Janine Lamy

Dressage divas and hedge hoppers

Lily practising her dressage

Lily practising her dressage

Well I have to say the dressage divas have been out in force this month! Morgan and Smurf qualified for the BD National Winter Championships through the Area Festival class at Elementary, Ehren qualified for the Winter Regionals at Elementary Open, Andrea and Blue qualified for the unaffiliated Hickstead Championships with a 70% club win, ‘bad boy’ Okie and Heather won the unaffiliated Speedgate Novice Championships, and Lily and Martin picked up a red and a blue frillie at Hadlow BD in her prelims! Oh yeh!!!! Also I was delighted to hear that a horse I helped get going ‘Dita’ also qualified for the Winter Championships at Prelim with her mum Terri. Even though I no longer help these two it is great to see a horse you started go on to do really well.

I am particularly pleased with Ehren who really went well at Stilebridge BD winning both tests overall with no blips to pick up two whopping scores of 74.48% and 76.25%. Fingers crossed she is getting her confidence back in the arena. Lots more practise at new venues to do but lovely to show the world what she is really capable of.

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

Little Lexi went out puppy hunting for the second time with Martin and the Coakham Bloodhounds. I am still unable to ride with short stirrups after hurting my knee. Actually she completely disgraced herself and I was jolly pleased that it was Martin onboard!! She was rather over excited, completely unstoppable and very rude indeed. A few weeks later I managed to persuade him to try again on a full hunting day with better brakes and more jumping to keep her occupied. She was still strong but behaved really well and flew everything in style including some bigger hedges. Thankfully the B jockey was delighted, and she looked really smart jumping out of her stride in all ground. I am determined to somehow turn my juvenile delinquent into an event horse!

We then disappeared off on holiday to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and came home to fog, rain and Maabof! He is staying for a week of boot camp while his mum is on holiday. Ehren and Little Lexi feel tiny after I have ridden him, but as always he is being a gentleman.

Ehren's sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

Ehren’s sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

Lots of SJ clinics coming up through the winter at Four Elms, Eaglesfield, Duckhurst and Blue Barn. Hopefully some more hunting and dressage for Lexi so long as this mixture works OK – I have to say her canter has improved enormously since she started hunting. Ehren hopefully will get out too, but I think a new venue is in order. Now we are qualified it is back to homework. Mille moved from Carmen Court about a month ago to her winter digs with Ingrid Dubrow just up the road, and Rodney will be leaving Groomsbridge Stud this weekend for life at Stud UK Euro for a bit. Poor Lily has had some sarcoids surgically removed and is in sick bay for a while, but hopefully will be back in work sometime before the end of the year. Unfortunately given their locations we were backed into a bit of a corner as to what to do with them. Creams and feed supplements were unfortunately not an option. We had a prolonged virus on the yard two winters ago and both Ehren and Lily developed sarcoids after this had compromised their immune system. Ehren has been fed Eclipse Recovery for a while, and after three or four months her largest sarcoid just dropped off so both girls are now on this to try to keep the dreaded things at bay. Such a nuisance!

Suppose I had better stick my nose into the leaflet that just came through the door “BD Competition Structure 2016”…..I may be gone a while…….

November 4, 2015 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s all about Lily

September started with our end of summer holiday in Blakeney; a lovely relaxing break recharging the batteries. When we returned home it was off to Munstead BE100 for Lily’s last event of the year. Much like Chilham she was in season and completely beside herself. Oh goody, here we go again! When we got back from walking the cross country course we were horrified to find her podium dancing on the tack locker. Not a good sign it has to be said, and only fortunate that she didn’t hurt herself. Suffice to say I think it was the worst dressage test I have ever seen her do, but nothing compared to her exuberance later on in the SJ. Once she was on the XC course though she relaxed into her rhythm, waited, listened, used her brain and gave Martin an awesome ride. Oh Lily.

