Janine Lamy

Let’s go!!

Ehren at Stilebridge BD

Ehren at Stilebridge BD

Before Christmas Ehren dipped her hoof back into the world of dressage; only her third outing in all of last year.  She suffered a little from stage fright as I would expect but felt ‘normal’ which was the most important thing. I have completely changed Ehren’s routine, and she has been like a different horse. The old Ehren is back! I almost dare not say it just incase of another setback. Despite everything we are told about what is good for them I have taken Ehren off the grazing and she is living in 24/7. She has not seen a blade of grass since the beginning of November, and she is my lovely friendly relaxed pony again. She is also rideable and trainable. Hurrah! She has been so good that we have started her changes and Ehren being Ehren she is throwing them in whenever she thinks it might be helpful. There is a small box for a brain. If you put something new in, something old falls out. Currently we have lost counter canter, but you know what? I don’t even care!

Little Lexi is behaving like a stroppy teenager, obviously feeling far too well and is on ‘Operation Sweaty Numnah!’ That said she went to Duckhurst and jumped double clear in her first show, so not all bad. She is being pretty ridiculous about anything and everything so I am littering the arena in scary things and risking life and limb turning her into a handy pony.

Lily went to Duckhurst BS and jumped some super confident robust rounds, including a double clear in the Horsequest Qualifier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI_wpl1yUHU. She remains true to form and only yesterday ran off at warp speed down the yard in full tack with Martin behind her like some Benny Hill clip!

Worker clinic at BlueBarn

Worker clinic at BlueBarn

The jumping clinics at Four Elms have remained really popular, plus we have set the dates for Carmen Court from April through to August. We also have five cross country schooling dates organised for the early – spring season. We did a seriously freezing five hours in the cold Workers clinic at Blue Barn outdoors between Christmas and New Year. The course is always great, and good practise for worker people or eventers. On top of that there are occasional groups at both BlueBarn and Eaglesfield. We have not slowed down this winter!!

Jasmine too went to Duckhurst, her first ever show-jumping show and jumped a double clear in the 60cm like she did it every day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r16sKK8ZeQ  She has such an amazing attitude, a really smart horse. It would be lovely to keep her to do a few events but we are seriously lacking in time and funds, and unfortunately stables too!

Lexie (one of the reasons for a lack of stables) has come back into work like she never had more than a month off. She will always be our superstar but she looks amazing. We thought she might have aged in five years, or be a bit stiff or wonky from three foals but none of it. She is awesome, and appears very pleased to be working again. Once we have jumped her a little more I will be trying to cut Martin’s apron strings and look for a loan home.

I have just had two weeks off to get my paperwork sorted out, and am looking forward to cracking on with 2015. Coming up we have a group schooling at Eaglesfield, a lorry load down to Coombelands for some Arena Eventing schooling, another lorry load to Stilebridge BD, Little Lexi has another Sally lesson, Char is up for flatwork lessons, and we are off to LMEQ for the first XC school of the year. It is then pretty busy with XC schooling, SJ outings and lessons to get them all aimed at the pre-season combined training at Munstead. Their first trip out on grass! Let’s go!!

January 13, 2015 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lucy, born 5th June

Crikey, where to start..

Lily seems a good place. She has continued to be a bit challenging so I put Martin up to see if I could see what was causing it from the floor. Oops! After much dummy spitting Lily lost her balance and slipped over sideways with him onboard. By the following morning he couldn’t stand so it was off to A&E we went. Well actually….I have to admit that he was being such a bad patient that I dropped him in the carpark, left him to hop, went to do a lesson and went back later to see if he was still in the queue! When I got back he was his usual cheerful self, couldn’t see any reason why he needed a wheelchair, moaned about my driving (OK so I hit the odd door-frame, a couple of chairs and an elderly patient as I pushed him the short distance back from X-ray…), didn’t think he needed crutches, etc etc. Enough! So when we got home I left him with strict instructions to do the ironing and I went out again to play ponies.
The following day he could take some weight on it so he decided to try riding (you think I‘m joking), and on Monday he came and walked the XC course at Hurstwood Farm with me. If anyone asks, he’s ‘fine’…

