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Tonya Johnston – Mental Skills Coach

Tonya Johnston, MA, is an Equestrian Mental Skills Coach and author with a master’s degree in applied Sport Psychology. Tonya specializes in working with equestrian athletes from disciplines such as hunter/jumper, three-day eventing, and dressage. Tonya travels to give mental skills clinics and works individually with clients throughout the country via Skype and phone. Tonya’s book “Inside Your Ride: Mental Skills for Being Happy and Successful with Your Horse” was published in May, 2012.

Tonya has helped equestrian athletes of all ages and levels develop their mental strength and performance skills over 20 years, including work with Olympic Para-equestrians; international grand prix riders; national medal finals winners; NCAA Division I athletes; and the Stanford, USC, and Smith College equestrian teams. She has also been actively involved in the Riders4Helmets campaign, which promotes worldwide helmet safety for all equestrian disciplines.

Tonya has presented at the U.S. Dressage Federation and the U.S. Eventing Association national conventions, as well as the national conference for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She has appeared in The Chronicle of the Horse, Practical Horseman, The Equestrian News, The Plaid Horse, Horse Showbiz, Equine Wellness, Paint Horse Journal, Eventing USA, Riding, and Hoofbeats.

Tonya’s passion for the mental side of sport developed through a lifetime of riding and competing. She was always intrigued by the behind-the-scenes preparation and psychological skills that helped people succeed. Tonya has many championships, wins and year-end awards to her credit. She currently shows in the amateur medals in California, and recently won the 2013 Foxfield and PCHA Adult Medal Finals. Tonya feels that competitive involvement in the sport helps her to better assist her equestrian clients; she rides with Hope and Ned Glynn at Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma, California.

Tonya taught for many years in the Sport Psychology Master’s program at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. In 2009 she was awarded Teacher of the Year in JFKU’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

Tonya received her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz, and her Master’s in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Tonya is a member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and APA Division 47 – Exercise and Sport Psychology.

Tonya’s Website:

Rave Reviews

Today, I would never go to a show without getting a coaching session from Tonya beforehand. I am jumping my 2 horses in competitions, and loving the experience. Tonya’s teachings help me to enjoy each moment. She has transformed my riding.

– by Amateur Hunter/Equitation Rider, CA

I wanted to let you know that I’m really enjoying my new horse. I had still been having some fear issues but remembered what you said and it really helped. About a week ago, it was like there was a light switch in my brain that flipped from fear to fun and I’m just not worried about him anymore.

– by  Amateur Dressage Rider, MA

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