This has to be taken in context. Three years ago she had three spinous processes removed, and suffered colic and ongoing gastric problems from the stress. It has taken three years for her to trust her body and her jockey. There have been some seriously tricky times. She broke Martin’s nose, kicked her way out of Lucy Thompson’s school leaving broken wood and nails everywhere, and threw herself off the bank at Lodge Farm backwards for starters! We’ve had serious hormonal problems too. Two years ago she couldn’t be ridden when she was in season as she was too dangerous (and yes she was checked out by the vet). A year ago she could be hacked but not taken in the school. Yet this year she has completed her first two BE100s while in season. She has also gone from always looking very light and poor to looking like a show horse. At Firle this year we bumped into BE steward Debbie Melville who hadn’t seen her this year and she genuinely thought it was a different horse!

Last year she was eliminated in her first BE80 and had 28 SJ faults in her other three. This year she jumped 5 clears out of 7 runs in her 90s. We always have an A, B and C plan for the horses but as Lily has finished her season now we can genuinely stamp A* student on her school report. For her this has been an amazing year and we are absolutely delighted. She has been placed several times at BE80 and BE90, and completed her first two BE100s.

Without a doubt she benefits from her Equilibrium Massage Pad before she does any flatwork, and has needed lots of time and patience. Martin happens to be stubborn and patient in equal measure and has done an amazing job with her. The biggest difference to her general well being though has been changing her feed. She looks amazing, her gastric issues seem to have gone away (fingers crossed) and her hormones are considerably improved since she has been on Lunar Eclipse. I genuinely wouldn’t have believed it….

Lily 2011-2012

Lily 2011-2012

Lily 2013-2015

Lily 2013-2015

Lily 2015

Lily 2015

Unfortunately I had a little crash while schooling a horse a few weeks ago, going through the school fence and being laid on. I haven’t been particularly active on the riding front since but I have just about managed some flatwork and dressage outings. Ehren clocked up a few more points for Regional qualification at BlueBarn BD, and Little Lexi was quite the grown up winning her Prelim open section at Eaglesfield BD. This was two days after Martin took her puppy hunting for me! She has been a star since coming back into work after her hoof abscess. Fingers crossed everyone 🙂

Lexi puppy hunting with Martin and the Coakham Bloodhounds

Lexi puppy hunting with Martin and the Coakham Bloodhounds

Lexi winning her Prelim at Eaglesfield BD

Lexi winning her Prelim at Eaglesfield BD

October 7, 2015 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Our Horses, Results | , , , | Leave a comment

No rush to be an event pony

Emma schooling at Lodge Farm

Emma schooling at Lodge Farm

Wowsers, August is always so mad. There has been lots of SJ schooling. We have been to Eaglesfield, Felbridge and had our last summer clinic at Carmen Court. We’ve been XC schooling at Lodge Farm, more adult camps at Adds Farm and also our PC camp at Ardingly, plus a day examining B test in the most awful rain! The weather has been shocking!

Piaffe instead of halt!

Piaffe instead of halt!

Lily had her first run at BE100 at Chilham. She was in a mega feisty mood and galloped through each phase at speed. Her dressage judge was twenty minutes late and although Martin got off and quietly stood under a tree she was furious to have been kept waiting. As he was trying to salute she was in piaffe and as his hand went back to the reins she ran backwards up the centre line at warp speed. All this was making me feel very nervous indeed. It has not been uncommon for Martin to eat sand when Lily is in this mood. She cantered into the SJ arena and grabbed the reins out of his hands, locked onto the double going backwards and shot off with Martin desperately trying to veer away. My heart was pounding in my ears. Not sure whether to vomit or cry I watched them gallop to the first fence steeplechase style…..clunk! Fortunately after having two early poles down she seemed to settle into her rhythm happy that Martin had adopted the role of silent passenger (like he had a choice!) She was most certainly not in any way concerned that the fences had got bigger. Onto the XC warm-up and Martin dared to offer an opinion. Not when she’s in this mood Martin! They got straddled over the warm-up fence and I walked up the hill to the start thinking about how much I was enjoying the experience. 5…4….3….2…1 and off they go, Lily was on fire and not prepared to listen to anyone. All going well until she over-jumped the ditch in the middle of the coffin and chested the log out. Undaunted she trotted a circle, popped it and continued on her way, finishing full of running and bluster. So that was it, the first BE100 done only 18 months after being eliminated in the BE80 SJ at the same event. Lily does not make life easy but she has needed to be a tough nut to work through her problems. At Chilham Lily had her boxing gloves on!

