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Julia Paterson’s February’s Blog

Julia competing at West Park

Well February has been a great month for training, having been so busy with work in January. We have really got stuck in with two days of show jumping training with Susie Gibson at Greenlands Equestrian Centre in Carlisle and three dressage sessions with Claire Dryden, in addition to our first cross country schooling day with Sara Burdess.

Our sessions with Susie were tough, not having seen her since before Christmas, but she got us back in line very quickly. Marvin feels fantastic and we are working together over the bigger fences and more technical lines.  I’m loving it and Marvin seems to be, too!

In our lessons with Claire we have been working on my position and my core strength in addition to Marvin’s suppleness, so moving into March we will start to concentrate on test riding, putting all this work together.

Our cross country session with Sara was brilliant.  It was so nice to get out onto the cross country field and change the programme and have fun. Marvin loves cross country and sometimes turns into a man possessed which has its heart-stopping moments when he forgets where his legs are with all the excitement! But we had a great session, working on tighter lines in preparation for the ‘roped’ cross country and tight lines we will expect at Badminton, in addition to some more advanced fences such as related distances to arrowheads and skinny barrels through the Sunken Road complex.

To keep ourselves in competition mode, at the end of February we went to West Park Equestrian Centre to compete at the British Eventing Jump Training competition, entering the BE100 class, so we put ourselves to the test at this level. Marvin was very excited to be out and was a little silly in the first round but jumped a foot perfect second round, coming 5th overall so it was a great day at the office!

So moving into March, we have even more cross country schooling planned at Somerford Park with Andrew Heffernan and Waterford Park again with Sara Burdess plus show jumping with Susie and dressage with Claire. We have been keeping up with our fitness work and in March we will step this up further, moving to weekly interval training as our first event is planned for Saturday 29th March at Burgham in Northumberland. We will then only have one month left before we start our final preparation for Badminton in May….