Janine Lamy

Dumdedumdedum

Starting work with a flag

Walking over tarpaulin

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

Rodders goes log jumping

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

Millie loving her XC

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

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

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

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

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

Back in the room!

So with the horses all in sick-bay I found some Lamy-time and took myself to the doctor about a few minor niggles. Tests showed that I was deficient in Vitamin B12. No biggie but a couple of weeks of injections and I feel like a completely different person. This is no exaggeration, in comparison I feel like Tigger! I knew I was tired, but we all work hard long hours and there’s always someone driving themselves harder than you. I realise now in hindsight there was also a heavy fog in my head. I have just gone back to my holiday emails to see what I booked – seriously! I had no idea that I was unwell until I was better. So just to warn you all – I’m back in the room!!!!

Rodney meets the dentist

We’ve been pretty busy on the training front. Some of the dressage divas have been out doing great things with some 70% club scores and Area Festival outings. We’ve had some all day clinics at Tweseldown, Adds Farm and Lodge Farm. As always these were great fun. Things have tapered off a little now with the XC venues being so hard and the arenas everywhere riding so deep. Thank goodness for the recent rain.

It became pretty clear that young Rodders was still very jumpy and nervous, and after bolting with Martin onboard and burying him the other side of the arena in the fence we decided that perhaps he needed some more life skills before we try that again. With Martin so busy abroad with work and summer Pony Club commitments we sent him to Myles West down the road for four weeks work. Myles did an amazing job with him. It was really interesting to hear his plan of action and pop in to watch progress, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. Before we sent him off he had his vaccinations, farrier for a trim, and the dentist and coped with this all really well. We then did some loading practise which he very quickly got his head around, all leading me to believe that he’s a very nice boy who just has some issues understanding things around him. Am excited to have him home now where we have lots more work to do teaching him new things. So far he’s been out on the stubble all by himself and trotted his first coloured pole. How exciting!

 

Ehren tidies up at Groomsbridge

I can’t wait to have everyone home again. The Bomber looks like a child’s roly poly Thelwell. You wait until you see some photos of that one. She will come home fairly soon. Ehren isn’t playing ball on the pregnancy front. Our first two attempts failed completely, and although we got an embryo on our third attempt there was nothing on the heartbeat scan. Sally and Rossdales are doing a fantastic job. We’ve found out more about her hormones and rather chaotic ovaries while she has been away. The list of people I would trust to look after the Beautiful One is very short indeed, and she looks completely relaxed and happy. One more try before the stud closes. Come on Ehren! On the positive, her suspensory injury looks good now.

Jasmine’s Lottie at Cobham BD

Lottie who I ride for Jasmine has seen Char a couple of times before heading out to Oldencraig and Cobham BD. At Cobham she was really smart and got 76% in both her Prelim and her Novice. Tinka has been continuing with her rehab work on the lunge and over poles. I have just started to ride her now in the hope that she will go home soon ready to crack on with work.

Millie practising her SJ

Great news from Lily and Millie. Lily looks sound and Millie has had the go ahead from the vet to start jumping work so both have quietly been practising at home. We decided that a trip to Felbridge was in order to gauge how they were feeling. Last time we went to Felbridge with Lily she explained in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t up for this any more so I was a little nervous about what she might say. Two clear rounds over the 70cm and 80cm. Gulp! We are still very cautious as she has bruising coming through her soles, and she could feel the stones in the carpark but it’s safe to say that the little tough ginger is feeling more comfortable than she was. Millie too was fab, just a little opinionated and strong but jumped the 80cm and 90cm nicely. She hasn’t reverted to loony-toons which is a relief. Lots of clear rounds from the girls. It was so good to be out.

Contemplating this pregnancy mallarky with a Lucie Brix

Huge congratulations must go to fellow local Simple System rider Ashleigh Hill who won her Novice Silver Regionals on her homebred mare. The stuff that dreams are made of. I repeat, come on Ehren!

What we do next very much depends on the weather and the ground. We are hoping we might XC school Millie at the weekend. Pack your parachute Martin!! Then maybe we might get Millie to some events before the end of the year but we need some more of the wet stuff. Nice to be looking forward to things!

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New kid on the block

OK so when I said in my last blog that ‘it never rains but it pours’ I may have had some weird sixth sense. I mentioned that Millie had banged her leg in the field, well after a couple of weeks there was a very slight lump about the size of my thumb on the inside of her leg. Unfortunately scans showed slight damage to the digital flexor tendon and check ligament so young Millipede has been off games for a while. We’ve since had the go ahead to start working her and we have another scan planned for mid July to check on progress.  

As I mentioned in my last blog, her older sister the Ginger Rocket has not been herself for about 18 months and although we’ve had good days, generally things haven’t been great and I kept thinking that she was feeling the ground in front. Poor Lily was bilaterally lame with paper thin soles. She is styling out some goo in her feet, in the hope that we can get her feet to grow a bit and encourage the soles to regenerate. We also x-rayed her spine and that wasn’t especially great news either with some regrowth and one quite large bone spur. Fingers crossed we can help Lily be more comfortable, even if it turns out that she can’t be ridden. It won’t be for not trying.

The Bomber left home for her holidays and being a good girl sends regular post cards usually starting “OMG you won’t believe….”

So that leads us to the Bomber’s BFF Ehren. Well you all know that the Beautiful One had a weekend away with the family planned in Gloucestershire for the BD Winter Championships. Something that we had spent the winter preparing for; hours of riding and competing in freezing temperatures and sideways rain….. Well the day before we were due to leave she came out of her stable lame. I was so shocked. She has many foibles but in six years never a lame step. Disaster. I was absolutely gutted I must admit and was just as close to punching someone (anyone, I wasn’t going to be fussy) as I was to bursting into tears. So another one to the vets to find that she has a lesion in a front suspensory. Looking back I think that this had maybe been bumbling away under the surface for a couple of months. Despite making progress on our Inter I movements, we weren’t on our best form and a few times she nearly had me off. My left pinky now points at ‘ten to’.

I am sure if you are a school teacher everyone looks at your children and judges you. So following that logic what on earth would people have made of the trainer whose horse got loose at the vets and galloped around the arena like a wild mustang dragging a lunge rope behind it in a cloud of dust.  I said to her “Ehren you are making me look like an idiot, this is not good for business” and she looked at me with those big brown eyes…..

In my infinite wisdom I then decided that it would be a good opportunity for her to have slightly longer off and have a foal. What I should have done was invite people round to watch me setting fire to fifty pound notes. It would have been cheaper. We had no luck with the first insemination; in fact all that happened was that a stay at the vets really upset her. Today she left home and went up to our friends at the Groomsbridge Stud. If anyone can get her pregnant, Sally can. It is so weird not seeing her when I drive through the yard gates. She’s been a huge part of my life for six years and we are mates. In her place the ego that is Tinka has come back to us to work off some of her baby blubber so that Sally can start riding her again. One of Martin’s favourite horses ever. He can’t wait to see her cheeky face over the stable door.

Handsome young man

Last but not least that leads us to the arrival of young Rodney. Rodney is four years old by MedNight Mahout out of Martin’s Intermediate mare (big) Lexie. He is around 17 hands and not anything like our little girls. He’s been living at Stud UK for the last two years and in the last six weeks they’ve done a great job taming him. He’s arrived as a very friendly, if slightly nervous, young man. So far he has been very good and tried everything. The only thing he has reacted to was being asked to trot with the roller on for the first time. His sister did exactly the same when we asked her to move the first time with me on her. He is a LOT taller on two legs!     

Learning some steering

Jockey on

Bit of lunging

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

It never rains but it pours

Millie testing if Martin is up to the job

We’ve been mad busy since I last wrote. Our final XC school before we got going was at Tweseldown. The carpark was absolutely rammed with the world and his aunt all having the same idea. Seems like ages ago now. Millie was still testing whether Martin was up to the job but generally was starting to look quite classy over the brown sticks.

Ehren has been to her first competitions since October in preparation for the Winter Championships. Lots of new venues; Wix, Brendon Stud, Petley Wood and Essendon and Epping Forest Dressage Group. We’ve had a mixture of sunshine and the most digusting wet days I have ridden in for a very long time. She has moved seamlessly from anxious and fragile to hormonal and spooky. I have wondered if BD would consider moving the date of the Champs to June for next year?!

We have lost quite a few clinics which has seriously dented my bank balance. The final Four Elms SJ clinic was abandoned due to the snow, and a couple of XC days including my big Bonfleur day due to the wet. We have continued to plug away at home though. We must be mad but winter is for training and train we do!

Millie showing Ehren how it is done

Millie made her affiliated dressage debut at Hadlow BD, and boy she showed the home team exactly how it should be done scoring two unbelievable scores of 78%. Wowee!!!

