Who Am I?

The best way to share about me — is to share an interview with me that was recently published on an internet blog site:
Hi Cathy, first of all congratulations – I understand Horsemanship Magazine is publishing a series of your articles this year, called “Self Coaching for Confidence”?

Yes, it is very exciting — I was planning a big confidence text book, but then I realised through the coaching I do every day that a few straightforward exercises are just as effective as a whole book – and a lot easier to work through.

This series contains the 5 key exercises for you to work through and apply. When you do these exercises, and practice applying them in your life, you develop your ability to create and build your own confidence. So you literally become your OWN confidence coach.
The first issue was out Feb 2012!

Do you really believe people can do that? Be their own confidence coaches? Surely it’s more complicated than that?

Yes I do! And I believe that because of the success of many of the people I have worked with: people are now hacking out alone, in company – going to advanced riding clinics – all the things they didn’t have the confidence to do before they learned the tools to help themselves.

It can get complicated – but really one thing to know about feeling unconfident is it is just our brain’s way of trying to keep us safe; it’s the way your unconscious mind has of telling you “Don’t do this!” or “you’re not safe doing this!”.

This is a very useful mechanism to have. When you sprain an ankle, your brain quickly realises that relying on that foot is not sensible, and makes sure you don’t put weight on it while it is healing up.

Sometimes, however, this wonderful survival mechanism gets in the way. I remember I sprained my ankle and discovered over a YEAR later that I was still favouring my other leg and not putting my full weight on the “injured” one! My brain had developed a habit of protecting my sprained leg, and I had never corrected it. If we can learn how to get our conscious and unconscious minds working TOGETHER to keep us safe – then we can make huge steps with our confidence – and that is what this series of exercises is about.

What led you to become a confidence coach?
The main reason I became a confidence coach was because I’ve been there: there have been many times in my life when I desperately wanted to ride, but was too scared to even touch a horse. I realised that all the lessons in the world weren’t helping me and what I needed were ways to rebuild my OWN confidence. This was the start of my journey – which has led to me now helping others become their own confidence coaches.

What’s your own favourite confidence story?
I used to be scared of riding in wide open spaces. So I used a good friend of mine as a confidence booster and together we went and played on a large open area. It was great fun and by the end of the day I was feeling very confident. I left my horse at her house and came back the next day when she was out and ride out by myself.The next morning I got up, and couldn’t find the clothes I wanted – but I wasn’t at all nervous. I couldn’t find the car keys – had trouble getting them in the ignition, but I wasn’t at all nervous (do you see where this is going?). When I tacked up my horse it was funny how all the buckles were really stiff and wouldn’t do up properly. But even now I was sure I wasn’t nervous. I led my horse out onto the wide open space and my legs GAVE WAY under me and I collapsed in a heap on the ground.

This was a great example of how when we don’t listen to our unconscious, it has to shout really loud to keep us safe! This event actually led directly to the development of one of the exercises in this series!

What has your greatest success as a coach been?
Every person I coach who grows in confidence is a success but two in particular stand out. One is someone who had decided to give up riding – she is now riding endurance with the same horse she had then! The other is someone who came to me because she felt she and her horse weren’t connecting and is now running her own horse therapy centre – again with that same horse as her partner.

So how do you usually work with people?
It varies, as each person and each horse is so different, but there are five main stages most people go through:
Stage 1: an initial meeting where we explore the principles of confidence, learn how to measure and manage it – and make a plan for rebuilding confidence. This session is usually two hours long and at the end the person had their own plan for moving forward, which in itself increases confidence.
Stage 2: one to one or small group confidence coaching sessions to focus on specific issues that will build confidence effectively – this stage can be as short as one session, or it can be over a longer period, depending on the situation.
Stage 3: a week long intensive hacking with confidence course: most people who approach me want to be able to hack out by themselves or in company without fear – this intensive course allows them to put into practice what they have built up during the one to one sessions.
Stage 4: self managed practice: people usually then take some time to practice by themselves, with phone and email support from me if needed to make sure that everything they have learned works at home and without me – after all, that is my job, to put myself out of work! Some people have some top up coaching – others go on to just enjoy themselves with their new ability to sustain and manage their own confidence.
Some go on to the next stage:
Stage 5: Confidence on the beach: for some of us, riding our horses on a beach is our biggest dream, but it can be a scary thing to do – so this is the ultimate confidence course: a small group of like minded people having fun and playing confidently on the beach – after this, anything is possible!

Sounds great – Are you always confident now?
What a great question – the answer is no – but, and it’s a big but – I know how to listen to that unconfident voice and can always come up with way to BECOME confident – that’s what’s so great about the self coaching approach!

So how can people contact you?
Well I am based in Milton Keynes, in the UK but travel all over the country and internationally giving “Self Coaching for Confidence” talks and working with individuals and groups in different areas.

If you want to know more about me then take a look around this blog site and read my thoughts on confidence right here!  You can also email me oncathy@effectivehorsemanship.com if you have ANY questions about confidence or just want to share your confidence story with me.
This interview was for naturalhorselover.blogspot.com/.

6 thoughts on “Who Am I?

  1. Hey Cathy, it sounds really great what you do ! I hope you also come to the Netherlands sometime.. ,I have a new horse since a year, and have encounterd a lot of stress moments with him. Fortunately I found also wise people to teach me how to train him, but the most important bit to learn is still the selfconfidence-bit..so, if ever you are coming, please let me know !!best regards from Titia

    • Hi Titia — I have no plans right now to come to the NL – but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible — I will happily come over if enough people need my support and coaching — and will let you know if that becomes possible. I do email and phone coaching too — so feel free to send me an email if you like!

    • Hi Titia,
      Coincidentally I found a link to this website and read your reply to Cathy. I think I can help you and your horse. I am based in the Netherlands. My HorseSense Horsemanship™ approach, based on EFLcoaching (I am trained by Kathy Pike) and my own experiences in variable Horsemanship-techniques, is designed for people to grow/develop their self-confidence. Which then gives them the confidence and leadership-qualities they to work together with their horse based on equality and have fun together.
      Have a look at my website: http://www.horsesense.eu, maybe it resonates with you and it can inspire you to let me be your coach in finding your own confidence in working with your horse.
      If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

      Warm regards,
      Monique Steenwijk

      Great work you do! Your blog is inspirational. I am sure people and horses are in very good hands with your coaching. Keep up the good work. Thanks!

      • Hi there Titia an dMonique — I appreciate the fact that this post is aimed solely at helping someone who needs confidence support –however Monique — if you click on Titia’s name above it takes you to her blog site where I would rather you contacted her — I am sure you understand that if I have one person promoting their services on here, albeit with great intent, it could become problematic. II will leave the comment up for a few hours Monique but will then remove it if that’s ok — hope that gives you time to get in touch with her directly x Cathy

        • Hi Cathy,
          I totally understand. The intent was to help out indeed and I actually didn’t think about it in a promotional way but after your comment I do see that this is how it could be taken and it could inspire more promotion :-). So please accept my sincere apologies and do feel free to remove my comments. Thanks for your reply and I will contact her via her own site.
          You’re doing great work and I wish for you to be able to coach and inspire many others in the future.
          May the Horse be with you.

          Heart to Heart,

          • No Worries Monique — I totally understand your positive intent! and am happy to support people I know — if I can make a suggestion? I will delete thses posts in a few hours — then just put a reply up to Titia saying “Hi titia, I am in the NEtherlands and put a link to your site — that way anyone who WANTS to can click through, and you are not advertising — best of both worlds!!! x Cathy

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