Ehren at BlueBarn BD

Ehren at BlueBarn

Back to the serenity of dressage and Ehren headed off to BlueBarn BD for the Elementaries. This is a new venue for her and all part of the plan for seeing new places. If she had been wild to warm up I was prepared not to ride the test, just put her away and bring her out to warm up again until she had more confidence. However she warmed up really well and was much better than normal in a new place. The first test was very tense and the canter particularly fragile with a few extra unscheduled dance moves. However she spooked then carried on with the test, she wasn’t completely beside herself like she has been this year. In the second test she was much calmer and got a qualifying score which is pleasing. The aim is to qualify for the Elementary Winter Regionals if I can, then play a bit more at Medium. However over-riding any of that is a plan to keep it calm and help her gain her confidence in the arena. So far so good….

Talking of dressage divas (big) Lexie and her new rider Beverly only went and won the overall ride-off to become Freestyle Dressage to Music Rider at the Pony Club Championships! How amazing is that? After five years off having babies, and only five months with Beverly. Amazeballs!

Rodney, aged one!

Rodney, aged one!

Martin has been up to visit young Rodney and I am amazed that Lexie could produce such a giant of a son. I think I can look forward to being an owner; best go and buy a hat! At one year old he is already about 15.3 hands high and has knees and hocks like dinner plates.

After her debut at BE100 we thought Lily ought to drop back down to BE90 again at Firle. She was in a much easier mood and cruised round looking well within her comfort zone to finish on her dressage score and get a 5th place. We were very pleased…..she has been placed four times this year and very much exceeded any expectations. Last event of the year will be Munstead BE100.

I had promised that I would get Lexi out and about and she has pushed back at that idea with ailment after ailment. We currently have an abscess in our hoof and missed Chilham ODE. She is clearly in no rush to be an event pony!

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Camp, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ehren on the naughty step!

Felbridge BE80 combined training

Felbridge BE80 combined training

Well the summer silly season continues to run at full speed. I promised that it was time for Lexi to get back out there and see where we are so we headed off to Felbridge for their BE80 combined training. She did very well and although very green still she ended up 3rd with a 31 dressage and clear SJ. I was so pleased with how hard she tried all day, real progress! With Friends of Freddie ODE looming we headed over to Sally Thurloway for a lesson on grass, in fact our first time show-jumping on grass since the Munstead unaff 80. This was a rather illuminating day out as Lexi went into panic mode and made me realise even more how I need to keep plugging away with helping her ‘cope’. I decided to take her to Lingfield to use the gallops. We are on clay at home so can only walk on hacks at the moment, and also I thought it would be more experience for her. In fact it was a huge amount for a scaredy-cat pony to deal with and apart from the home straight and finish posts she coped really well. She isn’t quite yet always thinking forwards but I am aware that she has grown a good inch in the last year so always have in the back of my mind that she may just need some time to physically mature too. Unfortunately when we got back to the lorry I found a huge sore between her girth and elbow. So no Friends of Freddie for us. Groan.

I had arranged two lessons away from home with Ehren before the Regionals so that Char could see how different she is and help me get a better tune from her. In the first lesson Ehren felt really odd, not at all like she usually feels away from home. It turned out that I had the noseband a hole too tight which she absolutely hates and I should know better. Obviously had my brain switched onto standby that day as I foolishly rode her like I would at home and gave her a bit of a kick forwards. Uh-oh! She explained in no uncertain terms that I had been rude and bucked me straight off. No warning, just “Get off now!”.  To add insult to injury I sat on my spur on landing and my backside was agony for weeks; something everyone else seems to think is absolutely hilarious. How embarrassing; falling off in someone else’s school during a flatwork lesson. If she was in disgrace in my last blog, she was definitely on the naughty step after this!

