The Horse Rider's Journal

Mona’s world


Bohemian silhuettes meets boyish denim and classic riding gear, when Swedish beauty Mona Johannsson models the looks of the season.

Photography RASMUS SKOUSEN / The Horse Rider’s Journal No.3

THRJ3_108-109Swedish model Mona Johannesson was discovered while she was at a horse trials event in Gothenburg. And even though she’s in constant demand by the likes of Chanel, Nina Ricci and Valentino, the 25-year-old beauty still findws time to ride her horses. We asked her a few questions about life in the saddle.

When did you start riding?
I got my first horse when I was five, and that’s also when I started riding school. Now I own dressage horses of Swedish, German and French bloodlines. I live on a farm with plenty of land, so the horses spend a lot of time outside in big fields. They get good food and good training with a lot of variety.

Do you come from a equestrian family? 
When she was younger my mum rode horses, but she stopped in her teens. My dad’s family brought the New Forest pony to Sweden when he was a child. He rode a bit, but nothing more serious than a fast gallop bareback over the fields.

What´s your favourite discipline?
It used to be jumping, but since I started working as model I haven’t been able to train that much. So I started to put more time into dressage. Now I find it just as much fun as jumping.

Who´s your trainer?
I train with a woman called Pernilla Berglund; she lives just 20 minutes from my farm. But occasionally I’ll try to work with different trainers. At the moment, I’m focusing on getting my 11-year-old mare to do flying changes properly.

How did you get involved in breeding?
In 2006, I bought a three-year-old dressage mare. Since I was working so much I figured it was better to keep her. Since then I’ve had four foals, with two more on their way this spring.

Which qualities do you look for in a horse?
A good temperament, good movement and a good instinct for jumping. It’s a big plus if it has good technique, but with a good heart you can go far.

THRJ3_116-117When it comes to equipment what´s the one thing you can never have too many of?
Nice, well fitted saddles and bridles in good leather! Im a leather freak and love, love, love my saddles.

What’s been your most memorable photo shoot involving a horse?
I once did a shoot with the white horse from The Lord of the Rings. It was really interesting to work with a horse who was trained to put its ears forward whenever the handler snapped her fingers; it did things I didn’t know you could teach your horse to do with just small signals.