I was supposed to be with Louisa and Strider at the Hickstead SouthEast Unaffiliated Dressage Champs, not at Darenth Valley! However, she did a brilliant job without me and was 7th in her class. On the same day Sue Wheble took Morgan to Speedgate for her second outing since starting with me seven or so months ago. Superb effort, by all accounts she really rode him well and scored 68% in both prelims. Fantastic!
A trip to the Orthopaedic specialist for Martin and they think he has torn the meniscus cartilage in the knee and may need an operation to sort it out, so we wait for an appointment for an MRI. In the meantime Tinka has her first BE90 in a week….and nothing is stopping him from riding her there.

I carried on working Lily on long-lines for the next week so that I could watch what is happening and work through it from the safety of the ground. She still wasn’t a happy girl so in order to tick off all possible problems the dentist took a look and she went to see a chiropractor on the Saturday.

It’s not just Lily on the naughty step, Harry has been foul too. But for about two months. I decided to give him two weeks of hacking to see if it made a difference and I can report it has, but not one I wanted. He was pretty fit and two weeks of doing very little has turned him into a giant snorting loon! Suddenly he is scared of everything and I am often seen reversing up the lanes because he wont go past something. He had a blood test to make sure all was OK, went down the Gastro route to see if he had pain in the stomach, and finally he went off to see the chiropractor too.

So I took out a mortgage, loaded the lorry with fuel and ponies and headed off to see Jose Gomez-Garcia down near Pulborough. Lily had a back like a snake, “no wonder she doesn’t want to turn right” and was generally tight through her back, very sore in her withers (possible cause of rearing), and very stiff in the neck. We were discussing what a mess she was, and why (maybe a fall in the field in the winter) when it was Harry’s turn. “Oh this poor boy”…..”he is very sore, been in pain for very long time, I think for years”. Oh great. Call the RSPCA now why don’t you, they do have their backs checked regularly, honest! Harry had a twisted pelvis which meant he was sore just about everywhere. So…..I am slowly bringing both horses back into work, they go back in a week or two for a check-up and I will let you know how things progress. Doing carrot stretches with Harry is rather like dangling raw meat in front of a lion, not a very safe practise!

Tinka went off to Little Downham where she was a little feisty and distracted in her dressage test, had two poles in the SJ and was clear inside the time XC. What a star, she has only been in proper work for five months – she is going to be fab! We were delighted with her.  She is now pretty much ready for sale so we must get my camp out of the way and get her advertised for her Owners…

That night Lexie gave birth to a lovely natured bay filly ‘Lucy’. Unfortunately she had carried Lucy too high and her front legs weren’t in the correct place and she was born with no tension in her tendons and her fetlocks and pasterns on the floor. Only time will tell whether this will resolve itself but as I write this it is not looking particularly hopeful….Lexie is being the perfect mother, really relaxed and looking after her. Everything is crossed for a little miracle.

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Our Horses, Results, Schooling | , , | Leave a comment

As angry as a bag of wasps

Sorry I am a bit late with this blog, computer induced stress!

Harry has been practising his Irish Dancing at Bedgebury BD. Not to be outdone he clickety click clicked his way through the first Novice and scored 71% and won. He wasn’t quite so on-side in the second test as he had a three hour wait, but we still managed a yellow ribbon. The boy was on fine form! 

Then we had the first Carmen Court jumping clinic of the year. It was really lovely to see everyone again,the sun shone and we had a great day. Best of all, the horses all jumped really well which is a perfect way to start the year. It was like we’d never been away…

Then on the Sunday Lily had her first XC school. What a clever little ginger thing! We really were delighted with her, she took everything onboard without any fuss and was very brave. Martin rode her and I lead the way on Harry who was a fantastic lead, really giving Lily confidence. She seemed to say ‘if he can do it, I can do it’. Then she worked on her own while Harry napped and spun and made a huge fuss about not being with his woman. What a plonker! The only thing she didn’t jump was a ditch because they have filled in the dry ditch at Bonfleur and we didn’t think her first ditch needed water running through it! Onwards and upwards for Lily-head!

Sally lessons for both came next. Lily jumped around a course on grass for the first time, and went really well. It’s all about new experiences for her at this stage. Then I told Sally that I wanted to work on straightness and corners with Harry, and boy what a grilling I got! Needless to say I now understand exactly how my wonky position affects my horse and have learnt a thing or two about holding a line on Harry to a narrow fence. U-hum. I will hasten to add that this is very much work in progress. I almost had a teenage moment in the middle, having run past the same fence about eight times in a row…I gave myself a good talking to and said through gritted teeth ‘I’m finding this a little frustrating’. Much deep breathing and we got there in the end!

We had a lovely day out at Badminton on Sunday. We have some friends over from Australia who we haven’t seen in years and have been busy catching up while they are here.

Then Lily, Otto and Tinka went XC schooling to Coombelands on Monday. Lily was a star, jumped her first ditch without even blinking, and took everything on for her mother. She really felt at ease, and had a great ‘bring it on’ attitude. I was dead chuffed with the girl. You never know how they are going to take to XC, and she seems well up for it! Unfortunately Martin fell off Otto but otherwise he went well and is looking much improved. Despite a very sore knee Martin then schooled Tinka who was also fab, and looking very comfortable with the job. Unfortunately a check up at hospital shows that Martin has sprained the collateral ligament around his knee and he is very lame indeed. Poor old crock!

Talking of old crocks, Ivy has been out doing some novice dressage with Laura gaining a very respectable 66.8% and a 2nd place. Hard to imagine we were all in floods of tears last Summer at the prospect of saying goodbye. Funny little dumpling.

Coming up Harry has Nurstead BE100 on Sunday. I am now dreading this as he was totally beside himself with anger tonight and eventually I got off before I was thrown off, only to find that one of the girth straps had broken during his thrashing about! Me thinks the branch Chief Instructor really should practise what she preaches regarding checking her tack – will put that one down as a ‘near miss’. Lily has some more clear round jumping at Felbridge, both horses have another Sally lesson, Harry has Step by Step BD, and we have the next Carmen Court jumping clinic…bring it on!

    

April 27, 2011 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Comments Off on As angry as a bag of wasps

Hoo-hah!

We have been away, a few days with the dogs in the New Forest….impossible as it would be for everything to go to plan, it started with Martin having food poisoning…I think sometimes we are not meant to have holidays! We had a lovely relaxed time though and the weather was very kind to us. My horses had a week off and Tinka had two off so let’s hope we can all return to work suitably refreshed with hayfever tablets at the ready!

Before going away Lily went to Bedgebury to school around the clear round, which she did in fine form (which is just as well as we had the yard Christmas meal the night before and rather than sticking to the plan of going easy because I needed to be up early I guzzled rather a lot of vino blanco….!). Then yesterday she jumped around the clear round at Felbridge. I really struggle to get her concentration for the first fence but after that she was a star. Lots more going out, standing around, on and off the lorry etc planned.

Both horses had flatwork lessons with Char on the Friday before Munstead. Check out the photo of Lily – “bend zee knees!” Harry also had a flatwork top-up before Munstead which obviously did the trick because he scored a much improved 30 (good enough to keep our place in the 70% club!). I rode a much better test after our practise effort a few weeks before and he really tried his best. He also jumped a super round and left all the coloured sticks up. Go Harry! Lying in 6th position we set off onto the XC where (cue some background music) his mother let the side down. Should have been in a lower gear on turning to the corner, unbalanced poor Harold, had hold of his mouth (u-oh) so he argued and ran past it. Oh pants. Big boys pants. Sorry Harry. Bit rusty. I generally feel I need to set him up more in front of his fences, particularly the more straightforward ones so I will take this thought forward to Nurstead.

He was a superstar all day, totally relaxed and easy to have around. Just one little incident (isn’t there always?!) when he managed to get one of the rather large and heavy lorry back gates off its hinges with his head (don’t ask). Not sure who wet their knickers the most, us watching (these things always seem to happen in slow motion don’t they?) or him but once he had thrown it to the floor he set off around the lorry park for a celebratory gallop. It seemed to work very well as a pre-dressage warm-up but I don’t think we’ll try it again….

We were delighted to see Sally and Tom Forster get the recognition they deserve in the Horse and Hound article “Groomsbridge Stud. Attention to detail”. They do a fantastic job and the Groomsbridge Girls chez Carmen Court are very proud!

Tinka and Martin headed off to Lucy’s on Friday for a jumping lesson. Lucy couldn’t believe how much she had changed since she last saw her, both physically and also in her confidence. Tinka was pretty ‘Bring it on!’ and jumped like a star.

But yesterday was the highlight of the year for me so far. Hannah Bartholomew jumped around her first BE100 aged thirteen – top effort Hannah, I am very impressed! Back at Felbridge some dressage was also running. A lady on our yard Sue has been struggling with her dressage, in particular reaching the much wanted 60%. I have been helping for around six months, had put a ban on competing, taken things back to basics, changed the way of riding him, changed the way we even think about him, and basically asked her to put a whole load of trust in me. This is a really difficult thing to do and the process often takes a long time so there is nearly always a moment when the rider will doubt my sanity. After years of aiming for 60% Sue rode brilliantly to get an amazing test out of her horse for 65.81%, a second rosette and a place in their championships. You couldn’t take the smile off my face if you tried. Hoo-hah!  

Coming up, Harry goes to Bedgebury BD, Lily has more show-jumping practise, we have the first Carmen Court clinic of the year, a debut ginger trip out XC schooling, and both of mine have Sally lessons.

April 10, 2011 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pigtails and freckles

On Saturday last week we had the final winter jumping clinic at Bedgebury Park. First up were the Groomsbridge Girls (travelling with a big gap between them!). I was delighted with Lily – she travelled well, was quiet to tack and untack, jumped what she was pointed at and overall much more grown up about everything. Tinka’s attitude to fillers and a course of showjumps was amazing. Totally unfazed. She really is a cocky whatsit! There were three other groups, which included some new faces which is always really nice. I also jumped Jazz who was beside himself having not jumped since October. You certainly wouldn’t have thought he was a dressage horse, and I am only thankful that Sharon Hunt wasn’t about while I was hooning around the arena jumping Jazz who was part helicopter part stag – not a good look!!

Then on Sunday Harry and Martin had their last Coakham meet of the year at Brookers Farm. Harry was rather bright but totally in his element and jumped like a star over some very impressive hedges. He has thoroughly enjoyed his hunting, the boys have had a party!

On the Tuesday Louisa and Debbie were both at Eaglesfield BD, picking up a 2nd in the Prelim, a win in the Novice, and another 2nd in the Elementary. My dressage clients are getting fantastic results but I am starting to feel a little under pressure. Maybe when I take Harry out I’ll head off a long way away and in secret?!

Talking of dressage divas, Martin and Tinka had their first dressage outing on Saturday. You all know how much I love doing the babies and this is no exception, although she is Martin’s project. Seven weeks before this outing she arrived unwilling to accept any contact and didn’t understand canter at all. On Saturday she tried her very best, was easy to have out and came home with a second rosette and 68% in a Prelim. I am SO chuffed with her progress. Big Lamy grin!

Tuesday both Harry and Lily went to Sally’s for a lesson. I was rather apprehensive as it’s the first time I’ve taken them together and my trusted help was at her accounting course that day, but needn’t have worried as they were immaculately behaved. I was really chuffed with how relaxed Lily was. Sally said that both of them were like different horses this year. Lily is both physically and mentally more mature, so we are able to crack on with asking more from her. Harry too got the thumbs up, now looking better balanced and more athletic. Hunting has done him the world of good. She also admitted to thinking “and what exactly are we supposed to do with this” the first time she saw him – poor Harry! The rider on the other hand was in front of the movement on Harry, behind the movement on Lily, twisted, not looking where she was going and didn’t even have her foot in the stirrup right. Ahem….plenty of homework then!

Then it happened yesterday, and not the way round I had been expecting….I fell off! Before my dismount I had nearly been knocked out, had done something most horrid to my thumb and had a bloody nose. And no, it was not Harry. It was his sister having a ginger pigtails and freckles moment.

Then today, Char came up to give the horses a flatwork session. I was delighted with them both. Harry is nearly back to his former Totilas self, and Lily is making big steps forward. Yesterday (thankfully) seems to have been forgotten….

Tomorrow I have a group XC schooling at Littleton Manor and Sunday is our pre-season Combined Training outing for Harry at Munstead. In our infinite wisdom we decided to fill the lorry and take the Groomsbridge Girls too, so we may have our hands full! Harry has more dressage planned at Stilebridge BD (oops, now I’ve told you!) and we also have another XC school planned to see if I can get back into the swing of riding across country before Munstead BE100 at the end of the month….phewee!

March 4, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zebedee

I am delighted to say that we have summer clinic dates for jumping around a grass arena sorted at Bedgebury. The dates are:
                – Sunday May 22nd
                – Saturday July 23rd
                – Saturday August 13th

Even more exciting is that we have finalised the dates for our Adult Camp, also at Bedgebury from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th June. This will include a little bit of everything, is sure to be great fun and I am really looking forward to it!

Martin and I have been really struck by how much like Ivy Tinka is. The other day she was spotted on her knees with her bum in the air trying to get the longer grass from under the fence – it’s like having a naughty pony to stay! Martin is thoroughly enjoying playing with her. She has picked things up really quickly, is now jumping fences from canter and is almost ready for her first dressage test. They went off to Lucy Thompson’s for a lesson last Friday, her first trip out and the end of her fourth week. She loaded, travelled well, did everything that was asked of her in a howling gale and came home as if to say ‘yeh, and?’ Lucy was very complimentary about her technique over a fence and commented on what a lovely bold horse she is. She also got very excited about what super foals she would produce…no, no, no, no, no!

On Saturday I headed off to Patchetts early in the morning to support Debbie at the Regionals. When I say early, I mean it was still dark when Debbie got on to warm up! And do you think the cafe was open?! Harrumph. It’s always the same at the Regionals, stress-heads everywhere! I include Jazz on this list, but they ended up a creditable 12th. Not bad at all.

I had four dressage divas at Eaglesfield BD on Tuesday. All girls did me proud. Debbie led the Novice with an amazing 73%, he really did try his heart out. Normally Natalie would be a bit cheesed off coming second with 69% but now the qualifying rules have changed it doesn’t matter so much. They also notched up a second, third and fourth in the Elementary between them. Smiles all round!

On Friday my two had flatwork lessons with Char. Harry’s flatwork is a bit remedial since he started hunting but we are doing our best to keep him supple until we have time to get more done in the school. Only one more meet! Lily got absolutely soaked through in the rain. We are working on getting her to accept more leg and relax her body more. Canter in particular is a little tense. A more rideable Lily would be good!

As if Thursday and Friday wasn’t wet enough, we cross country schooled at Munstead yesterday in the most hideous weather conditions you could imagine. It hammered down with rain all day, it came at us sideways and it was also very cold – what a bunch of raving lunatics we must be. Tinka proved to be a very brave little cookie, not even looking at the water or drop fences. What an attitude, and only after five weeks work. Harry was a bit of a handful bouncing about like Zebedee, but jumped like a star. Having not hunted at all this winter his mother was a little rusty and will need another trip out before our first event in order not to let the side down. And I am more convinced than ever that I’m going to get bucked off soon!     

We have the last Bedgebury jumping clinic of the winter Saturday, both Tinka and Lily will be in attendance – whether having the Terrible Two out together proves to be a sensible idea is another matter. I will let you know!

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Frog

Last week both my horses lost the plot and my ever supportive husband opened a book on which one bucks me off first! I am starting to feel a little like a stunt rider….even Lily has had moments of behaving like ‘Crazy Frog’.

Harry has been to Sally’s for his first lesson since August last year. She was amazed when we took his rugs off to reveal the new improved bodywork – he’s so much fitter and stronger, she said he looked like a different horse. Thankfully he jumped like a star (much to my relief as I’ve only jumped him four or so times) but he bucked his head off at every opportunity in between. It was like riding a giant version of Rose! She made some comment about me being attracted to ‘quirky’….who, me?! However she also said that he was jumping better than when we left it in the Summer – praise be to the medicine of hunting with his daddy!

Onto Lily….my generally sane little orange friend (well, until her sister arrived and Mrs Mischief and Little Miss Silly reunited the double act)….I jumped her the following day and to say she was a little over-enthusiastic was an understatement. Boinging about three foot higher than necessary (“Tinka, look at me!!”), landing pretty steeply with her head between her knees and broncing like a bull with me hailing a cab! Oh she is feeling very perky indeed and we are now jumping twice a week until it is less exciting…uhum.

On Sunday Harry hunted with Coakham at Little Horsted. He got a great school report and by all accounts continues to give Martin an amazing ride over some enormous hedges. To quote Martin ‘you just point and let him get on with it’.  I hope eventing him proves that straight forward!!

Chris Caden-Parker came to do the horses’ backs this week. I am delighted to report that Harry and Lily were both in tip-top condition. Tinka was a little sore so a few days off for her. It’s really perfect timing, only two weeks into work we can now crack on in earnest, knowing everything should be OK. Chris commented on what a great sort she is, and so easy in the stable – or maybe that was just relative to the swearing from Father Jack next door?! We really are pleased with the progress she has made in three short weeks. Lily on the other hand wants her gone. And soon.

What planet was I on when I decided that going to Duckhurst for some jumping would be a clever idea today? I was absolutely FREEZING. Yikes, I’m not sure I will ever recover! There was much sighing from Harry, and you can see how impressed he was from the photo…but….he did jump clear!

Coming up; Tinka has her first jumping lesson with Martin at Lucy’s, Harry hunts at Chiddingstone, both horses have a Char flatwork lesson and we all get to blow the cobwebs away for a XC school at Munstead. Hoo-hah!

January 28, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Our Horses, Schooling livery | , , , | Leave a comment

As tricky as a box of monkeys

Continuing on the food and drink theme we had a lovely lunch with Tina and Laura Reeves a couple of weeks back, before heading off to see ‘The Wonderful Ivy’. She looks absolutely amazing. Tina is doing a fantastic job as groom while Laura is away at Uni, and best of all Ivy is sound and has some dressage competitions pencilled in for later in the Spring. Go Dumpling!

I have to admit to some trepidation at getting on both horses for the first time, but need not have worried as they were both on their best behaviour. Louisa was ready with the camera to capture the Harry antics and obviously this appealed to his boyish humour as he trotted round with his ears pricked looking all angelic – typical! The day after however, Harry had no audience. He bucked and he bucked and he bucked and he bucked while I held onto the neckstrap for grim death. Bless his little cotton socks…..

On the Saturday we held a Bedgebury jumping clinic for a very select group of five. Most people had not managed to get their horses fit enough, but those that came had fun and we knocked some of that winter rust off. While I was at Bedgebury, Martin took delivery of Lily’s sister Tinka. She has come in to be schooled and sold. I shall keep you up to date on progress here…

The Coakham Bloodhounds met at Nurstead on Sunday with Martin as Fieldmaster. Harry managed to clear a big space at the meet during Martin’s speech. Not at all embarrassing! The ground at Nurstead was amazing, it is so well drained there. Despite his ‘airs above the ground’ at the meet, Harry is absolutely loving the hunting thing and would be a fantastic Master’s horse. Alas we have some dressage and showjumping to practise, as the new eventing season looms…poor Harry!

On Monday we turned Tinka out next to Lily for the first time, and what a nightmare that was. Lily was bottom of the heap at stud and clearly was having none of it in her new home. She walked out to the field on her hind legs with absolutely no respect for the small person underneath. She squealed, leapt and reared on the end of the rope until I let her go, got her legs through the electric fence and double barrelled the metal gate between them, ending up hopping about on three legs. This is my quiet little Lily who usually staggers out of her stable, stretches, groans, and wanders out to her field as if she can barely put one foot in front of the other. Lily is not a morning person. Who is this monster?! Ah, two sisters living in the same house….I think I made a schoolboy error.

Harry had his first flatwork lesson of the year with Char yesterday. He’s as tricky as a box of monkeys when he first comes back into work but I was reminded of all my bad habits which is never a bad thing! I jumped both horses on Thursday and was delighted with them. Lily jumped through a simple grid but was like a little rubber ball, and Harry (all fired up by the hunting) was really taking me to his fences and using his body much better.

I now have the pre-season XC schooling dates confirmed as Sunday February 13th (Munstead) and Saturday March 5th (Littleton Manor). I’m really looking forward to blowing the cobwebs away. Harry has a jumping lesson with Sally next week (the first in FIVE months – oh my God, it’s going to be carnage!), and if we live through that I think we’ll head to Duckhurst the week after….

January 15, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Instruction, Our Horses, Schooling livery, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

No landing gear

Well the dressage divas have certainly been out in force. Bonnie and Oliver posted two wins at Brook Farm BD, in a Novice and an Elementary. I am really pleased with the improvement in Oliver, and what better way to end their season. He now has over a hundred points.

Then Louisa and Strider won their Prelim at Eaglesfield BD – his second affiliated test and second win. No complaints from me! Also at Eaglesfield were Debbie and Jazz – they did a fantastic job to win the Novice with 70% (and I had the audacity to point out what could have been better!) and were second in their first affiliated Elementary. Not only that but in winning another Novice they have qualified for the Winter Regionals (hoo-hah!).  Next was South of England BD where they also won both Novice tests, including another with 70%. Wow! I started looking for banana skins and became sure that Harry would buck me off to level things out!!

I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than producing young horses. I have helped with Strider and Jazz from the beginning (Jazz was just backed, Strider we’ve done from a two year old) and now we are really seeing some great results. I’m so chuffed. The girls have done me proud with their boys.

So onto my favourite ginger person…..Lily has been to the barbers! She’s been getting quite hot so I thought we’d start by introducing her to the noise and feel of the clippers. She was so good I whipped off her chin and chest. Dude! We’ve also been doing our Sally homework with our ‘special needs’ double reins and it really seems to be doing the trick…we have another lesson next week..

Then it happened….It was Harry’s first jump since his break and we were jumping a two foot rail…he’d already jumped it a couple of times but for some reason he totally missed it and wrapped his front legs around the pole. With no landing gear and all the agility and athleticism of an elephant on skis, we travelled ten metres across the school on his knees and belly. Miraculously still onboard, all I could think was how much trouble I would be in if we went through the school fence! What a donut that boy is. I think we’ll hold on the Mensa application. He shook himself off, spat out the sand that he had scooped up in his lower lip and waved his front leg at me. He’s wacked the back of his knee so bandages and ice followed by light duties for a while. Groan. I knew I was cruising for a fall, but I didn’t see that coming!

Sunday was the Coakham Bloodhounds opening meet. I can no longer bury my head in the sand and pretend it is still summer. It’s freezing cold in the mornings and we’ve started hunting. Worse than that, this weekend the clocks change. Urf.

Wednesday this week was our wedding anniversary. I find this quite amazing, but it’s been fifteen years. I teach teenagers that weren’t alive when we got married. I can feel a mid-life crisis coming on. If you find me wandering around town wearing make-up, perfume and stilettos please return me to the Red Lion where they will medicate me and send me home….

With Harry skiving Lily had a lesson with Char today. It must be about three months since I’ve had a flatwork lesson and it was well overdue. Since Lily’s teeth problems I have been having issues with the contact but it turns out that if I ride from leg to hand and release the death grip I have on the reins there is very little wrong with the contact at all! U-hum….

Some good news from Rose, she was inspected this week and is carrying a foal. Everything crossed that all goes well this time….

And last of all Sally Forster (who bred Lily) has a super four year old mare for sale by the same stallion. She’s been assessed by International rider Emilie Chandler as having enough scope to go at least BE Intermediate and is a lovely bold, people person. She’s been quietly backed and is now looking for a competition home. Sally doesn’t have the facilities to show her but if there’s interest she can come to me for a bit. Lots more info if you know someone that’s looking….(or maybe someone that will buy her for us?!?!)

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling | , , , | Leave a comment