NEWS > General
Posted by Equestrian Queensland on 01/03/2023.

Equestrian Australia Coach of the Month - Karen Crommelin

Congratulations to Equestrian Australia's February Coach of the Month, Queensland's own Karen Crommelin. In 1999 Karen became accredited as an EA Level 1 (non jumping) coach and has been actively coaching since that time. In 2009 she completed her EA Level 2 (dressage specialist) coach accreditation and in 2014 became a EA Coach Educator. 

Karen coaches both children and adults and is particularly interested in following riders through the progression from novice riders to competing in official dressage classes. As a competitive dressage rider herself she believes she has a lot to offer her students, both in training and preparing their horses for competition but also preparing them mentally for the stresses of competition.

We caught up with Karen for a Q&A to learn more about her journey as a coach.

How did you get started in Equestrian?

I began riding as a very small child. I competed at pony club and successfully hacked at Royal Shows in my teens. Over the many years of my riding career I have been fortunate to train in Germany with excellent coaches and in Australia with the best coaches, both local and international. 

What inspired you to become  a coach?

I originally wanted to be a teacher when I was at school but went in a different direction and pursued another profession for 20 years.  In 1999 when living in Cairns I was asked to join a lovely group of ladies who were training together to become EA accredited coaches. I saw it as a way of furthering my knowledge as a rider. I was lucky to train with some excellent coach educators who I think gave me the good foundation of how to coach but I think you have to have a thirst for knowledge and a wish to share knowledge to be a coach.


Where do you coach? Club/Venue? 

I mainly coach from my home arena now and do occasional clinics within SE Queensland. I have no particular Club affiliations although I always try to support the equestrian community within the local area.

What is your coaching philosophy?

To coach the rider how to train the horse gymnastically and in an ethical way. Give the rider the understanding of the training system encapsulated in the German training scale including the correct understanding of the riders aids. Then they have the tools to go forward with any horse. And never say "never" to a rider - in other words dont put them in a negative head space and impose limits on their potential.

What is the most important lesson you can teach a student?

How to be a good load for their horse to carry.


What keeps you coming back for more?

The smile on a rider's face when they have that lightbulb moment and feel what I have been trying to help them achieve. Seeing horses develop in a positive way under the rider.

What coaching challenges have you overcome?

Distance (having lived in regional Queensland for essentially all of my coaching career) and the balance between competing myself, judging and personal/family commitments.


What advice would you give to those thinking of becoming a coach?

Grasp every opportunity to increase your knowledge. Every coach can increase their skills by listening to other coaches. I often cherry pick imagery I like when I listen to other coaches and keep it in my repertoire. 

Other Top News