Plaidcast 329: Tonya Johnston’s Inside Your Ride with Elisa Broz by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

Plaidcast Episode 329 Elisa Broz


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Tonya Johnston, Mental Skills Coach speaks with 18 year old World Cup Finals bound showjumping rider, Elisa Broz. Tonya also answers a listener question about competing in your first hunter derby. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!


  • Host: Tonya Johnston, Visit her Website, Facebook and buy her book Inside Your Ride
  • Guest: Elisa Broz is an 18 year old equestrian who trains with Cassio Rivetti. Her love for horses started at a young age and she has now begun to ride at the international level – she recently won her first 3* FEI Grand Prix at Desert International Horse Park and plans to go to World Cup Finals in Omaha this year. She is currently on a gap year and plans to go to college in the fall. 
  • Photo Credit: Desert Horse Park Media
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
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  • This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.
  • Tonya Johnston [00:00:35] This is episode 329 of The Plaidcast. I’m Tonya Johnston, Mental Skills Coach, and this is Inside Your Ride. Today’s podcast is brought to you by the Taylor Harris Insurance Services and The Plaid Horse Magazine. On today’s show, I speak with 18-year-old showjumping rider Elisa Broz, who is headed to the World Cup finals in Omaha, Nebraska. I also answer a listener question about doing your first derby. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:01:07] Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m so excited for the spring session of Mindset Boost, which starts on April 11th. Thank you so much to those of you who have already signed up. I’m so thrilled that this group has kept going- this will be our seventh session! Which, is more than I ever imagined when I started this a few years ago. It was really a response to to COVID and to, you know, creating community. And I’m so thrilled that it’s continued. So I’m grateful for those of you who trust me to create a supportive, vibrant, community learning experience, which is really what it is. So it’s a different constellation of people every time. But I, for one, always come away feeling energized and excited to go forward with my own riding career. So I’m grateful for that. You always learn and you are, you know, teaching and learning really go hand in hand. And I get a lot out of it each time I do the group. So I’m grateful to everyone who has joined and anyone thinking about it. Please reach out. You can find all the details and registration information on my website at And also I want to tell you about a project I’m working on, which I’m working on the finishing touches to the audiobook version of Inside Your Ride. And so I’m going through old interviews and podcasts and gathering new quotes to add to the book. So it’s been super fun listening to so many episodes in a row and gathering new gems to add to the work. And I’m so fortunate to have had so many amazing guests. It’s truly blowing me away, like just listening to them and being inspired by such insight and motivation and inspiration. And I’m so grateful that so many people have requested this audio version as apparently I needed some encouragement because it’s been a minute since the book came out and I finally have committed to making it a priority this year. It’s actually been 11 years since Inside Your Ride came out, which is crazy to me. But anyway, I wanted to share some examples of some quotes I’m going to add. Like I said, there’s just so much inspiration and rock solid, actionable ideas that I think it’s going to be really valuable. For example. This quote is from Jenny Jarazissis who said, “If I am making too big a deal out of a mistake, I remind myself, ‘people make mistakes. This doesn’t define me when I’m done with this class. If I have chipped the first jump or something went wrong, I still have my family who love me. They aren’t going to think any differently of me. I try to put things into perspective for what’s really important. It helps.” So awesome. Such a great perspective that she’s sharing there. This is another quote from Amanda Steege who said, “When there is time, I do try to visualize the course so that it feels very real. Sometimes if I’m having a particularly nervous day, the first time I visualize it, I’ll see myself chipping or missing the lead change or whatever it is that I think could go wrong, and I don’t want it to go wrong. If that happens, I make myself stop and rewind in my head. Then I can start from the beginning until I can do it really well to the best of that horse’s ability and my ability. And when I finish, I can hear everybody clapping and everything.” So those are just examples. I just there’s so much there. I just wanted to share some of these because I’m all excited because I’ve been working hard on this in recent weeks. So I just wanted to sort of give you a taste of that. And I’m also going to add a bonus section of inspiration and mindset concepts to add some spice to your training and showing routines. So I’m going to be writing that bonus section in the next few weeks as well, and I can’t wait for this to come out. The audio book hopefully will come out this summer. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my Facebook page at Tonya Johnston Mental Skills Coach and Instagram at Inside Your Ride. So now let’s get to my interview with World Cup Finals bound showjumping rider Elisa Broz right after these messages. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:07:44] Elisa Broz is an 18 year old equestrian who trains with Cassio Rivetti. Her love for horses started at a young age and she’s now begun to ride at the international level. She recently won her first 3* FEI Grand Prix at Desert International Horse Park and plans to go to World Cup Finals in Omaha this year. She is currently on a gap year and plans to go to college in the fall. Thank you so much for joining me today, Elisa. I’m really happy to have you here. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:08:12] Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:08:15] Yay! Well, congratulations. So exciting that you’re going to World Cup Finals. Amazing. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:08:22] Yes, I’m very excited. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:08:25] Now, tell me, how long has that been a goal? Like, is that been something that was on the horizon for you? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:08:31] Well, actually, last year, kind of. At the beginning of the year, my coach Cassio Rivetti, he kind of told we obviously talked about a bit of a plan for the year. And he said, you know, the goal is to do the World Cup qualifiers this year. And so we kind of went with that plan and I ended up, you know, having some really good results, which. Allowed me to qualify. Mm hmm. It was it, you know, I mean, for me, this was my first year doing the World Cup Qualifiers, so I was just kind of, you know, doing it for experience, but then also to try and qualify. I didn’t have the highest hopes, but, you know, it all worked out. And I’m lucky to have an awesome horse like that, so. Right. Yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:09:17] Right. So, yeah, because sometimes people work to qualify and then don’t think to actually go. So what made the leap of like, I will qualify if we qualify, we’re going to go with that casio’s idea. Like, how did that come to be? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:09:30] Yeah, well, we kind of only we only did two of the World Cup qualifiers. And so Cassio said, you know, I think if you do end up qualifying with those two results, I think it’d be an amazing experience. I’m obviously, you know, on the younger side, but you know, I have the horse right now to do it and we’ve both been we’ve been doing really well together. And so I think, you know, he always was like, I think you guys are ready and it’s not, you know, every day you get an opportunity like this. So. Yeah, yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:10:02] Yeah. All right. Awesome. So, so maybe, maybe actually if you want to, let’s like, go back in time and talk about and since we look at everything sort of on this show through their sort of mindset, mental skills, mental toughness lens, maybe we could go back and you could talk a bit about like. The start of your, like, riding career, like how you feel you’ve evolved like confidence and mental toughness wise as you’ve gone through the different divisions you’ve done and everything that’s sort of gotten you to this place. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:10:35] Yeah, totally. I started very locally. I’m originally from Northern California, and I started riding with Kathy Belmont at Belmont Training Stables when I was pretty young, like six years old. And I started doing it just because I loved horses. And actually my mom, I remember she tried, she didn’t want me to ride because she already kind of knew the horse world. And I was like, No, I couldn’t do that. She kind of knew what she was going to get herself into, but I begged, and so she tried to kind of find a small local place where I could just learn. You know, I started I tacked up my own pony like the whole the whole thing, fairgrounds, all that. So it all kind of started just with the love for horses. And then I was really lucky that that barn Cassie, you know, her barn grew as I was growing. And so I started doing, you know, writing shows when I was about, I’d say nine or ten. And I started I did the ponies, I kind of did the classic, you know, path. I did the ponies and the equatation and then started doing the jumpers when I was around 13. And I think for me, even to this day, it’s always just been a bit about like the passion both for the horses and now it’s developed into the passion for the sport, which is something that you know isn’t always easy to remember when you’re kind of in the heat of it. But that’s been really something that I try and remember and that my parents and also Cassio like. It’s really something that. Is always present. And I think that helps a lot in stressful situations or, you know, when not great days happen and stuff like that. Mm hmm. I think the jumper’s was something that I when I first started doing it, I was like, I love this. Like this. That was like my thing. I did the application. I also loved it, but I always knew that the job was kind of what I wanted to do in the long term. I think that the mindset for the jumpers and equitation is a little bit different, and I think that that was something that I the jumper side, I was more drawn to that. For me, equitation is always more stressful. Right, Right. But yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:12:54] Well, what’s the difference you would say like that in the jumpers that you enjoy about it?
  • Elisa Broz [00:13:00] I think it’s a lot for me. I found that, you know. You can not make a mistake, but, you know, it’s a little bit more forgiving, especially when I was younger. At the lower level, it’s a little bit more forgiving where as the equitation, even at the lower levels, it wasn’t quite as forgiving. And I think for me, just when I was 13 years old, still learning a lot. I think I was more drawn to that. And I think that the jumpers too, you can be, you know, an 18 year old girl who, you know, maybe puts in a really great round and you can have super good results. And I think in the equitation that is also the case, but it’s there’s a lot more pressure and a lot there’s a lot more. Other things that kind of are a factor in that sense, which I you know, I loved the reputation, but I also really love the jumpers because of that. I think, you know, you can have good and bad days in the jumpers and have really highs and lows, too, so. Mm hmm. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:14:10] How do you handle, you know, the I know that equitation has different pressure, but as you know, let’s talk about, like, even this thermal circuit. You had a lot of success. Sometimes success is as big of a distraction as mistakes or bad days. Like how. How do you handle that? Like, how did you handle that? And keep your mind in the present and on the process of it? You know, it’s. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:14:36] Actually funny because when I, you know, recently won a three star thermal and I remember, you know, obviously for me that’s an amazing feeling. But then, you know, that’s on Sunday and you go back into the ring on Wednesday and it kind of all starts over again. I’m currently, I have a young horse. And for me, you just like every round, you know, you kind of have to for me, I always put myself back to square one. Mm hmm. And I remember I a horse that I’ve had for four years. I went into a 140 and, you know, maybe didn’t see the best distance. And it was like a very humbling moment to just be like, you know, it happens. And I think that it’s always a good reminder. You know, you each time you go in the ring, it’s it’s a new round. And the horses also have their good and bad days, too. And so I think that also is something you could kind of just almost have to forget a little bit about that. You don’t forget about the success, but you also have to put it to the side. But it’s something that I’m still kind of learning how to handle. I would say. Yeah, but yeah, yeah, yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:15:50] What and who do you talk to? Like who helps you the most? Like, is that something that you and Cassio talk about as far as. You know, your confidence or getting focused in the moment, like how do you how do you process that with or is that something you do on your own? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:16:07] Um, I think. I am somebody I’m not. I don’t get very super, super nervous. I’m not saying I don’t get nervous because that would be I would be lying. But I always try and kind of I would say Cassio definitely helps put me in the mindset, like right before I go into the ring, he’s always someone who’s like, okay, so like, you have to he always, like, kind of reminds me, like, focus, like pay attention to every jump, you know, and then in a jump off or something, he’s like, You have to go get it. Which is it’s always a good thing to kind of almost be reminded because even though maybe you, you know, that to actually hear it is always great. And he he’s really good about kind of trying to put us in the mindset which I really appreciate. But yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:16:57] That’s great. That’s great energy to to bounce off of too, you know, have that that sort of team sort of we’re in this together now. Let’s let’s go for it kind of I read that he said that to you before the jump off, right? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:17:12] Totally. Right. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:17:13] Yes. Can you share that? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:17:15] Yeah. Well, I I’m a very naturally competitive person, but I tend to always think, oh, I’d rather be like, pleasantly surprised by my results. So I’m always like, oh, like I’d rather be the top five or, you know, have a clear round in the jump off, especially when you’re going up against people like you know, top, top riders. And so I remember telling him, Oh, you know, I think just like a top five would be great. And he’s like, No, you can’t think like that. Like, you have to, like, think you’re going to win. And I was like, I just kind of laughed at him, all right? And he said, like, no, no, I’m serious. Like, I want you to go and like, you know, think about your jump off and like, put yourself in that mindset. And he’s always like that which which is great. So it’s kind of like an op, a bit of an optimism, but I can actually truly feel that he like, does believe in it, which is, you know, it’s great to have somebody like that. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:18:16] Well, it’s it’s great. It sounds like you take it like optimism and encouragement and belief in in you rather than like on the flip side, when when there are times in places where sometimes when people would bring up like an outcome, goal like that, like let’s go win, and that would become pressure that would be debilitating. But you’re saying it was like, okay, let’s light the fire. So you’re taking from it like something really useful. And that’s that sounds super helpful. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:18:45] Yeah, totally. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:18:47] Can you share? Sort of. What things like you do as part of your routine. Like what are some of the the things you do, like before you get on or the morning of a class or ways that you get yourself kind of into your zone or focus and and ready? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:19:08] I think for me, I don’t have it’s like there’s not a lot of specific things that I would say. I have like a certain routine. Something that I know about myself is that I always have to have like be fed, which sounds crazy, but like making sure I have eaten really helps me focus. I’ve noticed each person is different, but for me, like my energy level and my focus really actually can change if I’m like, haven’t eaten or not. Um, and then also something that I try and do, especially before, like, especially before a big class or a class where I know I’m really going to have to kind of like be on the ball is I always like sit down and I’ll close my eyes and kind of envision how I’m going to like, ride the course, especially depending on the horses. And I don’t do it all the time, but I do try. Like if I have a moment, I really do try to do that because I it kind of puts me a little bit into the mindset. And then I have an idea of how I want to ride the course. Now, does it always happen like that? Most of the time, no. But it’s always good for me to kind of have like a like a guide a little bit. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:20:21] Right. That’s that we call that visualization of putting yourself in. Yeah. Like giving yourself that, you know, it’s sort of like repetition, like, let me do it a couple of times. So when you get in there, you feel a little bit more comfortable, even if it’s not necessarily like you’re saying, Oh, it’s going to happen just like this. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:20:38] Totally. And I also think like going I always I really like to like, go over the course, like talk either about it in detail. But then right before I go in there, I always like to just say it once. You know, most riders do that, but it really does kind of help you focus on what the task at hand. Mm hmm. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:20:59] Well, what I like about that as a mental skills coach is that you’re putting breath to it, right? So that you’re talking through it. It’s it’s you’re making it even as you speak. It. It becomes action instead of just thoughts bouncing around in your head. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:21:12] Yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:21:13] Right. And are you typically saying it to Cassio, or would you even say it like walking your horse a lap in the warm up ring or. You know what I mean? Is it does it have to be someone? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:21:23] Both. Yeah. And then also depending on the horses, because I have some horses that are, you know, a bit different, but there’s places where I’m like, okay, this is the place that I need to breathe where on another horse. I’m like, okay, this is a place where I really need to like kind of get them going again and that kind of stuff. It’s like kind of like a mental, like checkpoint a little bit. Especially because in the past, especially when I did the equitation, I noticed that I would hold my breath, which I know is not good. I hold my breath around the course and I remember being in the jumper ring one time and actually thinking about breathing in the corners. And I was like, Wow, that works really well. Oh, but that was so kind of having those mental checkpoints has always been something that has helped me. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:22:14] Yeah, Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean, Checkpoint, that’s exactly like the term I use when I teach that, right? So that idea of sort of it’s like integrating your specific goals and, and things you need to accomplish to get it done well, so it’s not just where am I going? What am I doing? It’s how am I going to do it? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:22:33] Totally. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:22:34] Yeah. No, that’s awesome. Well, what would you say in in, this past thermal circuit where you had a lot of really nice success when on the days when, like, you were saying, like, maybe you had a humbling moment of like, wow, that did not work out as expected. Like, how do you. I think to get to the heights you’re getting at a young age, you do really have to be able to bounce back from mistakes quickly and not let them affect your confidence. So. How would you say you process a bad round or a mistake or like what? Aside from just having a short memory? Is there anything else you do that you think brings you comfort in that kind of time to be able to let it go? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:23:24] Um, I would say one thing is for me that I have always kind of tried to remember is, you know, is hopefully this won’t be your last class. You know, there will be another, another round. And it’s not always easy to remember. But I also think I’m super fortunate. You know, my family hasn’t ever put like a lot of pressure on me when I was growing up. And so I never felt the pressure of like, I have to do well. If anything, I was the only one who was really putting pressure on myself. And so I think growing up, that was really good. So I never I never felt like results were something that I had to chase, like, for my families, like, for their expectations. Mm hmm. And then. Now, I think. I’m also I’ve been riding I have a young horse, like I mentioned. And I think that that also you kind of see just like a like a young horse. They have their ups and their downs and you just have to know you have to put in more and more rounds. And I think that when you do have a bad round, especially for me, I just I try and look forward a little bit. Yeah. I think it’s always good to look at your bad rounds, you know, see what went wrong and kind of see what you can do better. For me, I always try and look into the future a little bit because I think that has helped me kind of move past it, right? Some rounds, it takes longer than others, but. Yeah, that’s definitely something that I try and always keep in mind. Mm hmm. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:25:04] Yeah. No, that makes a ton of sense. And being able to have that, you know, kind of long term perspective is so useful because you kind of create context for what happened. Well, okay, that happened. I learned from it, And here’s how I’m going to use it in the future. You know, so it’s like it’s not just a standalone, like, quote unquote awful thing that happened. It’s like, oh, no, it’s there’s context to it because it’s just a part of my experience. It’s a part of my learning. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:25:32] Mm hmm. And there’s actually I remember there’s something my dad used to always say to me and my brother when we were kids. He’d say, Are you going to remember this? You know, when you’re 20, right? When we were young. And so for me, like, you know, okay, it’s a bad round. You might remember it, but in retrospect, in the you know, in the long term, it’s a bad it’s one bad round. Now, when it comes to championships and stuff like that, you might remember it a little bit more, but, you know, there’s always another day. That’s kind of how I try and kind of keep that in mind. So. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:26:06] Now, now you’ve been to young riders. Yes. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:26:09] Yes. Twice. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:26:10] Twice. Okay, So. So what do you feel like that process like helped you learn that that will serve you at World Cup? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:26:19] Um, I think, you know, going to two championships like that, it always is more, there’s always more pressure, more nerves, more expectation. And I think the biggest thing is kind of trusting like the team you have behind you and what you’ve done at home. I think that has really helped me like calm the nerves or ease a little bit of the pressure because you kind of know, you know, you’re you’ve set yourself up as best as possible and now you have to go out there and kind of execute what you know, you can do a little bit. Right. And I think all those experiences, the more experience you can get, the more you get used to it. I think for World Cup, it’s a totally different stage and I’ll probably be super nervous. But I also am somebody I get nervous until I kind of sit on my horse and like start working. And once I start working, it’s kind of like, Oh, this is something that I know how to do. I’ve done it a million times. And so it kind of like stops in my brain a little bit like, okay, we’re just going to do what we know how to do. And that’s kind of just something I try and remember. And I think the experience, having that experience always helps. Right. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:27:41] Right. I think the thing that becomes a little extra challenge, I mean, obviously the the the platform and the stage you’re on. But but also for someone like you and anyone that has like it, like when I talk to professionals about this, they go to a championship. They don’t have other horses to hack in the morning. You know, it’s like, oh, a lot more streamlined. So they have a lot more time that can create a little bit of a challenge. Like how did you handle that at Young or are there any is there any ways that you handled your downtime at young riders that you can use in Omaha like that you were already thinking about? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:28:15] You know, I think for me, I. I like to try and kind of surround myself with friends or, you know, trainer family or whatever. And I’m kind of keeping it a little lighthearted. You know, until maybe a certain period of time before I compete, but almost keeping myself a little distracted. I’ve learned has kind of helped me. I kind of try and keep myself distract a little bit. And then, you know, for me, I, I know at World Cup I’ll definitely be watching because it’s an experience, you know, to see those top riders is always amazing. But yeah, kind of. Kind of keeping my self distracted, I guess I would say is something I kind of do when you when you only have one horse. Right. But it’s not always easy. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:29:09] Yeah. And still probably doing your visualization like you said. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:29:12] Right totally. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:29:13] Was. And I talk the course to yourself, you know? Yeah. I use your check points, that kind of thing. Have you. Did you go? I don’t know how long. Well, how long ago? World Cup finals in Nebraska was that. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:29:25] I have. I know. I didn’t go. I didn’t go. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:29:28] So have you looked at video like you know anything about what to expect? Is that something you do? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:29:34] Oh, definitely. Yeah. I definitely watch lots of videos of, you know, even last year and then previous World Cup finals. And yeah, it’s kind of I think it’s good to watch videos of. Past World Cups and our past, you know, competitions. Mm hmm. And then also watching the good rounds and kind of seeing what worked and what didn’t. Mm hmm. But then you also have to remember, you know, you have a specific horse and, you know, not to get too wrapped up in that as well, but definitely lots of videos that something that Cassio is a big fan of and. Yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:30:18] Right. Right. Definitely. So if you’re if your best friend was going to World Cup finals next week, what what would you tell them? What advice would you give them? 
  • Elisa Broz [00:30:29] Oh, um, as in just like, I mean, for me, I would. If my best friend was going, I’d probably tell them, you know, Good, obviously good luck. But also to, you know, remember for someone maybe my age or their age, that it’s an amazing experience and it’s something, you know, you’re going to learn so much and you just kind of like try and take it all in and to have fun. That’s something that I always try and, you know, remember is, you know, the sport is supposed to be fun and to try and just remember that as well. So yeah. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:31:12] Yeah, absolutely. That’s that’s a fantastic, you know, taking thinking about it as experience and thinking about enjoying each piece of it for sure. Would you say that that’s something that came in for you, this in particular, like these last few months, like at Thermal, would you say there was fun? And in most days you are finding places to like, enjoy and like appreciate where you were. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:31:37] Totally. And I think actually, like, even like no matter what, I’ve always tried to remember to, to have fun and to kind of like, enjoy the ride. But I think that it’s not always easy. You know, if you’re having a bad day, it doesn’t really seem all that fun. But it is something to try to remember. And that is that is also one way I kind of try and ease my nerves a little bit is always to just like before I go in the ring, be like, remember, you’re like doing this because you enjoy it, you know? Huh? Uh huh. So yeah, not always easy, but you know, it is something I try and remember now. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:32:17] It’s a great reminder, it’s a great reminder. And there’s something about, you know, appreciating the fun part of it and knowing, like. That’s your true purpose is like learning and having fun at the same time like that. You know, everyone has a different purpose. You know, your fun and your learning is going to be different from someone else’s. But that’s something unique and that becomes a strength. And that you know what I mean? That way of looking at it becomes a real strength that you can lean on in these big situations. That’s awesome. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:32:48] Totally. And I think also, you know, kind of adding on to that, it when I think about that, you know, you look at the professionals who, you know, have to make a living off of it. I don’t think you know, for them it’s not always fun. But I think most of the people who do the sport and are at the top of the level, they’re doing it because they are there is passion, you know, one way or another. And I think for me, remembering that is always, always something good to come back to. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:33:19] Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so, so much for taking the time to chat with me today. And we’ll be cheering here in California for you and good luck. And do have so much fun and enjoy and continued success. 
  • Elisa Broz [00:33:39] Thank you so much. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:35:34] This listener question comes from Shelly in Virginia. She says, “I do the three foot adult hunters and I have the best horse I’ve ever owned. I got the green light from my trainer to do my first national derby. I should be excited, but I’m already a mess just thinking about it. It seems like we will have to be the best we have ever been, not to embarrass ourselves. It seems like I’m ready, but it also seems like I will never be ready. Please help.” Yes. Thank you so much. I’m glad that you wrote in. Thank you, Shelly. And, you know, congratulations, first and foremost. You know, this is a great step. This sounds like a lot of fun. It sounds, you know, like let’s start here. And the way I want to approach this is, of course, from a mindset perspective. So you sound like you have a terrific relationship with your horse. A lot of great miles under your belt, a lot of trust there, which is fantastic. And I just want to remind you that it’s not so much that you’re riding has to peak for a special event or a new class, like a derby, but you want to think about your system and your routine peaking. Right. So it’s not so much the riding. It’s not so much. That we want to put the pressure there. If you want to be excited and use that excitement, put it towards, you know, helping your routine peak so that it gives you the boost of confidence that you need to do this new thing. Right. So think of riding the derby with your best routine, your best awareness, your best process in place. You know, you can have a wonderful, successful, fun outing if you take the pressure of riding better than you have in your life away. Right. Let’s take that out. So instead make it your goal to do everything in your power to set yourself up to do the Derby well. So you see the difference. Then your job is to work your system and have fun. This will allow you to be comfortable and confident no matter what is thrown your way. So as we think, just as you even look forward to this, I don’t know if it’s in a month or a couple of months. It sounds like it’s approaching somewhat in the spring or early summer. But, you know, I want you to think of this derby as a place to show off your strengths. Right. So you want to know your strengths. You want to be able to trust them both inside and outside the ring. So it’s up to you, your horse and your trainer to work together so that you’ll be able to do the physical and technical aspects of riding the course, to know what to expect and to have practiced it at home. And it shows leading up to the Derby, right? So that physical piece, the practice piece, you’ve got that like you’ve got a team for that, right? You have so many rounds, like 800 classic rounds, lessons, hacks, all the riding you’ve done, all that’s under your belt that will give you the skills for what you need to do in the Derby. However, it’s no one’s job yours to figure out and fine tune your pre-race routine. Right. And the mental preparation that works for you. That’s your job and that’s something that you can work to have be super polished and super solid, right? So your mental toughness is going to come from knowing what to do to help you prepare and feel confident. So that’s where I want your emphasis to be. That’s where I want your energy to go. You know, what are your strengths in your preparation routine? What helps you feel comfortable? You know, for example, what things help you get a good night’s sleep the night before. Even something that sounds super. Straightforward or basic, but it’s actually really important. And instead of the emphasis being on, oh my gosh, what’s going to happen, you know, over those 12 or 14 jumps, I want it to be how am I going to set myself up to do my routine? At an excellent level. Right. I’m going to get an excellent night’s sleep and feel really solid. You know, I’m, you know, commit to that. You know what gets you going in the morning? Make sure that you have what you need to do your normal routine no matter where you are the morning of that derby, you know, whether you’re in a hotel or a VRBO or at home, you know, wherever you are, you know, at the show before the class, you know, make sure you understand your time constraints so that you can do your normal routine before you get on, you know, etc.. You get you get the flavor of what I’m saying here of, you know, as you anticipate that class really be doing your homework and research around all the ways your routine is going to come with you and it’s going to help you in that particular setting at that particular horse show. Right. So I just want to say, I hope you relish the opportunity this time to let your system and your routine shine as well as your work with your horse in the ring and preparing for the ring. You know, a green light for this derby and this new challenge is something you’ve earned. With all of your hard work. So really, let that sink in. This isn’t something that’s just being placed upon you, as is something you work toward. Right. So you want to appreciate the time and the place and the atmosphere, and there’s no place you’d rather be than getting ready for this. Like, this is an exciting thing as well as being there is going to be exciting and fun. So have fun and please report back with your highlights and your mindset wins from the experience. I hope you have an absolute blast. 
  • Tonya Johnston [00:43:16] You can find the links to today’s guests and the show notes at Follow the plaidcast on all of the social medias just search for the plaid horse. You can follow me on Facebook at Tonya Johnston, mental skills coach and on Instagram at Inside Your Ride. Please rate and review our shows on iTunes. Five Star reviews Help people discover our show. And if you enjoy our conversation, please share it with your friends. If you have a question about your mental skills for riding, please message me on Facebook. Inside Your Ride is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book. You can find out more about my mental skills coaching on my website at Remember, focus is a skill. Use it to make every ride great. 
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