As the old saying goes, 'no man is an island', and this couldn't be more true in my case. I can honestly say that I wouldn't be the person I am today, if it wasn't for those who have consistently invested time, love, friendship, mentorship and support in my life. Although in many cases, the support I receive is in the form of individuals all standing together to form community, there are a couple of key people who stand out as mentors in my life...
My parents: Craig and Cathy Koetsier
My parents play many roles in my life: friends, educators, and an all in one taxi, feeding, and supporting-service! I also recognize that my parents play so much more than a parental role in my life, they are also my mentors. I am proud to share their mindset to life, a mindset of freedom and discovery. I aspire to share more of their mindsets, they really are pioneers in our age, particularly in the area of education.
Sharon is my 'other mother.' We originally knew Sharon as 'the arty lady that keeps her horse at the same livery yard as mum.' Once we had formed a good friendship with Sharon, I was smuggled into her art classes at the local school where she taught. When people asked about this 'non-student' attending art classes, Sharon just informed them that I was her 'other daughter.' Ask no questions, tell no lies...
Being a dressage judge, an ex-riding instructor, and a natural teacher, it was inevitable that she'd end up teaching my mum from time to time. This resulted in me having lessons with her too, and we eventually ended up loaning one of Sharon's ponies.
Coming to England, my horsemanship has taken a whole new route of its own, and I have developed a whole new set of confidence in myself and my horses, but if Sharon had not supported me through my initial stages of horsemanship in South Africa, who knows where I would be today!
We initially thought that Catherine would teach us, but the funny thing is that we (me, my parents, my horse, and Catherine) have all changed considerably having known each other. Catherine continues to invest a huge amount in me, more than I'll ever know, or be able to comprehend..