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Inside Your Ride: Mental Skills for Being Happy and Successful with Your Horse Paperback – May 1, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Active Interest Media (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929164610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929164615
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tonya Johnston, MA, is a Mental Skills Coach who works via Skype and phone with clients all over the United States. Tonya specializes in working with equestrian athletes from disciplines such as hunter/jumper, three-day eventing, and dressage. Tonya's clients range from youngsters just starting out in the pony divisions, to professionals competing at the international level. She conducts mental training clinics throughout the country and works with high schools and universities, including the Stanford, USC, and Smith College Equestrian Teams.

Tonya's passion for the mental side of sport developed through a lifetime of riding and competing. She has always been intrigued by the behind-the-scenes preparation and psychological skills that help people succeed. Tonya has many championships, wins and year-end awards in the jumper and equitation divisions to her credit. She currently rides and competes in the amateur medals in California, where she recently won the 2013 Foxfield and PCHA Adult Medal Finals.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, Tonya Johnston teaches you how to "train your brain" to deliver better performances AND have more fun on your horse. The author explains how "mental skills" training is just as important as physical training, and she gives dozens of tips that will help you to focus on the things that matter in the show ring, and ignore those that don't. Her techniques are easy to understand and apply...and they work! Great book, I've already ordered copies for my trainer and my barn friends.
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Format: Paperback
As I horse professional I found the book offered many great ideas that could be used in my day to day teaching as well as at competitions. I think the chapter that talks about setting goals that do not revolve around championships and ribbons was very insightful because it gave me concrete examples of how to discuss success and failures whether or not you win your class. As a competitor I liked the book because it gave me clear examples of ways to help me visualize what riding and competing means to me and how to shape that to help me achieve my goals. I strongly reccommend it for any rider.
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Format: Paperback
this is an amazing nugget for finding your confidence in the tack. after two falls that both put me in the emergency room, this book has been a beacon of light for me-a way to see beyond my frustration, fear, confusion and doubt. the exercises in the book that require putting a pen to paper encouraged me to take a deep look at the issues and to peel away the layers to get to the real issues. this is difficult at times but part of the process to regain a positive, confident attitude. this book should be in every competitor's tack box.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am new to the subject of sports psychology, but I found this book very helpful for developing the correct mental skills and practices for riding. The author embraces creativity and positivity, and by embracing these things, a rider can significantly improve his or her riding. I would recommend this book to any rider in any discipline.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been reading quite a lot of motivational books on how to build confidence and enhance your performance. I have also spoken with a sports psychologist, but I always felt something was missing. Traditional sports deal with inanimate objects and not a 1000 pound animal whose feelings have to be taken into consideration.

This book has really helped me in achieving a new level of confidence in myself. I think it is mainly because of the skills that are designed to give you something specific and real to work towards to and reward you for your efforts. Also the brain is a wonderful thing that can be trained…. Preferably in a positive way:

Example 1: I have often times gone around the ring and complained that my movements were not as accurate as they should be. Enter: Ride with your mind: giving you skills to separate and divide the arena into stepping stones and focus points. Sounds easy, but a lot of amateurs just don’t do it (enough).
Example 2: As an amateur I have plenty of lessons where after finishing, I wonder why my trainer hasn’t quit on me: Enter: Ride with your mind: asking you to focus on reviewing positive parts of your ride first and then diving into the negative view. Again, sounds easy…but once you get in the habit…it keeps giving back.

The more you use those techniques, the more you can see a change. Those are not hokum techniques, some do require a bit of trust into your feelings but are easy to incorporate into other aspects of your life as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I'm not quite done reading it, this book already had an impact on my riding. It is written by an expert and written in a logical way. It all makes so much sense that it is easy to remember. I recommend it for all riders, even the most advanced.
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Format: Paperback
"I read this book in one weekend! So many helpful ideas to take with me when I ride my horse. The writing was positive and easy to understand, and it made me excited for my next show - I can't wait to try out all of the tools she talks about. Great book!"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read other rider-oriented sports psychology books, and briefly worked in person with a sports psychologist. This book has been the most useful of all. The author provides concrete things to do - which resonates better with me than abstract "touchy feely" navel-gazing. She guides me how to formulate the exercises and concepts into active things I do, and how to apply these new tools to my riding.

The author "gets" the nuances of how riding differs from, say, basketball, and frames her concepts accordingly. For each concept, she explains it, and illustrates it, in a few different ways. She includes anecdotes from top riders about their applications of sports psychology, which helped me be a little more forgiving of my own foibles.

I first bought the book about a year ago, and while not every concept immediately seemed applicable, I found plenty that had a big impact on improving my riding, and which have remained useful. I recently picked it up again, curious how it would read when things are going better, and some of the concepts which didn't seem relevant a year ago, now gave me some new perspective and tools.

After each time I looked at the book, I came away looking forward to my next ride, and that has been the best thing of all.
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