Janine Lamy

BarryBerry has work to do

BarryBerry starts work for Team Lamy-Wright

Crikey, where to start?! We were lucky to get a few days away at the Badminton Grassroots where we collected BarryBerry. Barry is wearing my XC colours (well someone should!) and has got straight on with his Wobbleberry duties. Three Team Lamy Wobbleberries have completed the challenge so far; first up was Chloe at Keysoe, then Chloe, Ingrid and Catherine did Borde Hill where the organisers made a real effort to support them and gave them special prizes for completing. Fortunately they had also put all WBs together so I could support them in all three phases. They were all awesome, really rode their socks off and deserved to complete their challenge. Seeing them through the finish line was quite something! These people are pushing themselves, training hard and achieving such amazing things. In my gang alone one had given up riding after her horse was killed out hacking on the road, the oldest is 71 years old, and one is so anxious she is actually sick. I have nothing but admiration for them #kickingcancersbutt

Great Wobbleberry training day at Comphurst Farm

So no surprise we have been even more busy than normal with clinics. We had a great one for Wobbleberries at Comphurst. A lovely day in the sunshine with SJ in a grass arena in the morning, some time with Martin talking through how to do a BE entry and what to expect on the day, an amazing lunch provided by Comphurst’s owners Tanya and Will Reid during which I did a short chat on the psychological side of things, then some speed training with Tanya, and some XC schooling with me. We’ve also had the usual Carmen Court monthly clinics, XC schooling at various venues, and another all day clinic at LMEQ.

During this time the Black Bomber has been very busy! Firstly, there was Tweseldown for the BE90. She was quite beside herself warming up for the dressage which is most unlike her but still managed to pull out a 29.0 dressage. The SJ collecting ring was a little chaotic and Martin was being nagged to jump 20 minutes before his time. Unfortunately this seemed to cause a short circuit in the SatNav wiring and he went from Jump 1 to Jump 6. Donut brains!! Luckily the lovely judge let him start again from the second fence and they jumped a lovely clear and were allowed to go XC hors concours. The XC course has had quite a revamp and looked amazing but asked a few questions and caused a fair bit of trouble. The Bomber was rather looky but she did keep going and jumped clear meaning that she would have finished on 29.0 and been in second place. I was really pleased that she had been allowed to run as it was a very educational day for her. Good BomBoms!

She then went to Borde Hill for the BE90 and had another really consistent day jumping like a star. She finished again on her dressage score of 29.0 which was good enough to win her section. Wowee, you should have seen her swagger off the lorry to tell Ehren all about it!

So with two wins, a fourth and a ‘would-have-been-second’ in her BE90s this year we thought it was time to try a BE100 so we headed off to Berkshire College. She got 29.0 dressage, two poles SJ (in a very tight spooky arena that really didn’t suit her), and jumped a super clear XC taking all the straight routes for 0.8 time finishing on 36.8. Very proud!

Ehren at BlueBarn BD

Ehren has been a bit out of sorts. The list includes struggling with her spring seasons, needing a saddle revamp, having another bad reaction to her flu and tetanus vaccination, then just when I thought we were getting back on track the dentist found a fractured tooth, and there is always the need for work on her poll after seeing the dentist….! Hopefully with that lot sorted we can get some consistency in her work again and crack on with getting her confidence back. I have been schooling her away from home with this in mind and also took her to BlueBarn BD for the Advanced Mediums to get her out again. One the plus side she did feel more relaxed and confident, and coped with the warm-up arena much better than she has in ages. However (!) there was this pesky stripe of light on the floor at K. All these stories she has heard from the Bomber about ditches the size of the Suez Canal and she was convinced it was a hole in the floor. So we gathered two 1s, two 2s and a handful of 4s gingerly walking across it when we should have been in canter. At one point I was in extended canter heading right towards it, the sun had gone in finally and I dared to breathe a sigh of relief. Silly me, as I was about three feet away it suddenly reappeared ‘ta-dah!’. Bless her. Really do need to find her some brave pants from somewhere…..

Millie’s first event

Then talking of wearing brave pants, young Millipede went to the Riding Club ODE at Coombelands and trotted round the 80cm like a total pro and finished in 10th place. Awww…..the first homebred does her first event, such a good girl.

Naughty horse fancied a dip at LMEQ!

Coming up we continue with lots of XC schooling and clinics. We have another all day, this time at Tweseldown and the first Adds Farm camp of the year. Little Lexi has another BE100 at Rackham, Ehren will be out and about and will maybe make her music debut somewhere (although this may prove a little too uplifting!). The Wobbleberries continue their training and BarryBerry continues to provide support (maybe he is the man to sit down and chat with Ehren?)

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busy busy

Team Lamy overseeing some XC schooling

Wow, we’ve been just a little bit busy! I have been doing loads of clinics and teaching. We have XC schooled at Lodge Farm in the evening, had 18 riders at Bonfleur in glorious sunshine, another 12 riders at a fantastic new XC venue Comphurst Farm, the first Carmen Court SJ clinic and a SJ clinic at Eaglesfield. My Wobbleberries are carrying on with preparations for their first BE80, Chloe and Rocky are leading the gang with a placing in the UA 80 at Munstead. They are off to Keysoe next weekend for their first BE event and I shall probably be more nervous than them!

Pony Club candidates at Timbertops

During the Easter holidays I examined Pony Club D, D+ and C tests at our local Pony Club Centre Timbertops. The kids were really keen, their turnout was amazing, and they were a real credit to their centre and the Pony Club itself. A couple of them were quite certain that a healthy pony has a temperature of 56 degrees but you can’t have everything!

Ehren has been busy too. I was hoping that a few outings would help to get her ring confident again for Hartpury. So we went to Bury Farm (already scary as it’s new to her) and the weather was absolutely hideous with the rain coming sideways. She did hold it together reasonably well for her tests but was quite upset by someone in the warm-up who insisted on riding at her even when it was obvious the effect it was having. This made her really anxious in the warm-up at Step Aside a week later and horribly tense in the two tests…..Then a week later at Bluebarn she was still very fragile in the warm-up meaning that we didn’t really do enough then was quite wild in the arena rearing and spooking. The judge leaning out of the box and saying “rather you than me” rather summed my whole Hartpury preparation up!!

Ehren practising at BlueBarn BD

Which brings us to the Winter Championships. Let’s be positive – she has never stayed away from home before and gets very stressed at home if everything isn’t just so. She was in a temporary barn at Hartpury with a flappy canvas roof, rattling walls, a neighbour that banged his stable door continually, and mayhem going on with horses being fed at different times, being ridden at different times and everyone coming and going. Munch munch munch……totally chilled!

So onto the warm-up……obviously this was a concern. I needed to keep her safe somehow and it was really busy, at one point with riders screaming at each other (I kid you not). Again, very calm and relaxed. In fact I needed to fire her up a bit!

So we are left with the test itself. 50% chance of getting the arena next to the noisy walkway and tradestands, or the quiet arena on the other side. So no prizes for guessing! As we walked towards the tradestands between our arena and the fence her eyes were on stalks. For starters one of the tradestands had a working mechanical horse in it, jeez! Her heart was pounding and she was not at all convinced by my efforts to tell her everything was OK. “Spsssssss!!!!” someone opens a coke can. Ehren stood right up, spun round and legged it. That was all the proof that she needed and the start of much nonsense. About half way through the test I decided that enough was enough and retired. Never before have so many people come over to talk to me about my performance. Half an hour later and munch, munch, munch. Totally chilled. Bless her, life is just all too much for Ehren sometimes.

Lily and Little Lexi had good runs at Munstead BE90. Lily was very tense in the dressage and warmed up like a loon for the SJ (not for the first time at Munstead!) but then jumped a lovely clear. Unfortunately the loon reappeared on the XC and she locked her jaw and ran past a fence. I was happy though that she still looked really keen and happy to be out. This was Lexi’s first BE90 and she  did a good dressage which is quite something when you take into account that Martin rarely rides her. She then had a pole SJ where she went a bit green having not jumped outdoors since last season, and then a super clear XC.

Lily and Martin were lucky not to be more hurt.

Onto their next party we headed to Horseheath BE90. What can only be described as a day of two halves! Lily was off her rocker again running backwards in the SJ warm-up and being very difficult, and again, despite a lovely SJ round it all fell apart on the XC resulting in a fall and a nasty bang to her knee. Both were very lucky not to be more seriously hurt and it certainly means no more eventing for Lily for a while. It also meant that we had fifteen minutes to get Martin passed as fit to ride by the doctor, get Lily seen by the vet and all the paperwork filled in, get Lexi dressed and get Martin back onboard! BomBoms really tried her best all day and despite still being very green XC she jumped double clear inside the time to win from the front on her dressage score of 23.0. Absolutely amazeballs!! What a clever Bomber!!

Another great run at BE90 for Little Lexi

This meant that I was almost dreading Chilham BE90, feeling like she was under pressure to perform again. Chilham is by far the biggest challenge that she has faced to date. The SJ arena is surrounded by tradestands and there were noisy flags flapping in the wind. She did another great dressage for 27.5 and I was unbelievably nervous watching her zigzag and run sideways as she trotted down one side of the SJ arena. Bless the Bomber, she made all the right choices and jumped a rather spooky clear round. Onto the XC, again much more of a challenge than anything she has seen, and although rather lookie she kept assessing and jumping and galloped round a tiny bit too fast to finish the day in 4th place. Wowee!! Much love for the cheeky black pony!

Even young Millie has been out and about. She has done two SJ parties at Felbridge. The first time we really didn’t know what to expect but she was mega cool. Handling her remains a nightmare with all the tourettes kung-fu, but she was very good in a really spooky arena with lots of fluffy 12.2 ponies for company.

Riding Lottie at Oldencraig BD

I also fitted in a dressage outing for Jasmine’s Lottie; the first one in five months. She was also a very cool customer having a go at her first novice at Oldencraig BD and feeling a lot more rideable.

Coming up we are cheering on our friend’s daughter in the Badminton Grassroots 90 Championships, carrying on with lots of clinics including some all day ones, Little Lexi has Tweseldown and Borde Hill BE90s and Millie hopefully will attempt to trot round her first RC ODE. On it goes!

April 30, 2017 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to the 80s

Martin and the Bomber in the snow at Tweseldown

As I type this Spring has most definitely sprung. My arms have actually left the confines of their many winter layers and seen the air this week. It is almost inconceivable to think of us XC schooling at Tweseldown a month ago in the snow, but we did and it was absolutely freezing! We had suffered with a mild virus on the yard and so only took the Bomber who was on fine form jumping a lot of BE100 fences and looking quite the star. It was our last pre-season schooling day and although there was actually snow on the ground and light showers all day the carpark was full of other like-minded loonies!

Playing with music at Saddlesdane

Unfortunately Ehren’s version of a mild virus included a very good impression of a dying swan, bless her she really is a lightweight….needless to say my hair is greyer, my wallet is lighter and we haven’t been out practising between the boards. We have however, managed a dressage to music clinic with Gaynor Colbourn. Now I wasn’t sure this was really my thing, and unlike your normal clinic Gaynor plays the music live on her keyboards in the corner of the arena. Everyone told me that I was quite bonkers to take the beautiful one, there was no way she would cope and I was sure to hit the deck! Well not wanting to be predictable she was an absolute star. She really didn’t put a hoof out of place, at a venue she didn’t know, and who knew but Ehren is a bit of a music fan and very soon will be the proud owner of an 80s megamix and floorplan!! It was a really cool way of doing it. I couldn’t stop smiling afterwards. Great fun.

The WobbleBerries have continued with great enthusiasm, we’ve finished the SJ clinics at Four Elms for the Winter, and we have lots of clinics, training days and camps planned for the year ahead.

Unfortunately the weather turned very wet and the Munstead pre-season combined training was cancelled so we took Lily and Lexi to Duckhurst BS instead. They both jumped some super rounds and we were really pleased that they seemed very much ready for the start of the season at Poplar BE the following weekend. Exciting!

Infection stops play

However, having a plan and things going to plan are two very different things…..at almost exactly the same time of year that  Lexi spent a three week spa break at Bell Equine last year, another infection and bout of cellulitis struck her down. With no wound that I could find, what started as a capped hock very quickly turned into something infected hot and nasty. I am hoping that as we were on it so quickly this time, we might still be OK for Munstead next weekend. She is back in work, all seems back to normal apart from a slight cap…….here’s hoping.

Urf!

So that meant a very early start for Poplar with only the Ginger Rocket on the truck. True to her name she was well up for it with an OK dressage test (quite calm as the XC hadn’t yet started), two poles SJ (the XC had started!), and a fabulous confident clear inside the time XC looking like a pro. It was so nice to see her enjoying herself and she finished 11th. It was also lovely to be back eventing; the weather was very kind, the ground was amazing and everyone looked relaxed and happy.

Ginger Rocket in her element

So coming up I really need to crack on getting Ehren out before the Winter Championships, hopefully both girls head to Munstead BE, we have the first SJ clinic back at Carmen Court, we carry on XC schooling including a long day with 18 riders at Bonfleur and are really looking forward to getting to a new venue Comphurst Farm which looks absolutely amazing. After that it’s the Easter holidays which are absolutely crammed with Pony Club training and examining and finish with a little family mini-break in Gloucestershire…..well that’s what I am telling Ehren…..it’s a holiday right?

March 17, 2017 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading my tea leaves….

Wowsers, the weather has been so changeable. Earlier everywhere was frozen and it was really difficult to keep the horses ticking over, and now we are drowning in mud with the forecast of more snow and freezing schools. Harrumph, looking forward to Spring!

Martin and the Black Bomber in the JAS

Martin and the Black Bomber in the JAS

The Four Elms January clinic was a great success in their lovely indoor. We had planned for Lily to go to the Merrist Wood JAS90 that day but as she had not jumped particularly well at Duckhurst BS over Christmas we changed our minds and Martin took Little Lexi instead. Now this caused me a sleepless night as the JAS is always very full on and the Bomber is still very spooky. Not only that but she has barely schooled over skinnies and the JAS is full of them. Anyhow, she coped and although slightly lacking the Style part of ‘Jumping and Style’ (Martin that is, not Bombie obviously!) she only had one fence down and finished in the top third. Wowee, clever Bomber!

A very green moment for young Millie!!

A very green moment for young Millie!!

We also bit the bullet and took the decision to XC school as planned at Munstead in the rain. It actually wasn’t anything like as bad as forecast, everyone was well up for it, and it was a good reminder of how to ride in wet conditions. Something we don’t do very often any more. All the horses went really well, and we were particularly pleased (and just a little bit excited) with young Millie who was exceptionally brave, if rather green!

A more knowledgeable Millie at the end of the session

A more knowledgeable Millie at the end of the session

Next up was Ehren’s turn to go out for the first time in three months. I packed my parachute and crossed my fingers. Ehren was a little light on work and therefore quite bright but it wasn’t quite as wild as I expected. The first test was pretty awful. She was out of balance, really strong and I wasn’t allowed to touch her let alone ride her. The second test was considerably better, not great but not the car crash I was expecting and more rideable than the first. I could at least suggest a movement here and there. To come away with 65% in an Advanced Medium qualifier after three months at home was a pretty good effort I reckon, especially considering how bright she was. Plus (or so I thought) it’s done now, first one out of the way and we survived!

Wobbleberries first pub meeting!

Team Lamy Wobbleberries first pub meeting!

Jasmine’s Lottie had an abscess over Christmas, then could barely be worked as their school had been frozen so we aborted both the Stilebridge and BlueBarn plans for her. We also had to cancel both WobbleFlat days, my Char lessons, and the first WobbleGrid of the year. The second WobbleGrid session turned into flatwork but that was productive, and we did all get to meet up in the pub for a chat about the basic rules, registering and things to start thinking about for the BE season ahead. It was great to get everyone together.

A rather strong Ehren at Merrist Wood

A rather strong Ehren at Merrist Wood

Ehren then had a trip to Merrist Wood BD as a practise for the regionals. Well that WAS a car crash! She was a little light on work, and being a 5 or 6 day a week girl this certainly has an impact. Plus she came into season that morning for the first time of the year with what can only be described as a whoosh and a bang. Add this together with a lack of match practise and we were the laughing stock of Guildford! Oh the shame…..

Ehren seemed to enjoy herself!

Ehren seemed to enjoy herself!

That morning I was quietly plaiting Ehren and we heard what sounded like something cantering down the road outside. Up the drive bounced a ginger pile of froth in passage (never believe Lily when she says she can’t do dressage). So Ehren is now slightly agitated and I am thinking how much easier things are to get done in the peace and quiet of mid-week. Martin then ties the wild one up next to us. Lily is waving her backside in Ehren’s face and threatening to kick her every time she attempts a sniff. Martin grabs my bucket of clean water and sponge, washes the Ginger Rocket down, and gives me back a bucket of sweaty water! I won’t repeat my response, you can use your imagination! However it obviously hit home as he wandered off to refill it, at which point Lily grabbed the opportunity to break loose and make a run for it. So there I am hanging onto a plait like it’s a magic control halter while Ehren is rearing up, boxing out and having a bit of a breakdown about the whole affair. This rather set the scene for the rest of the day, and if as a friend said, I had read my tea leaves properly I should probably have stayed at home! However you can rest assured that all my planned outings before Hartpury are back in the calm and serenity of mid-week…..

Lily having a ball at LMEQ

Lily having a ball at LMEQ

Four Elms February then came and went, only one more Winter clinic left here and we are outdoors for the Summer series. We then XC schooled at LMEQ in very wet conditions with lots of puddles everywhere. This was also an educational day for everyone with lots of steps, banks, ditches and the water to think about. We took a very excitable Ginger Rocket who zoomed about like a little racehorse. It was nice to see her so up for it but she wasn’t exactly what I would call rideable! Also on fire was the Black Bomber who looked a lot more confident than at Munstead so that was great fun for both of them.

The Black Bomber gets ready for the season ahead

Then we get home and find that Ehren wasn’t feeling herself. Frustratingly she has a virus and that means no Regionals on Monday. I am pretty sure that she wasn’t keen if the practise run was anything to go by, she really didn’t need to move back into sickbay. Oh well, we will wait for her to feel better and get as many outings as possible to get her confident in the arena again before Hartpury in April. Gulp!

Coming up we hope to beat the weather forecast and school at Tweseldown, Tiny comes home after 8 years with Clare, we have WobbleBerry clinics galore, the last Four Elms of the winter, and then dum dum dah……the Munstead pre-season combined training on grass. Time to get some BE entries done!

February 9, 2017 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A very tricky time of year

Well Happy New Year to you all, I hope that you had a fantastic Christmas. Now it’s back to work starting with a big thankyou to Simple System Horse Feeds for agreeing to sponsor us again in 2017, and to Equilibrium Products for allowing us to be Product Ambassadors for another year. Brilliant news. Such lucky girls!

Ehren doing her winter homework

Ehren doing her winter homework

We are all fighting frozen schools and trying to keep the horses in work with pre-season XC schooling and the Winter BD Regionals both on the horizon! Ehren hasn’t been out for three months so we are planning to knock the dust off at BlueBarn in a few weeks. This could be a spectacular car crash but it needs doing with the Regionals looming. I also think a practise run at Merrist Wood is in order. Last time I competed her there I very nearly fell off!

The Black Bomber and Ginger Rocket both had a Christmas trip to Duckhurst BS with Martin. The Bomber was amazeballs jumping clear around the Clear Round twice, and then jumping double clear in the British Novice. Lily jumped really well in the British Novice but not so well in the 95cm so we are back to the drawing board with her to see if we can get her happy again. With this in mind the Bomber is going to have to step up and be Martin’s main eventing pony until Lily is back on form. Nobody tell her!! (And yes, I have plans to steal her back for the odd day when he isn’t watching.)

Wobbleberries Caroline and Amber

Wobbleberries Caroline and Amber

We have SJ schooled at Duckhurst, Blue Barn and East Bysshe, and had the first clinic of the year at Four Elms. The Wobbleberries seriously have the bit between their teeth and we have been busy with flatwork and gridwork training at Louisa’s. It is great to see the progress in these guys. I am so excited to be part of their challenge.

Millie first time out SJ schooling

Millie first time out SJ schooling

Millie is coming on really well. She was so slow to get the hang of a pole on the floor that we honestly wondered what we had bred. She is starting to look really smart now so we decided it was time to school around a course for the first time away from home and took her to Blue Barn. She walked straight through the narrow door into the arena and strutted round like she owned the place. She then warmed up with her ‘come on then, let’s crack on’ face and jumped like a star. She didn’t look at anything. Bless her, definitely a Groomsbridge Girl!

I am really looking forward to getting out XC schooling. I do hope frost doesn’t get in the way of our plans. I find January and February are always such a very tricky time of year for me. You see, I always take some time off to do my accounts and sort out the paperwork in the first couple of weeks of the year. On top of this there is often very little work because of frozen schools, or worse if it has snowed. It can go on for weeks and my mind wanders. I am not good without focus! In 2012 it snowed. Whilst meandering about on the internet I came across an advert for a lovely looking young bay warmblood mare going cheap because of some damage to one eye. Louisa was shocked “but you said you weren’t going to get another horse?” Louisa dear I told you in 2006 when we came to the yard that it was only for three months, that I would do my best to help and that I wouldn’t be any trouble. Still you believe the things I tell you?! In 2013 I bought a little Irish mare over the phone. An animal communicator that I had invited to a summer camp that year told me “oh wow, you are in for trouble with this one! Nothing you can’t handle but she is going to be very cheeky indeed and take quite a few years to get going” Not what I wanted to hear, YEARS?! Then in 2014 a friend popped into the pub one Friday with news of a lurcher litter and I really didn’t need another dog let alone a giant yellow antelope but we all know what happened next! So if you bump into Martin or Louisa it might explain why they have that look in their eye. Out of interest do you think Ehren would prefer a pig or a donkey for company, I have been wondering……

January 6, 2017 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A win for the Millipede!

Doing our homework

Doing our homework

Well winter is for training! Ehren has been working hard mastering the movements we need for the PSG test so that we can give this a go next year. Who’d have thought I’d be saying that, very exciting! I have been attempting to knock the rust off my jumping technique with the Bomber. We have been hard at it schooling at Eaglesfield and Duckhurst, plus lots of lessons with Tom Crisp who has been giving me hell. We had originally planned to hunt her but now that I have started to ride her differently it doesn’t seem quite the right time for galloping around the country in a gag with Martin. Poor Bombie, I hope she doesn’t mind!

Char has been up and given me lessons on both. What with her “that was your fault” and Tom’s “I think the problems you are having are down to your riding” I may need counselling by Christmas….

First XC school

Millie’s first XC school

Last time I wrote I was talking about the older three girls’ progress this year versus their plan. So last but not least is our four year old homebred Millie. We don’t do a whole lot with them at this age but always like them to have popped a course of SJ, been XC schooling and done some local dressage before having a little holiday at the end of the year. We took her to Bonfleur and were really pleased when she jumped everything first time of asking including steps up and down, ditches, a baby coffin, the water, everything! She was absolutely amazing, a real natural. With this in mind and with the help of Lucy Thompson, we have started working her over fillers at home and have been very pleased with her progress. She is unbelievably bold, just needs to learn to slow down, think and co-ordinate. While I was at the BD National Convention Martin took her to Hadlow for some dressage and she didn’t put a hoof out of place winning her prelim. What a clever baby pony.  

Millie learning to jump

Millie learning to jump

We have started the first of the winter Wobbleberry flatwork and gridwork clinics. Everyone seems very keen to get going on their challenge and we are very much looking forward to working with them. There were a couple at Hadlow doing their first ever dressage tests. I am very impressed with their determination; they’ve got the bit between their teeth!

From the dressage divas Doo and Mark did really well at Eaglesfield BD in the prelims. Doo and Archie won the Gold section and Mark and Harvey won the Bronze. Next outing was Stilebridge BD for Doo again. Archie very much lacks confidence at the moment in the arena but they picked up some more frillies in their sections. I was riding Lottie for Jasmine. She hasn’t been out for ages again, but won both her prelim tests and is now ready to have a go at a Novice.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Millie – winner winner chicken dinner!

The cold weather seems to have made all the girls rather feisty. Lily has been clipped, is back in work and looks a picture. I have been planning my clinic dates for next year with pre-season XC schooling, SJ clinics and Wobbleberry training dates.

So all that is left for 2016 is to wish you all a “Very Merry Christmas”. We will catch up in the New Year with a new plan for those girls!

December 4, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Girls have done good!

After a long and busy summer we were very lucky to be on holiday in the UK in the most amazing hot weather in the middle of September. When we got home it was time to start the Winter series of jump clinics indoors at Four Elms. I had been thinking it seemed too soon as the weather has been so nice but it absolutely hammered down with rain all day; it was like a monsoon! Although it means winter is coming I quite like the change as it means doing different things and seeing some different faces. 

Practising at Tom’s

While I was teaching at Four Elms, Martin took the Black Bomber to Little Downham for another BE80. It was her worst nightmare with tents and tradestands up close to the dressage and SJ arenas but she was a big brave girl and jumped another double clear to finish 4th. Very pleased with the girlie. So it seems timely to begin Operation ‘Steal Back the Bomber’. This started with a jump lesson at Tom Crisp’s. He was pretty clear about the amount of homework I have and even did some little demonstrations of just how bad my riding is. Not to mention the fact that he had me jumping a large rail from trot; something I really hate. Sally Thurloway would make me do this with Harry and it is interesting how easily it disappeared from my schooling repertoire!!! How my clients would laugh. Payback!

For the dressage divas Jasmine has now ridden her first Advanced. A serious achievement for anyone to produce a horse to this level but all the more so on a homebred who really does not find it easy. We were absolutely delighted that young Jessica was chosen for the Pony Progress Squad after the viewing day. What an opportunity. Then Mark has started the winter season at Eaglesfield BD with a win in his prelim. No stopping them all!

Jasmine’s Lottie dusted off her glad-rags for a day out with her Auntie Janine and went to BlueBarn BD for the prelims. She was a little distracted but has improved enormously this year and the good bits were great. A few mistakes dropped her marks down to 67/68% but very pleased with how she is going as she could easily be in the 70% club.

Our second Advanced

Our second Advanced

So then it was Ehren’s turn to go partying again, this time to Step Aside BD which is a venue she took a serious dislike to the only other time we ventured there. However, she was a superstar holding it together when not at all sure about that little white picket fence and the gremlins at the C end of the arena. It was our second attempt at Advanced, this time a harder test A102 and she really tried her best gaining 65.44% meaning that we are now eligible to ride at PSG. Oh wow, how lucky am I to have such a special pony. I am so proud of what we have achieved. We also did an Advanced Medium and have now qualified for the Winter Regionals. She has had an amazing year and totally blown my targets out of the water. As always there is much to work on, not least of all the jockey’s test riding at this level. More practise required!

Martin and the Bomber at LMEQ

Martin and the Bomber at LMEQ

Talking of this year’s targets, Lily’s season has not gone to plan. She was not herself at Goring or South of England, I think perhaps feeling the ground, so has been given sick leave for six weeks. Another pony that has gone better than expected is the Black Bomber. She went to Littleton with Martin yesterday for her last BE80 of the season and jumped another double clear for 2nd place. She has done four events this year, not had a single jumping penalty and has been 1st, 2nd and 4th. Wow. She is still very spooky but her confidence has grown and grown over those four events. Absolutely delighted with her progress.

As the end of the season approaches it is so nice seeing what clients have achieved this year. Last month Sarah and her horse Kamanchi had their first ever BE placing with a 9th in the Firle BE90. They have struggled making the time as he used to panic and bolt, and are now very close to coming home on zero. I am so pleased for her. Jules and Libby are back out after Libby’s injury and subsequent foal. In true Libby style she has been placed at every event she has contested. Jules has been bringing Libby’s younger sister Vardon to clinics. What big shoes she has to fill! Hente and Mouse have also had a great year with placings at BE90 and BE100. All the more brilliant when you understand that she has come back to riding after a twenty year break! Next year is looking very exciting with eighteen Team Lamy clients having signed up for the Wobbleberry Challenge. That is riders over the age of 25 who have never evented before committing to ride at a BE event in 2017 in aid of the Hannah Francis charity Willberry Wonder Pony #kickingcancersbutt. That should keep us busy!

 

October 9, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Dinners!

The Black Bomber wins at Horseheath

The Black Bomber wins at Horseheath

Well that’s quite scary. The summer has been and gone and we are now experiencing the first of the autumnal mornings. I am so pleased with Little Lexi’s performance at Horseheath BE80. She and Martin only went and won it!  She led from the front on her dressage score of 22.0 with a double clear inside the time. Absolutely amazeballs! I know there will be lots more ups and downs with the troublesome child but finally a little sign of how good she could be. Hoo-Hah!!! Go the Black Bomber!!

Lily also went to Horseheath and was rather more affected by travelling with another horse. Also the dressage was right next to the XC and Lily was very feisty, hot and ginger! I have seen worse dressage tests from her but certainly not her best. Her SJ round in contrast was the best I have seen her do at BE100. She looked a class act and really confident now. Then on the XC she just jumped in too big at a combination not really giving herself room to get out. She still has a bit to learn having not done many at this level. The result may not look great on paper but we are really pleased with how much more robust she is now.

We had a super last camp of the year at Adds Farm. A really great bunch of ladies and some amazing weather to boot! All the Pony Club camps I taught and examined at were also very lucky with the weather. It has been a very dry summer. We’ve also been jumping at Eaglesfield, Bonfleur, and Carmen Court. It’s hard to believe that the next jumping clinic will be the first one of the winter series at Four Elms.

We were so very sad to say goodbye to Ivy in August. She was such a character and will be very much missed. Laura and Tina did an amazing job of looking after her. She was 25 years old and had started to get recurring laminitis as a result of Cushing’s Disease. It was her time. We all have so many fun memories of a very feisty but generous mare.

Ehren wins the Medium Bronze at the Area Festival

Ehren wins the Medium Bronze at the Area Festival

When I was injured back before Christmas I realised that I would not be able to qualify Ehren in time for the Summer Regionals at Elementary so I decided to try the Area Festivals at Medium instead and maybe work towards her first Advanced Medium. As it has turned out; not only has she done her first Advanced Medium but has also done her first Advanced, and she qualified for the Areas at both Medium and Advanced Medium. She has had an amazing year. Oldencraig is really not her favourite venue but it is local so we thought it was worth a try. When she is good she is very good and she amazed us by winning the Petplan Equine Area Festival Medium Bronze class qualifying for the BD Winter Championships at Hartpury. Oh wow, what a superstar. The realisation of a mounted prizegiving, wearing a sash and doing a lap of honour was cause for some serious putting on of brave pants. A whole host of friends and clients were lined up with their mobile phones all hoping to be the first person to post on Facebook the video of Janine getting bucked off!! Thankfully we were a huge disappointment and although it was the slowest lap of honour you have ever seen (a large portion of it was in walk!), we lived to tell the tale. What a good girl. A constant rollercoaster keeping her happy and healthy but so worth it. Mind you, quite how I am going to help her cope with Hartpury I don’t know!

Coming up there are a few more horse trials left; South of England, Little Downham and Littleton. Ehren’s efforts will be concentrated on having another go at Advanced when we are ready. I expect we will also think about some Autumn Hunting for the Bomber. She’ll like that.

September 5, 2016 Posted by | Camp, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer silly season

As always the summer months are jam packed busy. With this in mind and since Ehren had lost a bit of weight she has had an easier time and I have concentrated my efforts on getting Little Lexi back up and running.

Lexi at the jump clinic

First of all, as she had been off for so long, I took the opportunity to have back specialist Rob Jackson come and take a look at her. I had heard some interesting things about him and wasn’t disappointed. He threw the Bomber around her stable, pulled and yanked her body parts and when he left she was an inch taller at the withers and two inches wider between the front legs. Wonder what he could do for me?! She feels much looser, much easier to straighten and all together more ‘normal’. I am really pleased with the difference. A few weeks later Martin jumped her at the clinic at home and she looked awesome. I took her for a jump lesson with Vicky Gosling and she said she looked like a different horse, athough I must admit there was a fair amount of drama asking her to walk through the yard to get to the arena. I also have to admit to a hack with her that resulted in me leaving one of my spurs broken on a fence three quarters of the way round, ahem! Next she was off to Felbridge with Martin for Clear Round, and then she went XC schooling to Lodge Farm with me where she was on fire, and then jumped like a star at Petley Wood with Martin. This is a new venue to her and quite spooky. She was only let down by the old man having a ‘specsavers moment’ and going from fence 7 straight to fence 11. Fortunately, she thinks she did a fabulous job and I am hoping that we have done all the necessary preparation for her second BE80 which is at a new venue Horseheath this weekend. Tune in next month to find out how it went!  

The ducks don't answer back

The ducks don’t answer back

We have been very busy on the clinic front with several SJ clinics at Eaglesfield, Carmen Court, and Felbridge, plus a super all-day clinic at Tweseldown. Finally, a fun Friday without the drama of an accident on the M25. Just a shame that Louisa was still in hospital so there are no pictures of the day. Tweseldown are keen to promote training and are changing the XC course every month with this in mind. We had a great time! I have also been XC schooling at Nurstead which is always good for a top up, and regularly at local venue Lodge Farm where you can guarantee good ground. The Pony Club camp season has started and I had a day with the Ashford Valley doing dressage training. Some of them were so well informed on test riding they should have been teaching me! Plenty more PC days to come….

So many regular clinic clients are having a fun and successful BE season. I love following their progress and seeing them at events. The dressage divas have been a little quiet but are soon to be out in force too with the Area Festivals coming up.

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

Lily has been supporting Willberry Wonder Pony

So what of the Ginger Rocket? Lily went to Tweseldown BE90 to knock the rust off. This turned out to be the right decision as although she was second after the dressage, she took one SJ out at the roots and had a silly stop on the XC (although that seemingly straightforward fence did catch out 40 odd other competitors). Next they headed off to Eridge for another BE90 and she was totally awesome coming 3rd with a double clear inside the time. So it was time to step back up to BE100, which she did at Chilham; the very place that she crashed in the spring! No such error of judgement this time, she jumped a super clear inside the time and had one unlucky pole SJ. She looked great, and was having a ball again. So nice to see her with her ears pricked galloping and looking for the next fence. What’s more I managed to get permission to drive Louisa around in my car so we had photos. Yay!  It almost made up for the carpark assistant saying to me “you can park your car over there sir”.

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

Lily and Martin Chilham BE100

Lots more clinics coming up to finish the summer, Horseheath BE for both Lily and Little Lexi, some PC camps, PC examining, and Martin will be off to the PC Championships. There is also adult camp at Adds Farm, and hopefully both clients and Ehren are off to the first of the BD Area Festivals, then I think it is time for a holiday!

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brave Pants

Lexi stays at the vets

Lexi stays at the vets

So the weather has been a bit mixed to say the least! South of England was cancelled along with many other events around the country so Lily didn’t get another run until Chilham. Little Lexi ended up staying at the vets for over a week with a very sore fat infected leg so no Munstead or Chilham for her. Getting on for five weeks later and there is still a huge amount of fluid in the hock so we have just rescanned and x-rayed it to make sure that there isn’t anything else going on (which thankfully there isn’t). Best laid plans and all that!

That meant that Ehren has had to fly the flag for the team. Gulp! It was with some trepidation that we headed off to BlueBarn for our first Advanced Medium. She is quite spooky in their indoor arena and for the first Medium test there was sunlight on the surface which always makes life hard. Approaching a spot of sunlight in extended canter requires serious brave pants! For the second test the clouds had arrived and I was trotting around saying to her “hey you can do this, look no patches on the floor!”. And she did. One mistake and an added circle just to reorganise ourselves. We could have danced in better balance but all in all very pleased to have got 65.88% in our first go at this level and winning the class overall. Wow! Ehren done good.

Riding Lottie at Oldencraig BD for Jasmine

Riding Lottie at Oldencraig BD for Jasmine

I then took Jasmine’s Lottie to Oldencraig for the Prelims. This was quite an outing as the Young Horse classes were on at the same time. I can only describe the car-park and warm-up arena as chaotic. Horses broncing all over the place, stallions everywhere, horses yelling and crashing about in lorries. Poor wine buff Jilly Goolden got bucked off right next to me. Fortunately, Lottie wasn’t at all bothered. She was an absolute saint and although rather green in the indoor arena she still brought home the reds and was much more confident in the second test. We went back two weeks later and she went much better in the indoor; more confident and won her test overall. She was rather hormonally challenged and very green in the International arena but didn’t do anything wrong so we were very pleased.

Ehren at Cobham Manor BD

Ehren at Cobham Manor BD

As we withdrew Lexi from Chilham I had the day free and decided on the spur of the moment to take Ehren to Cobham Manor for another go at Advanced Medium. She has never been to Cobham before so it had the potential to be an interesting outing but they do run the higher tests there fairly regularly so I was hoping that Ehren might like it, or at least not hate it! She was amazing considering how she can be at a new venue. Little bit spooky in the medium but really let me ride her in the Advanced Medium, so we were in better balance than at Blue Barn and won overall with 69.11% Amazeballs. Very pleased with the girl.

Lily at Chilham BE100

Lily at Chilham BE100

Lily went to Chilham for the BE100 but was about as awful as she can get. Snatching the reins out of Martin’s hands in the dressage, feisty as anything in the SJ, and continuing on the theme of ‘Lily is a know-it-all’ until she crash landed at fence 9 on the XC. Literally belly flopped onto it having taken a stride out. Luckily Martin just stepped off and she shimmied over the side of it. Oh Lily. With this in mind Martin headed off to a lesson with Nick Turner FBHS and a really productive and interesting lesson it was too. Nick had Martin riding with his reins 4 inches longer and pushing for a more forwards canter. Talking of brave pants! However, it got better and better with her arguing less and thinking more. Lots of homework for Mr Wright. Maybe I should buy him a set of those rainbow coloured reins?!

It has been great to see so many eventing clients picking up the frillies this year. Top marks to Hayley who has never evented before and has been working hard with the dressage and XC with her young horse Baloo. I was absolutely thrilled to hear they ended up 4that the Munstead UA, their first event.

Highlight of the month has to go to Jasmine though. Four years ago I started working with her and Kevin. They were competing at BD Prelim level and it was not entirely uncommon for them to get a below 60% score. He doesn’t find dressage particularly easy and still has the odd bad day but at BlueBarn he cantered down the centre line and performed his and Jasmine’s first Advanced Medium. I was so proud of them I could barely watch. What makes it all the lovelier is that he is a home bred horse and she has put all the work in herself. Top banana!!

May 13, 2016 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , | Leave a comment