This study was aimed to examine how cooperating teachers engaged in the supervision of student teachers conceptualised mentorship. This study also examined how cooperating teachers cognitively framed and gave meaning to their supervising role and work. Twenty distinct metaphorical concepts were found in the data. These 20 metaphors demonstrated three categories that indicated relationship issues between the cooperating teacher and the student: ‘interpersonal relationship’, ‘power sharing’ and ‘tension and conflict’. All of the metaphors found in this study centre on the concept of horizontal mentoring relationships that engender a balance of power.