Janine Lamy

Off games

Well it’s been two very busy weeks fitting in Lily and Harry around normal lessons and teaching at camps. Normally I give the horses most of August off as I find it hard to do it all, but this year I have been determined to keep them going. The consequence of this is that I have been tired and tetchy, thoroughly delightful to be around, growling at Martin whenever he starts a sentence with ‘have you managed to…’!

Last week was my fifth year doing the jumping sessions at Chislehurst and District Riding Club camp. It’s a lovely camp to teach at, everyone trying their very best and they are always really supportive of each other. I always get lots of enjoyment seeing the progress through the week, and the lunches are amazing!

Part way through the week we got news that Lexie’s 28 day scan had revealed a heartbeat – woohoo! I mustn’t get too excited as I know things don’t always go to plan but this is fantastic news.  I also hear from Stud UK Euro that Rosie was scanned in foal, so everything crossed for things to go well there too. On the Saturday Martin moved Lexie from West Kington Stud in Wiltshire (where there is no winter broodmare accommodation) to Groomsbridge Stud in Cambridgeshire (where Lily came from). We know that Sally Forster at Groomsbridge pampers everything like it was a favourite pony in her back garden, and that is exactly what we want for our girl. She’s still looking rather fit and I imagine a rather well bred, curvaceous broodmare taking her to one side “this place is fabulous darling but you really must eat your greens…you’re eating for two now sweetie…”

While Martin was driving around the country in the lorry, we had a very busy Carmen Court jumping clinic. Debbie’s Jazz jumped like a star again, maybe a trip to Felbridge for the boy is looming after all. He had saddle trouble and was a little sore two months ago when he nearly had his Aunty Janine eating sand, so it’s good to have that behind us and be back on form. It’s great to see the progress in the regulars but also lovely to see quite a few new faces this time. I also jumped Lily in a group which is a completely new experience for her and she behaved brilliantly. Although very green, she’s feeling really confident now and at times was a bit of a cocky show-off!

Then came our Pony Club branch’s camp at Judd Wood nr Tonbridge where I have been teaching all week. Only a small number of Pony Clubbers in attendance but for me, one of the best camps we’ve had in years. A great bunch and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. By Monday lunchtime there had been a finger shut in a lorry door, and a trip to A&E for a key helper with a bang to the head. Fortunately the rest of the week mainly concentrated on keeping everyone dry overnight – not really the best weather for camping. Then on Thursday, a horrible incident….I managed somehow to put a salt and vinegar crisp in my eye instead of my mouth, not something I would recommend! Now I don’t want to get anyone in trouble but between you and me, I have picked my way through the camp Risk Assessment and nowhere does it assess the Health and Safety issues regarding crisp eating….

Harry made an appearance on Wednesday, the hack had been cancelled as my ‘sweeper’ had concussion (!) but he was still lined up to teach them how to lunge. I had started to question my judgement and was worrying he’d snack on some poor unsuspecting child, but he was an utter star, totally on the charm offensive, and I think he would have trotted circles around them even if they were doing headstands! Unfortunately when I came to ride him on Friday he was slightly unlevel. It looks like he’s throwing a splint which at six he’s a prime age for. There’s a rather large hot lump in the splint area on the outside of his near fore. So Harry will be off games for a while and I expect Smiths Lawn will turn out to be his last event this year – I’m glad he went so well and proved that he’s learnt so much. He will be one for the future… but so much for working my butt off for the last four weeks to keep him in work, typical – where’s the justice in that?!

Bonnie Kerr had a great result at Brook Farm BD this week with a win in the Elementary with over 67%. We took Oliver back to basics about a year ago and Bonnie has been very patiently waiting to see the upshot of her hard work. Typically the results got worse before they got better and I’m sure she wondered if we were doing the right thing, but she’s had two wins recently so I would say we’re back in business, plus some! I also hear from Zalena and Claire Carter that they have qualified for the Riding Club Championships at Lincoln in the riding test. That’s a fantastic effort. Zalena came to me as a rehabilitation following an injury and was re-backed and slowly brought back into work over the summer last year. She was a smart young horse and we sold her onto Claire on behalf of her owner Zoe Squirrel who also had an injury, and in less than a year together they have really got it together – top effort girls!

Today we took Lily to Felbridge to school in their arena over some jumps. She was a bit overawed by the arena there and very spooky, but after a little while really got into her stride and grew in confidence. More of this planned!

So that’s it, August is nearly over… I have to admit that I’m looking forward to the slightly slower pace of life that the autumn will bring, but am disappointed they’ll be no Harry parties for a while. That’s horses though…

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Schooling | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dressage Diva Harry

I’m wondering whether a Google search ‘tiny janine lamy’ is a reference to my size or one of my horses…

Anyway, Otto and Martin went XC schooling at Lodge Farm last Wednesday. The first time he saw a ditch he popped it like a pro. The third time he saw that ditch he stopped dead and tipped Martin over his head!! Some quiet discussion followed but fairly quickly they were back in business popping fences, steps, banks etc. I think water schooling must be next?! When he was good he was very very good…

On Thursday Martin and I headed off to Hickstead for the Royal International Horse Show. A lovely day off, we watched some showing (those horses were NEVER under 15.2!), the Eventers’ Grand Prix, some of the Grand Prix dressage, and some window shopping (Martin is obviously saving himself for Burghley!).

Harry had a pre-event XC school at Lodge Farm Saturday. We normally wouldn’t be there twice in a week but decided Harry and Otto together might just be more testosterone than we could handle! It was a 15 minute affair reminding ourselves what this XC mallarky is about and getting our feet wet again.

Then Smiths Lawn BE100 with Harry on Tuesday and what a good boy he was! He was lying third after the dressage with 28.5 (oh yeh!), just rolled a pole SJ and jumped a super clear XC. We were a bit slow as we haven’t done any fittening work in months due to the ground, and at 17 hands he is pretty tricky to steer around those woods but I was absolutely delighted with him. He ended up fourteenth but would have been placed with less time penalties. Go Harry! I am so pleased that the hard work looks to be paying off and there is such an improvement. He has earned fun-time hunting this winter!

Then today we were off to Eaglesfield to school Lily around the arena and over some fences. She was pretty perky at the sight of an arena filled with jumps, a grandstand, and advert boards all around etc but took it all in her stride and jumped everything we asked of her. I had promised not to complain when it eventually rained but I really wouldn’t have chosen my Lily at Eaglesfield slot for thunder and a torrential downpour! Typical.

Good news from Hannah Bartholomew, posting a 6th in the BE90 at Little Mattingley – her fourth placing in her first season. Debbie Reeves has been to Stoneleigh for the Trailblazers Championships and although Jazz was initially a bit taken aback with the journey and staying away from home for the first time, he scored two good placings in the Consolation Ride Off on the second day including a 2nd in the novice with 73%. I am so pleased for them. Jazz is only 6 years old and has achieved so much already. He has the BD Southern Regionals on Saturday, another big experience for the boy. It is a fantastic part of my job seeing the young horses you have helped with from the start come through and do so well.

Tomorrow I am off to cheer on the North West Kent branch of the Pony Club at the Area Horse Trial at Pulborough. We also have a Pony Club rally with NZ Olympic rider Joe Meyer booked next week which should be interesting. Pony Club camp is now only a few weeks away too…Harry doesn’t realise this yet but he’s going to be a lunge guinea-pig, then he’s taking charge of a hack in the woods (I must stop drinking wine at Pony Club committee meetings!)

Everyone cross your fingers, toes, hooves and paws. Lexie was scanned in foal at 14 days….another scan on 28 days to come…

August 4, 2010 Posted by | Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling | , , | Leave a comment

Better suited to cricket

Friday last week we had a lesson with Char. Between you and me I think she’s soft on Harry. All these serious dressage horses she trains and I reckon she has Harry as a pin-up! She brings him polos….they look into each other’s eyes….and Harry says “Grumpy Boy? Who me?!”. Another one of those situations when I describe how he’s been the horse from hell, Harry goes like a dream, she says “well I haven’t seen any of that today” and I feel like I’ve made it all up! She’s very good at getting into his head. Keep learning Lamy!

Then on Saturday we had another Carmen Court jumping clinic. A quieter affair than usual, but this meant I had time to ride Lily in the arena and what a superstar she was. She jumped everything first time, including the planks and the water tray – what a big brave pony! I was also delighted with Debbie Reeves’ Jazz. He was much more rideable and couldn’t have gone better (note to self ‘must steal for a party’!) Then there was John Evans – much improved, and the group of girls Rachel Stewart, Nicole Garbett and Morgan Schive – a noticeable difference to last month. Hoo hah! That’s what we like…

Lexie went to the vets on Monday for an ovarian scan and general check up. Martin is trialling her on regumate but Karen Coumbe’s money is on another stomach ulcer. We’ll see what comes out of the woodwork….We’ve also had the bad news that Rose absorbed her foal over the winter. She has been covered again this week though so fingers crossed for a successful outcome for them this time. I’m quite disappointed there’s no devil foal this year! We were expecting Ivy home this summer as we hear she’s starting to feel her age and Romy wants to go on and do more. However as I write this we hear that she isn’t quite sound…so she’ll be home in a few weeks for us to assess the situation and decide what to do next….Horses!

The one thing left for Lily to experience before a well earned holiday is a different jockey. Cue Martin to climb aboard. Last Sunday Sandra Stoddart saw Martin bending over at East Bysshe and thought it was me (I’m not sure I will EVER find forgiveness!). We were hoping Lily wouldn’t notice the difference either and she didn’t at first, then his ‘man aids’ to canter rather confused her and she pressed the ejector button! The DC remained in situ and other than that she was a cool dude. She will now have three to four weeks off, just to soak in everything that she has learned. It would be very easy to keep asking more and putting more pressure on but she’s been a total star and has deserved some chill out time.

And onto Mattingley for our first 100 today. Harry started the day by breaking a leadrope, not a great start. We then struggled with the flies and his balance in the dressage. You’d think we were trying to ride a test on a black run, not a mild slope! He did try his best but left me in no doubt that I have to find some grass to work him on if his balance is to improve. Then the jumping…..hmm. Well I thought he jumped the fillers really nicely. Unfortunately there were poles above them! Four down. FOUR! Groan. On the XC he was totally fab and it was quite an ask for his level of experience. A totally different horse, he was really relaxed and confident.  Unfortunately he was also rather hampered by his mother who rode to the corner thinking he was drifting left. Alas, I sat like a lemon and he carried on drifting left, right past the fence. Argh, what was I thinking?! I think we’d have been better suited to cricket today but nice to get out and try something more of a challenge. Plenty of homework required before another trip out though!

Lexie is off to Borde Hill, Lily is on holiday and Ivy is due home…

May 22, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , | Leave a comment

Cool bananas!

It’s come to our attention that Harry is obviously not as thick as he likes to make out….he has become a master at untying ropes and escaping. Four times in the last two weeks to be precise (you’d think I would have caught on huh?!) Last Wednesday I was getting ready to go out for a lesson. One minute I am grooming a hind leg, the next I am chasing him past the stables and down the path, and I finally catch up with him in a nearby paddock looking very pleased with himself, doing ‘Harry does Riverdance’ on his leadrope. Monkey!

I have been worried that both Sally and Char would think he’d gone backwards since last seeing him in November. A rather inauspicious start to his jumping lesson, “hmmm…..he appears to be jumping by brail today”, but rose to the dizzy heights of “he looks like a different horse”. Wey hey – that’s the physio, flatwork and jump trainers all thinking he’s going better; just me to convince! I think the bit of hunting we managed, followed by our enforced break has actually done him the world of good.  

He has been entered for Tweseldown and Munstead 90s. We’re into Tweseldown, and waiting to see if we escape the ballot for Munstead. It occurred to me after entering that I haven’t jumped a course of fences on him yet (minor point!) so yesterday we dragged ourselves to Duckhurst. He was a very good boy. He’s only been indoors once before and took it all very calmly. Bit of rider error forced a pole to the floor in the first round, but a lovely clear round for our second attempt. Really pleased with the way he jumped. Polos for Harry!  

The pictures on facebook of us schooling at Munstead have caused quite a lot of comment. Everyone seems to be quite amazed at Kate Lawson’s little legs! What they don’t realise is that it’s not her horse, he very rarely jumps, and Kate has only ridden about six times in the last ten months – top effort!

There’s a new boy for me to play with at home. He comes with a reputation of being a bit of a rebel, and the plan is for me to jump him occasionally to give him something different to think about. Now that I have, his owner Donna might just find Grumpy Boy in her stable and Otto in mine – he’s a natural and I look forward to playing with him more.

Lily dude, Lily dude, rah rah rah! On day three of being ridden we had our first canter, and on day four we went for a hack around the corn field – Cool Bananas!

Unfortunately the weather has put pay to our plans of schooling at Littleton Manor tomorrow. We have our hooves, paws and fingers crossed that we’ll still be able to go to a pre-season combined training at Munstead next weekend. I’m rather hoping to ride a dressage test and jump on grass before our first event – I’ll let you know! 

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses, Schooling | , , | Leave a comment