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Horse Report: Waiting On Baby

It’s hard to believe that Annie’s due date is almost here. As I write this, she is now 332 days into the 340-day average gestation of a mare. All systems are ready for launch! How
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March 2024 Horse Report

My sweet little mare, Annie, is now 3/4 of the way through her pregnancy. She’s only 14.0 hands and very compact (short-backed), and the baby (I like to think of as a colt) is making
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How Much Does a Young Horse Really Know?

There are a multitude of reasons why people might end up with a young horse in their lives… You’re raising a foal from a beloved mare. You’ve been riding “made” horses for some time and
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January 2024 Horse Report

In the last month, most of the horse activity around my ranch has centered on the weather. January can be fickle up at 8,000 feet above sea level. We usually get some warm, sunny days
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How Horses Learn to “Read” Humans

If you’ve ever ridden with me in a clinic, you’ve heard me talk about how clever horses are at determining a person’s level of intention and determination, or lack thereof. Although it is a super
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December 2023 Horse Report

Winter is finally upon us, and as most of you know by now, Annie is in foal to Bet Hesa Cat. Her due date is April 28th, so she is about halfway through her pregnancy
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A Look Back: My 2023 Horse Goals

My crew is always coming up with big ideas for helping riders and horse owners live their dreams. Like me, they are all on their own personal horsemanship journey and seeking new information and better
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September 2023 Horse Report: A Lesson in Letting Go

Many of you have followed along with my plans to breed my AQHA mare, Annie, to a top cow horse stallion, Bet Hesa Cat. At first it seemed highly likely that Annie would conceive, even
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When Horses “Shut Down”

A horse owner recently reached out to me asking for guidance with a 3-year-old colt that came to her completely shutdown. His eyes glaze over and he statues-up in response to [any cues] … as
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Annie and Juliie cantering in the outdoor arena with mountains in the background.

Should I Let Someone Else Ride My Horse?

Photo Crredit: Melissa Arnold Should you let someone else ride your horse? There are two common points of view that I run into on this subject: “No! I do not want someone interfering with the
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July 2023 Horse Report

As I mentioned last month, my plans to breed Annie didn’t go the way I hoped, and I’m shifting gears with her this fall to my #2 goal⁠—going horse camping! In the meantime, my other
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Horse Goals Or Bust Part 8: Mental Strategies to Manage Day-Of Anxiety & Perform at Your Best

Whether your equestrian goals involve a competition, a trail adventure, or building the confidence to try something new, it’s likely that you will experience periods of anxiety and moments of doubt in your journey. This
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June 2023 Horse Report

My Horse Goals or Bust! plans have taken an unexpected turn. My big horse goals included breeding my mare, Annie, which turned out to be an exercise in patience. It has been a rollercoaster of
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View of an arena through a horse's ears.

Horse Goals or Bust Part 7: It’s Go Time!

We are now 7 months into Horse Goals or Bust—setting goals, planning, training, practicing, and preparing. It’s prime riding season in most areas, so now is the time to put into action all the activities
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May 2023 Horse Report

It was disappointing to find out that my beloved mare Annie did not settle into pregnancy after her second round of breeding and a month at the mare-care facility about 75 miles from here. We
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Truck pulling a horse trailer.

Horse Goals or Bust Part 6: Your Trailer FAQs Answered

It’s been a lot of fun to hear about the goals, skill assessments, and training plans that we’ve all been working on this year in our Horse Goals or Bust! endeavors. Hopefully your plans are coming together,
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closeup of Annie's face

April 2023 Horse Report

I was planning to write a much different report this month, hoping to announce the pregnancy of my sweet mare, Annie. Instead, I am reminded that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. In lieu of a
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Julie grooming her horse, Annie.

Horse Goals or Bust Part 5: Grooming Tips from the Trail to the Arena

Whether your horsemanship goals for this year involve gaining confidence, an overnight trail ride, or competing in any given discipline, your horse’s appearance speaks volumes. Not only is grooming another way to bond with your
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March 2023 Horse Report

With any luck, my sweet little mare, Annie, will soon be living her dream. If you’ve been following along with Horse Goals or Bust, you already know that I made the decision to breed Annie
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julie-riding-horse

Horse Goals or Bust! Part 4: Rider Skill Assessment & Training Plan

We are now four months into Horse Goals or Bust!, and we still have half a year left to fulfill our dreams and achieve our equestrian aspirations! Last month, we addressed horse and rider fitness,
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February 2023 Horse Report

I am happy to report that my plans for breeding Annie this year are well underway! So far (*knock on wood*) everything is going according to plan. Annie hasn’t figured out what’s in store for
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Horse Goals or Bust! Part 3: Rider Fitness & Conditioning Plan

We are three months into Horse Goals or Bust!—my nine-month plan to help you accomplish your horsemanship goals and live your dreams. Many of you have jumped onboard for this ride, including most of my
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Annie in the barn

January 2023 Horse Report

This year, my horse life is taking an abrupt turn in a direction that surprised even me⁠—and it all started with a piece of paper. A year ago, when my team first presented me with
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Horse looking down a long trail

Horse Goals or Bust! Ready, Set, Go!

It’s that time of year to hit the reset button, look forward, and set new, impactful goals for yourself. We started this journey last month in my blog and podcast, Ride On with Julie Goodnight.
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Julie's arena blanketed in snow with the mountains in the background.

December 2022 Horse Report

Around my barn, we shift into a lower gear this time of year, based on surviving winter. Here in the high mountains of Colorado, winter comes early and stays late. We had plenty of sub-zero
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Check Your Rearview Before You Get in Gear Next Year

It’s true. The older you get, the faster the time goes by. The past few years have been topsy-turvy, and a roller-coaster ride of emotions. During this time, three friends unexpectedly passed away⁠—all of whom
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Julie training on a horse in English tack.

What Does it Mean to Have “Realistic” Training Expectations?

Whether your young horse is ready for saddle training, or your adult horse needs to be restarted, has developed undesirable behaviors, or is ready for a higher level of training, there may come a time
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horseback riders at the beach in the water in Ireland

October 2022 Horse Report

After two weeks of clinics and tours, I arrived home from Ireland to the peak of fall weather here in the Rocky Mountains. One day I was riding horses on the Wild Atlantic Coast of
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Artificial Aids: Training Tool or Crutch?

Horses are amazingly adaptable creatures, and over thousands of years they have partnered with us and found ways to make themselves invaluable to human society. Since before horses were even ridden, humans have attempted to
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September 2022 Horse Report

With heavy hearts, we laid our old friend “Doc” to rest this month. Doc was a talented performance horse, and taught every one of us something special. He finished his days being the faithful mount
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Foal meeting the farrier

How to Get a 5-Star Rating From Your Farrier

As a kid, I rode show hunters, and back then most of them were off-the-track Thoroughbreds–notorious for their shelly, thin feet and the tendency to lose a shoe right before an important show. I learned
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Annie grazing

August 2022 Horse Report

Here in Colorado, summers are long-awaited, and then over before you know it. As we like to say, there are four seasons here: winter, winter, winter, and road construction. We’ve been blessed with a normal
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Julie working with a horse on a leadline

Plugging the Holes in Your Horse’s Training

You have future goals to accomplish with your horse, but you know you’re not ready yet. Equestrian sports require a long-term commitment and often the journey takes us places we didn’t imagine when we started. 
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July 2022 Horse Report

All winter long, we yearn for summer, and by the time it gets here, we start whining about the heat. The horses are no different! Like humans, horses tend to like variety in their food,
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Change of Plans: When It’s Time to Pivot

You’ve made big plans and set some lofty goals with your horse, starting months or even years ago. Maybe you want to do a series of competitions, a long-distance trail ride or a bucket list
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June 2022 Horse Report

Annie and I took a road trip earlier this month to present at the Harmony Horse Expo, a fun and educational weekend full of training demos from trainers and other horse professionals, hosted by the
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horse stepping into a horse trailer

Trailering Checklist Part 2: Is Your Horse Ready to Hit the Road?

  Your horse didn’t exactly volunteer to join you on your next road trip, and isn’t pining for a big adventure or “revenge travel” to make up for lost time over the last couple years
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Annie at C Lazy U with Cosequin breast collar

May 2022 Horse Report

In the past four months, I’ve traveled coast-to-coast for many different horse expos and clinics—just like before-times! It was great to be back on the road again, to meet new people and horses, see lots
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Annie Closeup

Quiz: What is Your Horse’s Training Level?

Horses are very precocious animals—they are fast learning and their education begins in the first moments of life. Unfortunately, they learn inappropriate things just as quickly as the good stuff, so it is easy to
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April 2022 Horse Report

Dear friends, The past month brought some rather profound changes around our barn, leaving a giant hole in my heart. First, we said a sad farewell to our faithful old Labrador, Samantha. She was a
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What’s the Temperature of Your Horse’s Temperament?

Horses are unique individuals with differing temperaments and a variety of idiosyncrasies. Even within one breed or type of horse, temperament can vary greatly between individuals. The more you know and understand about your horse’s
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March 2022 Horse Report

We are used to long winters here in the Colorado mountains, but subzero temps in March are enough already! Last month, we loaded the big rig and traveled 150 miles to Denver between snow storms,
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Trailering Checklist Part 1: What to Know Before You Hit the Road

  There’s a lot to consider when it comes to traveling with horses, and I’ve learned a lot of things to do (and not to do) over the years. Whether you are hauling 10 minutes
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February 2022 Horse Report

Winter got off to a mild start here in the Colorado mountains but has come back with a vengeance lately. With lots of snow and sub-zero temps, our outdoor arena is frozen solid, which has
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What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?

If you are reading my blog, chances are good that you LOVE all horses, and your own horse especially. But does your horse LOVE you back?  As it turns out, many animal behaviorists believe that
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Annie Closeup

January 2022 Horse Report

One thing I love about horse sports is that no matter what you achieved last year, there’s always more you can do the next year. No sooner do you accomplish one goal than you’re planning
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Julie and Annie Assessing Saddle Fit

Saddle Fit Do-Over

Assessing your tack—in terms of its condition, fit to the horse, and appropriateness for the horse’s discipline and level of training—should be ongoing, but doing a thorough assessment should happen at least once a year.
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December 2021 Horse Report

I have to say I was happy to get back into a more normal work schedule this fall—starting with my first few trips to events by airplane since March of 2020. So far,  it’s been
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Are You & Your Horse Ready for Winter?

Even though our winter out here in the mountains has been disturbingly warm and dry this year, I know that eventually the cold and snow will descend upon us. Neither horses nor the humans caring
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November 2021 Horse Report

Watercolor of Dodger & Lucy We’ve had some transitions around our barn in the last month. Recently, we said a final farewell to our old friend, Roger Dodger—possibly the best cow horse I ever rode!
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