Plaidcast 335: Tonya Johnston’s Inside Your Ride with Piper Klemm by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

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Tonya Johnston, Mental Skills Coach speaks with Piper Klemm about the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair and the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame induction dinner. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!


This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Piper Klemm [00:00:34] This is the plaidcast. I’m Piper Klemm, publisher of the Plaid Horse magazine. And coming up on today’s episode, for the first time ever, Tonya and I are going to be recording in the same space! 

Tonya Johnston [00:00:45] Yes!

Piper Klemm [00:02:40] So I’m way less hardcore than I used to be because I used to record the Plaidcast in the McDonald’s parking lot just like sweating. 

Tonya Johnston [00:02:47] Yeah we’re glam now. 

Piper Klemm [00:02:49] Yeah we’re glam now. Yeah. So if you hear noise that’s just us not suffocating. 

Tonya Johnston [00:02:54] So please forgive us, but we wanted to come to you from here. From Devon. Such a important place. So many great things going on. And my first time. Piper, this is your, what, 73rd time? How many times. 

Piper Klemm [00:03:12] My many a time at Devon. 

Tonya Johnston [00:03:14] Yeah. So. But it’s. It’s my first and it’s been super. I’ve been so excited to watch and it’s just an amazing venue and all the things. It’s definitely lives up to the hype. 

Piper Klemm [00:03:25] Yeah. For those of you who haven’t been, the Devon Horse Show is on Philadelphia’s main line in Devon, Pennsylvania, and it’s right in a pretty congested area, I would say. And it’s got a small footprint. And the tagline has been where champions meet and since 1896, people have brought their champions here to see where they compare with with champion basically regional champions all over the country come here and see who’s the best of the best. And everyone is trying to peak here as exciting competition with horses from California like Tonya and her horse, you know, going head to head from with people from Virginia and New England and all over. 

Tonya Johnston [00:04:06] All over. Yeah. It’s really amazing how many. People come from so, so far away in so many different disciplines. It’s not just our discipline that pulls from so many other states as well. So they have saddlebreds. And the what? Driving ponies? I don’t even know. Yep. The scurry is that was that when they’re with the little roadsters, is that what that is? 

Piper Klemm [00:04:31] Yeah. Yeah. There are a lot of carriages, there are a lot of saddlebreds, there’s a lot going on at all times. 

Tonya Johnston [00:04:37] A lot of things. Yes. So, so it’s been, it’s been great. I will say I haven’t, I do want to come back some time not showing so that I can really stay like a full day and do all the watching and stay at night because I am pretty disciplined about my bed time. No, it’s not. Yeah, it’s not easy for me to stay the full day and evening because most shows also we don’t have this amazing evening performances that go until what, seven, eight, nine, 10:00 at night, which is so cool. 

Piper Klemm [00:05:12] Yeah, a lot of them don’t even start till seven, right? You know, Saturday night went pretty late and, you know, there were hunt teams and parent and child classes and like lots of fun stuff. And horse shows, I think, sometimes get so busy and the days are so packed and everyone’s so exhausted. We, we miss that fun factor. And then and I know that, Tonya, you’re always conscientious about fueling your body, but have you treated yourself to any of the Devon food yet? 

Tonya Johnston [00:05:39] No, not yet. I’ve been living at the Wholefoods, which is very conveniently located like super close to the show. So I will do all of the things on Saturday afternoon. Once I’m done showing, I’ll have the tea sandwiches and the lemon sticks and all of that fun stuff, the fair stuff, which will be fun. And my husband and my mother in law are coming, so I’m excited for that. So they’re going to be able to go with me and really experience the fair and all the fun food and all of that so that I’ll be super, really blessed to have their support and family support and friends. You know, that’s such a new thing. I don’t know how many years it’s been that we’ve had such great live streams, but I really do feel so supported when I go away to shows where maybe, you know, if my barn hasn’t come or if I’m further away from, you know, obviously family. I have family on the East Coast and we show on the West Coast, so everyone gets to watch. And it really does. It’s I don’t know, it’s just so nice to be able to talk about things and they can understand because they watched it. And it’s just it’s such a different experience as a competitor, knowing that you have people’s like active support and they’re watching and sending good vibes. And I just think that’s such a blessing. I don’t know if that’s like the last five years. We’ve really got into that in a serious way, but it really does. I don’t know. I just find it really heartening and I love being able to watch myself and watch all the things from around the world. But but especially when I’m away, I have so many people asking me, like, what? You know, what’s the link and when do you show? And it’s just it’s just so awesome because that is and I’ve said it many times and I will continue to say that’s one of my favorite parts of competing is the teamwork aspect and how we all come together. You know, as far as people, you know, that are in your division as well as your own team and getting you ready and. You know all of that. And I just find that really the fun part. So it’s nice when it gets to continue to actually, you know, be that people can watch and support and I can talk to people afterwards and debrief all the things and all that kind of thing is really fun. 

Piper Klemm [00:09:51] So last night we got to go to the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame dinner which was your first time out? 

Tonya Johnston [00:09:59] Yes. It was such a treat. What amazing history and amazing you know, titans of the sport and all in one room and honoring each other and really respecting each other’s work. And what a amazing atmosphere. It’s just a wonderful tradition. And I think I heard them say it was the 28th year. Is that right? 

Piper Klemm [00:10:19] Did you hear that? I think yeah, about. 

Tonya Johnston [00:10:21] Something like that, Yeah. So it’s just it’s just amazing to see everyone honoring tradition and honoring excellence in that way. But in such a like support, like everyone was cheering for each other, you know, it was really I felt like at least last night, it was very honoring each other and and full of respect and full of, you know. The fact that we’re all there for the horse and, you know, doing doing our best in our respective ways and being able to recognize, you know, because everyone does do things a little differently and you kind of can arrive at similar places of excellence and strength in different fashions. And to recognize and honor that, I think, is is it just shows everyone’s confidence and compassion ultimately for each other. 

Piper Klemm [00:11:17] Absolutely. And yeah, there’s so much respect in that room and so many people have done it very differently. And back to Devon, being that that Where champions meet, I mean, everyone’s constraints are different living in different areas of the country and they have to go about it differently. And you know it’s a different. Different game in a lot of ways. But then, you know, they all come together and and respect each other for for what they’ve accomplished. And I think one of the things that’s so special is that everyone in that room knows how hard it is. I think a lot of people want to believe that there’s an answer or a shortcut or people, you know. Yeah, that that at some point it gets easier and everyone in that room knows that it never gets easier. Every horse here starting over and training and every every relationship. But when you meet someone new, you’re starting over and creating new relationships and collaborations. And that day in and day out, excellences is practically impossible. And and since there is so much respect, I think that they it is a place where people can tease each other a little bit. But it’s fun. There’s plenty of like good natured ribbing for, for other people’s habits. 

Tonya Johnston [00:12:32] So it was fun to watch. Yeah, for sure. And I think that there’s a sense. Of community in people who have shared their experience. And obviously that’s like the top level of the sport. And they’re going to the same shows and they’re going to the, you know, top horse shows in the country and indoors and all of that. And and it made me think, you know. You know, I’m not really I’m not part of that community. And many people aren’t it’s not like the hugest you know, it’s the very, very top tier of our, you know, Hunter Jumper sport, or at least our Hunter sport, I would say. Right. So it’s it’s but at every level how we do associations and come together and have sort of year end awards or record banquets and all of that is really about community and you know respecting each other’s passion for the sport. And I think that is something that runs through at any level, whether it’s a regional level, you know, when we are coming together in these ways, it is with a feeling of community and excitement and appreciation and, you know, goodwill really in those in those ways. And there’s a celebration that I think is really nice because it really comes down to. Passion, recognizing passion, like we’re all we all have passion in what we’re doing. And regardless of level, it’s really important. You know, it’s a really central part. The horses are not a light, a light little hobby. They’re very they’re very all consuming. And I think in these kinds of moments, in this kind of ceremony, whatever ceremony we can create, like I said, wherever you are, it just it I think there’s a nice thing about ceremony that honors. That honors the heart of what we’re doing. 

Piper Klemm [00:14:27] And, you know, and all the inductees are older and he’s demonstrated this consistent excellence over so many decades. And yeah, I feel like and and all of us want it now. We’re all pushing for it. We are all striving, but really being around people who have been truly excellent for decades on decade, not on year on year, for decade after decade. 

Tonya Johnston [00:14:51] Yeah, it’s amazing. 

Piper Klemm [00:14:52] It’s a different it’s a different kind of group. It’s a different mindset. And if you ever have a chance to be around any any of these people, I hope you take it. And I hope you take it with your eyes open and really think about and consider what they do and what that longevity and sustainability means in this sport because it’s easy to underestimate how hard and how much reinvention to be in this sport, long term, sustainably, what it takes. 

Tonya Johnston [00:15:23] Right. One of the one of the big one of the speeches that most stood out to me was Betty Orr inducting a woman, Alice, Alice Stewart. Yes. Who was an equestrian in the twenties, who was the first woman? To excel in a bunch of different disciplines, jumping being one of them. And so there were some pictures of her and she had an amazing legacy and so fascinating to hear. About her career and. You know, like women didn’t even get to run like the Boston Marathon until the late fifties, early sixties. I feel like? You know, so the fact that we could trace back in in the showjumping world a woman who was doing it at such a high level in the twenties, it’s just it’s that kind of history that I think is is so important and and so valuable for us to keep alive. So it’s really that was an example that of something that really stood out to me. 

Piper Klemm [00:17:45] So switching gears a little bit, Tony, you just wrapped up an exciting project that will be out to everyone in a couple weeks. You want to tell us about? 

Tonya Johnston [00:17:54] Yeah! I just finished with Piper’s encouragement and a bunch of people is encouragement. I will say I know it’s taken me some time, but I did record the audible of my book Inside Your Ride. So a really exciting and and long time coming- the book has been out now for. 11 years. I could be embarrassed by saying that, but I’m not. I’m just happy that I did happy that I did it, because people I’ve heard nice feedback and I’m so grateful. People still enjoy the book and are looking forward to sharing it. And I know a lot of people listen these days and don’t sit down to read. And I’m included in that and I listen to a lot of podcasts and books on on, you know, on my drives and commutes and all that kind of thing. So I’m thrilled to be able to put that out there soon. I think it’s in production. We’re working on the cover, we’re doing a new cover, and we’ll be submitting it soon. So if it’s beginning of June, I don’t know, in the next, what, month or two, right? Yeah, it will come out. 

Piper Klemm [00:18:58] Yep. So stay tuned to inside your ride on Instagram and Facebook and the Plaid Horse and will be certain to have an announcement. And I just think it’s so great. I’m with the Balmoral with with purpose. We’ve heard from so many people that both read and listened. And I think you really get with these nonfiction books, you really get something different out of listening and your brain receiving the information that way and reading. And I think they’re both super valuable. So I’m really excited that people have this option to to listen to inside your Ride, the long form book. 

Tonya Johnston [00:19:34] And also what I should mention is that there are some new additions into the Audible. So there’s some new quotes that I put in through different interviews, through podcast interviews, Different people are going to be included in this. You know, Karl Cook, Jennifer Bauersachs, there is about ten new folks who generously agreed to let me quote them in in this version. And I also included a bonus section of mindset tips and thoughts. So there’s like a bonus section at the end of just inspiration and things to get you thinking about your mindset and and perspective around your riding and showing. So that’ll be fun. I’ll be excited to hear how people receive that. I always love hearing feedback, so definitely please stay in touch as it comes out. But like we said, we’re going to we’ll, we’ll make some announcements. And Piper, you said something about we should do some sort of book club or something. I don’t know. We haven’t really thought that through yet, but we’ll do something interactive like that, right? 

Piper Klemm [00:20:47] Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And the book also has a brand new forward. 

Tonya Johnston [00:20:51] Yes. Oh, yes, of course. Piper was so nice and generous to write a new foreword. Goodness. Wow. You’re really getting how unprepared I am. I think I’m just really not that skilled at talking about my own. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:05] I know stuff. 

Tonya Johnston [00:21:06] Now, so I think you’re not seeing that now. Oh, but yes, Piper wrote a beautiful foreword. Thank you so much. And yeah, I’m just really looking forward to it all coming together and it’s a long time coming. So thank you all for your patience. If you’re one of the folk, many folks who’ve written me notes over the years asking when it was going to be out, it’s going to be out soon. So super psyched. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:32] Amazing.

Tonya Johnston [00:22:38] 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!