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  • kmbleekman

About me.......

Usually, on the blog, I try to bring you all useful information on topics that will help to further your understanding & knowledge of how to help improve your fitness for your riding. But today I thought I would talk about me! Not a subject I talk often about but as a 1:2:1 online coach it is important you feel like you know the coach that you are going to be personally working with & sharing lots of private information.




For me, it is important that my clients understand my why's & share similar values to those of mine & we are the right fit to work together & therefore get riders to where they want to be. Just because I am an online coach doesn’t mean that I am the best trainer for everyone out there & the same goes for clients, if I feel like there may be a better-suited coach to help you achieve your goals then I will suggest that to you so you are in the best hands to get the results you want.

So how did I get into training & coaching?


A few years ago I was stuck in a bit of a dead-end job (apologies if my old boss reads this; it was a great place to work just not the job for me), sat behind a screen 9-5 every single day of the week. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing & I was so uninspired so after 6 months I decided to leave that role. Whilst I was in the process of working my last days I started thinking about what I wanted to do as a career. I had made the decision already that I was going to return to grooming & the horses for a while and just travel, have some fun with work whilst I decided my next career steps.


A friend at the time said,


“Have you thought about being a PT? I think you’d make a great PT.”


It was like a switch had gone in my head & I was like ooh what a cool idea! How awesome would that be, going to work every day working with people 1 on 1 & groups, having fun, my office being the gym & helping to get people exercising?



I knew I’d love to help get other people fitter & healthier & thought what job could be better than working in a gym all day. The idea of the gym being my office & helping others enjoy fitness got me so excited. I realised that I could follow a passion & turn it into a career, as a kid I was always very sporty playing hockey, netball (I was awful), running track & cross country so fitness & sport has always been a huge love & part of my life from a very young age alongside my riding.


Having ridden for as long as I can remember, I had always tried to find a career that would combine my love of riding & fitness but so far had struggled. Finally, I felt like this could be the answer & a career I love, which I certainly do. I wouldn’t change my job for the world & am excited to go to work every single day. So I took the leap signed up to gain my L3 Personal Trainer qualifications & the rest is history!


Having been brought up in an incredibly horsey family the Equestrian life has always been the way of life. My family run a breeding & competition yard focusing on showjumping & eventing horses. My Mum used to be a professional event rider having been to the World Championships & won a gold medal, Europeans, multiple Burghleys & Badmintons as just a few highlights. My Dad is the “stallion man” as he refers to himself, hailing from Holland breeding horses has always been his thing. Then both my sisters work at home in the family yard & have had very successful riding careers. Althea has ridden up to 4* level successfully as well as competing in multiple European Championships for both Team GB & the Netherlands as well as producing many of our own young horses. Janou had a hugely successful eventing career with her highlight winning an Individual bronze medal & Team Silver at the Young Rider European Championships back in 2017 having competed in every Europeans I think since she was 15-21 winning multiple medals as well as competing up to 4*. So yes I am from a horsey background!




But when I was 16 & was competing seriously, riding for Team GB in the European Championships in 2009 I was struggling hugely with my fitness & perceptions of health behind the scenes. My idea of being fit back then was being as skinny as possible, eating as little as possible & being able to run for miles. I was struggling with an eating disorder to keep my weight down, (that I have only just become ok with sharing, talking & being open about), but it is important as that experience forms a huge base of my why I became a trainer & want to help others. My mental game was in pieces & looking back now I can see that.



At the time I couldn’t see how this could be hurting my performance or riding but now this experience has made me determined to show & help every single rider how to get fit in a healthy manner; whatever that means to you.


Having ridden for Team GB, won a silver medal, ridden to a high level (3*), been raised in a hugely horsey family, groomed in showjumping & to 5* level in eventing it is safe to say I know the Equestrian world, lifestyle & demands inside out.


Having competed myself to such a high level gives me the upper hand & knowledge above other trainers who coach rider fitness. I know the sacrifices the work, the hours of lessons, the miles spent in the lorry, the injuries, the heartache but also all the epic time's riders face & know what you need to be the best rider you can be & achieve success.


I coach riders how to make fitness a healthy & balanced part of your lifestyle for the long term so that you can both mentally & physically feel good, be happy & have your own fitness journey to live. Fitness & training gives you a huge sense of independence & confidence so it is a positive for all riders. I show riders how to make fitness work for you but to also inspire you to how you can always do better, push & challenge yourself to truly be the best you can & live a life you love & enjoy particularly when it comes to the horses.


As a coach my clients can expect to be pushed, motivated, challenged & encouraged to achieve your goals & dreams. I teach every rider to believe in themselves, showing you the tools you need to be consistent, committed & enjoy the journey. You can expect to work hard, learn about fitness & nutrition, be challenged but with me backing you 100% of the way making your journey fun, exciting & rewarding alongside a community of other like-minded go-getter riders. Trust me I’ve been there & I get it. I’m with you all the way.


Katie X



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