HSI Active Accredited Coaches Blog Series – Jane McClean

  • 3 July 2023, 12:53
HSI Level 1 Performance Coach Jane McClean features in part 6 of the HSI Active Accredited Coaches Blog Series. She discusses those who has inspired her and how her journey to becoming a coach began when she was younger and competing alongside her sister. 

Name: Jane McClean

Location: Ardee, Co Louth.

Coach Level: Level 1 National Performance Coach

Based on the outskirts of Ardee, Co Louth, Jane McClean runs a yard which focuses on a mixture of liveries, sales and production and most recently she now offers coaching having qualified as a Level 1 National Performance Coach.

Jane is an experienced competition rider, having evented up to CCI3* level and show jumped up to 1.30m. She has combined this experience with her recent coaching qualification to expand her business.

Jane McClean is a HSI Level 1 Performance Coach who has evented up to CCI3*
Photo: Irish Eventing Times

Where did your interest in equestrian coaching and the HSI Coaching Programme come from?

When I was younger, I always competed and rode alongside my sister. Although she’s older than me I always helped her out, whether that be schooling her horse during the week, helping warm her up at shows, giving her tips. I was always happy to give advice or help to any of our peers at home or at shows throughout my years in horses. I’ve always gotten great enjoyment out of helping someone else succeed.


Who do you admire in the sport and why?

I based myself at the Powers’ yard in Summerhill for a number of years and really learnt a lot from them. Each member of that family had a wealth of knowledge to share and are truly ‘proper horse people’.

There were never any short cuts taken with the horses produced there and I really learnt the correct way to produce a horse/pony for top level sport. I still go to Esib for training and have a new tip learnt every time.


What is your greatest strength as a coach and why is it important to you?

I feel my greatest strength as a coach is, really wanting my riders to push themselves to achieve beyond what they felt they were capable of. I really focus on making them all-round better horse people, both in their management on the ground and in the saddle.


What are the biggest challenges in your role as a coach?

I think one of the biggest challenges is people wanting fast results without consistency. It is really important that you stay focused on the goals you want to achieve and keep attending your trainings regularly, otherwise it is very hard to stay on track. It takes a lot of repetition and hard work before big changes can be seen, so be patient and the results will come.


What has your career with this sport taught you about life?

I think a career in horses has really taught me about being able to cope with massive highs and massive lows coming at you all the time. You have to be so mentally strong in yourself to keep going every day because the majority of the time you are your only cheerleader.


Who is your favourite horse/rider combination at the moment and why?

Laura Collett and London 52 are having some of the most amazing career moments recently, it really is so impressive. Laura’s back story and the resilience she has is so inspiring.


Do you believe attitude or motivation are the key factors for longevity in the sport and why?

I think motivation is the real driving factor behind most people in this sport, it can be so physically and mentally taxing that it takes that burning desire to go towards your big goals to keep you going.


What has been the highlight of your coaching career to date?

The highlight of my coaching career has been seeing my students so elated and genuinely proud of what they have achieved.


What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who would like to begin their career as a professional equestrian coach?

Be patient with people, not everyone can be coached the same way so be open to changing up your style to suit the personality in front of you.


Just for fun – tell us an unusual fact about yourself.

My Dad’s family have the gigantism gene, but they are all very short people. So maybe one day I won’t fit on a 12.2 pony anymore!


HSI Level 1 National Performance Coach Jane McClean is listed on the Active Accredited Coaches (AAC) list. Coaches on the HSI AAC List are those who regularly engage with the HSI Coaching Continuous Professional Development programme and have met the minimum requirement of 5 annual CPD points. They also have valid and in date Garda Vetting and / or Access NI completed through HSI as well as valid First Aid and Child Safeguarding 1 certification.

To find a HSI Active Accredited Coach near you, please see our Active Accredited Coaches list.