Janine Lamy

Never has an arena felt so small

I have a new XC schooling date, Sunday April 25th, 2pm at Chilham Park. This is particularly beneficial for anyone doing their unaffiliated event in May. We’re also taking names now for the first Carmen Court jumping clinic on April 17th. I’m looking forward to starting these again, and am hoping for warmer weather!

From the world of dressage…Debbie Reeves came back from Eaglesfield last Tuesday with the judge’s comments in capitals “I LIKE IT!!!” – crikey, think we must be doing something right, I suggested framing the sheet and hanging it in the loo!

Sarah Hetherington on the other hand had ventured out to Stilebridge. She was feeling a little bit under-horsed as everyone floated past her little mare on big bay warmbloods, when a fellow competitor came up and explained that her horse had been frightened by Sarah’s coloured because it thought she was a cow!! Well ‘cows rule ok’ because Trinny was 2nd overall – that’s the last time someone will call her Buttercup!

And then for my own efforts….On Sunday Harry and Lexie ventured out to Heath Farm, Munstead for some pre-season combined training. It was my first dressage test on Harry, and of course we were on a grass arena. He was much more forward than at home, which meant our usual lack of balance was rather magnified, but nothing quite prepared me for the test itself. Oh my god, it would have been easier to steer the horsebox around the arena! Clearly no-one had explained to Harry that we were supposed to stay inside the white boards. Down the centre line (hey, this is straight, good), track right (ok, bit hollow but not bad), 20m circle at B (ooh, where’s my steering?), up the long side (OK let’s make the best of this bit), short side next (Harry turn, Harry turn!), and we clunk out over the boards at A! The test had some positives (we got five 8s) but the judge didn’t seem to appreciate us leaving the arena (4), the mincing jiggy-joggy walk (two 4s), or the Irish Jig we did at G for a 3 (did someone say halt?!). Let’s just say I’ve got some work to do, but that’s what these early outings are about – fact finding missions! I’ve got a Char lesson tomorrow, hope she doesn’t leave with her head in her hands….

He was also very different to jump on grass and in a big arena – rather opinionated and keen! So this too will need some practise, but the big fella did leave them all up for a clear round so I was very pleased. Lexie and Martin, as usual, pulled out a very nice test. Lexie looked away with the fairies and had the first fence down which was a shame as otherwise she jumped very well. She finished 5th in her section. Harry was 12th in his I think. It was great to be out, although absolutely freezing. I look forward to seeing how we go at Tweseldown on Sunday. Will let you know!

I lunged Lily over a small fence in the school this week. She stopped, looked at it, said “I can’t go forwards, something is in the way!” Then we persuaded her that forward was the only way so she stepped her front legs over it and looked at me as if to say “now what do I do, I’m stuck!”. The lightbulb eventually came on thank goodness. Today we cantered around a course of poles with wings – it was a bit like riding someone’s gymkhana pony but I was very impressed with her attitude. She just got on with it. 

The jumping lecture demo at Chelsfield is suddenly next weekend, best I post this and go give it some thought….

March 11, 2010 Posted by | Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment

Warts and all

First of all, let’s talk Lily. I am so pleased with her progress over the last two weeks. She’s been quite sensitive to the bit and is very ticklish so I was expecting quite a reaction to being long reined. Wrong! On just her third time on the long reins she was out on her own, trotting and changing the rein like a pro. Fantastic effort, particularly considering the cack-handed fool that was behind her. Go Lily dude!

Having agreed last year to do a lecture demonstration at Chelsfield Equestrian Centre, I now have to think about what we will do and with which horses. Suddenly it’s only a month away and it’s not like I have a string to choose from. It will certainly be a ‘warts and all’ demo, we’re not exactly talking Mary King here! I have this recurring vision of Harry knocking down every single fence he’s pointed at. Crikey, I need to get a grip! And breathe……..

Talking of Harry, he continues to look like a tortoise; all big body with no neck and a head. This Weightwatchers thing doesn’t seem to be working, could he be cheating?! I’m starting to wonder if Lexie, a permanent size zero, is passing it over at night….something just doesn’t add up, he’s as fat as a house!

The horses all had their six monthly back checks this week with Chris Caden-Parker. Chris said that Harry had never looked so good which was great news. He’s really a much stronger chap now. I also just wanted to check that everything is OK with Lily before we plug on with the ridden work.

Dead chuffed with Harry’s efforts on Friday. Char came for a lesson and thought he was much more forward, and also more willing in the brain department. Hurrah!

And then yesterday we went to Munstead for our first XC school. The big boy did me proud. He was a bit unruly to begin with but very bold and brave. The highlight for me though was seeing one of our Pony Club members, Hannah Bartholomew, on her new horse jumping round the 90 course. Hannah is only twelve and has had her new horse for only three months. It was great to see them to do so well and look so pleased.

Decision made. I’ll be entering our first 90s after I’ve updated this. Yikes!

February 15, 2010 Posted by | Instruction, Our Horses | , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

I hope that you all had a super Christmas and saw in the New Year in style. My first job is to thank everyone for my lovely Christmas presents – what a generous bunch you are!

Due to the weather and my slowly mending body I’ve been bored and off games for weeks, but we did manage to catch up with some friendly faces at two of the OSBWK foxhound meets over the festive period. Boxing day we saw everyone off at Chiddingstone Castle, and on the 28th we were at Ash Manor for the Childrens’ Meet. It’s lovely to catch up with people you don’t see so much during the winter and great to see so many of the children I teach through West Kent Meopham and North West Kent pony clubs out for the day. It just made me more determined to get myself and the horses going again!

It’s the time of year for reviewing plans and goals. It’s a good way of making sure we are on the right track, analysing the past season, putting together training plans and keeping the ball rolling. I hope you’re ready for the conversation when I see you!

Plus, I hope that you have all noted the 2010 rule changes. The two most obvious ones being BD – gloves must be of light colour, and BE – proper protective headwear must be worn for the dressage phase at BE80, 90, 100 and 100+.  Don’t get caught out, I for one need a new pair of light coloured gloves as mine are full of holes!

We’re looking forward to the Coakham Bloodhounds meet at Nurstead on Sunday. Having spent two days walking the country this week Martin says the going is fantastic. Fingers crossed that Jack Frost stays away….

Looking ahead, we have clinic dates fixed for Carmen Court 2010 for April through to October (see Clinic page), and Martin and I will be doing a jumping Lecture / Demo at Chelsfield Equestrian Centre on 21st March. Hopefully we’ll see some of you there.

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment