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Mental Skills Equestrian

Mental Skills Coach vs Teaching from Trainer

Panel Expert: Tonya Johnston

Submitted by member: Rigel33

How is mental skills training different from the teaching my trainer provides?

Answer by Tonya

Your trainer teaches you how to ride your horse effectively: physical skills, position, timing, concepts and philosophy of training, horsemanship, use of aids, setting priorities and goals for the course or test, etc. A mental skills coach does not teach you how to ride, train, or physically perform in competition.

A mental skills coach teaches performance strategies to help you accomplish the skills your trainer has taught you. Mental skills training helps you build a preparation routine for your rides as well as optimizing your focus, thoughts, and awareness during your rides.

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Tonya Johnston

Tonya Johnston, MA, is a Mental Skills Coach with a master's degree in Sport Psychology. She specializes in working with equestrian athletes, as well as being a horse show competitor herself. Tonya's consulting sessions for riders teach mental skills to enhance performance as well as build personalized mental preparation routines. Tonya's clients have attained competitive success at every level, including local through national titles, CCI competition, medal finals, and grand prix. A recent speaker at both the USEA and USDF national conventions, she conducts USHJA-Affiliated “Mental Skills for Riders” clinics throughout the country as well as in-person and phone consultations with individual clients.

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