Janine Lamy

Dressage divas and hedge hoppers

Lily practising her dressage

Lily practising her dressage

Well I have to say the dressage divas have been out in force this month! Morgan and Smurf qualified for the BD National Winter Championships through the Area Festival class at Elementary, Ehren qualified for the Winter Regionals at Elementary Open, Andrea and Blue qualified for the unaffiliated Hickstead Championships with a 70% club win, ‘bad boy’ Okie and Heather won the unaffiliated Speedgate Novice Championships, and Lily and Martin picked up a red and a blue frillie at Hadlow BD in her prelims! Oh yeh!!!! Also I was delighted to hear that a horse I helped get going ‘Dita’ also qualified for the Winter Championships at Prelim with her mum Terri. Even though I no longer help these two it is great to see a horse you started go on to do really well.

I am particularly pleased with Ehren who really went well at Stilebridge BD winning both tests overall with no blips to pick up two whopping scores of 74.48% and 76.25%. Fingers crossed she is getting her confidence back in the arena. Lots more practise at new venues to do but lovely to show the world what she is really capable of.

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

Little Lexi went out puppy hunting for the second time with Martin and the Coakham Bloodhounds. I am still unable to ride with short stirrups after hurting my knee. Actually she completely disgraced herself and I was jolly pleased that it was Martin onboard!! She was rather over excited, completely unstoppable and very rude indeed. A few weeks later I managed to persuade him to try again on a full hunting day with better brakes and more jumping to keep her occupied. She was still strong but behaved really well and flew everything in style including some bigger hedges. Thankfully the B jockey was delighted, and she looked really smart jumping out of her stride in all ground. I am determined to somehow turn my juvenile delinquent into an event horse!

We then disappeared off on holiday to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and came home to fog, rain and Maabof! He is staying for a week of boot camp while his mum is on holiday. Ehren and Little Lexi feel tiny after I have ridden him, but as always he is being a gentleman.

Ehren's sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

Ehren’s sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

Lots of SJ clinics coming up through the winter at Four Elms, Eaglesfield, Duckhurst and Blue Barn. Hopefully some more hunting and dressage for Lexi so long as this mixture works OK – I have to say her canter has improved enormously since she started hunting. Ehren hopefully will get out too, but I think a new venue is in order. Now we are qualified it is back to homework. Mille moved from Carmen Court about a month ago to her winter digs with Ingrid Dubrow just up the road, and Rodney will be leaving Groomsbridge Stud this weekend for life at Stud UK Euro for a bit. Poor Lily has had some sarcoids surgically removed and is in sick bay for a while, but hopefully will be back in work sometime before the end of the year. Unfortunately given their locations we were backed into a bit of a corner as to what to do with them. Creams and feed supplements were unfortunately not an option. We had a prolonged virus on the yard two winters ago and both Ehren and Lily developed sarcoids after this had compromised their immune system. Ehren has been fed Eclipse Recovery for a while, and after three or four months her largest sarcoid just dropped off so both girls are now on this to try to keep the dreaded things at bay. Such a nuisance!

Suppose I had better stick my nose into the leaflet that just came through the door “BD Competition Structure 2016”…..I may be gone a while…….

November 4, 2015 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | 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

Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!

Humungafoal on the right!

Humungafoal!

Where to start?! Well 2014 saw us gain two new family members in Rodney and Billy. You know when you order something on the internet and you think you clicked on the right size but when it comes you ordered an extra-large? Billy is like a big yellow antelope squished into the back of my little car with arms and legs awkwardly pressed up against the windows, and Rodney has been nicknamed humungafoal (measuring 15 hands at 8 months).

Tinka and Martin had a great year for the Groomsbridge Stud and breeders/owners Sally and Tom Forster, the highlight of which was a win in their Novice section at Firle BE. They are now qualified for a Novice Regional Final and a CIC* and on top of all that Tinka had an embryo flush to German jump stallion Diarado. Woo-hoo!

Lily progress

Lily progress

The thing that we are most proud of this year is small, angry and ginger. Lily has made great steps forward finishing her first season at BE80. It may sound insignificant but to come through what she has is testament to how tough she is. She is more opinionated and tricky than anything I know (as I write this Martin has a hoof-print shaped bruise on his thigh). It is just as well he is both patient and stubborn in equal measure!!

Little Lexi is slowly building up her skills, hopefully for some proper parties in 2015. Ivy, now 23 is still enjoying her retirement with Laura and Tina Reeves. Tiny, despite being 19 is doing a fabulous job competing with Claire Drury and Dartford and District Riding Club. They were placed at the Milton Keynes three day event this spring. Millie, now 2, looks quite smart and her mother Lexie is now home and back in work. It’s great to have her home but due to lack of space she will be looking for a loan home in the spring. It’s a shame as she looks amazing. That just leaves Ehren….

Well….starting high….she scored some 9s at the Winter Regionals. Wow, I knew she had it in her but 9s?! Go girl! We then lost much of the year with a virus that took months to clear and gastric problems, very frustrating. A recent return to form needs to hang around us a little while longer before I am cracking out the champagne, but I do have a bottle at the ready! Fingers crossed for 2015 Ehren.

Morgan National Side-saddle Champion

Morgan National Side-saddle Champion

Enough about us. Three horses went to the BD Winter Championships at Hartpury with Debbie and Morgan, a fantastic achievement. Lots of BD successes throughout the year from you all which is fabulous. Morgan also had an amazing side-saddle season, doing absolutely brilliantly to be the youngest ever rider to win National Side-saddle Rider of the Year. Wowsers!

The BE gang have also done brilliantly with Jules leading the way being placed in every event she entered including her debut at BE100 and a win at Munstead in the BE90. Great stuff, we love catching up with you all at events.

As usual lots of great show-jumping and cross country clinics with both old friends and new faces. We have used some new venues and tried some different things doing Workers clinics and Side-Saddle Equitation Jumping. Most of all they are always great fun and we are very lucky to have Louisa provide some excellent photography to accompany the day. We also did several camps at Adds Farm this year, plus my own camp at Bedgebury which possibly included one of the funnier evenings this year. If Carlsberg did camps….!

Herman doing his polework

Herman doing his polework

Our schooling liveries have all been lovely house guests. I thoroughly enjoy having your ponies to play with but I do hope that Rodney does not turn out to be quite as big as Herman!

My Pony Clubbers have done amazeballs. Elize passed her B test Care and Riding, and no less than six North West Kent members passed their C+ test. Top banana!

There is a lot to look forward to next year. Merry Christmas to everyone and kick on for the best of luck in 2015! If you can believe it, you can achieve it…

Janine and Martin

December 24, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ave Satani!

OK…it’s been a while as we have been so mad busy. Brace yourself as it’s a long one!!

I have done two more camps at Adds Farm; one in July and one in August. Everyone loves the facilities there and has a great time hacking in the Ashdown Forest in between seeing me for flatwork and jumping sessions. Sue’s breakfasts are legendary and quite how they ride afterwards is completely beyond me! We are already talking about dates for 2015 so give Sue a shout if you fancy getting some friends together. Everyone who has been thoroughly recommends!

Wet from head to toe!

Wet from head to toe!

Our own branch Pony Club camp was a little damp, with yours truly found standing in a field with thunder and lightning at one end of the week and ending up in the water jump in her Ariats at the other end. Not good, especially when you bear in mind that the wellies were in my car a few hundred yards away. Doh.

Morgan's write up in Horse and Hound

Morgan’s write up in Horse and Hound

Great to see Elize Zelenka pass both her B test Riding and Care this summer, always a great achievement that does not come without hard work over the years. Morgan Schive has also had an amazing year. She won the Alexander James  Side-Saddle Championship up at Aintree for the second year running meaning that once again she will lead in the winners of the Topham Chase in 2015. Then off to Addington where at 19 years old she was the youngest rider ever to win National Side-Saddle Rider of the Year. Totally amazing and thoroughly well deserved.  

Lois strutting her stuff sideways

Lois strutting her stuff sideways

I did two jumping clinics with Pippa Doran for the Area 8 Side-saddle Association at Eaglesfield. I find this really interesting and hope that we will do some more through the winter.

There has also been Carmen Court jumping clinics in July and August, the last ones this year. Autumn seems to be heading in early but we have a roof booked at Four Elms and Golden Cross for the winter. What a thought.

Herman doing his polework

Herman doing his polework

I have had two more horses in for schooling. Alpha came in while her mum was on holiday for a few weeks, just for general schooling work. Hopefully she left rather more supple and off the leg than when she arrived. Her tack certainly left looking more supple! Then a wee irish lad came to stay. At 17.3 hands Herman is quite the hulk. Fortunately he is a lovely lad as he came for some jumping work and my leg barely gets below the saddle flap! His brain is a long way from his feet and we spent a while just walking over tiny fences and trotting and cantering poles to get him to understand that those four legs were his responsibility and not mine!!

So what about our own horses? We have been continuing with chiro and acupuncture with Ehren. Her gastric problem seems to be under control, although historically it is the winter that causes us more problems. Her body has become very crooked and blocked and her lovely movement is somewhat diminished. I am told by those that understand more than I do that having her teeth out in July 2012 is the reason for her problems including probable headaches, jaw and TMJ problems, poor body movement, gastric issues, and balance/crookedness….Time will tell whether the needles will help. I have to say after the first two sessions she felt considerably worse. I did feel for Julia the vet who is helping. There was a ridden session before the third lot of needles where she was feeling awful, worse than before we started treating her. She made some suggestions about what to try and I could hear myself muttering and grumbling “I’ll do it but I really don’t think this will help”.  Oh Lamy you sound like a sullen teenager, get a grip! It had got to the point where I didn’t want to ride her any more. I am not a bully rider, it just isn’t our way, but in order to work Ehren through this I need to get at her a bit and I am hating every moment. She did feel slightly improved after session three and Julia was right, the transition work she suggested is helping. You have to trust your hired help. Will keep you updated. Two years of being wonky does not resolve itself in two minutes.

Little Lexi's first dressage test

Little Lexi’s first dressage test

XC schooling at Bonfleur

XC schooling at Bonfleur

Onto Lexi…..well, the young girl is now up and running like any normal baby horse. A year down the line she is physically and mentally recovered from whatever happened on her journey south. She is a terribly sweet, perky, feisty and fun girl; exactly what I ordered.  She has twice been to Eaglesfield to trot over some jumps and see the sights. Her first trip out she walked straight up the ramp, travelled well, took everything in at Eaglesfield, trotted round a little two foot course, stood on the lorry in silence for an hour while I did a lesson. Superstar! She then had an identical second trip to Eaglesfield before heading to Redlands one evening for the Sevenoaks RC informal dressage. Again, she was a total superstar taking everything in her stride and gaining 74.21% in her prelim. I was absolutely delighted (if rather shocked!). Then on Monday we took her to Bonfleur for her first XC school in what turned out to be monsoon conditions! Tinka came as a lead but was barely needed as Lexi jumped everything in front of her first time with just a little look at the water. Wowsers!

Lily and Martin Borde Hill BE80

Lily and Martin Borde Hill BE80

So onto Lily…..after the Felbridge BE80 combined training she was back to Chilham BE80. Woo-hoo!! After thousands of pounds in vet bills, blood, sweat, tears and three trips to Darenth Valley hospital between us Lily has completed her first BE80!!!! She was very nearly placed, finishing on the same score as 10th. We must be stark raving bonkers but what an achievement!!  A week later at the next Carmen Court jumping clinic Martin was laying in the sand in a cloud of dust with Lily’s bridle in his hand. There will be enough Lily stories for a book soon. You can’t tell Pigtails anything. The week after we were at Borde Hill BE80 and it was the Ginger Bullet that came of the lorry. She was on fire. The most appalling dressage test ended a warm up that had Martin screaming at passers-by as Lily lunged towards them on two legs. This was followed by a very gung-ho SJ round, and she stormed around the XC with Martin not even breaking a sweat. She ended up 14th and we were delighted as she seemed so much more confident, had most importantly had fun and hadn’t even got loose in the lorry park. She saved that for a few weeks later at the Carmen Court jumping clinic…

Now it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit to Tinka’s latest misdemeanour. I was a little nervous when she was invited home for a holiday mid-season because that meant Tinka going home in party mood. I sat her down, and we chatted about Tinka’s attitude to life “let’s have fun now and worry about the consequences tomorrow”.  I thought the message had gone in. It hadn’t. Tinka got pregnant whilst holidaying in Newmarket. I am told the father is a charismatic handsome young German lad called Diarado, but he is not admitting anything. The humiliation for the family! Could we imagine Tinka in a Catholic-run home for unmarried girls? I don’t think so! The decision was made to flush the embryo. Her stay-at-home sister will carry the child, do the messy stuff and be mum. Tinka gets to come home and carry on with her career. The 42 day scan has just been done and all is well. So on the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month in 2015….

     

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should have gone to Specsavers!

We had a brilliant weekend at Stratford Hills in the sunshine. Tinka jumped double clear and finished 10th in the BE Novice and Jules and Libby did brilliantly to finish 7th in their first ever BE100. We’ve always loved this event and the last three years it clashed with my Bedgebury camp. This year I had strict instructions and contacted the organiser back in the winter to ensure that we could go, and just as well I did!

While we were there Emma Dendy text me to say she had jumped clear round her first BS British Novice, also something of a milestone achievement! These guys have come such a long way. Emma was too frightened to get on Lilly at one point and I can remember leading her around the arena at Bedgebury because she was frozen with fear. Wowsers!

I give side-saddle a go!

Horse ailment charades, what can I say?!

Horse ailment charades, what can I say?!

Talking of Bedgebury we had the most fun at adult camp. As always a weekend of laughter with horses thrown in, and hopefully some learning! Extra curricula activities included a brilliant side-saddle lecture demonstration and have-a-go (and I did!), Simple System Feed came and did a really interesting and thought provoking talk, and we played Horse Ailment Charades. Crikey I haven’t laughed like that in ages…but you know ‘what goes on in camp stays in camp’…..!

Unfortunately Char couldn’t make our planned lesson so poor Louisa has been tied to the school for two weeks taking video and pictures with me stomping around being grumpy about how it all looks and ranting about my riding while she smiles sweetly and keeps her thoughts to herself! I decided I would take Ehren to Stilebridge BD for as much as anything a progress report on how she is going until I can catch up with Char. She was quite awful in the first test (lots of people congratulating me on staying on!) but generally felt a very unhappy pony rather than being silly and I felt sure that it was something to do with the bridle. She did still manage a blue frillie and respectable score in the second test but was still quite tetchy and I just managed a better cover up job. Since then I have been playing with tack and am pretty sure we have poll and jaw soreness so have some more chiro and also some acupuncture booked. On the plus side she doesn’t feel gastric but now that seems better I can see that there are still other problems. This has been going on now (on and off) since she had her teeth out two years ago. I just want my pony back!!

Tinka at Eridge Novice

Tinka at Eridge Novice

Tinka did a great job in the heat at Eridge BE Novice. A much improved dressage test, clear SJ and one stop on the XC completely due to pilot error. Martin was absolutely thrilled with how she jumped. He totally missed his line and holds his hands up – ‘Should have gone to Specsavers!’ British Eventing had just published an article about looking after your owners, so what was new puppy Billy’s take on this? As Tinka trots down the centre line he starts humping Sally’s leg!!!

Lily jumps really well at Felbridge

Lily jumps really well at Felbridge

We entered Lily for the UA Tweseldown 80 and were completely astonished when they cancelled it due to lack of entries. I cannot remember that ever happening. Anyway we decided to reroute to Felbridge for their BE80 combined training and she was a superstar finishing 4th. She did a much more relaxed dressage of 29.5 and had one pole SJ. Very pleased with the girl.

Bailey heads home now after four weeks of Lamy boot camp. He has been quite the gentleman and done his best at everything I have asked. Hopefully Stephanie can crack on with the rest of the summer now and start to enjoy her jumping again.

Restarting Bailey’s jumping

Martin is now very busy with Pony Club commitments so the Groomsbridge Girls will not be competing until August. With this in mind Tinka has gone home for a summer holiday. Ehren hopefully has chiro, acupuncture, and a Char lesson booked. She will go out and party if she feels happier.  There are plenty of clinics planned and another camp at Adds Farm. Hopefully I will have time to do a little more with Little Lexi. Watch this space!

July 5, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , | Leave a comment

Am I bovvered?!

Rolo hacking round the fields

Rolo hacking round the fields

Rolo restarting his jumping

So where to start? We had the lovely Rolo stay with us for four weeks. He was a very welcome house guest, doing everything we asked of him. He hadn’t done much since last Autumn and turned up in a very bolshy spooky mood. Hopefully he has gone back to the Rolo that Jen enjoyed so much last year and they can enjoy their summer now. In his place we have a larger, wider version called Bailey come to stay with the plan of getting him jumping and progressing his flatwork while his mother is on holiday.

Tinka on fine form at Keysoe N

Tinka on fine form at Keysoe N

Tinka went to Keysoe BE for her first Novice this year. Unfortunately the course had been revamped and was very strong, not at all what we wanted for her first one of the year. She stormed round nearly all the questions but right near the end of the course they had a disagreement at a skinny. Back to the drawing board with bits and steering ideas! They then dropped back down to BE100 at Borde Hill to make sure that she hadn’t lost any confidence. It was hideously wet and caused utter  carnage but The Stinka said “am I bovvered?” and stormed round in the mud to finish 3rd, what a star! Next stop Stratford Hills to try Novice again…

Jules and Libby were also at Borde Hill for the BE90. They had another really consistent performance for 2nd. So proud of these two, they do their first BE100 at Stratford Hills.

To highlight just how well both Tinka and Libby have started their 2014 campaign they are leading four of the South East Eventer League rankings between them! Unreal! I know it’s early days and both are looking to upgrade but wowee, am very proud! Tinka is leading the GG’s Tack BE100 list and the Wow Overall Grassroots list, and Libby is leading the Poppinghole Farm mares list and the Thermal Imaging (Kent) BE90 list. Amazeballs!

Lily was rerouted to a lower key riding club one day event at Coombelands, a perfect event for her. She was top 5 after the dressage, had one pole down being very green SJ, and a fantastic bold run around the XC for a few time faults and an 8th. Just what the doctor ordered. She had been foul at the jumping clinic at home which turned out to be three weeks after Chilham so we now have a black skull and cross-bones marked on our calendar to mark her hormones! Martin still hasn’t quite worked out that telling an angry woman to ‘calm down’ is like lighting the blue touch paper so I will do my best to protect him from himself!!

Adds Farm campers May 2014

Adds Farm campers May 2014

We have been very busy with clinics; several visits to Bonfleur XC schooling, our first jumping clinic at Carmen Court, a couple of SJ schooling sessions at Eaglesfield, then the first of my adult camps at Adds Farm and some XC schooling at Lodge Farm squeezed in!

Ehren has been back in work for two months now and has been hideously spooky. At first I thought it was just lack of work but this week I found myself clinging round her neck with my right knee left of the pommel. It is only a matter of time! At the moment the school fence is being creosoted so there are dark bits and light bits which change as more is painted. I kid you not, this is way too much for Miss Autism to cope with. Frustrating as hell! She also is still not 100% herself so we continue the search for a supplement that sorts out her gastric issues…..

Rodney looking quite beefy at 8 weeks

Rodney looking quite beefy at 8 weeks

Little Lexi is now walk, trot and cantering, starting her first hacks and doing some polework in the school. She is pretty green having not seen poles and wings in such a long time so I am starting to fill the school like a child’s playroom so she has to go through, round and over things. Young Rodney looks a million times stronger and also quite the chunk. The stud have nicknamed him the ‘Foster foal’ as he doesn’t look anything like Lexie! Then there is Bilbo. Our mad lurcher puppy. Another day, another four legged lunatic in the family…….

Bilbo lets off steam

Great to hear of so many of my clients enjoying their Milton Keynes three day event, despite the dreadful wet weekend they had. Top effort from Tiny and Clare who stormed around in the mud to finish 2nd in their class. Go girls! Also fab news from ‘bad-boy’ Okie and Heather who continue to make great forward steps in their journey with a win in the Chilham Combined Training – fantastic effort!!

Coming up we have Stratford Hills BE Novice with Tinka, our adult camp at Bedgebury, Ehren has her first Char lesson in about 7 months (oh dear God that is going to be ugly!), Tinka will also head to Eridge BE, there is a possibility that Ehren will go to Stilebridge BD, and Lily is entered for the UA Tweseldown 80…..

June 14, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , | 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

Sicknote

Spring has sprung, hurrah! OK, so we are still having hail in between sunshine but it does feel nicer weather to be working in at last.

Michelle and Summer practising for Workers

Earlier in the month we had a Working Hunter jump clinic over a course at Blue Barn in their outdoor arena. It was surprising just how spooky the horses found it and clear that it was something they need to practise more often!! So with that in mind we are going back with four groups in a few weeks….

Ah the Ehren saga. She pulls more sickies than your average Australian near a Bank Holiday. Plus I am sure she is convinced that two months looks more plausible than one….oh that old chestnut! OK here goes….she was back on the Gastroguard last time we spoke, then the lumps came back under her stomach, so we took her off the Gastrogard again worried as before that she was allergic to it. However after a week I noticed that Lily had developed some very subtle lumps and oedemas too. On further investigation half the yard had either oedemas or lumps, some very mild, so we called the vet in. Blood tests from four of the horses showed that they were fighting off some infection. Swabs thankfully were all negative, but more recent bloods show that some of them are still fighting something off. Ehren can’t try the Gastrogard again until her bloods are 100% and has been in sick-bay for a month already with the next bloods planned for three weeks time. We have decided that while some of the horses have a reduced immune system it is best to close the yard to strange horses. This means no April jump clinic, no schooling liveries and no lessons coming in until May. In the meantime Sicknote looks like a broodmare!

Lexie 3 weeks before due date

Lexie 3 weeks before due date

On the subject of sick-bay, Little Lexi has twisted her fetlock in the field and has been off games for three weeks. And on the subject of broodmares, Lexie is looking fantastic with three weeks to go before her Med Night Mahout foal is due. Am thinking Chestnut colt….we will see!

I am delighted to tell you that Morgan has been accepted for regional assessment on the Pony Club Rider Development Pathway for dressage. This is a BEF Excel Talent Programme supported and funded by Sport England to help Pony Club members that show ability to progress in their chosen sport.  The standard for this will be set very high and the most talented riders from the regional assessments will be selected for a national camp in the summer. At the end of this camp only six riders nationally (and across three disciplines) will be selected for the Rider Development Squad. Even being selected for regional assessment is fantastic and will be an amazing experience for Morgan.

Tinka jumping at Felbridge

Tinka jumping at Felbridge

We decided not to take the Groomsbridge Girls to the Bedgebury jumping clinic with the virus freshly diagnosed, but they were OK to take to Felbridge a few weeks later. Wow, they were on fine form jumping four clear rounds between them over the 70cm, 80cm, 90cm and 1m courses. I did giggle when a lady came up to me in the collecting and asked if Lily was mine. She said how smart she was and I kid you not “she looks like a push button school mistress.” I believe the expression is ROFL!!!

Absolutely fantastic news from Jules and Libby; they only went and won their BE90 section at Munstead. What a way to start the season, so very proud of them. They hope to upgrade to BE100s later in the year. Then on the dressage side Stacey and Queenie were crowned Eaglesfield Senior Dressage Champions 2013-14. Go girls!!

Coming up we have 18 horses XC schooling at Bonfleur (wowsers!), Tinka is off to South of England BE100, Lily is going to the HDRC hunter trial at Coombelands, there is the BlueBarn Workers clinic, XC schooling with two groups at Bull Farm, then Tinka goes to Chilham for the BE100 where her little ginger sister will join her for her debut over the BE80. Hopefully Lexie will have given birth by then but given the last two times I will keep my head firmly in the sand until I hear news…everything crossed.

March 29, 2014 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Screeching in on two wheels

Poor Ehren has been ridden in all weathers these last few weeks with the Regionals in mind. Having had a month of not being at all right then another month off she then slowly came back into work but it had to be in any weather. To be sane she is a 6 days per week girl. Just when I thought we were getting somewhere she then got a lump under her belly, seemingly full of fluid. Three days later it was a lot bigger, then on the fourth day she was covered from head to foot in lumps with swollen knees. Panic!! No option then but to down tools for a few days and take her off the Gastrogard just in case it was an allergic reaction. Two days later we put her back on it at a much lower dose and crossed our fingers. By this time we would no longer just be winging it at the Regionals but screeching in on two wheels! However I made the decision that I would rather she go and experience it for her future even if we didn’t represent ourselves very well. Very pleased I am with that decision as she coped a lot better than I thought she would. There were really nice bits (some 9s, wow!), quite a bit of tension, some spooking and some freestyle movements (3s). She finished up 15th with 67.87%. I was delighted because at times she felt amazing. She has what it takes, just need to keep getting her out and be patient!

Morgan and Debbie have also been out and about in preparation for the Winter Championships at Hartpury. Morgan recently took both boys to Oldencraig BD for an Elementary and won overall with Smurf and was 5th on the little Henry. Jules has good news too as she heard that she and Libby qualified for the BE90 Badminton Grassroots Regional Final. Fantastic!

The lovely Jasmine

The lovely Jasmine

We have said a sad goodbye to Jasmine who worked her way into everyone’s heart while she stayed for five months to be started in her ridden career. She is a lovely sweet unassuming goof of a mare and in her place we have the bumptious self important Tinka back; what a contrast!

Little Lexi restarts ridden work

Little Lexi restarts ridden work

Little Lexi has now done four weeks ridden work and we have slowly built up to walk, trot and canter. She gets better every day and is starting to relax the more we do.

Having got back from the Regionals last night just in time for last orders, we were up in the sunshine today for our first XC school of the year at LMEQ. After the stressy dressage divas yesterday this was literally a breath of fresh air! It was great to be out, even if it was rather wet under foot. Everyone jumped really well and knocked the rust off before the start of the season.

Lily's first XC school of the year

Lily’s first XC school of the year

Coming up we are schooling over a Working Hunter course at Blue Barn, Ehren will head off to Stilebridge for some Elementaries, we have the last Bedgebury jumping clinic of the Winter series, and the Groomsbridge Girls will go and practise their showjumping at Felbridge. Despite the weather we are looking forward to getting started!

I have lots of jumping clinics booked already this year; with riding clubs, at private yards, our own, and even a couple of equitation side-saddle ones. I am aiming to start up more Working Hunter ones too. The schooling livery diary is starting to book up, and I am doing four adult weekend camps this year. There is my Bedgebury one and three more at Adds Farm, all of which are full. With lots of people aiming for the last Milton Keynes three day event we are also trying to schedule lots of XC schooling in the diary. Looks like another busy one!

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Camp, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bring on 2014!

Well another mad year is nearly over….

Ehren has continued to be a superstar. At six years old and in limited outings she qualified for both the Hickstead Masters and the Summer Regionals, including an amazing 75.52% in her Novice qualifier at Chester Hall BD in May. She then went on to qualify for the Winter Regionals in two trips, has started her first Elementaries and is nearly out of Novice points. She has only left home fourteen times!

Other dressage divas have continued their run of form. Morgan Schive and Debbie Reeves have qualified three horses for the BD National Winter Championships at Prelim, Novice and Elementary. Jasmine Forsdick has made her mark at Medium with Kevin. Those of you that know these guys will know what a great job Jasmine has done, a real turnaround and proof of what a mixture of hard work and a ‘can do’ attitude will achieve. There have been lots of other successes both at BD and unaffiliated. So many combinations have done so well and improved so much. Some new entries to the 70% club, and some others striving to get there! At the other end of the scale, two schooling liveries Dylan and Dita went home and made their dressage debuts with their mothers. Both brought home red frillies, wow!

We had quite a few schooling liveries this year. They were all lovely house guests and always welcome back. I thoroughly enjoy playing with other people’s ponies for a few weeks and seeing them go home to their owner a little more polished than when they arrived. I will never cease to be amazed by the reaction to their previously cardboard stiff tack being clean and supple, as though I am some miracle worker. No, it is called saddle soap. You lot should try it sometime!!

On the eventing side Martin and Tinka had a fantastic year for The Groomsbridge Stud. She started the season at a horrendously wet Tweseldown BE100 with a 3rd, she won at Iping BE100, was 7th at Chilham BE100 and finished the year jumping round a Novice at Goring before heading home for a winter holiday. We are all very much looking forward to competing her next year. Clinic regular Jules Izzard also had a great season with her young horse Libby with placings at several BE80 and BE90s. They are new to eventing and doing a fantastic job. I have been lucky enough to be at some of the events and see them compete, always makes me very proud as I remember their first wobbly jumping clinic!

All the jumping clinics remain very popular, and adult camp too. They are always a lovely supportive and fun environment. I get a huge amount of pleasure from texts on a Sunday night telling me how well Pony X jumped that day.

Tiny is still having a great life with Clare Drury competing for Dartford and District RC, recently jumping like a star at the BRC National Championships for team 4th. Ivy is still as mad as a fruitcake and being pampered with the Reeves family. I sold Rosie to Lauren as she is very much loved there, fingers crossed for a lovely foal for them next year. We are hoping Lexie will have a foal by the Jumbo sired Med Night Mahout next year too. Her yearling Millie goes between looking like something a child has drawn with a crayon and looking quite smart. Who knows how she will end up! The most recent recruit Little Lexi has been chilling out but it’s now time for her to start work, and currently living in Tinka’s stable is the Groomsbridge Stud’s four year old Jasmine who came to be backed and is looking forward to her dressage debut after Christmas.

Following her Kissing Spine surgery last year, Lily is back in work with Martin onboard. There have been ups, there have been downs and boy there have been tantrums! She broke his nose, she threw them off the bank at Lodge Farm backwards, and she kicked her way out of Lucy Thompson’s arena leaving fence and nails scattered everywhere. She got attacked by a dog, and with customary aplomb she put that in its place too. Lily is not for the faint hearted but boy is she a character! She is slowly learning to tolerate Martin’s rough ‘boy-style grooming’ with the grimace of a child whose grandma has just reached to the bottom of their handbag for a tissue to lick…and her field antics recently went global! She has made huge progress this year when her future was seriously in doubt. Fingers crossed for the Ginger Rocket.

Something for you that Martin stole from a book “What the world needs is a little less sense and a little more faith”. If you believe you can do it, you will be amazed by what you can do.

On that note, we both wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Janine and Martin

December 21, 2013 Posted by | Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Schooling livery | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment