“Tonya has helped me and my clients prepare for the show ring and riding success for over 15 years. The best thing I have found is that because she is a successful rider and competitor it is easier for her to relate to the riders and what they are dealing with. Tonya has a positive approach and can work with you as a trainer or just with the individual rider. Whether you deal with nerves, need help with focus or simply need to find ways to reflect on your riding to take you to the next level, she is great.”

~ Hope Glynn, Sonoma Valley Stables

“Tonya’s extensive education, knowledge of equestrian sport as a rider and competitor, experience with equestrian athletes as well as athletes from a wide range sports, and her passion for her work all combine into a unique set of skills that are rarely equaled today. Tonya tailors mental skills and preparation routines for riders so that they can maximize their physical talents, accomplish their goals and better handle the challenges of equestrian sport. I have seen Tonya’s work first hand, as she has helped riders overcome their fears and visualize their way to success.”

– Bernie Traurig, Founder and CEO EquestrianCoach.com

“Tonya is an integral part of our team. She is knowledgeable, approachable, and makes herself readily available above and beyond. Some of our riders were apprehensive at first, and now rely heavily on her help. Tonya has given them the tools to integrate the mental piece of the puzzle and overcome fears and doubt. She is our rock!”

– Carleton & Traci Brooks, Balmoral Farm

“Whenever I used to horse show, I’d think, ‘This is the course; this is how to ride it.’ But as you advance and your opportunities progress, different things start to come into play like pressure or expectations. I think there are a lot of athletes who have the talent required but aren’t quite mentally strong enough to handle the intimidating atmospheres. Tonya taught me how to take advantage of those scary but exciting moments – to make my nerves work for me instead of against me. She has shown me that winning doesn’t always matter, but what does matter is taking any mistake and absorbing everything you can from it to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. It’s now clear that my focus and my attitude play such an important role in my learning. It’s amazing to remember once I walk in the ring, everything I do is in my control… and I always want to show what I’m capable of.”

– Junior hunter/jumper competitor

“Working with Tonya Johnston has been truly amazing. The skills she has taught me lead me to live a more balanced life personally and professionally. Her kind supportive nature makes her so easy to talk to. She helped me get myself in the mindset to achieve my goals. I would highly recommend her to anyone!”

—Abby Mixon, Abby Mixon Performance Horses

“Tonya’s work with our riders has been invaluable and has helped us work through issues from fear of failure to physical fear. Her analysis and positive suggestions and approach really helps riders move through issues to perform at their best. Her approach of giving riders concrete techniques to help is unique and produces great results. We are thrilled to have worked with her this year and intend to continue into 2013.”

— Jill Hamilton, Millennium Farm, CA

“Tonya has helped my riders prepare more effectively for the ring, remember their courses, increase their focus in lessons and at shows, and handle the ups and downs of competition with a more positive attitude. We have done group clinics at various times throughout the year including prior to medal finals, and I have encouraged clients to see her on an individual basis as well. Tonya’s willingness to be on-site at shows is really valuable.”

– Beverly Jovais, Chestnut Hill Farm, CA

“After the clinic the girls had the best lessons they have ever had every single day this week.  They are all SO excited and I have been really making them take their time and employ the tools you gave them prior to every “turn” they take in their lessons. The confidence they have gained with the techniques you taught is fabulous. The feedback on your clinic was so positive that those who did not attend are regretful – and those who did it will support future ones for sure!”

– Kelly Van Vleck, Van Vleck Ranch, CA

“Tonya’s ability to clearly frame a solution to a problem, in a way that can be understood by those listening to her, is what makes her such an excellent speaker for our webinars.   Her presentations are very popular with our members because she covers material that helps horse professionals improve their own success in the show ring as well as improve their coaching skills. The Q&A portion is particularly helpful. Whether it was dealing with a beginner who had recently fallen and was now too scared to ride, difficult parents, or an over confident adult rider who resisted instruction, Tonya can be counted on to give excellent suggestions on how horse professionals can address these issues with their customers.”

– Elisabeth McMillan, Founder EquestrianProfessional.com

“There was a tremendously positive response to your workshop and it was wonderful for me to stand by the back gate and see people helping each other by reminding teammates to do circle breathing, visualize a great round, and think about the factors that they could control about the round rather than the less than ideal draw that they had. From our beginning walk-trot riders to our more experienced showing riders, I think everyone got a lot out of your clinic and was able to put this in practice over the weekend. We won both days of the show and now have large lead in our Region. Thank you so much for coming! Your visit was a truly enriching experience for the team and we all appreciate it greatly.”

– Emily Cohodes, Co-captain Stanford Equestrian Team

“I use everything we discussed in our sessions in my riding now. Handy classes, which used to be my worst nightmare, are now my strength. I recently signed with my first choice university. I could not have accomplished any of this without all of your support. I will use all of the knowledge you gave me as I compete at Devon as well as indoors at the end of the year. It will also be invaluable as I move forward to competing in the college format. Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you spent with me working to improve my riding.”

– Junior client

“The biggest skills my riders got were relaxation, breathing, visualization, and using checkpoints in the ring. The clinic was very complimentary to teaching because we as trainers get very focused on the actual details of the ride and yet there is so much for riders to be doing on their own, that Tonya really brought out. Now I see them using the tools and getting in the habit of planning their rides. I have been using the tools as well – like phrasing things in the positive and taking occasional circle breaths before I give instruction – it has helped me be more effective.”

– Wendy Brownlee, Brownlee Equestrian, NV

“My daughter is really blossoming. She is stepping up and accepting challenges, working to figure them out for herself — and staying calm and collected in the process!  The bonus and end result is that she has never ridden better. I overheard one of her friends on the IEA team tell her that she had never seen her ride like she did last weekend, that she looked like she ‘owned’ the arena! It was wonderful to watch.”

– Mother of an IEA rider/client

“My riders learned how to focus better before going into the ring. There is one rider who has had an unbelievable improvement since the clinic. She is probably what you would consider the gold standard of what we were looking to get out of it. She is taking it really seriously… she does her homework in the binder at lessons and horse shows. I would highly advise any trainer to add these tools to their toolbox.”

– Cara Chapel, Folly Farm LLC, CT

“As a junior and amateur, when I went to the indoor medal finals and for all of the major medal finals on the west coast, my work with Tonya and the technique of visualization was a key for me. Now as a professional, I find it helpful to sit in on Tonya’s clinics at our farm and use the ideas and techniques in my teaching. It has helped me to be simple and clear in communicating with clients. Our clients’ use of imagery and focusing skills helps them be more relaxed and effective in the ring. Tonya’s availability is also a key – even a brief session when calling in from a horse show can help you re-focus and gain perspective.”

– Lindsay Anderson, Shady Lane Farm, CA

“Tonya’s presentation at the USEA Area VI Annual meeting helped people understand the value of working on the mental preparedness for competing, and that it is just as important as the physical training, if not more so. I do think that Tonya’s experience as a rider and a competitor gives her a good feel for what we are asking of ourselves in this sport. People really connected with her, and felt comfortable talking with her. I think one of the biggest bonuses to Tonya is that she will work with you over the phone. I think that is great!”

– Dayna Lynd-Pugh, US Eventing Association Area VI, 2007 Annual Meeting, Fresno, CA

“My riders got the chance to really think about the many things that hinder their performance in the ring, due to stress. I was thrilled because their desire to be perfect gets in their way more than any horse! I think they realized this and found ways to deal with it through Tonya’s clinic. It exceeded my expectations. I have already told other coaches that Tonya’s clinics are invaluable for their athletes. It was so important to spend a concentrated amount of time coming up with new and purposeful methods to deal with the issues. We have continued to talk about the strategies discussed in the clinics in our lessons. Goal setting has been ongoing, and students are more focused now. I also see them breathing properly and visualizing before and during classes. They talk about issues more openly. Many bring the binders to the shows!! I see them talking about and utilizing many of the techniques. She’s the best!”

– Suzanne Payne, Smith College IHSA Riding Team, MA

“I just wanted to thank you for helping our daughter.  Her sessions with you turned out even better than we expected; it really helped with her mental preparation and allowed her to gain the proper perspective.  She enjoyed the experience and it clearly made her a better rider.”

– Father of a pony rider/client

“I was a junior rider the first time I attended one of Tonya’s clinics. Her strategies and techniques not only helped me excel, but are now part of my teaching and riding. I am most impressed with Tonya’s ability to reach and work with every type of student from beginner to advanced; from the non-focused day dreamer to the self-motivated. Her clinics teach to every learning style and produce GREAT RESULTS!!! My riders are better able to maintain focus, make decisions, and discuss problems and strategies. I am proud to offer her clinics to my riders.”

– Kate Haisch, Chatham Hall, VA

“Tonya is a wonderful, positive, and kind person to work with. She has given my students confidence many times. She is a rider herself and understands the nervousness and fears that a rider can have. She knows how important it is to breathe and focus. I love that she gives a notebook to each student with homework for them to work on. I have my students carry their notebooks in their tack trunks and review them at the shows.”

– Marian Nelson, Riverside Ranch, CA

“I am extremely impressed with how thorough Tonya is in her teaching style and the ideas that she communicates with her clients. I have experienced first-hand Tonya’s ability to set up specific, individualized programs for different issues. For example, there have been unbelievable results with one student who had extreme fear issues with riding every day, to the point of almost complete paralysis. She has been able to conquer her fear and now enjoys her rides very much. She feels much more confident and can utilize the valuable tools that Tonya has given her in any situation and at any time. I would strongly recommend Tonya’s clinics as a valuable resource and supplement to any riding program. I would also advise trainers to use these techniques in their teaching and training.”

– Ruth Van Sweden, Van Sweden Equine Training, CA