Ehren in her lesson

Ehren in her lesson

Thankfully the second lesson was far more productive and more of a fact finding mission in what upsets her. The plan was always just to survive the Summer Regionals, and to try and be more competitive if we qualify for the Winters. Given the wild performances beforehand it was very much about keeping it calm and giving her a confidence boosting outing which I am delighted is exactly how it went. This would always result in a hopeless score but for the first time in months she was sensible and it felt like a potential regionals ride rather than a bomb that sometimes goes off and sometimes doesn’t. Everything crossed that we are making progress in the competition arena as her work at home has come on in leaps and bounds this year and I am keen to show it off!

Lily Eridge BE90

Lily Eridge BE90

Lily went to Eridge BE90 and jumped really well. She jumped another really smart clear again SJ but unfortunately just tripped up the ditch and step on the XC, took a slice out of her heel and wasn’t focussed in time for the log pile. How frustrating! We decided that as she is so much more robust in her jumping to enter the BE100 at Chilham. It’s funny as most of the other girls started their BE career at BE100, and I appreciate that the courses have changed enormously over the years, but the day Lily does her first one I will be in bits. It’s just a dip the toe in the water day but I will be more nervous than anyone!

And onto the new kid on the block…..young Millie is all done. Tempting though it is to keep doing more I am mindful of the fact she is literally just 3 years old. She has been a star and so long as she has time to think over a new experience, been very easy and taken it all in her stride. In fact I think she looks pretty jolly smart. I love playing with the babies, it is always so rewarding. And of course the fact that she is our first home-bred makes it all the more so. Very proud! A cheesy video link of her so far www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7L4rH6CRRU

August 6, 2015 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Millie starts school!

Millie starts work

Millie starts work

In the absence of Tinka we brought Millie home so that we could back her and get her a little more civilised. She is only just three and a bit of a midget so we won’t be doing very much with her. In three weeks we have progressed from her behaving like a wild thing and screaming like a banshee when we tried to touch her back legs (I kid you not!) to being led short distances with me onboard around the school. Most things she has tolerated really well, but when she isn’t sure she is very quick to react. Like the first time we asked her to move with me onboard. Ahem….

I have now done my first two camps at Adds Farm in glorious sunshine. Adds is a lovely venue and Sue is a great host. If you fancy organising a group of friends for a camp, then Sue is your woman.

Little Lexi at Lodge Farm

Little Lexi at Lodge Farm

Lexi has been continuing with the hacking with mixed results. What really bugs me is that when she gives in and walks past whatever monstrous thing it is that I have pointed her at, she doesn’t even glance at it. She just walks straight past it. So, not really that scared then are you?! I did nip over to Lodge Farm for a quick XC school earlier in the month, and Eaglesfield for a SJ school last week and she was mostly very good. On the plus side she is jumping well, when I finally crack her attitude and persuade her that life can be fun she will be great. Nobody else in our family behaved like this as a teenager, I can’t imagine where she gets it from. School parents evening was always very much looked forward to in our house. “If only all the girls could be like Janine” the teachers used to say…..

I decided that Ehren needed to start seeing some new venues now that we are up and running again. So we headed off to Belmoredean (Step Aside) and she did not disappoint (or rather she did!). So there is now a plan to have some lessons away from home so that Char can help me tame the beast and come up with a plan. Since then however, she has had a reaction to being vaccinated and has been in sickbay. Well of course. My sickly child. The one we should keep locked away in the attic.

Lily at Brightling Park BE90

Lily at Brightling Park BE90

Lily and Martin went to Stratford Hills BE90. She looked amazing, did a much improved dressage test for 26.3 (OMG!), then went on to jump a lovely clear SJ. I was walking over to the XC telling myself not to get excited but I couldn’t entirely prevent myself from thinking it might be Lily’s day. It wasn’t, they had a spooky refusal at the most straight forward fence on the course. Agh! So after a little chat with the jockey about following his own advice (ride every fence like you are expecting a refusal) they headed off to Brightling Park BE90. This time she was in season so we didn’t expect much but she was pretty relaxed and got a 31 dressage, one pole SJ and clear inside the time XC to finish 6th. Clever Ginger Rocket!

Lily and Lexi in the morning mist!

Lily and Lexi in the morning mist!

There has been lots on; SJ sessions, clinics at home and away, and on Friday we had an excellent schooling day at LMEQ with SJ in the morning and XC in the afternoon. Morgan and Smurf qualified for the Pony Club Championships in the Open Dressage – excellent stuff! Plus I hear that (big) Lexie did too with her new mum Beverly. Top job girls!

Coming up Little Lexi has some outings planned again. And breathe…..wish me luck!

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Camp, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life’s banana skin

So just when the diary is full of plans and everything seems to be going well life’s banana skin just can’t resist interfering! Tinka was going great guns at Keysoe; a clear SJ and was jumping well on the XC when she misjudged a straight forward fence on the way home, banked it and couldn’t get her legs out in time. She had little option but to use her head as landing gear. Ouch! Fortunately neither of them were seriously hurt. Tinka has been back at her owners’ stud for a few weeks where she has had a vet check-up, physio and acupuncture. They are still concerned about her neck and poll so she won’t be back with us any time soon meaning that there will be no one star, NRF or Corinthian Cup at Gatcombe this year. This game can be so very disappointing.

Pea on a drum!

Pea on a drum!

After that we disappeared to Norfolk briefly for a few days with the dogs. When we got back the 17hh Maabof was waiting for me in Lexi’s stable for a week of ’learning to jump’ boot-camp. He most certainly can jump, he showed great natural technique over a fence on the lunge and was a star under saddle. He has not really seen any jumps before and trotted around a little 70cm course with water tray, plank and filler first time without even blinking. How cool is he?!

Jade and David schooling at Coombelands

Jade and David schooling at Coombelands

We have had SJ clinics at Eaglesfield and at Carmen Court, plus an all day clinic at Coombelands with SJ on their surface in the morning and XC schooling in the afternoon. I love it there; such amazing facilities and spectacular views over the downs. We have also schooled a few groups at Bonfleur and Lodge Farm. It is always a very busy time of year but we love it that way.

Little Lexi SJ at HDRC ODE

Little Lexi SJ at HDRC ODE

The naughty black pony has been hacking for the last month, mostly because we need to get over ourself and we meet quite a lot of things we don’t like out hacking, but also I decided that she is still so immature both mentally and physically I would back off a bit and give her some time. We had already entered the riding club ODE at Coombelands, and decided we would still go as a benchmark for where we are after a month of hacking. I must say she did try a lot harder. She was 5th after the dressage (it still felt like wheeling a shopping trolley round an ice rink but she did try and there was no nonsense about the judges car, hurrah!). The SJ was better. Make no mistake it was messy but we got to the finish and it was hugely improved on Munstead. Then at the XC we had the usual napping to go into the start-box, leave the start-box and get to the first fence but really a token effort compared to some of our epic hacking moments. Most importantly once we got over the first fence a switch clicked in her brain and she was off, taking me…..woo hooo!!! A clear round no less! So yes it’s all very much a work in progress but also a much better effort so I have temporarily stopped calling her the Black Brat…..well, until the next time we find ourselves on two legs in the middle of a field…..

Lily Borde Hill BE90

Lily Borde Hill BE90

Lily has been ‘star of the month’ with a trip to Borde Hill for the BE90. She posted her best dressage to date and a double clear with a few time penalties to finish up 7th. She is doing so well and looking pretty robust at this level, particularly on the XC. What a good girl, showing the world what she is made of. She looks amazing and everyone comments on the difference in her condition.

Ehren at the Hickstead Masters Semi-Final

Ehren at the Hickstead Masters Semi-Final

Ehren on the other hand is in disgrace! The Hickstead Masters Semi-Final was always going to be touch and go but with the rain coming sideways and Ehren in season it was all too much. Sometimes I question my sanity and this was one of those days. As always with Ehren, the good bits were lovely but there were lots of mistakes, stroppy bits, and bits where I just daren’t touch her. I need to learn how to ride her when she is like that, if there is a way. Until then we are trying the snaffle again, working on getting out at medium, and starting to work on our changes at home which I have to say is great fun!

You all know how much I love riding the babies and just recently I took the lovely young mare Lottie to BlueBarn BD for her first ever outing for owner Jasmine. She was not there to be competitive but just for the trip out and bless, she tried her very best coping with the whole thing really well. She was just a bit anxious and dropping the canter, but we were all really pleased. She will be very smart later on.

Lots coming up but top of the list is the arrival of a VIP schooling livery. A young lady is coming in for a couple of months to be backed. My biggest concern with this one is her owner as some are easier than others. We have the ‘dump them and run’ owners, we have the ‘four pages of A4’ owners, and we have everything in between. I am very happy with these guys. Then we have my husband. Oh dear, divorce just before our 20 year anniversary.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Carmen Court, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A little too fond of Bell Equine

Tinka looks amazing at beautiful Chilham

Well we are definitely full steam ahead now. Tinka started her year at South of England Novice, only seven weeks after arriving back with us. She did a good dressage, slightly rusty SJ for two poles and a good robust slow clear (due to fitness) XC. We were delighted that she started the season so well despite not having the jump or flatwork practise. She then went to Hambleden Novice and was very feisty with spring-fever, still producing the goods but again Martin decided to school her round the XC, with later events in mind. This weekend she went to Chilham Novice where Martin was able to let the hand-brake off and finished up 9th after one pole down SJ. A great start to 2015.

Lexi has been quite tricky, pushing the boundaries and eventually being a very naughty black pony. Firstly we went to the Coombelands hunter trial where she was very nappy at the start and taking forever to get going. Once she got past fence three she seemed to really get the hang of it so not all bad but not great. I was dreading taking her to Felbridge as I felt sure she would find that very scary and just to confuse me she jumped two super clear rounds. She felt great and appeared very confident. I have been schooling and jumping at home with my car in the arena and she has become more accepting of it, however at Munstead unaffiliated 80 she rather let the side down by having a meltdown in the SJ arena, napping and rearing and eventually being eliminated. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was with her. After all the work and outings she was more than ready, but yet again bailing out when coming across a new situation. She is so frustrating and currently not popular.  It’s time to give assertive parenting a try, I need to be the senior partner and the teenager with the opinion has to tow the line to some degree. So we are doing things that may be confrontational. No surprise that I was last seen galloping down the road outside the yard with absolutely no control having asked a little too loudly if we could go past a dustbin…..yeh it’s going really well!

Ehren's first Medium at Oldencraig BD

Ehren’s first Medium at Oldencraig BD

At last my back is good enough to ride Ehren (with a slight tweak to the balance of her saddle) so with our usual lack of fitness and match practise I made a last minute decision to drag her to Oldencraig BD for two tests. She was a little flat (in complete comparison to last time when she was so wild I had to retire!) but did me proud winning the Elementary overall with a qualifying score and bumbling her way through her first medium for a yellow frillie. I just wanted to try a medium to see how she would react and as a training exercise for where we are. I can confirm there is much to work on but I was delighted that she tried her best. Awww……I love my beautiful bay pony. I then headed off to Hickstead for a practise run for the Masters. She isn’t a fan of open spaces and a loose horse in the car park really got her heart pumping. Unsurprisingly her first test was wild but she did manage to hold it together for the second test and scored well enough for second overall and qualified for the Open Elementary Regionals. What a good girl, as usual scooting in sideways at the last minute with very little practise. Worryingly I had noticed there was more of a cloudy mark than usual on her left eye, and although it didn’t look sore we headed straight to the vets on our way home.  She’s a superstar but she is a little too fond of Bell Equine. If you know anything about Ehren you won’t be surprised to hear she is being treated for a very rare form of non-ulcerative keratitis. That’s my girl.

Going through the dressage test with Lily

Going through the dressage test with Lily

The day after Hickstead Lily and Martin went to Chilham for the BE90, her second go at this level. She too was fairly wild. Girls in the spring eh! Her dressage and SJ were both carried out with a ‘let’s get this over with as fast as possible’ theme, but she galloped around the XC much less green than Munstead with a big grin on her face. At the very least she is having a ball, and she didn’t get loose!

Teaching wise we had a long day XC schooling three groups at Bonfleur in much improved weather to the previous month. We had a lovely day. We’ve also had the first Carmen Court clinic of the year; it is always nice to be holding these from home.

The dressage divas have been out and about picking up the frillies. Jasmine and Debbie got a red and a blue for their mediums at Oldencraig, and Morgan has tried her first unaffiliated mediums on Henry and Smurf. No holding them back!

