Janine Lamy

Communication skills

This outfit was hanging on a jump wing with my name on it!

Happy New year to you all! Christmas has been and gone, we were lucky to pop away for a lovely warm holiday in The Gambia and are now back riding in the freezing cold and rain preparing for the new season.

A rather fresh Millipede!

There’s been lots of SJ clinics at various venues to keep everyone ticking over and we’ve now also had the first two pre-season XC schooling outings. The weather has been less than kind but it often is in January and February and you cannot underestimate the importance of having practised in the wet (or at least that’s what I tell myself when freezing icy rain is hitting me in the face sideways). Amazing to see combinations that were worried about cantering on grass a year ago now jumping BE80-90 fences out of the mud. Our own horses have been very fresh. We don’t do an enormous about of competing in the winter, liking them to have a bit of a break, and young Millie in particular has been keeping Martin on his toes. I remember a youthful Harry doing the same to me years back on almost exactly the same spot of grass at Munstead, you’ve got to love young horses! They are all looking forward to getting out again. The Ginger Rocket has to take this enthusiasm a step or two further of course, rearing up and boxing the windows inside the lorry and eventually hanging herself in her haynet. At twelve I can say that I am pretty sure Lily will always be a feisty redhead.

Millie and Martin schooling at LMEQ

Ehren popped out to Saddlesdane at Christmas for a music clinic with the brilliant Gaynor Colbourn with the aim of putting together a PSG floor plan. She hadn’t been out since October but held it together and was sensible, if not overly rideable. Then last week I took her for a lesson with Char at Parwood, and again although she came off the lorry like a raging bull she did settle and concentrate on the task in hand when I was onboard. With only eight weeks to Hartpury we now need to remind ourselves how to perform inside the white boards. Gulp!

Jazz hands!

Recent lessons have highlighted that I have got a bit more wonky than usual so Martin and I headed off to see Bobby Hayler for a Fitness and Stability clinic at Chelwood. This involved lots of balancing on pilates balls. One of us is more naturally cautious, the other gung-ho one threw himself into everything and hit the deck at speed several times even managing to graze his elbow on a soft arena surface wearing jumpers and a coat. It was a fun evening but also illuminating as the ball didn’t lie. I am now being very disciplined about my stretches (which I do let slide) and am riding my ball at least five times a week. Hey it’s warm and dry at home, this I can do!

The Bomber has been back to the vets to review her progress, and the fracture is easier to see now. Unfortunately so is another fracture that we didn’t know was there. So with two fractures mending it’s another 8 weeks in her stable for her. She’s not very happy about all this and is going a little bit bonkers. It is also costing me a fortune in sedative every time the hunt are nearby. Poor BomBoms. She is like a very naughty 12.2 hairy pony but we have agreed with the vet that she can have her summer holidays in the field so she has something to look forward to.

The New Year always gets you thinking about what you could do better, different things to try, plans for the horses and clients, that sort of thing. So there I am, standing in the arena teaching. There has been a little moment of silence while I am thinking and what comes out of my mouth is “you know what, I think I would ride him naked”. The absolute look of horror on her face. Communications skills Lamy, communication skills.

Coming up we have the final pre-season XC school at Tweseldown. Ehren will be back out competing after four months at home, there is Munstead Combined Training on grass, and then we will be taking young Millipede to Poplar Park BE90 to kick start the season. Woo-hoo!

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February 13, 2018 Posted by | Dressage trainer, Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dressage divas and hedge hoppers

Lily practising her dressage

Lily practising her dressage

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

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

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

Little Lexi and Martin fly a hedge

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

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

Ehren's sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

Ehren’s sarcoid after feeding Eclipse Recovery

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

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

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

The importance of two sponges

Little Lexi SJ schooling

Little Lexi SJ schooling

We’ve had a busy few weeks getting Little Lexi and Tinka ready for their first events. I finally got around to buying Lexi her own saddle; a lovely second hand Devoucoux which puts me in much better balance and makes everything feel a lot easier. I have to say I love it and Lexi seems happier too.

Having fun at Bonfleur despite the weather!

Having fun at Bonfleur despite the weather!

She XC schooled at Lodge Farm and Bonfleur and is gaining in confidence and thoroughly enjoying herself. I also schooled two groups at Bonfleur in what I think is probably the worst weather I have ever schooled in. The wind and rain was something else but fortunately the horses took no notice and we carried on smiling! We also SJ schooled Lexi at LMEQ, and I was especially pleased with this as she was far less green than at the Munstead combined training.

Little Lexi's first ever XC round

Little Lexi’s first ever XC round

So of course the moment had to come for us to leave the start box; the first time for Lexi ever and the first time for me in four years. Gulp! We headed off to Munstead Hunter Trial and our task was to jump around the BE80 course. Crikey she went green, not at all bold and confident like her recent schooling sessions but wobbling and spooking at the fence judges and their cars. It was just hard work just getting her to the fences and then getting her to look at them! We got round but have work to do before we can enter a BE event. I have to remind myself that a year ago she had a habit of bolting. We have come a long way already and I love her to bits, she is a lot of fun.

Tinka practising her flatwork

Tinka practising her flatwork

Char has been up again and helped us with Tinka and Little Lexi. Tinka is looking really smart and has also XC schooled at Bonfleur and LMEQ. We are very excited about her this year; she will go to South of England Novice for her first event.

Lily went to Munstead for her first BE90 and did us very proud by jumping double clear. Anyone that has followed Lily’s story will understand what an achievement this is. I can’t tell you how chuffed I was. Her dressage however was something else (I found it best to pretend they weren’t with me). She was very fired up, left the arena more than once, and for the first time ever Martin’s score started with a 4. She also got loose in the lorry park. We wouldn’t want everything to be easy now would we?!

At 20 years old Tiny is continuing to enjoy her competing with Clare. Just recently she was 2nd in her arena and Team 1st in the Riding Clubs Area 10 combined training to qualify them for the Festival of the Horse. The following day they were at BlueBarn for the Le Trec and they won both their classes finishing up Champion in the Starters and Intermediates. Clever old stick!

XC schooling Tinka at LMEQ

XC schooling Tinka at LMEQ

On Monday we took Lexi, Lily and Tinka to LMEQ for some clear round showjumping. It was really interesting as Lexi went very green again, having to go straight into the arena and jump without warming up in there. We need to do this a lot more! Lily jumped two lovely rounds, and Tinka was very perky popping round the 1m10 for fun.

Easter holidays mean I am very busy with training. Yesterday I was at the Area 11 Pony Club C+ and B Training Day at Crockstead doing the flatwork assessments all afternoon. I love this kind of work; loads of candidates came forward including two of our North West Kent girls, and everyone said how useful it is in preparing for the exam proper. In contrast today I was doing D and D+ tests for a local Pony Club Centre. One young girl was very serious in explaining why she needed two sponges in her grooming kit. “One is for the face” she explained, showing me how to gently wipe around the eyes. “You need to rinse it out between wipes so that it is always clean” she went on. “OK” I said, quite impressed with how grown up she was sounding, “what is the other sponge for?” “That” she said, still looking very serious, “is for bums and poo juice.”

April 8, 2015 Posted by | Eventing trainer, Instruction, Our Horses, Pony Club, Results, Schooling | , , , , , , | Leave a comment