2000 BA majors: Psychology, Sociology, Communications (University of South Africa, UNISA)
2004 BA (Hons) Clinical Psychology (UNISA)
2011 MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology (University of Staffordshire, UK)
2013 Completed two CPD courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Stress Management and Coaching (British Psychological Society)
2014/2015 Currently engaged in a Business Management and Marketing Diploma (UNISA)

In 2009 Natalie was accepted into Staffordshire University to study an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Natalie’s main motivation to further her academic education was to improve her knowledge and skills as a competitor and international coach. Her dissertation, which was completed in 2011 was titled: Psychological Skills use and Challenge and Threat States in Elite Equestrian Dressage Riders. Natalie chose this subject due to the minimal research on equestrian sport, in particular the discipline of dressage.

She was assisted by the Dutch, German and English federation in order to gain the cooperation of all the squad riders including, Young Riders, and Adults with “A” and “B” squad status, giving a total of 85 participants. All 3 nations Olympic Squad Riders were included in the study.

The study tested the Theory of Challenge and Threat States in Athletes (TCTSA; Jones, Meijen, McCarthy & Sheffield, 2009) and examined psychological skills use in elite equestrian dressage riders from the current three leading nations in the discipline of dressage: Germany, The Netherlands and Great Britain (pictured below). The participants completed a questionnaire which measured self-efficacy, perceived control, goal orientation, emotions experienced, and psychological skills use prior to important competitions. There were significant findings. This dissertation was awarded a distinction. Below shows a photo of some of the participants in the dissertation.


Painting, sculpture, wildlife and bird watching, general sports and reading.

Participants in Natalie Hobday’s Masters dissertation (2011)