Our Simple System branded clothing has arrived so we are all now walking billboards! I did suggest that Lexi might have to grow up before she is allowed to wear hers again. Probably not the kind of advertising they had in mind; dealing with the teenaged delinquent!

May 5, 2015 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment

The importance of two sponges

Little Lexi SJ schooling

Little Lexi SJ schooling

We’ve had a busy few weeks getting Little Lexi and Tinka ready for their first events. I finally got around to buying Lexi her own saddle; a lovely second hand Devoucoux which puts me in much better balance and makes everything feel a lot easier. I have to say I love it and Lexi seems happier too.

Having fun at Bonfleur despite the weather!

Having fun at Bonfleur despite the weather!

She XC schooled at Lodge Farm and Bonfleur and is gaining in confidence and thoroughly enjoying herself. I also schooled two groups at Bonfleur in what I think is probably the worst weather I have ever schooled in. The wind and rain was something else but fortunately the horses took no notice and we carried on smiling! We also SJ schooled Lexi at LMEQ, and I was especially pleased with this as she was far less green than at the Munstead combined training.

Little Lexi's first ever XC round

Little Lexi’s first ever XC round

So of course the moment had to come for us to leave the start box; the first time for Lexi ever and the first time for me in four years. Gulp! We headed off to Munstead Hunter Trial and our task was to jump around the BE80 course. Crikey she went green, not at all bold and confident like her recent schooling sessions but wobbling and spooking at the fence judges and their cars. It was just hard work just getting her to the fences and then getting her to look at them! We got round but have work to do before we can enter a BE event. I have to remind myself that a year ago she had a habit of bolting. We have come a long way already and I love her to bits, she is a lot of fun.

Tinka practising her flatwork

Tinka practising her flatwork

Char has been up again and helped us with Tinka and Little Lexi. Tinka is looking really smart and has also XC schooled at Bonfleur and LMEQ. We are very excited about her this year; she will go to South of England Novice for her first event.

Lily went to Munstead for her first BE90 and did us very proud by jumping double clear. Anyone that has followed Lily’s story will understand what an achievement this is. I can’t tell you how chuffed I was. Her dressage however was something else (I found it best to pretend they weren’t with me). She was very fired up, left the arena more than once, and for the first time ever Martin’s score started with a 4. She also got loose in the lorry park. We wouldn’t want everything to be easy now would we?!

At 20 years old Tiny is continuing to enjoy her competing with Clare. Just recently she was 2nd in her arena and Team 1st in the Riding Clubs Area 10 combined training to qualify them for the Festival of the Horse. The following day they were at BlueBarn for the Le Trec and they won both their classes finishing up Champion in the Starters and Intermediates. Clever old stick!

XC schooling Tinka at LMEQ

XC schooling Tinka at LMEQ

On Monday we took Lexi, Lily and Tinka to LMEQ for some clear round showjumping. It was really interesting as Lexi went very green again, having to go straight into the arena and jump without warming up in there. We need to do this a lot more! Lily jumped two lovely rounds, and Tinka was very perky popping round the 1m10 for fun.

Easter holidays mean I am very busy with training. Yesterday I was at the Area 11 Pony Club C+ and B Training Day at Crockstead doing the flatwork assessments all afternoon. I love this kind of work; loads of candidates came forward including two of our North West Kent girls, and everyone said how useful it is in preparing for the exam proper. In contrast today I was doing D and D+ tests for a local Pony Club Centre. One young girl was very serious in explaining why she needed two sponges in her grooming kit. “One is for the face” she explained, showing me how to gently wipe around the eyes. “You need to rinse it out between wipes so that it is always clean” she went on. “OK” I said, quite impressed with how grown up she was sounding, “what is the other sponge for?” “That” she said, still looking very serious, “is for bums and poo juice.”

April 8, 2015 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5…4…3…2…1…Good Luck!

Well that’s it, winter is over and we have been to our first event of 2015. On top of that we have the most amazing news that Simple System Horse Feeds have sponsored the Team Lamy-Wright girls for 2015. How cool is that?! This feed has made a huge difference to Lily and is a major contributing factor in having Ehren back in work. We are seriously chuffed!

But let’s go back a few weeks and fill in the gaps….

Big Lexie went to Merrist Wood for the JAS90 (hors concours) just to make sure that she is keen and up for this jumping mallarky. She is on fine form, deliriously happy to be back in work and has since gone off on loan to be a dressage diva with some eventing thrown in for good measure. We bumped into Lexie, Beverly and mum Clare at the Munstead pre-season combined training. After only having her for a week they did a nice dressage test and jumped a super clear in the 80cm clear round. We were so pleased, Lexie seems really happy with her new jockey.

Little Lexi warming up for the dressage

Little Lexi warming up for the dressage

Jumping the 80cm

Jumping the 80cm

Little Lexi went back to Duckhurst for some SJ practise and was an absolute juvenile delinquent; standing on two legs waving her under carriage about because she didn’t want to leave the collecting ring. She did however jump a double clear in the end so not all bad, but I came home pretty cheesed off with her. She definitely has it in her to behave like the most awful teenager (my mother seems to find this funny….can’t see it myself). She too went to the Munstead combined training, and as it turned out was a really good girl. Her dressage was hilarious; the accelerator pedal was stuck full on and we had all the steering of a supermarket shopping trolley. More than once I skipped past the white boards that were there as a corner! Then over to the SJ; her first course on grass and she went very green but jumped two clears at 70cm and had a few poles at 80cm when all the fillers went in. Work in progress but she didn’t put a hoof wrong all day so I was really pleased with her.

Warming up on the gallops at LMEQ

Warming up on the gallops at LMEQ

Going back a bit we XC schooled at LMEQ on a very wet and muddy day; all credit to them for allowing us to practise in those conditions, most places would have closed. The group all did really well with some horses making real progress with ditch and water problems. The Black Bomber skipped through the mud like it wasn’t there and towed me around the place having the best fun ever. Then there was the Ginger Rocket, and she looked awesome. Very productive day despite appearances!

Jasmine and Tinka have done the big swap or should I say ‘the ego has landed’. We do now have confirmation that she has qualified for the Restricted Novice Championships at Gatcombe, very exciting!  I hope lots of people will come and cheer her on!

Practising our dressage moves

Practising our dressage moves

Char has been up a couple of times knocking the edges off our flatwork. It is great having Ehren back on form but Char looked a little horrified when I said I wanted to try a medium soon and muttered something about not being able to get away with moving well and looking beautiful. Took me a while to realise she was talking about Ehren…..ahem.

Talking of moving well I have been crippled this week, very frustrating as I was booked to XC school Little Lexi and return to the scene of the crime (Duckhurst) yesterday and I have been unable to ride (or stand straight!). Poor Ehren has missed dancing at Patchetts today….all very boring.

Jasmine and Morgan have been flying the flag for Team Lamy dressage divas. Jasmine has picked up two wins in two weeks, including winning the Medium overall at Eaglesfield BD. Go Kevin! Morgan was also at Eaglesfield and won the Elementary overall with Smurf on a 70% club score, and picked up a third with Henry. Not a bad effort girls!

Lily and Martin SJ at Poplar

Lily and Martin SJ at Poplar

On their way home, Poplar XC

On their way home, Poplar XC

On Saturday we were at Poplar Park for the first event of 2015. It was absolutely freezing as it always is there but just brilliant to be out again. Lily agreed and was beside herself; trembling, sweating and eventually could contain herself no longer and took herself off for a spin round the lorry park (groan). All this before her saddle had left the tack locker! She continued at speed through her dressage test, round the SJ and then finally got a proper gallop. So pleased to see her so happy, starting this year more than ready to run at BE90. Possibly Cheltenham would have been more up her street but she did do us proud and finished 5th. We have gone very slowly with Lily since her surgery and to see her brimming with confidence was just brilliant.

Coming up I just hope I am sound enough to get the girls out. Ehren has some outings planned, I need to find some XC and SJ schooling outings for Lexi with some hunter trials in mind, Lily will do her first BE90, there is a long day XC schooling with three groups at Bonfleur, and Tinka I expect will head to South of England….

 

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | 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