I am a BHSII (sm) , now known as an “Accredited Professional Coach” , “Stage 4 in complete horsemanship” !!
What that’s supposed to mean, I am not sure anymore !!! As the system seems to be handing out exams left right and centre. Coaching doesn't necessarily mean you have to be able to do, or to have done !, but as riding is a feeling sport , I personally struggle with the concept.
So firstly have ridden all my life, as was lucky enough to have a horsey Mum, who ran a riding school. Which I was involved in helping with from an early age. Competed a variety of ponies and horses, through Pony Club, BD, BS, and BE over the years, from my days doing mounted games, through to 3 day Eventing, and riding at PSG.
Left school and spent 12 months breaking in, and producing horses imported from Ireland for Bettina and Dave Deneen. Then moved to Shropshire and based myself with Sandra Pearson Adams ( FBHS) , where I trained and evented from, also taking my BHS exams. I accompanied SPA to Israel coaching, and also moved to Australia in the early 80s. Where I spent 3 years running a large equestrian Centre, and helped SPA set up the EFA exam system, coaching overseas students. I have trained riders from Grassroots to 5* . FEI pony teams, and dressage to PSG. Was Chief Instructor of a very successful Pony Club , for 20 years. Past winner of the “Pat Smallwood “ , “Instructor of the year award”. And was invited to become an associate trainer with the German Academy, run by Stephan Kiesewetter.
Question 1 How did you get into teaching? I got into teaching originally through the Riding School.
Question 2 What do you find most rewarding about teaching? I find the psychology of teaching fascinating, and seeing people overcome their fears.
Question 3 Now to be honest.... jump or dressage lesson? Actually Dressage, as it’s the foundation of everything.
Question 4 Do you have your own horse? Yes
Question 5 Success stories that really stick out in your mind within your teaching career? There have been a few. I have never been a name as such, and often have to help the average rider on the average horse. BUT it is so rewarding when you have helped them on their journey, and they become a successful combination fulfilling their dreams, against the odds.
Question 6 How do you balance work/life balance? Not sure I do !,, I’m a bit of a workaholic. And am lucky I love what I do. A good long holiday.
Question 7 As i personally know you are a very respected trainer, why do you think your clinics are so successful. We LOVE them? I think people ride for different reasons. Some love the social, and want the feel good factor. I try to accommodate all.
Question 8 What is your favourite Hardy Equestrian product? Personally as a coach, I love the Biomechanics top. I wish more people would realise their benefit, and wear them in training.
Question 9 We all know you love going on holiday, so which do you prefer..... England Vs Australia? Australia without a doubt !,
Question 10 What would be your one bit of advice for us to take away? Never give up, mindset is everything. But never lose your sense of humour.
Thanks for answering our question Karen, we hope you all enjoyed it