Janine Lamy

Why the long face?

Just after it happened

Just after it happened

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

A nice bruise the day after!

A nice bruise the day after!

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

Martin and Lexi at Heaverham

Martin and Lexi at Heaverham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting the dining room sideboard through the bathroom window

Young Rodney

Well we have been keeping busy as usual! Lexie gave birth to a bay colt “Rodney”. As usual it was a stressful delivery for Sally and I can assure you all, Lexie’s last. She will be sewn up and never allowed near semen again! Another red bag delivery, and to make matters even worse this time the foal got stuck too. Eventually a rather large boy was dragged out, cracking a few ribs on his way and leaving his mum very sore indeed. In Tom’s words ‘it was like getting the dining room sideboard through the bathroom window.’ Thankfully mum is a tough old bird and Rodders has strong ID ancestry and both are recovering well.

The latest blood tests were good for Ehren so she was allowed to try Gastrogard again. Not for long though, within five hours of being given a pretty low dosage she was lumpy, so now we are sure she is allergic to something in it. According to the drug company she is the only horse ever in the US or here in the UK to have an allergic reaction. Well personally I think that’s as likely as a fish driving a car. I don’t believe it. She is special but she can’t be that special!  I do understand though that if these things aren’t logged with the drugs companies they may not have it documented. Anyway we think her gastric problems are only really a winter issue so I am bringing her back into work now without anything and will see how she goes. Unfortunately it means we will have the gastric issue to solve at the end of this Autumn. This is starting to feel like Groundhog Day!!

Tiny and Clare try their hand in the show ring

Tiny and Clare try their hand in the show ring

Tiny has been masquerading as a show horse. She looks amazing for 19 and is having a great time with Clare.

We had two groups XC schooling at Bull Farm in the rain. It’s always lovely to school somewhere you don’t go to very often and everyone had a great time. Both Tinka and Lily headed to Chilham BE. Lily is a complex little character and needs to feel within her comfort zone, so her first event always had the potential for disaster. She was a good girl all day to handle, did a good dressage test for 31 but bailed out in the SJ of the BE80. She was in season and away with the fairies, went to charge at the fourth fence, then went to stop and skidded into the bottom of the filler sitting on her little ginger backside. I don’t need to explain that once that had happened all was lost! Fortunately she did no harm to her jockey who was able to bring her bold as brass sister out the next day for the BE100. The Stinka jumped another double clear inside the time to finish up third for no other reason than to show Lily what a pansie she was I think!

Also at Chilham were Jules and Libby who produced another consistent result of 6th in the BE90. Jules is planning her step up to BE100 soon and has the Grassroots Regionals to look forward to. Very exciting!

That same weekend Leanne and Dennis won their Discovery at Felbridge BS and have picked up lots of ribbons in recent weeks. When Leanne first came to me it was for flatwork lessons. She “used to jump but wasn’t up for it anymore” and thought she might try her hand at dressage. Well “shall we just try some poles on the floor then”?! I am absolutely delighted to see her having so much fun in the show-jumping ring again. Really really chuffed and wish her the best of luck with her new boy!

Bilbo takes it easy

Bilbo takes it easy

Alice and Magic

Alice and Magic

We then headed for Norfolk for a few days to take a deep breath before our new lurcher puppy Bilbo arrives. While we were away I was delighted to hear that Stephanie had won her Intro dressage with Bailey. He is really coming along now. When he comes to stay this summer we will also start his jumping up again. Something for him to look forward to! Alice and Magic were also out having a fantastic day at the South East Connemara Show. They won and qualified in their Performance Connemara class with a clear round, won and qualified in their Junior Mountain and Moorland NPS class on the flat and jumped a couple of fab rounds in the Novice & Training Stakes. Anyone who is a regular at our jumping clinics will know just how hard Alice works and how much this is deserved. Top banana!!

Little Lexi has been on box rest as her fetlock blew up again. She is like an unexploded bomb. I am now walking her in hand and turning her out in a tiny paddock but she has perfected some serious break-dancing moves, none of which are good for her fetlock! Will keep you posted. She has nearly been with us a year, and looks a much stronger more mature girl now but it would be nice to do something with her!!

Rolo has arrived for four weeks flatwork and jump schooling, Tinka goes to Keysoe BE for her first Novice this year, I have some XC schooling at Bonfleur, we have our first jumping clinic at Carmen Court and some SJ schooling at Eaglesfield , Lily goes to a lower key riding club one day event at Coombelands and Tinka heads to Borde Hill BE. That gets us to half term. And breathe…..

May 6, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vee haf vays!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shiver me timbers!

Martin has been keeping busy with Lily and Tinka. They both went to Lodge Farm a while back for a XC school. Lily is still showing her inexperience but is making steady progress and behaved really well. Tinka and Martin were still trying to resolve their communication problems but he felt happier and entered Eridge BE90 in the hope of giving her a confidence boosting run.

Two recent schooling liveries Dita and Dylan have been out for their debut dressage outings. Dita and Terri were 2nd in their first outing with 62.17%, and Dylan and Michelle won their first class with 64.78% and were 4th in their second class with 65.41% I am so pleased and proud of all four, what a great start. I think Michelle has the bit between her teeth now and was out again getting a 2nd and 5th in big prelim classes with 66% and 64% and comments from judge Helen Webber “there is real potential here”.  Love the little man, he is so cute!

Martin then took Lily to Lucy Thompson’s for her first jumping lesson. Now that we are happy Lily is more comfortable it’s time to start doing a bit more. Lucy couldn’t believe how different the two girls are; Lily being more like a little nervy racehorse and Tinka an over confident bullock! However, although Lily and Tinka both share attitude, Lily also has a temper and was feeling a little hormonal that day…… she is your archetypal ginger, and regrettably the vet didn’t remove any of her character when she cut out bits of her back! When everything is going Lily’s way she is the sweetest pony…..on this occasion Pigtails was on parade. Lucy’s school fence is now totally trashed and laying in bits on the floor! I am no animal communicator but as Lily stood by the lorry afterwards steaming and dripping in sweat, the look on her screwed up little ginger face said “I HATE YOU BOTH”. Bless.

Tinka then went to Eridge for the BE90. She was beside herself with excitement and a little tricky in the dressage waving her under-carriage in the final halt at the judge for bonus marks. She had a pole SJ, to be fair she wasn’t really taking enough notice of the fences as it’s the smallest she has jumped in a long while. Then on the XC it happened again. Martin took a pull, made a turn and phtt, she halted. Argh! Maybe I need that animal communicator after all……

While we were at Eridge it was great to see Jules and Libby jump a double clear in the BE90. These guys are going great guns, Jules has never evented before and I am so chuffed when I look back to their first baby jumping clinic a few years back!

XC schooling is very popular at the moment and I had two more groups at Bonfleur in the sunshine, it was absolutely lovely and all the horses went really well. I had to laugh, when Emma told her friend Sarah that she was coming out with me the first thing Sarah said was “you do know that she will make you jump a ditch?” I didn’t realise I had a reputation for being such a meanie! So…not only did Emma jump the ditch but the whole rail ditch rail combo…. hah!

Last Friday was a Pony Club standard setting day at Crockstead covering E to A tests. I have to say it was another lovely day in the sunshine and one of the better courses I have been on. It was hosted by William Blane FBHS and Chairman of Pony Club training. A month or so back I felt strongly enough about a UKCC level 3 pilot course they are running that I sent him an email. It was lovely to put a face to the name, but he did look at Martin as if you say ‘you’ve got your hands full there mate’ and promptly gave me a clip-board and made me a team-leader for the day! I guess I had that coming….

Now ever the pessimist, when things are going well I start to get nervous. When Ehren got her great score at Speedgate, her little write-up in Horse and Hound and qualified for the Regionals I thought ‘Brace yourself Lamy, there’s something bad about to happen around the corner.’ Groan, sometimes I hate being right. We have a problem with Ehren’s eye, the one that already has some damage to it. We are not yet sure what the cause of it is but it’s been very inflamed and after a week still has a blue haze over the cornea. She has had a drug that dilates the pupil so is permanently in a fly mask with a gaffer tape patch over the left eye so that the sunshine isn’t painful. As you can imagine it’s all rather worrying as we aren’t sure what has caused it and after a week it hasn’t really gone away. Martin of course has a constant supply of pirate jokes. Poor Ehren.

Martin had a really interesting lesson with Francis Whittington this week and has been given lots of homework to encourage her to slow down and think. I am indeed honoured as I was allowed to suggest a few exercises earlier in the week for exactly the same reason. Now that I have been vindicated I shall step away slowly and go back into the shadows! Francis must have hit the nail on the head as Tinka jumped a double clear at Brightling BE100 yesterday. Martin was delighted and said she felt the best she has all year. Hurrah!

So Tinka is off to Iping next week, whether Ehren makes it to the Regionals I can’t predict but she certainly won’t be getting a practise run anywhere…..everyone please cross everything!

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whistling like a kettle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Action, action!

Well Happy New Year to you all. Fingers, hooves and paws crossed for a fantastic 2011.

Like everyone else during the snow I have been bored rigid and entertaining myself with food and far more trips to the Red Lion than is healthy! I have to admit to starting 2011 needing a bigger girth – Lily will buckle at the knees when I get back on!

In between eating and drinking with family and friends we went to the OSBWK Boxing Day Meet at Chiddingstone Castle. Due to the ground conditions they were only able to meet on foot but it was lovely to be off the sofa and show our support. I’ve been moaning my head off about not earning anything for four weeks but you have to spare a thought for the hunt staff – they only have the winter and a month not hunting is pretty crippling. As always we bumped into some friendly faces and stopped at the pub for a few beers with Lucy (Thompson) and Chris (Caden-Parker). Ted was particularly impressed to find some sausage leftovers on the table!

You’ll remember Harry had been hunting on the Downs at Jevington? Well the following morning he had a rather large lump under his knee on the tendon. It didn’t go away after a few days and although he was perfectly sound I thought we’d better get it scanned. Unfortunately that’s when it snowed so I confined Harry to barracks whilst waiting for the roads and yard to clear. I didn’t want to risk him out in the snow and on the frozen ground. By the time we got there the lump had very nearly gone and they looked at me like I was making it up! Anyway, I am very pleased to report that there is no damage to any tendons or ligaments and they suspect he had burst the blood vessel. So back to work for Harry!

You may be able to help me out on this one – on Thursday night we were out with friends in Chislehurst when a rather worse for wear chap stopped me and yelled ‘hey, it’s you!’. I kept moving (thinking LOON!) and I heard him say to his friend ‘look, it’s her from Emmerdale’. What on earth?!!

On Friday Harry was turned out in the small paddock by the school and predictably was beside himself. It was all I could do to hold onto him on the way out there, leaping and rearing, and looked like he was about 25 hands high! Lily too has been airborne several times on the lunge after a month off – she’s feeling very bright! It’s fantastic to be out teaching and working the horses again, I feel like a different person!

I had a new group of faces for a jumping lesson at Bedgebury on Friday, which was lovely. We have the next clinic there on Saturday. I will be organising the first cross country schooling dates soon. We are crossing everything that Martin’s Coakham meet at Nurstead happens on Sunday – it has been cancelled for the last two years. It’s all action action again, hurrah!

January 1, 2011 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , | Leave a comment