NEWS > General
Posted by Shelley Tilbrook on 26/09/2022.

September Coach of the Month: Catherine Alati

Coaches are the lifeblood for the future of our sport and we look to celebrate their involvement and positive impact on developing the participants and members.

For our September Coach of the Month, we received a nomination for Catherine Alati who is a Dressage coach on the North Coast of NSW.

One of her students Nina nominated Catherine for Coach of the Month.

Why did you nominate Catherine?

"After returning to riding in 2019 following a 17 year break, Catherine has carefully guided and supported my riding progression from re-learning the very basics, to finding the right horse, building confidence, to mentoring me at competitions where I am now competing at Advanced level.  

Why is Catherine a great Coach?

Catherine lives for dressage and coaching her pupils. For every lesson, she has prepared specific exercises and ideas to progress training - whether that's with young horses, ponies and other breeds, to FEI horses. For one lesson, she came out with a tube of toothpaste to emulate the squeezing of energy from the hindquarters to the bridle, and other time it was a horse figurine she made from pipe cleaners to demonstrate the balance, straightness and spine of the horse. She will contact her pupils outside of lesson times to pass on a training snippet or article that she thinks might assist that combination, or to check how a clinic or event went. At comps where she herself is competing at FEI level, she will help me warm up and offer calming words of encouragement. She really is the most dedicated and committed coach and mentor I have ever had. She's also an advocate of horse welfare which I think is important in a good coach." said Nina 

What the best lesson she's shared with you?

"She taught me to have patience, horses can be complicated/ tricky and getting to the top is all about the long game. Don't sweat the small stuff, focus on the big picture." 


We did a quick Q&A with Catherine to learn more about how she got into coaching and what she likes to impart on her students.

When did you start coaching?

I have been a coach since 1995.

To be honest my first love is to ride dressage myself, but I thought I would also like to train as a coach and a judge so that I had a deeper understanding of everything dressage.

What do you try to achieve as a coach?

I aim for riders to feel and connect with their equine partners and be in harmony with them rather than just go through the motions of learning the movements. I get so much joy when I can pass on some of the secrets of how the seat can influence the horse to achieve this harmony. The more you listen to the horse and realise your seat has so much influence, the less you need to rely on artificial aids. Both horse and rider are happier.

How did you get started?

I have always loved horses and ridden all my life but I am enjoying them more and more as I am getting older and more thoughtful.

Why do you love coaching?

I think the most rewarding thing I get from coaching is helping the rider connect and enjoy their horse in a way that makes both parties happier. They don’t have to have big competition goals, just love and empathy for the horse.

Have patience, horses can be complicated/ tricky and getting to the top is all about the long game. Don't sweat the small stuff, focus on the big picture. 
Other Top News