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Tammy Johnson Bio


Tamzen “Tammy” Johnson was born and raised on Cape Cod, MA, where at a young age, she became captivated by horses, and was already an avid horsewoman by age 8. She began her riding career with Richard Ulrich, a talented trainer, then and now. Initially, she became involved in equitation, competing locally, across the country, and beyond, as far as Ireland. In addition to her equitation career she added both hunters and children’s jumpers, receiving numerous awards in all categories of competition.

As a young lady, she grew up in the company of and rode with many leaders in the field: Captain William Hyer, a famous dressage trainer; George Morris, a leading equitation, hunter and jumper instructor and former Captain of the United States Equestrian Team, and current Chef d’Equipe and Technical Advisor for the Unites States Equestrian Federation; Neal Shapiro, a respected member of both the United States Equestrian and Olympics Teams; William Steinkraus, also a member of the Olympics team and an icon in the horse industry; and many others.

Tammy is always open to learning from others as she recognizes the importance of expanding her own knowledge. In addition to participating in and auditing many clinics, she even travelled out to Los Angeles, CA in 1984 to witness the Equestrian Games at the Summer Olympics, where Joe Fargis, Mike Plumb and Melanie Howard, all earned gold medals, in addition to providing many, including Tammy, the opportunity of a lifetime, to learn from the best.

A few years later, Tammy made a career move into breed shows, where again, she travelled the country, herself winning many top awards, as well as leading many students of all ages and ability levels to lead their divisions. In fact, she even owned a World Champion pleasure horse, which she and her family continued to show until his age prevented him from competing any longer, after which he was allowed to comfortably retire on her farm. She did it all, from English and Western pleasure and equitation, to hunters and jumpers. She even did it all outside of the ring; in addition to training and instructing, she has always taken a hands-on approach, grooming and bathing, trailering, even cleaning stalls, getting to know her horses like one would their own children.

Because of her recognized talent and ability to transform farms and riders into what they had only dreamed of, she was invited to upgrade an equine facility, Moon-A-Kiss Farm, where again, she took horses and their riders beyond what they had previously known. This farm became well-known in the area, and its horses and riders became fierce competition on the showgrounds.

In 1998, Tammy was invited to manage Salt Meadow Farm, initially a private farm where she catered to the horsemen and women in the family, later expanding to a full boarding and training facility with more than 30 horses and nearly 100 students. As would be expected with her talent and drive, she soon became well known in the field of jumpers, competing herself and helping many students rise to become leaders in the fields of children and adult jumpers, as well as amateur-owners and including up to the mini prix and grand prix level. She was particularly well-known for her ability to work with “problem” horses, those who needed to be broke, retrained, or just undergo an “attitude adjustment”, taking many of those on to be successful in their disciplines. She began travelling and competing with many students throughout the northeast and soon across country to show in many finals competitions. Tammy competed two of her own horses, Primeur, previously owned by Mario Deslaurier and once a member of the Canadian Olympic team, and Triana, a stubborn and feisty but talented mare with whom few could triumph, as well as many other horses for their owners. She was a frequent winner at the mini prix and even grand prix level, on occasion taking both 1st and 2nd prize amongst many leading riders and horses. Her competition included well-known riders such as Michael Matz, Beezie and Frank Madden, Tony D’Ambrosio, Lisa Jacquin, Todd Minikus, Bill Lowry, and many other respected members of the field.

In 2005, Tammy determined it was time for a career change, not out of horses, of course. She worked as an Assistant Veterinarian with world-renowned vet, Dr. Nancy Brennan, DVM, co-author of multiple publications and respected vet in the equine field, treating such maladies as sinuses and lungs, bones and joints, fertility, and more, using osteopathy, acupuncture, Kinesio tape and other forms of holistic treatment. With Dr. Brennan, DVM, she travelled across the country from New York to Florida, Kentucky to Arkansas, and further, attending sales and treating equines of numerous disciplines, including race horses, the next step in Tammy’s journey.

Around this same time, Tammy took the opportunity to break into the field of racing, learning from trainers such as Mike Hushion, Lisa Lewis, Bruce Levine, and others, leading to her becoming an Assistant Trainer at Stonebridge Farm, a well-known enterprise formerly owned by Jeff Tucker, until financial victimization caused the farm to dissolve in 2009. Tammy did not let this dissuade her. Instead, she ventured out on her own, procuring horses and enticing owners with her hands-on approach, working closely with the horses herself rather than relying on others to care for them, getting to know their personalities as well as their needs and strengths. This coupled with her dedication and ability are what have led her to be not only accepted, but respected, in what can be a difficult circle to earn your way into. Since then, she has independently provided training and sales services to individuals and syndicates, with horses competing at Belmont, Suffolk Downs, Finger Lakes and Saratoga.

Over the years, Tammy has inspired both horses and riders alike, as well as owners, to have and become more than they thought possible. She has helped them to grow and advance, nurturing their talents and ambitions, and inspiring them. In fact, many of Tammy’s former students have gone on to become veterinarians themselves, while others own and operate successful equine facilities, and still others continue to compete at the highest levels in their respected disciplines.