earth?! Getting her relaxed and enjoying the experience is my priority at the moment so I made the decision to use my voice and give her a pat or two, therefore losing two marks which was fine. Unfortunately I then went wrong, losing another four marks! Thankfully the good bits at the C end helped us earn 68.08% and 3rd even with 6 points deducted. The next test was indoors and she was quite a lot more relaxed, doing a much nicer test and winning on 68.93% Confession time though…. I forgot the first halt (groan) and so lost two marks (is this getting like Groundhog Day?!) To add insult to injury I even took a wrong turn on the way home!!  My mistakes aside, I was really pleased with how she coped and dead chuffed with how the second test looked on the video. Still lots to improve of course but she has come a long way. I am becoming very fond of Ehren, she is a little star and such a sweetie.

Then in contrast to the calm of Thursday was the hustle and bustle of taking The Stinka to Merrist Wood for the JAS on Saturday. She hadn’t quite got her head around this class in January so we took the opportunity to jump in two classes this time and it very much paid off. She was really starting to look for the next fence and think ahead.  I do love it when a plan comes together!

Family challenge winner!Martin and Tinka Stilebridge BD So then the big day came. The Martin v Janine dressage challenge at Stilebridge BD….dum dum darrrr! It was absolutely freezing, it snowed, and frankly anyone there must have been certifiably bonkers. Then there was Ehren. Did I say ‘little star’ and ‘sweetie’?! Uhum. What a total pain in the neck she was travelling with a companion for the first (and last!) time. She tried to climb out over the partition when Tinka was unloaded, she spent the whole day yelling her head off, she even started napping and rearing – my sweet little girl turned into a monster! Not surprisingly her tests were very difficult to ride, Tinka was distracted by all the noise, and the other competitors sharing the warm-up with me couldn’t wait for me to go home! We certainly did not bother the leaders but the challenge was only between the two of us and Ehren came up trumps. Team Lamy were victorious! One of those days that is so hideous you spend it laughing. Nutters!

Also at Stilebridge BD showing us what dressage is supposed to look like was Morgan. She got 70.43% in the first Prelim for second with the little Henry, won the second Prelim with 70.91% on Smurf, and won her Restricted Novice on Smurf. A clear case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ if ever there was!! She also won her Prelim at Bedgebury BD with Smurf, and picked up a 3rd in the Novice. Fingers crossed they can keep plugging away and get their Regional qualification before their busy side-saddle season starts again.

It’s very early days but I have been sitting on Lily and riding her around the yard. All fingers, paws and hooves crossed but only time will tell. I plan to take it very slowly and see how we go.

Coming up I have a Char lesson with Ehren, there is another busy Bedgebury jumping clinic, Tinka goes to the pre-season Combined Training at Munstead, then woo-hoo Tweseldown BE100 is the week after for Tinka, Ehren has some more checks on her teeth issues, I am off to the BD Judges Convention, Ehren has some more dressage practise at Bedgebury and Stilebridge, and Tinka finishes the month at Munstead BE100. And breathe!

February 24, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Savege, or savage? It’s all in the name….

As I write this several ponies are still on the naughty step, and not all of them are mine. What on earth is going to happen if it rains and we get a flush of grass?!

We had a lovely Carmen Court jumping clinic. We were blessed with sun again, and it was great to see some new faces, some returning faces, and of course my regulars. We worked through exercises on riding accurate lines, although I think the emphasis for some seemed to be staying on! There is definitely something in the air at the moment!

While we were jumping at Carmen Court, Martin took Otto for a last minute XC school to Lodge Farm and then both Otto and Tinka headed off to their first unaffiliated ODE at Nurstead on the Sunday. They both contested the 90cm class, and did Martin proud. Otto got best dressage in his arena and finished 4th. Tinka belied her experience, took everything in her stride and finished up 2nd – top effort, she looked so smart!

Returning to Carmen Court Tinka and Lily were kicked out full-time for a week while the concrete outside our three stables was replaced. Harry moved onto the main yard, was put behind bars and a notice went up ‘Please stay away‘. First morning and a huge hole in the wall had appeared. You can imagine how much trouble I am in! In his defence I think he may have got cast and put both front feet through the wall but he seems to prefer the Bad Boy version of events. The Ginga Ninga and her mate were a total utter hysterical pair of drama queens, suddenly welded at the hip. Eventually they settled, and now are out at night for the summer so that some of Louisa’s paddocks can be rested and I can save money on fuel. I’m also hoping that Lily will get over her Spring Madness more quickly, so far so good but it’s very early days!

Harry was off to Tweseldown BE100 yesterday. Unfortunately he seems to be feeling the ground and although he got an amazing score for his dressage he wasn’t happy show-jumping and I decided not to run him XC. He has been a total pain in the neck at home and I also wonder if in all his bucking and thrashing about he has hurt his back. So a few things to check out and some rain needed before we run again. Back to his dressage, maybe I should frame the sheet – he got 22.5 (77.5%), best dressage in his arena, loads of 8s and three 9s. Bless him, he really tried his best. If you saw what he was like at home you wouldn’t think it possible. I rode him in sitting trot for the first time and found I could balance him through the test much better.

The quote from Gail Le Milliere’s daughter on Saturday “you haven’t had one of those in ages mummy”…and what was she talking about? A red rosette! After years, literally, of struggling with a very tense horse, Gail won her Elementary at Speedgate BD. Hurrah! This is a story of perseverance, and yes there have been times when giving up seemed sensible….Hettie now has a different feed regime, a different warm-up routine and a different bridle. And it worked!

On Sunday I did a jumping clinic at Chelsfield Equestrian Centre before heading off to Bedgebury for the afternoon. One of those joining in was Caroline Savege. All I can say is that I will be keeping my distance in future. I rushed to her rescue by grabbing her mount as she found herself sitting on her neck. What did I get for my trouble? She swiped me across my eye at full pelt with her jumping whip! Yeouch, did that smart – I was only trying to help! Half blind I limped off to Bedgebury for a fantastic clinic, indoors due to the hard ground, and just as well because it turned out to be windy and wet. Quite a lot of new faces, and everyone did a grand job. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

While I was there I had a call from Kate Lawson, back from travelling around New Zealand and Australia on Monday, new horse purchased Sunday. I do love a new baby to play with….

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment