Tanja Mitton is a character of great integrity and passion. To chat with her it is as if you are the only person on the planet and her immediate interaction and amazing ability to read the situation is quite inclusive.
Modest, to say the least, she is a rider of great respect and talent having competed internationally in show jumping. An equestrian coach of great knowledge and perception, she takes the total body and mind into consideration when showing riders how they can better themselves in the sport and in competition.
This holistic approach leads to great interest for Tanja to give clinics in Australia and also in Germany, where she was born.
Now established on her property at West Woombye in Queensland’s Gold Coast hinterland, Tanja is in great demand for her clinics, both in Australia and Germany, and for her coaching and range of educational resources. A mother of two daughters, she has also written two books about her approach to training.
Tanja was born near Stuttgart in Germany, and had one sister. The family was not in any way interested in horses. Her father, Horst, was an engineer and ran a very successful business that he created and where Tanja’s mother, Gerda, worked as the bookkeeper.
Tanja’s interest in horses started when she was around six years old. She just loved them, but it was not until she was 11 that she started to ride at a local riding school and have weekly tuition. The family had moved to Augsburg not far from Munich at this stage, and when Tanja was 14 she owned her first horse. He was a 17-year-old Hungarian carriage horse that used to be in a competitive team of four. He was retired from competition and put in the riding school as a school master. He was an amazing gentleman, says Tanja, and ideal for her at the time as he was such an honest horse and gave her confidence and kept her safe when her skills were uneducated and she was green.
When Tanja left school, she retired him and bought a four-year-old Holsteiner, which, on reflection, she realises was not the best mount for her level of experience. He was a show jumper and not the easiest, but the rider at the stables helped Tanja a lot and rode him for her as well, and the combination started to fall into place. Tanja started jumping him in the 90cm classes and graduated to 1.2m classes; he was not super competitive but certainly was a great horse who really set some training tasks for Tanja.