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?)

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

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

Ponies with Prosecco!

4 year old Millie's first party

4 year old Millie’s first party

Another busy month although we did slip away to Norfolk for a few days with the dogs. Before that we took young Millie out for her first baby dressage outing. She was a very good girl and coped really well with all the new experiences. She has never been in an indoor school, or seen white boards, or a car at C and was very green and spooky but didn’t put a hoof out of place. Handling her from the floor however was a very different story with a serious case of ‘Tourettes of the legs’. Front and back legs flying about all over the place. You needed full body armour and a black belt in Taekwondo just to hold her. Her mother was a bit like that as a young horse. Amazing what you forget! After that she had three weeks off to chill. The plan is just to do a bit here and there this year. Since then she has had her first solo hacks, and is due her second dressage outing this coming weekend.

Both Stacey and Mark qualified for the Hickstead Masters Semi-Final so have been out and about practising their dressage. Stacey and Queenie won the prelim bronze and were 2nd in the novice bronze at Stilebridge BD, and not to be outdone Mark did two prelims at Speedgate BD winning one and coming 2nd in the other. Both went to the Semi-Final at Hickstead gaining marks over 68% in tip-top company with Mark finishing 10th. Particularly impressive on a Welsh D and an enormous half Shire-half Gelderlander!

Ehren is gaining in confidence at Advanced Medium

Ehren is gaining in confidence at Advanced Medium

Ehren has been plugging away with work both at home and in various different schooling venues. We have been concentrating on the tempi changes and canter pirouettes. The changes are pretty consistent although we find the 3s much easier than the 4s. The canter pirouettes are rather more tricky, especially going right. However, away from home they are both all over the place! She isn’t really as sharp or as in front of the leg and hasn’t been as confident about doing the changes at all. I know how her brain works and for the last year or so the message has been ‘Don’t you dare change!’ and now sometimes I want a change and sometimes I don’t. Very confusing for a girl! Will keep practising. With this in mind we went to BlueBarn BD yesterday for two more Advanced Mediums to see how we are progressing. She was pretty ridiculous in the first test but generally felt great; much more confident and finding everything easier. Still not always on the aids in the changes but in her first attempt at AM92 she got over 66% so very pleased. I did think I could have set her up more for better marks so will carry that forward to the next time.

A lovely day in the sun at LMEQ

A lovely day in the sun at LMEQ

We had an absolutely fantastic all day LMEQ clinic. It was such good fun made all the better by lovely weather and twelve very jolly people pleased to have the day off work. We jumped in the morning in their super arena, quickly stopped for a picnic lunch and then headed off onto the XC course in the afternoon. Louisa was also on hand to capture the day which always pleases everyone.

Unfortunately Lily is not right behind so was withdrawn from Borde Hill. She is off to the vets this week for further investigations. It is quite possible that she hurt herself at Chilham. If only she would listen!

The Black Bomber still has fluid in her hock two+ months later. We are slowly bringing her back into work to see what, if any, effect it has. Unfortunately she is so fat that her saddle moves forwards and is giving her girth galls so this has been a rather stop-start process! Would be nice to finish the season with some 80s given all the hard work we put in before the spring. The hock was re-scanned and x-rayed and there is nothing to see so fingers crossed we can crack on.

XC questions at Carmen Court

XC questions at Carmen Court

We have had two Carmen Court clinics since writing last. A normal ‘SJ style’ one and then this time we really got them thinking with lots of XC style exercises. From baby horses to experienced combinations everyone was tested and it turned out to be very productive. That same weekend was also the first camp at Adds Farm. As usual we did flatwork and SJ on the Friday and SJ again on Sunday morning. In between they had some glorious hacking on the Ashdown Forest and ate rather a lot. Let’s put it this way, they nicknamed their weekend ‘Ponies with Prosecco’ !!

June 9, 2016 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lily steals the show

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that you all survived the festive period and are looking forward to cracking on into 2016. We have kept very busy.

Little Lexi practises her dressage

Little Lexi practises her dressage

Little Lexi had her last hunt of the season with Martin at Larkins Brewery in Chiddingstone in some seriously heavy mud. It is fair to say she has the bug! Larkins is a big hedge day and she was well up for it. Interestingly hunting has improved her canter no end, not something I had envisaged happening. Plus, it seems to have opened her up over a fence. She has looked pretty scopey the last couple of times we have jumped her which is very exciting. Just still the problem of taming the brain! Her plan this year will remain the same; get out at BE80 and BE90 and start her eventing career.  Fingers crossed; she certainly is physically a completely different horse.

I am back to pretty much normal workload now (although I haven’t yet jumped), which means I have taken the reins back on Ehren. No surprise she has become a little confused about life and will just be gently prodded in the right direction to the Regionals in February. Never has an Ehren Regionals plan come to fruition yet so this one will be no different! She will hopefully go out at Medium this year, probably with Area Festivals in mind and then maybe the Winter Regionals again. Currently she cannot ever remember being taught half pass. I love her to bits but she really is simple.

Lily thrashes all of us at BlueBarn

Lily thrashes all of us at BlueBarn

Lily is back in work with a vengeance after her sarcoids were removed. She won both prelims overall at BlueBarn BD with amazing scores of 72% and 76% wiping the floor with the rest of us. There is rumour of a Horse and Hound “against the odds” appearing on the dressage pages next week! She also popped to Duckhurst BS for her first jump since September, and jumped really well. She will probably start the season with a BE90, and then go out at BE100. If everything continued to progress we would consider a Novice for her towards the end of the year. I will be sedated and hiding under a horse blanket in the lorry.

The young Millie will be coming home sometime around March to start her ridden life. She will be restarted, introduced to some hacking and gently work towards some low level dressage and jumping outings. She will probably XC school quietly at the end of the year, but won’t be doing too much of anything.

We are continuing with the Four Elms series of winter jump clinics and have five XC schooling dates that take us from January to April. I also have two camps planned at Adds Farm in the summer. I am always happy to put things on by request if enough people are interested.

This week I went on a great course with Charlie Unwin “Developing the coach as psychologist”.  Always very interesting. Coming up we have check-ups booked with both saddlers and the chiropractor. I am hoping to have my first jump since hurting my knee in September, and there is lots of pre-season practising planned. First XC school of the year looms in a fortnight!! Let’s go!!!

January 10, 2016 Posted by | Coakham Bloodhounds, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No rush to be an event pony

Emma schooling at Lodge Farm

Emma schooling at Lodge Farm

Wowsers, August is always so mad. There has been lots of SJ schooling. We have been to Eaglesfield, Felbridge and had our last summer clinic at Carmen Court. We’ve been XC schooling at Lodge Farm, more adult camps at Adds Farm and also our PC camp at Ardingly, plus a day examining B test in the most awful rain! The weather has been shocking!

Piaffe instead of halt!

Piaffe instead of halt!

Lily had her first run at BE100 at Chilham. She was in a mega feisty mood and galloped through each phase at speed. Her dressage judge was twenty minutes late and although Martin got off and quietly stood under a tree she was furious to have been kept waiting. As he was trying to salute she was in piaffe and as his hand went back to the reins she ran backwards up the centre line at warp speed. All this was making me feel very nervous indeed. It has not been uncommon for Martin to eat sand when Lily is in this mood. She cantered into the SJ arena and grabbed the reins out of his hands, locked onto the double going backwards and shot off with Martin desperately trying to veer away. My heart was pounding in my ears. Not sure whether to vomit or cry I watched them gallop to the first fence steeplechase style…..clunk! Fortunately after having two early poles down she seemed to settle into her rhythm happy that Martin had adopted the role of silent passenger (like he had a choice!) She was most certainly not in any way concerned that the fences had got bigger. Onto the XC warm-up and Martin dared to offer an opinion. Not when she’s in this mood Martin! They got straddled over the warm-up fence and I walked up the hill to the start thinking about how much I was enjoying the experience. 5…4….3….2…1 and off they go, Lily was on fire and not prepared to listen to anyone. All going well until she over-jumped the ditch in the middle of the coffin and chested the log out. Undaunted she trotted a circle, popped it and continued on her way, finishing full of running and bluster. So that was it, the first BE100 done only 18 months after being eliminated in the BE80 SJ at the same event. Lily does not make life easy but she has needed to be a tough nut to work through her problems. At Chilham Lily had her boxing gloves on!

Ehren at BlueBarn BD

Ehren at BlueBarn

Back to the serenity of dressage and Ehren headed off to BlueBarn BD for the Elementaries. This is a new venue for her and all part of the plan for seeing new places. If she had been wild to warm up I was prepared not to ride the test, just put her away and bring her out to warm up again until she had more confidence. However she warmed up really well and was much better than normal in a new place. The first test was very tense and the canter particularly fragile with a few extra unscheduled dance moves. However she spooked then carried on with the test, she wasn’t completely beside herself like she has been this year. In the second test she was much calmer and got a qualifying score which is pleasing. The aim is to qualify for the Elementary Winter Regionals if I can, then play a bit more at Medium. However over-riding any of that is a plan to keep it calm and help her gain her confidence in the arena. So far so good….

Talking of dressage divas (big) Lexie and her new rider Beverly only went and won the overall ride-off to become Freestyle Dressage to Music Rider at the Pony Club Championships! How amazing is that? After five years off having babies, and only five months with Beverly. Amazeballs!

Rodney, aged one!

Rodney, aged one!

Martin has been up to visit young Rodney and I am amazed that Lexie could produce such a giant of a son. I think I can look forward to being an owner; best go and buy a hat! At one year old he is already about 15.3 hands high and has knees and hocks like dinner plates.

After her debut at BE100 we thought Lily ought to drop back down to BE90 again at Firle. She was in a much easier mood and cruised round looking well within her comfort zone to finish on her dressage score and get a 5th place. We were very pleased…..she has been placed four times this year and very much exceeded any expectations. Last event of the year will be Munstead BE100.

I had promised that I would get Lexi out and about and she has pushed back at that idea with ailment after ailment. We currently have an abscess in our hoof and missed Chilham ODE. She is clearly in no rush to be an event pony!

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Camp, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Millie starts school!

Millie starts work

Millie starts work

In the absence of Tinka we brought Millie home so that we could back her and get her a little more civilised. She is only just three and a bit of a midget so we won’t be doing very much with her. In three weeks we have progressed from her behaving like a wild thing and screaming like a banshee when we tried to touch her back legs (I kid you not!) to being led short distances with me onboard around the school. Most things she has tolerated really well, but when she isn’t sure she is very quick to react. Like the first time we asked her to move with me onboard. Ahem….

I have now done my first two camps at Adds Farm in glorious sunshine. Adds is a lovely venue and Sue is a great host. If you fancy organising a group of friends for a camp, then Sue is your woman.

Little Lexi at Lodge Farm

Little Lexi at Lodge Farm

Lexi has been continuing with the hacking with mixed results. What really bugs me is that when she gives in and walks past whatever monstrous thing it is that I have pointed her at, she doesn’t even glance at it. She just walks straight past it. So, not really that scared then are you?! I did nip over to Lodge Farm for a quick XC school earlier in the month, and Eaglesfield for a SJ school last week and she was mostly very good. On the plus side she is jumping well, when I finally crack her attitude and persuade her that life can be fun she will be great. Nobody else in our family behaved like this as a teenager, I can’t imagine where she gets it from. School parents evening was always very much looked forward to in our house. “If only all the girls could be like Janine” the teachers used to say…..

I decided that Ehren needed to start seeing some new venues now that we are up and running again. So we headed off to Belmoredean (Step Aside) and she did not disappoint (or rather she did!). So there is now a plan to have some lessons away from home so that Char can help me tame the beast and come up with a plan. Since then however, she has had a reaction to being vaccinated and has been in sickbay. Well of course. My sickly child. The one we should keep locked away in the attic.

Lily at Brightling Park BE90

Lily at Brightling Park BE90

Lily and Martin went to Stratford Hills BE90. She looked amazing, did a much improved dressage test for 26.3 (OMG!), then went on to jump a lovely clear SJ. I was walking over to the XC telling myself not to get excited but I couldn’t entirely prevent myself from thinking it might be Lily’s day. It wasn’t, they had a spooky refusal at the most straight forward fence on the course. Agh! So after a little chat with the jockey about following his own advice (ride every fence like you are expecting a refusal) they headed off to Brightling Park BE90. This time she was in season so we didn’t expect much but she was pretty relaxed and got a 31 dressage, one pole SJ and clear inside the time XC to finish 6th. Clever Ginger Rocket!

Lily and Lexi in the morning mist!

Lily and Lexi in the morning mist!

There has been lots on; SJ sessions, clinics at home and away, and on Friday we had an excellent schooling day at LMEQ with SJ in the morning and XC in the afternoon. Morgan and Smurf qualified for the Pony Club Championships in the Open Dressage – excellent stuff! Plus I hear that (big) Lexie did too with her new mum Beverly. Top job girls!

Coming up Little Lexi has some outings planned again. And breathe…..wish me luck!

July 6, 2015 Posted by | Camp, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On a hamster wheel

Crikey the girls are a bit wild at the moment….don’t you just love January and February. The dentist has been, vaccinations done, we are all set ready to go!

Lexie's stable upside down

Lexie’s stable upside down

Many of you will have seen on Facebook that one very windy and wet night (big) Lexie’s stable blew away. How she wasn’t hurt is a complete mystery, but she suffered nothing more than a freezing cold wet night in soggy stable rugs. It was a mobile stable on earth, and the message I happily send out is not to trust them. It had rotted skids and blew straight over. If this happens to your field shelter the chances are that you horse will not be in it. A stable is a different matter.

Jasmine sees XC jumps for the first time

Jasmine sees XC jumps for the first time

We took a lorry load to Coombelands for some Arena Eventing schooling. Lily had a fat leg (only mud fever it turned out), so at the last minute we dragged (big) Lexie along with Jasmine and Little Lexi. All girls jumped really well. Big Lexie was delirious to be out again, Little Lexi was somewhat distracted by horses using the gallops but jumped really well, and Jasmine was amazeballs. She is such a smart pony.

Jasmine and I discuss tactics!

Jasmine and I discuss tactics!

Next up we took three girls to Stilebridge BD. Ehren was rather bright in her Elementaries; a whole host of fours in the first test as she leapt about like Batman. She still managed 64% so not too shabby. Less ‘Ka-pow’moments in the second test for 68% and two blue frillies. I am so pleased to be out partying with her again. Also at Stilebridge that day was Jasmine with Kevin. He went the best I have ever seen him go and she went home with a great big grin and a red and blue frillie. Not a bad day at the office!

Jasmine's first BD outing

Jasmine’s first BD outing

Back at Stilebridge BD the next day it was the turn of (big) Lexie and Jasmine in the Prelims. We wanted to see how Lexie would react being out again so that we could loan her with as much current knowledge as possible. She won both tests. Good answer Lexie! Young Jasmine was always going to be green compared to the other horses and as it turned out quite feisty in the cold too, but still showed some really nice work and will be stunning later on.

Little Lexi went for another loose school at Sally’s; her little indoor schooling barn resembling something out of a handy pony show with plastic hanging over jumps, water trays everywhere, cuddly toys, you name it! I have also been filling the school at home like this. Ever popular with the liveries!!! Just recently we went back for a ridden lesson and this followed the same vein; we are in spook busting mode!

Little Lexi in her flatwork lesson

Little Lexi in her flatwork lesson

Char came up for the first flatwork lessons of the year. I was called a ‘curb crawler’ and made to tie my bottom rein in a knot and not allowed to pick it up for the whole of Ehren’s lesson! We were working on my position in the half pass, so I can help rather than hinder my pony. Should be easier than I found it, plus a revelation that I was riding the Dutch way and my pony has been reading all the German books….for goodness sake! The Black Bomber also got to play, literally, as we need to keep her mind occupied at the moment….bless the little cutie!

Emma schooling at Munstead

Emma schooling at Munstead

We were all very disappointed that LMEQ was closed due to snow for the first XC school of the year, but a week later we got out to Munstead. It was a lovely sunny day and the ground was amazing. Lily was fabulous, Little Lexi also had her sensible head on and was a very brave bold girl, and Big Lexie was on fire popping everything like she had never had a break. Plus a group of 80/90 riders all knocking the rust off with a big grin.

We ‘think’ Tinka has qualified for the BE National Restricted Novice Championship Final at The Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe. Wow! Fingers crossed, we’re off to Gatcombe! Get your mini-bus booked!

I have recently had groups at BlueBarn and Eaglesfield, plus the regular SJ day at Four Elms. Only one more indoor date, then we are back to Carmen Court so surely that means springtime?!

I have made the difficult decision that we do not have time for Lamy camp this year but I am doing three camps at Adds Farm again. http://www.holidayswithyourhorse.co.uk/news/janine-lamy-adult-camps-at-adds-farm-in-june-and-august-2015

Some brilliant news to start the year; we are now product ambassadors for Equilibrium Products. We have used their boots for years and look forward to trying out some new products too. Now that we have a few horses on the go, every penny saved helps and this will make a big difference. We are delighted.

Coming up we have more Char lessons, Lily and Big Lexie are off to the Merrist Wood JAS90, Little Lexi is off to Duckhurst, Tinka is coming home, more XC schooling at LMEQ, and before we know it we will have a lorry load at the pre-season Munstead combined training. And breathe….

I do feel a bit like we are on a Hamster wheel that we can’t get off but am very much looking forward to getting the horses up and running for 2015. You know you are tired when you find yourself using haylage for bedding instead of straw!

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Camp, Carmen Court, Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Results, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 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