Britta Johnston at Mountain Vista Farm (202) 870-8817
Britta Johnston at Mountain Vista Farm

When your horses are in training at Mountain Vista Farm you will find that we have excellent associates, including top notch veterinary care, a dynamic farrier and a wonderful attention-to-detail saddle fitter who is here to help maintain a high standard of horse care to get you to your road of success with your training program.

Horse Training

Britta Johnston’s methodology for training horses is based on the foundation of Classical Training. The Training Scale is used as a structured teaching tool and will be referred to time and again in the training process in order to achieve harmony between rider and horse. This harmony produces trust and confidence in the horse which contributes to his overall health, longevity, and happiness.

Britta’s extensive training resume includes the following stages:

  • starting the young horse (3 year old) under saddle
  • developing the green horse to enter the show ring in the “FEI Young Horse” competition class
  • developing the horse from Training and First Level through Fourth Level and on up to the advanced “FEI” classes.

Britta is very sensitive to the needs of the horse through all levels. An important objective, particularly in the early years, is to keep the young horse eager to learn. The enjoyment of the work is a significant component and continues to be an important goal in the overall training of the horse as it matures.


Adult Training Program:

Britta Johnston teaches all her students horsemanship based on the solid foundation of Classical Training. Along with the physical instruction beginning with the balanced seat, theoretical knowledge is learned contiguously. The principles of the Training Scale are repeatedly emphasized and taught to all students – beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Whether the individual is a young adult or more mature, Britta makes an honest evaluation of a client’s experience, prior knowledge, and physical condition and then will implement a realistic set of goals and objectives. By absolute necessity, Britta will take into consideration the age, conformation, health, and physical condition of the client’s equine partner. Every horse ridden under Britta’s supervision will be trained along the principles of the Training Scale to ensure good health, longevity, and happiness for this regal and generous animal.

Youth Training Program:

Britta Johnston teaches all her students horsemanship based on the solid foundation of Classical Training. Along with the physical instruction beginning with the balanced seat, theoretical knowledge is learned contiguously. The teaching subjects include but are not limited to: equine management, veterinary care and science, the training of horses, and the ability to learn how to teach others.

Within the Youth Training Program, students are taught to train and work as a team producing self-reliant, cooperative and confident team players. They learn to be eager, unselfish, and ambitious individuals eager to take on hand the tasks that are required in the daily management of horses. In the process of learning the complex art of horsemanship, the hardworking student who shows initiative will learn life long skills which will make this individual an asset to any future profession and an asset to society itself.

Having taught for over 25 years, Britta is experienced in training students from a vast array of international backgrounds. As these students mature in their knowledge she will appoint them to become “Junior International Ambassadors” giving them access to each other and fostering a global community through the funnel of the equine arts.

Shipping and Handling

Britta Johnston is an approved equine handler for the shipping agent Guido Klatte. Britta has accompanied horses between Europe and the United States for 20 years but other routes such as Europe to Brazil via Africa have more recently become necessary. The responsibilities for this job begin with picking up by trailer the registered horses booked for the flight then loading them onto the cargo plane and caring for them until they reach their destination. This process from pick-up to landing can take up to nearly 24 hours or more depending on the travel manifest. Britta’s extensive experience from countless transport flights gives her the experience to manage these equines and ensure all their needs are thoroughly met.

Coaching at Shows

For clients who are in a training program with Britta Johnston, coaching at Dressage Shows is an option that may be exercised. The expectations and fees for this service will be defined prior to the show.

In the event that the candidate withdraws from competition due to a non-medical reason less than 24 hours prior to the show, the client will owe Britta the agreed upon fee.


Britta Johnston gives a variety of different styles of clinics throughout the year at many different locations: the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, the United States, Canada and China. In addition to physical riding clinics lasting 1-2 days, Britta also teaches equine topics using an interactive seminar format on subjects such as Horse Conformation, Body Awareness and the Balanced Seat, Barn and Equine Safety, The Training Scale and its Relevance, The International Young Breeders’ Program– a few examples amongst a vast array of potential subjects which draw upon her long career as an equine professional. All these clinics are geared towards adults and minors alike, reinforcing her belief that in our current society all ages can learn and benefit from exposure to each other in different ways.

We are proud to offer a variety of services to our clients, including:

Training of the Horse and Rider

Dressage training at Mountain Vista Farm is firmly founded in classical principles.  Britta Johnston, owner and head trainer at Mountain Vista Farm and owner of Britta Johnston International Sporthorses LLC, is an extremely experienced dressage trainer and rider.  She began riding at the age of 6 in Germany, where she was trained in Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing, and Vaulting.  At the age of the 13, she earned her bronze medal from the German Riding Federation and went on to earn her silver medal at the age of 16.  She was invited to be a demonstration rider in the 2004 USDF National Dressage Symposium.  In 2005, Britta returned to Germany to train with Rudolf Zeilinger, the coach of the Danish Olympic team. Britta has more than 30 years of experience starting young horses and training them through FEI levels.

Our training system is focused on the development of both the horse and rider.  Through systematic work, we improve the horse’s natural athletic capability so that he is happy, sound, and willing to work for many years.  The success of our program comes from its focus on education.  Whether your goal is to compete at the highest levels or to simply enjoy riding a well trained horse, we can give you the tools that you need.

Children’s Riding Lessons

Do you want your child to train with the best?  Then you’ve come to the right place.  At Mountain Vista Farm, we are proud to give children the start they need to become safe and successful riders in all disciplines.  Our horses are well suited and trained for children. We  offer lead-line classes and start the youngest at 2-3 years of age All students are started on the lunge line for safety reasons.


Our 6-12 month internship program is a great opportunity for riders who want to become professionals. The students learn about safety, riding, training, teaching, barn management, veterinary care, saddle fitting and hoof car. International shipping and life skills are also part of the curriculum at Mountain Vista Farm.

We are a ‘drug-free’ facility.

Coming soon

At Mountain Vista Farm, we have so many wonderful things happening. Stay tuned for upcoming events and clinics.

Vacation rentals

If you come to train or if you’re in need of a getaway, Mountain Vista Farm in Rappahannock County is an excellent choice! Please contact Britta directly at 202-870-8817.

Mountain Vista Farm, home of Britta Johnston International Sporthorses,
is an elite dressage facility located in the heart of Rappahannock County.
Come visit us to experience fine horses, fine wine,
and all that this beautiful Virginia country has to offer.