Saturday, 20 August 2011

L is for Lampwick

Pandora La Gueriniere, Comtesse de Baucher (Mrs.)(nee Phyllis Stackpole): Schoolfellow of Bunty Pargeter. Celebrated dressage teacher with an exotic past. (DD, P)

Lambada Laverne: show pony, formerly of Magenta Hayes (UA)

Tiffany Lampwick (Miss): Livery at Vaysey Pastures and member of Dorinda Miggins’ circle. Keen customer of Kirk McGurk. Ambitious competitor. Owner of dressage mare, Donnerkebab. (PH,
PO, T)

The Late-flowering Livery: ( L-f L ) Dolly Grubb.
The Late Starter: (LS) Kevin Winkle

Lessons: many of the liveries at Vaysey Pastures devote much time, energy and money to lessons in flatwork or jumping. Teachers vary from my staff such as Enid Possett or Eve Harriman teaching the youngsters or less advanced adults.

At the other extreme, some liveries have regular instructers such as Werner Flumpenhoffer or participate in clinics held by distinguished visitors such as my old friend Pandora La Gueriniere.

All human life can be reflected in riding lessons: pride, anger, pain, inflated egos and tears – and that's just the mothers. Here are a few observations and insights from Bunty Pargeter about lessons and all they entail as regards the teacher and the taught:

Video evidence: many teachers make the mistake of forgetting that nowadays fiendish Japanese digital camcorders pick up every comment made within a surprisingly vast radius. Accordingly, unkind remarks about little Prunella’s not so tiny posterior or somewhat agricultural technique will be preserved for posterity along with the heavily sarcastic “Lord be praised” when, at long last, she succeeds in kicking Merrylegs into canter.

Canine companions: teachers should not underestimate the degree of resentment felt about the mad caperings of the teacher’s beloved pooch under the legs of the student’s horse, accompanied by incessant barking. It is irritating, distracting, dangerous and rude; it just shouldn’t happen.

Teacher’s offspring: similarly, teachers should understand that not all pupils enjoy their lesson being interrupted by a precocious toddler – no doubt a future international competitor – bellowing, throwing teddy at “nice horsy”, being given elevenses or taken off for “‘ickle poos”.

Group lessons: teachers necessarily need to focus on the weakest brethren requiring most personal attention. Ideally, however, this shouldn’t always correspond only with those also receiving private tuition. It will be noticed.

Road sense: group lessons can soon descend into motorway pile-ups. There are plenty of occasions when drills and mass cantering can go wrong – usually through no fault of the teacher. This tendency is magnified when riders ignore instructions, lose concentration, dawdle and particularly when they forget their basic manners – such as stopping without notice or not passing left to left.

Jumping: much mayhem might be avoided in the bravura jumping section at the end of the lesson if due account was taken of any relative lack of training, experience or skill. Some basic understanding of jumping position and initial practice over poles helps to avoid much unpleasantness.

Ribbon of shame: whilst it may only be natural for dear Cruella to be a tad mare-ish whilst in season, always remember that kicking and biting other members of the group is only really acceptable if a red ribbon is worn on the tail.

Injury etiquette: when your horse has caused or inflicted the injury, the very least you can do is be polite. Following cases of severe bruising or concussion, a hand-written note is appropriate. Flowers should be sent if blood is drawn or a limb is broken.

Litigation: victims should note that, even in this litigious age, it is still generally frowned upon to issue proceedings for personal injury against other members of the class.

So much for the learning experience. On the positve side, it may be character-forming.

The Life and Soul: (L & S ) Bert Postlethwaite

Lower Fumble: location of Wylde Towers, palatial let rustic retreat of Frank and Petronella Wylde-Beste (DS)

Lower Steam: pretty village home of Iris Drone - at White Boards next to the chuch (DJ)

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