2016 graduate Katie Thomas recently interviewed the St. Andrews Intercollegiate Head Coaches as part of her Interdisciplinary Studies major.
KT: How long have you been in the Equine world either riding or coaching?
Robin Brooks Head IHSA Hunter Seat Coach. “I have always been around horses, my parents are also involved in the equine industry so I have been involved in horses my whole life. I started horse showing when I was around five, and started showing in the children’s jumpers at 10. I would say that is when I made the decision to makes this a career.
Carla Wennberg Head IHSA Western Coach. “I have been a professional in the horse industry for 35 years. I have been a college instructor for 25 years, University of Georgia, Colorado State University before St. Andrews.”
Jackie Dwelle Head IDA Dressage Coach. “I started riding at the age of 8 and have not looked back. I have worked as a groom, barn manager, instructor, administrator, coach and mentor.”
KT: What do you consider to be your top three strengths as a coach?
Robin Brooks Head IHSA Hunter Seat Coach.
“1. Keeping it simple – riding isn’t brain surgery, some people like to over complicate things, or talk over people’s heads to make themselves sound better. I think that as a rider and a trainer, I do a good job of keeping things as clear and as easy to understand for both my horses and my riders.
2. Keeping it positive – I never lie to my students, however, I try to always keep the experience as positive for both horse and rider as possible.
3. I try to do a good job of catering to my students learning styles.”
Carla Wennberg Head IHSA Western Coach. “Ethics and Hard Work”
Jackie Dwelle Head IDA Dressage Coach. “Patience, a clear system for instructing and coaching, good communication skills.”