NEWS > Education
Posted by National Admin on 04/02/2020.
"Then & now" Left: an old photo of Zoe (aged 10yrs), with her aunt and Grandfather in England. Right: Zoe Harrison, dressage rider, judge and coach.
Photos courtesy of Zoe Harrison


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.

Zoe Harrison is an EA Level 2 Dressage Coach, Level 2 General Coach and Coach Educator, who lives in Western Australia. Additionally, Zoe is a B-Level Dressage Judge, as well as a Dressage Judge Mentor.

"My main interest is dressage, which I have enjoyed and participated in as a rider, judge and coach.  

In 1964, my husband and our two boys aged 4yrs and 6yrs came to WA. 

Since then, I have continued to ride and I am now semi-retired and judge dressage and coach a little.

However, what shaped me happened much earlier. Rewind back a few years, to when I rode my first dressage test at age 15...

The judge’s comments were so soul-destroying, I decided I was wrong to even consider riding dressage. I did continue to ride and learn, but it was a further 15 years before Heather Larwood suggested I should compete.

I learned much from these two experiences:

1.  Negative comments destroy the rider's confidence.  

2.  Positive encouragement can develop self-confidence.  

Eventually, I went on to represent Australia in dressage in the Samsung Cup.

Continuing forward, my involvement with The Pony Club and coaching coaches took me to every State, to share basic riding and coaching skills.  It was such fun sharing with other coaches.  

Once, we discussed why a horse moves out of halt into walk with a foreleg first, if the energy is from the hind end.  The next year a rider reminded me of this and showed us how she had trained her horse to move his hind leg first!

I went on to write the book 'Riding With Feel', moving next to preparing Workbooks for Pony Club Certificates.

During my career with horses, many people and horses have contributed to my development since that first sad experience: thoroughbreds Willpower and Shere Khan; dressage judge, rider and coach Domini Morgan; Edgar Lichtwark and many others.  From every one there has been a lesson to learn.

In 2019, after five years of research and interviews, Marion Hercock, (author, historian and rider) and I launched the book 'History of Dressage in Western Australia', published by Hesperian Press.

('History of Dressage in Western Australia' by Marion Hercock with Zoe Harrison is available for $50 + postage from Marion at [email protected] or Zoe at [email protected])

I have recently retired from the WA Coaching Committee. I have enjoyed many years with horses and those involved with horses, and I am indebted to every one of them for their generosity in encouraging and sharing their knowledge."

Zoe Harrison 



Coach of the Month Series