With February at its end I feel that’s the end of winter showing with the first Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) qualifier next weekend.

The thing that has amazed me is where are all the pony producers educating their ponies or getting new combinations together? I know full well they will be out with a wonderful new lot of ponies from now on who are going like clockwork and they have not hardly been seen at a show seen since October. How do you do it?! With horses we started later of course but more than ever this year I have been surprised at the low numbers of showing ponies on the flat this winter season. The worker classes have been well supported making use of the experience winter shows provide.

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I did my first BSPS teach in for BSPS area 13b and don’t think I really shone at it. Looking back I feel I could have been much more assertive with my comments although I was happy to see improvement in many performances. There were some smashing combinations there and I look forward to hearing about their progress. The time went fast and giving equal time to everyone is a challenge. I hope to get asked to do another one as feel I could improve greatly. I know when I help my children Alice and Harry at home I have a lot more to say — it’s not often I find myself short for words!

The highlight of February for me has to be Comberton Coda winning some arena eventing with Alice at Aston-le-Walls. This is not just because she won but the performance for a February four-year-old was incredible. She excites me so much for the future.

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Having been pestered for ages to enter more events I think we are now hooked it’s just fitting it all in the calendar. Harry also loved competing at Aston-le-Walls on Ollie which was fab as he hardly ever comes with us to shows. Blimey, he can spend a fortune at the catering tent! Growing teenage boys. Sadly his competing and hunting was stopped abruptly by a fall at school which resulted in a fractured hand. Poor old Toby had to take early retirement to the field with at least six more hunting days scheduled. Thankfully we had managed to fit in a few days skiing previously so that wasn’t lost to Harry as well.

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The building work has finally started at home. I am not sure what I have let myself I for but feel excited and concerned all rolled into one. The driveway is full of scaffold and skips — a very good reason to take sanctuary up at the yard daily. I am not great at decisions and would probably be more at home refurbishing my horsebox!

I am looking forward to stepping up a gear in March with more challenging competitions including the BSPS winter championships. Let’s hope the weather is kind to us. We look forward to seeing everyone after the winter. I was brought up on producing novices ever year so look forward to the novice championships very much.

Loraine