Millie looking classy over the sticks

We also lost the Munstead Combined Training on grass so it was straight to Poplar Park BE90 where there were still piles of snow out on the XC course. Millie was a star. Running on a little too much in the dressage just losing her balance a bit but scored a very respectable 32.3. Amazingly she jumped a clear SJ round, by far the best round that she has jumped to date. Long may that continue! Then a super clear XC with a few time penalties to finish 8th. What a fantastic start to the season. Clever Millipede. She then went to Munstead for another BE90. This time she was rather excited to be there and was very bright in the dressage for an expensive 38.5. The SJ warmup and arena was very wet; conditions that she has never jumped in before and she went rather green but kept going rolling one pole. The XC going was super and she jumped a lovely clear with a few time faults. Very much a learning day for the young girl. We have been so very lucky to have had two runs with so much cancelled so far.

The Bomber has been back to the vets for a check up. After six months off, including four months restricted to her bedroom she is now allowed out. Hurrah! Hopefully she will relocate soon for some proper R&R mooching about outdoors and come home in September. The theory being that young Rodney will come home in May for some light work for a few months through the summer and he will go back out for the winter. He’s too big for much this year.

Poor Lily does not seem to be happy. My gut feeling is that this has been bubbling away for 18 months or so now and despite our best efforts has reached a point where she can’t do it anymore. I don’t have a crystal ball though so we will see what the vet says in a few weeks and hope I am wrong.

Millie is all entered for HorseHeath BE90 next but has spent the week in her bedroom with a big hot fat bandaged front leg. It never rains eh……

I have a busy Easter holiday with Pony Club assessing, training and coach training. We then have a mini break in Gloucestershire with Ehren. The first Carmen Court SJ clinic of the year is on the horizon…..I have a couple of Wobbleberries at Horseheath, and hopefully Millie will have Chilham BE90. Everything crossed that she is basically OK or I will have to Google ideas for what normal people do at the weekend….

April 8, 2018 Posted by | Carmen Court, Our Horses, Pony Club | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Communication skills

This outfit was hanging on a jump wing with my name on it!

Happy New year to you all! Christmas has been and gone, we were lucky to pop away for a lovely warm holiday in The Gambia and are now back riding in the freezing cold and rain preparing for the new season.

A rather fresh Millipede!

There’s been lots of SJ clinics at various venues to keep everyone ticking over and we’ve now also had the first two pre-season XC schooling outings. The weather has been less than kind but it often is in January and February and you cannot underestimate the importance of having practised in the wet (or at least that’s what I tell myself when freezing icy rain is hitting me in the face sideways). Amazing to see combinations that were worried about cantering on grass a year ago now jumping BE80-90 fences out of the mud. Our own horses have been very fresh. We don’t do an enormous about of competing in the winter, liking them to have a bit of a break, and young Millie in particular has been keeping Martin on his toes. I remember a youthful Harry doing the same to me years back on almost exactly the same spot of grass at Munstead, you’ve got to love young horses! They are all looking forward to getting out again. The Ginger Rocket has to take this enthusiasm a step or two further of course, rearing up and boxing the windows inside the lorry and eventually hanging herself in her haynet. At twelve I can say that I am pretty sure Lily will always be a feisty redhead.

Millie and Martin schooling at LMEQ

Ehren popped out to Saddlesdane at Christmas for a music clinic with the brilliant Gaynor Colbourn with the aim of putting together a PSG floor plan. She hadn’t been out since October but held it together and was sensible, if not overly rideable. Then last week I took her for a lesson with Char at Parwood, and again although she came off the lorry like a raging bull she did settle and concentrate on the task in hand when I was onboard. With only eight weeks to Hartpury we now need to remind ourselves how to perform inside the white boards. Gulp!

Jazz hands!

Recent lessons have highlighted that I have got a bit more wonky than usual so Martin and I headed off to see Bobby Hayler for a Fitness and Stability clinic at Chelwood. This involved lots of balancing on pilates balls. One of us is more naturally cautious, the other gung-ho one threw himself into everything and hit the deck at speed several times even managing to graze his elbow on a soft arena surface wearing jumpers and a coat. It was a fun evening but also illuminating as the ball didn’t lie. I am now being very disciplined about my stretches (which I do let slide) and am riding my ball at least five times a week. Hey it’s warm and dry at home, this I can do!

The Bomber has been back to the vets to review her progress, and the fracture is easier to see now. Unfortunately so is another fracture that we didn’t know was there. So with two fractures mending it’s another 8 weeks in her stable for her. She’s not very happy about all this and is going a little bit bonkers. It is also costing me a fortune in sedative every time the hunt are nearby. Poor BomBoms. She is like a very naughty 12.2 hairy pony but we have agreed with the vet that she can have her summer holidays in the field so she has something to look forward to.

The New Year always gets you thinking about what you could do better, different things to try, plans for the horses and clients, that sort of thing. So there I am, standing in the arena teaching. There has been a little moment of silence while I am thinking and what comes out of my mouth is “you know what, I think I would ride him naked”. The absolute look of horror on her face. Communications skills Lamy, communication skills.

Coming up we have the final pre-season XC school at Tweseldown. Ehren will be back out competing after four months at home, there is Munstead Combined Training on grass, and then we will be taking young Millipede to Poplar Park BE90 to kick start the season. Woo-hoo!

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Broken Black Bomber

Lottie at Stilebridge

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

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

Lily practising her flatwork

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

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

Millie at Hadlow dressage

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

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

WobblePub

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

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

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

Girl Power

Apologies for not writing sooner but we’ve been a tad on the busy side….

Bomber and Martin Rackham BE100

First up the Bomber …. She went to Rackham for her second try at BE100. It was an absolutely scorching hot day and bless her, she was very flat. Her dressage suffered a bit, but she jumped pretty well for one pole, and was clear XC with a few time penalties because the jockey briefly got lost (ahem!). We were very pleased with her efforts but a little concerned that she was so blah, so did some bloods to check the basics and were pleased to see all looks OK. We are also aware that we are rather up against it at this level with Martin away from home so much and basically just jumping on for competition, added to which she isn’t Martin’s normal fiery ride.

Bomber and Martin Eridge BE100

She then went to Eridge BE100 which is a much bigger event with the Country Fayre and Dog Show on the Sunday the whole place is buzzing. The XC too is much more of a challenge and the undulating hilly ground really takes it out of them. She was 6th after the dressage, had a pole showjumping looking at someone dismantling a marquee instead of the jump in front of her, then was a little green on the XC having a step back at the ditch gawping at everything around her and not seeing it until the last minute. She has lots to learn at this level and is having to learn it on the job but jumped well around most of the course. She seemed to run better than at Rackham but we were still not entirely convinced.

After Eridge was Chilham BE100 where it became apparent that things are definitely not right. How she jumped clear around the showjumping I don’t really know and she actually dropped to trot out on the XC. Bless her, you could see how hard she was trying and there was just no petrol in the tank. So we have been administering TLC, and will see how she feels in a week or two before investigating further. Poor BomBoms.

All day clinic at Parwood

We have been very busy having fun with lots of SJ clinics, XC schooling, two Adds Farm camps and all day clinics at Tweseldown and Parwood.

Poor Ehren went to Cobham BD on the hottest day of the year so far. We warmed up for less than 15 minutes, trusted that our work at home would carry us through and did our first PSG!!! I was absolutely over the moon with 63.81%. There were a few spooks of course but she did all the tricky stuff and tried her best in the heat. It almost felt a bit surreal. PSG? Me and Ehren? Wowsers! To say I am proud is an understatement; proud that I have done it – to have trained her from Prelim to PSG but also what a girl. I am so lucky that she has been so generous and so utterly beautiful and clever.

Ehren PSG at Pachesham

While riding the crest of a wave I thought it was time for another debut; this time our Dressage to Music. We headed off to Saddlesdane BD to flick our toes to some 80s tunes and I was not disappointed. She really didn’t worry about the music coming out of the speakers at all and danced her way through Eurythmics and A-ha for just over 70%. Cool bananas!  

Ehren PSG Pachesham

So next up another PSG just to make sure that the first one wasn’t a fluke or a kind judge! And, get this, a totally new venue for her Pachesham BD. She was such a good girl. We parked on grass and it was very open; no drama. We warmed up with other horses; no drama. We went a little anxious in the trot-work in the test losing our self-carriage and going a little against the hand, but we did our thing without any drama and came away with 63.42% and a red rosette as winner! Without going on and on I shall just say wow!

Millie’s first BE80 at Chilham

So last of the home team to venture out was our homebred five year old Millie. She has been a little slow to get the hang of her jumping but we felt she was ready to have a go at Chilham BE80 and boy she did not disappoint finishing 9th in her section and looking absolute class. Amazeballs. She didn’t take any notice of anything going on outside her SJ arena and jumped around the XC like she did it every day. It had started raining hard and the completion statistics for the BE80 were dreadful at 48%. Typical Groomsbridge Girl, she just got on with it. Proud to say the least!

Then awful news on Tuesday morning this week. Our friend, Wobbleberry and client Chloe found her superstar of a horse Rocky in the field with a fractured hock. They had an amazing partnership for a short 13 months and he was the kindest, most generous chap you will ever meet. Totally devastating and utterly unfair. A reminder to us all to live life to the full as you just never know what is around the corner.

Coming up we have Horseheath BE for Millie, maybe some dressage for Ehren if she feels the urge (she has has been having a little rest after that lot), and then anything else depends on how Lexi and Lily are feeling. Holidays are calling too, and I hear a certain ginormous feral three year old is being tamed as we speak. Must dig out my step ladder!

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BarryBerry has work to do

BarryBerry starts work for Team Lamy-Wright

Crikey, where to start?! We were lucky to get a few days away at the Badminton Grassroots where we collected BarryBerry. Barry is wearing my XC colours (well someone should!) and has got straight on with his Wobbleberry duties. Three Team Lamy Wobbleberries have completed the challenge so far; first up was Chloe at Keysoe, then Chloe, Ingrid and Catherine did Borde Hill where the organisers made a real effort to support them and gave them special prizes for completing. Fortunately they had also put all WBs together so I could support them in all three phases. They were all awesome, really rode their socks off and deserved to complete their challenge. Seeing them through the finish line was quite something! These people are pushing themselves, training hard and achieving such amazing things. In my gang alone one had given up riding after her horse was killed out hacking on the road, the oldest is 71 years old, and one is so anxious she is actually sick. I have nothing but admiration for them #kickingcancersbutt

Great Wobbleberry training day at Comphurst Farm

So no surprise we have been even more busy than normal with clinics. We had a great one for Wobbleberries at Comphurst. A lovely day in the sunshine with SJ in a grass arena in the morning, some time with Martin talking through how to do a BE entry and what to expect on the day, an amazing lunch provided by Comphurst’s owners Tanya and Will Reid during which I did a short chat on the psychological side of things, then some speed training with Tanya, and some XC schooling with me. We’ve also had the usual Carmen Court monthly clinics, XC schooling at various venues, and another all day clinic at LMEQ.

During this time the Black Bomber has been very busy! Firstly, there was Tweseldown for the BE90. She was quite beside herself warming up for the dressage which is most unlike her but still managed to pull out a 29.0 dressage. The SJ collecting ring was a little chaotic and Martin was being nagged to jump 20 minutes before his time. Unfortunately this seemed to cause a short circuit in the SatNav wiring and he went from Jump 1 to Jump 6. Donut brains!! Luckily the lovely judge let him start again from the second fence and they jumped a lovely clear and were allowed to go XC hors concours. The XC course has had quite a revamp and looked amazing but asked a few questions and caused a fair bit of trouble. The Bomber was rather looky but she did keep going and jumped clear meaning that she would have finished on 29.0 and been in second place. I was really pleased that she had been allowed to run as it was a very educational day for her. Good BomBoms!

She then went to Borde Hill for the BE90 and had another really consistent day jumping like a star. She finished again on her dressage score of 29.0 which was good enough to win her section. Wowee, you should have seen her swagger off the lorry to tell Ehren all about it!

So with two wins, a fourth and a ‘would-have-been-second’ in her BE90s this year we thought it was time to try a BE100 so we headed off to Berkshire College. She got 29.0 dressage, two poles SJ (in a very tight spooky arena that really didn’t suit her), and jumped a super clear XC taking all the straight routes for 0.8 time finishing on 36.8. Very proud!

Ehren at BlueBarn BD

Ehren has been a bit out of sorts. The list includes struggling with her spring seasons, needing a saddle revamp, having another bad reaction to her flu and tetanus vaccination, then just when I thought we were getting back on track the dentist found a fractured tooth, and there is always the need for work on her poll after seeing the dentist….! Hopefully with that lot sorted we can get some consistency in her work again and crack on with getting her confidence back. I have been schooling her away from home with this in mind and also took her to BlueBarn BD for the Advanced Mediums to get her out again. One the plus side she did feel more relaxed and confident, and coped with the warm-up arena much better than she has in ages. However (!) there was this pesky stripe of light on the floor at K. All these stories she has heard from the Bomber about ditches the size of the Suez Canal and she was convinced it was a hole in the floor. So we gathered two 1s, two 2s and a handful of 4s gingerly walking across it when we should have been in canter. At one point I was in extended canter heading right towards it, the sun had gone in finally and I dared to breathe a sigh of relief. Silly me, as I was about three feet away it suddenly reappeared ‘ta-dah!’. Bless her. Really do need to find her some brave pants from somewhere…..

Millie’s first event

Then talking of wearing brave pants, young Millipede went to the Riding Club ODE at Coombelands and trotted round the 80cm like a total pro and finished in 10th place. Awww…..the first homebred does her first event, such a good girl.

Naughty horse fancied a dip at LMEQ!

Coming up we continue with lots of XC schooling and clinics. We have another all day, this time at Tweseldown and the first Adds Farm camp of the year. Little Lexi has another BE100 at Rackham, Ehren will be out and about and will maybe make her music debut somewhere (although this may prove a little too uplifting!). The Wobbleberries continue their training and BarryBerry continues to provide support (maybe he is the man to sit down and chat with Ehren?)

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busy busy

Team Lamy overseeing some XC schooling

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

Pony Club candidates at Timbertops

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

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

Ehren practising at BlueBarn BD

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

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

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

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

Lily and Martin were lucky not to be more hurt.

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

Another great run at BE90 for Little Lexi

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

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

Riding Lottie at Oldencraig BD

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

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

April 30, 2017 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to the 80s

Martin and the Bomber in the snow at Tweseldown

As I type this Spring has most definitely sprung. My arms have actually left the confines of their many winter layers and seen the air this week. It is almost inconceivable to think of us XC schooling at Tweseldown a month ago in the snow, but we did and it was absolutely freezing! We had suffered with a mild virus on the yard and so only took the Bomber who was on fine form jumping a lot of BE100 fences and looking quite the star. It was our last pre-season schooling day and although there was actually snow on the ground and light showers all day the carpark was full of other like-minded loonies!

Playing with music at Saddlesdane

Unfortunately Ehren’s version of a mild virus included a very good impression of a dying swan, bless her she really is a lightweight….needless to say my hair is greyer, my wallet is lighter and we haven’t been out practising between the boards. We have however, managed a dressage to music clinic with Gaynor Colbourn. Now I wasn’t sure this was really my thing, and unlike your normal clinic Gaynor plays the music live on her keyboards in the corner of the arena. Everyone told me that I was quite bonkers to take the beautiful one, there was no way she would cope and I was sure to hit the deck! Well not wanting to be predictable she was an absolute star. She really didn’t put a hoof out of place, at a venue she didn’t know, and who knew but Ehren is a bit of a music fan and very soon will be the proud owner of an 80s megamix and floorplan!! It was a really cool way of doing it. I couldn’t stop smiling afterwards. Great fun.

The WobbleBerries have continued with great enthusiasm, we’ve finished the SJ clinics at Four Elms for the Winter, and we have lots of clinics, training days and camps planned for the year ahead.

Unfortunately the weather turned very wet and the Munstead pre-season combined training was cancelled so we took Lily and Lexi to Duckhurst BS instead. They both jumped some super rounds and we were really pleased that they seemed very much ready for the start of the season at Poplar BE the following weekend. Exciting!

Infection stops play

However, having a plan and things going to plan are two very different things…..at almost exactly the same time of year that  Lexi spent a three week spa break at Bell Equine last year, another infection and bout of cellulitis struck her down. With no wound that I could find, what started as a capped hock very quickly turned into something infected hot and nasty. I am hoping that as we were on it so quickly this time, we might still be OK for Munstead next weekend. She is back in work, all seems back to normal apart from a slight cap…….here’s hoping.

Urf!

So that meant a very early start for Poplar with only the Ginger Rocket on the truck. True to her name she was well up for it with an OK dressage test (quite calm as the XC hadn’t yet started), two poles SJ (the XC had started!), and a fabulous confident clear inside the time XC looking like a pro. It was so nice to see her enjoying herself and she finished 11th. It was also lovely to be back eventing; the weather was very kind, the ground was amazing and everyone looked relaxed and happy.

Ginger Rocket in her element

So coming up I really need to crack on getting Ehren out before the Winter Championships, hopefully both girls head to Munstead BE, we have the first SJ clinic back at Carmen Court, we carry on XC schooling including a long day with 18 riders at Bonfleur and are really looking forward to getting to a new venue Comphurst Farm which looks absolutely amazing. After that it’s the Easter holidays which are absolutely crammed with Pony Club training and examining and finish with a little family mini-break in Gloucestershire…..well that’s what I am telling Ehren…..it’s a holiday right?

March 17, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment