Janine Lamy

Tinka-The-Ego

Well life is certainly starting to get busy again!

Ehren has started hacking in company and has been really relaxed. She isn’t too sure about sheep, and even worse baby lambs but she has been very sane and sensible about the little fluffy white things. Tinka and her saw Tina the chiropractor for a routine check-up, and all was well. Then Ehren had a date with uncle Nick the dentist, and what a superstar she was about that too. However (!) I had noticed a little sore in her gum above her front teeth and apparently that is a fistula oozing pus from somewhere. So she may have an abscess that needs the vets to take a look, maybe x-ray to make sure there is nothing untoward going on. Don’t get me started!

However she isn’t at all bothered by it so we took her to Bedgebury to hire the arena last Thursday to see how she would be and start getting her out, seeing a bit of the world. She was very well behaved but very different to the quiet little girl that pootles around the arena at home. I was driving the Mercedes-Benz Sport all of a sudden. All of the controls I have been mastering in the last month vanished and I quickly had to find new buttons! It’s funny how they are all different, and Ehren being warmblood couldn’t be more different to the Groomsbridge Girls who are thoroughbreds. Those girls may be sharp but they would never be spooked by a tap at the side of the arena. Every, yes every single time we went past it I think it must have hissed at her in German. Oh…purlease….get over it!

Tinka then headed off to Munstead for her second BE100 of the year. Her dressage warm-up was a sight to behold, and not really sure how Martin held the test together. She was very excited to be out again and added an exuberant flying change to the test for good measure – ‘look at me!’ We all breathed a sigh of relief when it was over and she then did us proud by jumping her socks off for a double clear to finish 10th. We are really pleased with her progress and she is off to South of England next.

I have had my first Biomechanics/Pilates session and have a couple of exercise to do three times a day for two weeks before going back for a progress report. They require me to turn very slightly one way, then the other a few times. Then a little bit of pressure on both legs for a bit. Am intrigued to see if this makes a difference! I am also sporting a Bioflow magnetic wristband. You must give one of these a go. Mine is made of Copper; it has made my wrist go green, made me feel like I had flu for the first weekend, and gave me a cracker of a headache for ten days…..uhum.

As the clocks have changed and the ground is dry, all the horses at Carmen Court have moved onto ‘Summer Turnout’ meaning different paddocks for everyone and longer days out in the fields. Ehren seems to be slightly institutionalised and was not entirely comfortable out there in that big space despite having horses on every side and being close to the yard. She decided the little ginger in the field next door was to be her comfort blanket. If Lily went too far away Ehren panicked and much to my amusement Lily would keep walking back to the fence, have a little chat, then go away again. I can imagine her rolling her eyes and thinking that this German girl was quite obviously ‘care in the community’ but she is so sweet she kept it up all morning. It was hours before Ehren plucked up enough courage to go the hundred yards to the other side of the field to say hello to Strider, winging her way back to Lily at full pelt to tell her all about it….

This additional sunshine prompted the girls to come into season and my oh my, they are seriously in season! My lovely new Mercedes has turned into a runaway Sherman tank, and you know how much the Germans hate it when you mention the war…

Coming up we have a busy day XC schooling at Bonfleur, I have another Char lesson, an Easter Carmen Court jumping clinic, lots of Pony Club stuff over the holidays, some B test Care examining, then Tinka-The-Ego heads to Ardingly.

I have just noticed that someone came to this website after searching ‘fat slob in the corner of the Red Lion Swanley Village’. Now I know I put a little weight on over winter but really?!

March 30, 2012 Posted by | Carmen Court, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

26 years old

How changeable is the weather? One minute I am dressed for summer and the next I am sitting in the little Picanto in just my jumper and socks having got soaked….

Tinka and Martin had a great start to the season at Tweseldown BE100 last weekend. She was much more relaxed in the dressage for a really pleasing score of 34, was never going to touch a showjump and jumped a super clear cross-country. Martin was thrilled to finish on a double clear. She looked so much more established, and was really easy to have out. Next stop is Munstead…..

Well you knew it was coming, on Thursday I had my first flatwork lesson in a year with Char. Many of you expressed delight at the thought of someone giving me hell and you would not have been disappointed – “Give your hands to the horse, ride the horse to your hands”….”Shorten your reins!”……” Sit on your bum!”…..” Soften your wrists!”…..and on it went. When I rode Ehren the following day she was like a different horse, as if I had managed to explain things properly the day before. Must get April’s lesson booked! On the plus side I have much needed homework and Ehren got the thumbs up.

Like all my horses she is living in hand-me-downs. Harry’s turnout rug is at least 6 inches too big, and her outer night rug is at least three inches too short. Poor little girl looks like orphan Annie and I should think she wonders where she has ended up. Daddy Warbucks we are not! I was pondering this when I realised the dandy brush in my hand was over 26 years old. It came with my second pony ‘Cheetah’. It hasn’t seen a lot of use recently, for reasons of personal safety you would not approach either Lily or Harry with a dandy brush. So I started thinking….I had already owned this brush for ten years when the current gang of North West Kent pony clubbers training for their B test were born. Oh dear, Lamy you saddo!

I haven’t really said much about Lily recently. She continues to see the osteo every month. The vet agrees that she is obviously in pain, and we will be continuing investigations to find out what is wrong. It is horrid to see her look so poor and unhappy. Fingers crossed we can make her better soon….

This week both Ehren and Tinka are due to see the chiropractor for a routine check-up, Nick Coles is coming to do Ehren’s teeth, Ehren then has a little outing to Bedgebury to hire the arena (yikes!), and Martin and Tinka are off to Munstead.  Horror upon horrors I am off to see a biomechanics/pilates expert, and we have 18 for xc schooling at Bonfleur!

March 17, 2012 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Well I cannot tell a lie, I will be jolly pleased to see the back of 2011. We lost mum’s pony Truffles, our foal Lucy and my boy Harry. It is just as well everyone else has done so well!

On the dressage front we have seen some fantastic results – winners at every level from Prelim to Medium, Regional qualifications, several new entries to the 70% club and some great improvements in scores. Debbie has barely competed Jazz but qualified for the Regionals, won at Novice and Elementary and also won his unaffiliated debut at Medium. There is always something special about seeing a horse you have trained from scratch going so well. Janet won and qualified for the Regionals in the Novice Freestyle to Music in their first year at Novice. Jasmine made big improvements to Kevin’s scores, won at Novice and was placed at Elementary. With Reggie she was placed at the Area Festival, had several wins at Novice, joined the 70% club and made their debut with a third at Elementary. Oh yes! Louisa and Strider did their first BD Novices gaining 67% and winning last time out, hopefully we will try for Regional qualification next year. Bonnie too had a light year with Oliver but won at Elementary and got a magic 74% and win at Novice after his injury forced a break. You don’t see scores like that every day! Morgan made her BD debut with scores of just under 70% and a win at Prelim. Gail too won at Elementary, the first since 2007 (now I am in trouble!) However ‘Improver of the Year’ goes to an unaffiliated rider Sue Wheble. She improved her dressage scores by almost 9%. Wouldn’t we all like to do that?! What an amazing achievement!

From the Pony Clubbers there were C+ test passes from Ellie, Morgan, Sally and Elize, a B care pass for Lilly and a B riding pass for Sophie. Sophie qualified for the Novice SJ champs, Ruby qualified for the Open SJ champs, Sophie was placed in the Novice Horse Trial qualifier, and Sally was placed in the Intermediate Horse Trial qualifier. Wow! 2011 also saw Hannah start her first BE100s including some placings at Nurstead and Keysoe. Morgan bettered last year’s achievements by winning Junior Rider of the Year at the National Side Saddle Championships.  I remember them on their little ponies!

Martin no longer has time to help with Otto but his efforts were rewarded with Best Dressage and a 4th place in Otto’s first ODE, and Donna went on to achieve 5th in the Open Novice section at the BD Summer Regionals. This horse has truly been transformed and should give those struggling real hope.

Tinka joined us in January barely able to canter and was 2nd in her first ODE in April! She did a few BE90s, and was 8th at Brightling Park in appalling wet conditions when only a third jumped clear. She then finished the season with her first BE100 at South of England where she ended up 14th. This winter she made her BD debut at Prelim with a win and a second. A good year for Tinka!

With very few outings Harry qualified for the Hickstead Masters SemiFinal and was starting to see 70% scores more consistently in his novice dressage. His SJ technique had improved beyond all belief and he had a great winter as Martin’s hunt horse. It is always horrible to say goodbye to such a capable young horse but it is good to remember what we achieved. My prized possession is a sheet with three nines on it, unheard of!

Lily has started her XC schooling and has had a few days out hunting. She is now schooling round SJ courses indoors and won and was placed in her dressage outings. She has been a little uncomfortable and tetchy as some five year olds can be, but hopefully we are coming out the other side of that now…she is proving herself more than capable and is hopefully one for the future.

Ivy is still with the Reeves happily in semi-retirement. Rosie and her first colt Luke have moved to a private home down the road. Tiny is still doing a bit of everything with great success for Clare and her sharers. Lexie is happy at stud where we hope she will have a foal next year by Groomsbridge May I, father of Tinka and Lily.

The jumping clinics continue to be very popular. Seeing the change in some of the regulars is brilliant and makes it all very rewarding. We held our first adult camp at Bedgebury this Summer – what a ball! Not only did we all thoroughly enjoy ourselves but people went away saying ‘I can’t believe what I’ve achieved this weekend’. It really was great, although big thanks must go to Martin and Louisa. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Well done to everybody. I hope that 2012 can be every bit as successful!

Happy New Year!

December 30, 2011 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harry Rasta

It is ages since I updated you.  My apologies, after the chaos of summer we escaped to Portugal for a lovely relaxing holiday in the sun. I’m not sure what happened to the weather while we were away but we seem to have come back to winter.

The August Carmen Court jumping clinic started with a group of three very nervous jockeys who between them hadn’t left the floor in years. They were all somewhere between grey and green to look at, but they jumped around a small course of fences in fine style. And no Donna, Janine Lamy branded sick bags is not what I call good marketing!

We had two groups XC schooling at Bonfleur, including some four year olds having their introduction to XC jumps. They were all really good and took it in their stride, going away full of confidence for next time. Bonfleur is ideal for mixed groups as there is something for everyone and means I can have lead horses for the younger ones without interrupting the flow of the day. 

Great news from the North West Kent pony clubbers, Lily Ward passed her B test care and Sophie Etheridge her B test riding. Well done girls!

I have been helping Mark Powell and his huge dude of a horse Harvey. We are starting to see where Laura gets her competitive streak and recently they were 2nd after the dressage and posted a double clear in the Sevenoaks RC ODE. All we need to do now is get the big boy (Harvey, not Mark) cutting some tighter lines to get home inside the time. Watch out Laura, your father is nipping at your heels!

Jasmine was delighted to be placed at the BD Area Festival at Pachesham on Reggie. I think the photo says it all! They have Regional qualification in their sights, fingers crossed.

Tomorrow I drop Harry to the vets for a bone scan. I am not expecting good news but after all this time a diagnosis would be good. He now has a rather long mane and is starting to look more Bob Marley than Michael Flatley.

September 12, 2011 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Otto does good

Well a busy few weeks. There’s been lots of Pony Club rallies and Area Competitions, most recently the Horse Trials which was held at Coombelands, Pulborough. NWK pony clubber Sophie Etheridge was delighted to finish 7th in the Novice with the young Murray but the highlight of my day was Sally Stoddart finishing 7th in the Intermediate. Poor Sally was grey before she started, and utterly convinced she was going to die! With very limited mileage cross country it was a big ask to jump around the BE100 course. Top effort with gutsy riding rewarded!

Meanwhile the dressage divas have been to the BD Regionals. Donna and Otto did Carmen Court proud and came 5th in the Open Novice. This is a truly amazing transformation and all credit to Donna for sticking with it. Round of applause to Team Otto – it can be done!

I mentioned in my last update that I didn’t feel Harry was quite right behind. Two trips to the vets later we still don’t have a diagnosis. Initial investigations suggested kissing spines, but that was later ruled out and we are now thinking possible sacroiliac pain but need more tests to confirm it. Although most of the time I wouldn’t want Harry to talk, it would be easier and cheaper if he could explain what the problem was….“Feckin’ back ache! Arse!”.

We have had a couple of trips out XC schooling at Lodge Farm and Bull Farm.  Given the opportunity to show off in front of many (including her breeder, u-hum) Pigtails made an appearance at Lodge Farm. A fair amount of Lily hysteria was on show for all, yet at Bull Farm with no-one about, Lily left Pigtails at home and came as herself. The perfect pony, even leading the other horse over the ditch and into the water…. Those who were at Lodge Farm will understand that I would have found it hard to concentrate on the Ginger Ninga and teaching the group at the same time. So it was Martin who did the deed. We have struggled with Lily’s ultra sensitive mouth this summer and have been having a play with bits. At home we are making progress again but at Lodge Farm we decided to give up and attached the reins to the noseband. Worked absolute wonders and she finished on a much more positive note!

Good news from Groomsbridge, Lexie has been scanned in foal. Obviously we wouldn’t expect it to be entirely straight forward and it started out as twins…but now has been narrowed down to one pregnancy. I hope they chose the right one!

Fantastic news from the National SideSaddle Championships – Morgan Schive won Junior Rider of the Year, and got a write-up and picture in Horse and Hound. Morgan works really hard with Smurf and thoroughly deserves her success. What a way to leave your Junior years. WINNER!

We have a Carmen Court jumping clinic today, XC schooling at Bonfleur next weekend, and I start life as a probationary B test examiner…must get a clip board!

August 20, 2011 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Schooling | , , , , | Leave a comment

Plan B

Well the weather goes from one extreme to the other. Martin and Tinka were at Brightling Park for the BE90 in the worst rain and mud I can ever remember being at a horse trial in. We were towed into the lorry park which is never a good start, but the rain that fell at lunchtime was something else. It came at you sideways! Tinka has never even cantered in mud, let alone jumped out of it, but was totally unfazed. In two wheel drive (she doesn’t even wear hind shoes!) she jumped a super clear round SJ (Horse and Hound reported only 27% jumped clear in the BE90) then went on to jump a really confident clear around the XC with only a few time faults leaving her 8th. Top banana!

On the Sunday I took Harry to Royal Leisure BS as he has been feeling on fine form. He was delirious to be out again, behaving more like a four year old! The plan was to test-drive him SJ, then XC school and if all OK get him entered for Smiths Lawn. However, with horses it’s always good to have a B plan….although he felt fine at Royal Leisure, he doesn’t really look his usual happy self in the pictures and now I am not sure he is quite right behind and so he has not been worked since. We shall investigate further….

So with Lodge Farm booked for XC schooling I decided to take Lily instead. Unfortunately with Harry off games and Martin away there was no lead horse or companion. She coped with that pretty well, jumping like a star until the only other horse at Lodge Farm left the course, loaded and went home. This did prompt a little ‘Pigtails Moment’ but in fairness we would not usually school a young horse on its own and Lily rarely even hacks on her own so not entirely unexpected. She got over it! Lots more schooling planned in August and with Harry off I reckon I know who Martin has his eyes on for this season’s hunt horse!

We had a great jumping clinic at Bedgebury.  I somehow managed to persuade Louisa to take Strider. In recent times her feet have been firmly planted on the floor, in fact she hasn’t jumped a course of fences in over 12 years. Strider on the other hand, has never jumped a course of fences in his life and yes, you guessed it – they jumped a little course – Woo Hoo! I was so chuffed!

The dressage winners have been out in force again. Emma Pearce and Kathryn Nichols were first and second in the Chelsfield Prelim Championships – go girls! Tiny and Clare won their arena at the RC qualifier and are off to Lincoln for the National Championships. Janet Crumbie and Drummer have only recently started competing at Novice but won their test at Speedgate. Zalena who we restarted and sold to Claire Carter won her Novice test at Stilebridge. Jazz and Debbie won their first attempt at Medium – now that’s just showing off! On top of that our North West Kent Pony Club girls Sophie Etheridge and Ruby Fryer qualified for the Novice and Open PC Showjumping Champs. What a few weeks!

I was also delighted to see that the August edition of Local Rider has a double page spread of our Bedgebury camp pictures. It looks amazing and is fantastic advertising. My only problem is how to accommodate the number of people already showing in interest in camp 2012!

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lily, NO!

“Maybe someone needed a granny” turned out to be rather prophetic . On Sunday 26th June we made the horrible decision to have Lucy put to sleep. There was nothing else that could be done, she had fought hard for her short three weeks of life and it was time to call it a day. To be honest this year has been pretty rubbish so far and I can only hope that the second half is an improvement on the first.

Who’d have thought it? Martin being mentioned in the Dressage pages of Horse and Hound! Written up as a bit of a Guru in ‘Against the Odds’ last week, it says “Martin doesn’t get into confrontations; he just quietly sits out the tantrums.” This is very true and probably why Lily so gently placed him on the floor before laying on him. Respect!

I have now discharged myself and the horses from the chiropractors for a while. We are taking very gentle steps between the three of us but I feel like we are making progress. Lily is improved but it is still rather fragile and I think there are also bitting issues that I need to resolve. Harry on the other hand feels like a totally different horse. He is having very few angry moments and is generally much looser than before. I jumped him this week and he felt amazing, really up for it and stretching his head and neck. Quite bizarrely he has also enjoyed being groomed for the first time ever, pulling nice faces and saying ‘ooh yes, just there’. Totally unreal, we’ve been fighting with him for three years! But then the third time I saw my chiropractor I was so wiped out that I could barely put one foot in front of the other for two days. Half an hour of gentle tapping and tweaking and I felt like I had the flu – I don’t really understand it so I’m starting a rumour that they cut up frogs for the cauldron….

Jasmine and Kevin continue to improve their scores with a 64 and 66% at Step by Step BD last week. They had been stuck in the 58-60% doldrums when I started helping in November last year and I am really pleased that we are starting to see the benefit of our work. Her other ride Reggie has also pulled out all the stops and recently produced a personal best for Jasmine of 68% – happy faces at last!  

Tinka and Martin went to Eridge last Saturday for the BE90. She was a little excited about the dressage but it was improved on the last test, jumped a fantastic clear SJ and was going great guns on the XC when she lost a shoe and missed the turn to the second last fence. Bless her, she didn’t even realise she was supposed to be turning let alone jumping. To add insult to injury she would have been third! So although a little disappointing we are really pleased with how she is coming on. She seems well up for the job and is really smart!

Louisa was at the Stilebridge dressage championships last Sunday and despite it only being their fourth Novice test, they came 3rd with 67%  Top effort, he is really starting to look the business!

Then yesterday we had a Carmen Court jumping clinic. I took the opportunity to jump Harry and Lily, mostly as an assessment of how they are feeling after two months off. Harry, although as fat as a house after the break, felt well up for it and was really keen which is very unusual for him at home. I needed to stay behind him and allow him his head more. I admit to being a little rusty! Lily seemed pretty relaxed, perfectly confident and although she had lost a little technique I know this will come back and was really pleased with her. However I was reminded of how quickly she reacts and how I need to think ahead (they are so different!). We had a breakdown in communications on turning to one fence, she saw it at the last minute and skipped past it, then had a red-headed angry with mother moment “How dare you put me in that situation?!” There was much bucking and leaping and boy it came up thick and fast. At one point I swear I could have touched the sand with my tongue I was that close, eventually I found myself sitting on her neck holding onto the throatlash with both hands! Fortunately she didn’t like that very much and flipped her head back, boinged again and hey presto I was back in the saddle. I had no idea which way was up, no stirrups and was manically grabbing at bits of leather in the hope of finding some reins when she saw what she thought was the next fence….”Lily, NO!”

