COACH OF THE MONTH is a regular series in the Equestrian Australia Evolve e-News. It is a way of highlighting the EA coaches and educators who work with dedication and passion all over Australia. This month I was delighted to be asked to take part – enjoy!
Christine Johnson is a level 2 NCAS General Coach Educator and an Introductory Vaulting Coach. She is 60 years old and lives in Nelson, NSW where she owns her own business with her son.
Chrissie grew up in the pony club life and attended Hills District from when she was 8 years old up until 18. She competed in State Championships in Eventing and Showjumping all over NSW and won the Associates State Eventing Championships in her last year in Pony Club. "Pony Club gave me a solid grounding in so many different areas of riding and provided many happy horsey memories" shares Christine. She was very much into Eventing as she left Pony Club and competed and placed in Sydney and Melbourne 3Day Events for several years and was longlisted for the World Championship in Kentucky. She remembers it as an exciting and adrenalin filled time!
The talented rider studied Art, got married and worked in racehorse training for 16 years. "The racing industry showed me a whole new side to the horse industry and I learnt so much. We had a lot of success and it was a very rewarding part of my life. When my marriage ended I returned to performance horses and took a job in Victoria lecturing at Marcus Oldham College in the Horse Business Management Course. This was a great adventure and an amazing learning experience. I met industry leaders and inspirational professionals and made wonderful friends and contacts."
Christine came back to Sydney where she taught horse courses at TAFE and then set up Johnson Equestrian Services, and has been running her business now for 15 years, offering lessons to students in all disciplines on either their own horses or on one of her 15 horses. She has two children George and Alice that are both good riders. George is a coach and professional showjumping rider and is her business partner. Alice is a journalist and lives in England at the moment.
Chrissie holds weekly Coach Training Clinics and trains and assesses coaches for EA Intro through to Level 2 Horse Management and Coaching Certificates. She is also on the ENSW Education Committee and on the Pony Club Associations Paid Instructors panel and conducts Coach Training and Assessments for them throughout NSW.
"I am very interested in any training that benefits the welfare of the horse and improvement of the rider as an athlete. I am a keen advocate of Clicker Training and the benefits of positive reinforcement in training and I practice Feldenkrais and Pilates to improve my awareness of posture and mental awareness of movement patterns for myself and my students.
During her spare time, Christine enjoys her passion for photography and wildlife and has a strong involvement in social media. She won the Social Media for small businesses in the Hawkesbury Award. She has been an active Committee member of the Sydney Showjumping Club since 2001 and has been their Publicity Officer. "I have convinced the entire Committee to embrace social media and now we have a very active, well supported Facebook Page, which I manage."
Christine hopes she will continue to coach and ride for many years : "I love being a full time coach. I live and work in a wonderful environment, it is a privilege to work alongside my son and I now have a much treasured granddaughter to indulge. We have some truly wonderful students and they let me love my work! I consider myself to be very lucky!"
HERE is a video of Chrissie made by one of her students.