Emily Johnson was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado where the silhouette of the Rocky Mountains framed the typical lifestyle of a city-girl. Even in this unlikely setting, Emily found her heart drawn to horses as early as she can remember.
"The story of how I came into a life of horses does not have an uncommon beginning," Emily says smiling. "Motivated by my wild, uninhibited love for the horse -- or the 'horsey' as my little girl lips would sound with delight -- I was the quintessential young girl listing 'pony' as the first thing on my Christmas list." But when Emily found her equine opportunities limited in a city better known for its hiking trails than horse farms, she had to get a little creative.
"When the urge for a horse of my own became unbearable I would satiate the desire by tying up my younger brother and leading him around as if he were my horse! When my mother finally squelched this activity, I instead resorted to training the family dog, a buff colored Cocker Spaniel named Chinook, to be a stadium jumper using an elaborate obstacle course I made in the back yard," she recalls.
Emily rode every summer at a dude ranch in the mountains, took an occasional jumping lesson, and participated in local shows under the tutelage of a family friend. But when these activities were still too few and far between to satisfy her horse cravings, Emily would wander over to a neighboring pasture to sit on the fence and simply be with the horses that lived there.
It was at this very pasture that Emily met a striking bay Quarter Horse gelding that soon became her first horse. His name was Binder, and he ignited in Emily an unbridled devotion to horses that would grow stronger day by day.
In college, Emily traveled the country working as a groom on the Morgan show circuit. It was during these years, while studying Equine Science at Colorado State University, that she came to realize that it was not the physiological ins and outs of the horse that were most intriguing to her, but rather the mind and nature of these exquisite animals -- things that went beyond textbook learning.
The opportunity of a lifetime came when she was selected for an apprenticeship with the world famous horseman and founder of Cowboy Dressage, Eitan Beth-Halachemy. At his ranch in Grass Valley, California, Emily experienced firsthand the true artistry of an authentic horseman. Moved by the connectedness and lightness that transpired between Eitan and his horses, Emily resolved to practice and pursue this level of horsemanship.
In 2006, Emily founded Mountain Rose Horsemanship Training to meet the need for quality horse care and training structured around the horse's instinctive needs. This "horse first" approach soon highlighted an even greater need: to help humans better understand their beloved horse's natural language and behavior. Emily responded by providing the opportunity for people to learn the art of horsemanship, a practice that is now the foundation of MRH.
Emily considers herself a lifetime student of the horse, believing there is no end to the learning process or to the expansive wisdom the horse has to offer. Inspired by the philosophies and methods of some of the greatest horsemen and horsewomen throughout history, she developed her own comprehensive curriculum, Wholeness Through Horsemanship™. Her training methods utilize direct communication the horse naturally understands in combination with her keen awareness of the human learning process. This approach creates a safe and effective environment for both the human learner and the equine student. Her instruction is inspired by the principles of natural horsemanship, ranch horsemanship, and classical dressage and reflects her passion for equipping both horses and humans for success on their journey toward individual wholeness and ultimate partnership. Emily is on the cutting edge of the new Western Dressage movement being one of only a small group of instructors in the nation to complete the Western Dressage Association of America's® Train the Trainers™ program.
2003 - 2004: Studied Equine Science at Colorado State University
2003: Groom on Morgan "A" Show Circuit for Chowning Training Stable
2004: Groom on Morgan "A" Show Circuit for Greyrock Stables
2004: Apprentice to Eitan Beth-Halachmy of Cowboy Dressage - Grass Valley, California
2005: Barn Manager, Foaling Manager and Resident Trainer/Instructor at Medicine Horse Program - Boulder, Colorado
2005: Completed EAGALA training and certification
2005: Attended Ray Hunt clinic - Wheatland, Wyoming
2006: Assistant Barn Manager at West Winds Dressage Farm - Longmont, Colorado
2006: Founded Mountain Rose Horsemanship Training - Louisville, Colorado
2007: Instructor for Naropa University Extended Studies - Boulder, Colorado
2010: Internship with Joe Wolter - Aspermont, Texas
2010: Designed training program for Colorado Horse Rescue - Longmont, Colorado
2010: Clinician at the LCHA Annual Clinic - Berthoud, Colorado
2011: Featured in EQUUS magazine
2011: Rode with Buck Brannaman - Kiowa, Colorado
2011: Attended Bryan Neubert clinic - Fremont, Nebraska
2012: Completed the Western Dressage Association of America's® Train the Trainers™ program