The show season and summer holidays are rattling through. Everyday I put off the need to address the return to school with all equipment needed. Knowing full well it will be another chaotic dash and go back to organising the next show.

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Maria

Some losses affect you more than others and I am not ashamed to say I am still struggling with Maria being second at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) recently. Yes, I know it’s a great result but I can’t help disappointment. Yes, I know we have to move on but sometimes it’s harder than usual.

Marks are a funny thing and you only had to watch the show pony classes to see how they sometimes do not actually reflect the way the class unfolded. The RIHS was its usual fabulous self and spectators bathed in sunshine to watch the finest show animals in the country and with such a beautiful main arena to compete in too, it is a real treat.

I very much enjoyed my judging of the maxi cobs with my father David Tatlow. His knowledge is immense and he had a very set idea of how he was going to arrive at his result.

My rides were varied, but in general I would say lighter and more agile than I anticipated. A lot of attention was paid to the walk. I am pleased to say I hear more pony judges asking for a walk these days as it seemed at one stage to be a forgotten pace. We walked our cobs three circuits to get a full assessment of what we had before us to judge. How classes on other days were judged on one walk, one trot, one canter is beyond me. The pull ins showed this too.

I was heard last year to say if you ever hear me going to NPS again shoot me! Well I went again and I really hope that this was the last time.

The rings we were in were hard with little grass covering and the timetable impossible to follow. Come on, surely it can be better than this? The entries were good in some classes but I am sorry to say I think it does need work in many areas.

After missing Dublin Show for a few years I had a very enjoyable few days there taking my daughter Alice for her first trip. What great company she was and she got me out of going clubbing in Dublin using my responsible mother side as an excuse!

It is such an education to go to Dublin. The raw, backward horses are judged with the future in mind, which is a refreshing change to the shiny finished animals with conformation faults heading the lines. Manners were strongly adhered to which must be good on a safety basis, however it was a shame to see one class actually halve in number.

The main arena showjumping was superb and I am not sure which Alice enjoyed more, the horses or the lunch in the champagne bar! She is learning well from her mother.

Loraine