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Posted by National Admin on 18/11/2019.
Mattea Davidson enjoys being involved in coaching and seeing riders progress and have fun
Cover photos courtesy of Oz Shotz

COACH OF THE MONTH Mattea Davidson

COACH OF THE MONTH is a regular Education series on our website. It is a way of highlighting the EA coaches and educators who work with dedication and passion all over Australia.

Mattea Davidson is an EA Level 1 General Coach, based in Kings Siding, QLD.

"I come from a non-horsey family and grew up in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane.

I always had a love of animals and was quite the collector - mice, Guinea pigs, birds, fish.

I had a friend at primary school whose father played polo, this is how I became involved with horses. She attended the local pony club and I would tag along and help out with the horses. This lead to me leasing my first pony Nutmeg at age 10 and I was in heaven.

He was a 13hh fat, grey pony who was a great schoolmaster, but also quite good at dislodging me when jumping.

The pony club was great as we were able to participate in everything - Gymkhanas, ODEs, local shows.

We used to hire a local cattle truck to get the horses to shows and had an old loading ramp to get them on. I remember on one occasion, we were all heading to a hunter trial and I had broken my arm the week before - my mum would not let me ride, so I tried to bribe her permission with $20 I had gotten for my birthday. I was not successful, but also quite shocked I couldn’t change her mind with $20 - that was a lot of money then!

Mattea tackling the water jump - photo credit Geoff McLean

Nowadays, I recently celebrated my 33rd birthday.

I am married to another professional rider, Shane Davidson, who competes at World Cup level in Showjumping.

Together, we run Davidson Equestrian where we teach riders, train horses, and have a Performance Horse Stud. This is located in Toowoomba, about 2 hrs west of Brisbane.

My weeks are spent teaching, riding and doing veterinary work. I did work full time as a vet in practice after graduating however, as we became busier with Davidson Equestrian, I was needed in our business more.

I currently compete at 4* level in Eventing and am heading to Wallaby Hill in a couple of weeks. I have also competed at World Cup level in Showjumping, which was a real highlight for me!

Getting into coaching was just a natural progression for me, part of being a professional rider and running a business.

I don't think I was a naturally good rider when I was young, so I had to work hard to get better. I think that helps me to be a better coach - I understand why things can be hard, frustrating and scary.

I really get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing people achieve with their riding - and this can look different for every rider. It may be jumping a ditch for the first time, or it could be winning at Adelaide. Being a part of someone's personal achievements and success, however that may look is really something special.

I am also involved with running the QLD State Eventing and Development Squads - it is great to see how riders have benefitted from this program and how eventing in QLD is quite strong at the moment.

Coaching is a really interesting job, you have to manage not only the needs of the rider but also that of the horse. You can have a plan for a lesson but have to adapt quickly - I remember a lecturer at uni once told us - 'Horses are predictably unpredictable' - I think this is good advice!

Mattea enjoying a coaching highlight

Looking to the future, my plan is to compete at Adelaide 5* in 2020. I was hoping to compete this year, but at the end of 2018 I broke 7 vertebrae, so this affected our qualifications. It has taken me about 12 months to get my fitness back again, but am feeling really good now.

I also have a few nice young showjumping horses I am looking forward to competing in 2020.

I really enjoy being involved in coaching and seeing riders progress and have fun.

My husband and I coach each other on a regular basis which can sometimes be tough, but we are both each other's biggest supporters.

A coaching highlight for me was having our working pupil, Courtney Stubberfield, win the Young Rider class at Adelaide 3DE in 2017. I was so proud of what we had achieved as a team."

Mattea Davidson

 

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