While we were jumping at Carmen Court four of our North West Kent Pony Clubbers (Ellie, Morgan, Sally and Elize) all passed their C+ tests – well done girls!

July 10, 2011 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2011

Well, what a year! My highlights….

Starting with some North West Kent Pony Clubbers – Hannah Bartholomew had an amazing first British Eventing season culminating in winning the South East Eventers League Swish Equestrian Grassroutes First Timer ranking. Sally Stoddart made a huge improvement to her flatwork and put her XC demons to rest by galloping round in horribly wet conditions inside the time to come 5th in her first Intro – this really put a smile on my face. Morgan Schive has done a great job moving from a small pony to her first horse and had a fantastic National Side-Saddle Championships. Also on a new horse, Sophie Etheridge put in a great performance in the Burghley Young Event Horse final. Go girls!

Moving onto my favourite young horses; Debbie Reeves and Jazz had a fantastic year, now consistently getting British Dressage scores of 70% at Novice – there was the Trailblazers Final, Reserve Elementary Sunshine Tour Champion, wins at BD Novice and Elementary, qualifying for the BD Summer and Winter Regionals, and even clothing sponsorship! Louisa Day and Strider won the Stilebridge Dressage Championships, the Hadlow Riding Club Championships and their first BD Prelims.  Phewee!

Bonnie Kerr’s hard work has also paid off with some great scores and British Dressage wins at Novice and Elementary on Oliver. He could barely canter a circle a few years ago and now does his bit for non-warmbloods in the dressage arena!  They really have come a long way. Alas we said goodbye to her cousin Kate Lawson’s little ginger man Caffrey. As is sometimes the way with horses we had just turned the corner with him, had won at BE Intro with Pre-Novices planned, when he was injured.

The Carmen Court jumping clinics have been a huge success. It’s been great to see some new faces but the improvement in the regulars will keep me feeling warm and fluffy all winter. In particular Rachel Stewart, Nicole Garbett, Morgan Schive, Ellie Bryant and more recently Gill Miller appears to be having a ball! Big thanks to Louisa, not only for allowing us to invade the yard once a month but also for taking photographs for everyone. The 2011 clinic dates are on the ‘clinic’ page, but before then we still have two remaining dates under cover at the lovely Bedgebury Park. 

The fantastic summer camps that I taught at restored the fire in my belly for holding my own next summer. I think this could be great fun and Martin has promised to cook breakfast! Let me know if this appeals to you and we’ll see what we can organise…finding an affordable venue is the challenge…

Then our own horses; there’s been a massive improvement in Harry this year. Thanks to the help I’ve had from Char Lassetter and Sally Thurloway. They are both amazing and I have learnt so much about how to ride him. Harry’s a funny boy but it’s been really great to be out competing again.  Lily has been a dude (mostly!), is absolutely lovely to have around (she’s like an ‘anti-Harry’!) and hopefully will be ready for some parties next year. Fingers, paws and hooves crossed for Lexie and Rose to have healthy foals. We were lucky enough to spend some time with Ivy this summer before she headed back to the Reeves family, reminding us what a character she is. She’ll be twenty next year – unreal, and still such a feisty little madam! Tiny and Clare have enjoyed a great year with wins in all disciplines and much Riding Club success for Dartford and District. She’s a good girl and is looking great.

After 35 years involvement with the North West Kent branch of the Pony Club Martin now leaves the branch and moves on to be Area 11 Representative. He has somehow found time to help Donna Johnston with Otto, amazing how these dressage horses can thrive on a bit of cross country schooling and hunting!! Very unexpectedly we said goodbye to Tyra, a peaceful but sad end.

I hope that you all have a fantastic Christmas. My very best wishes for a fun, successful 2011. Keep up the good work and hopefully see you soon!

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Burghley Young Event Horse, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment