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 her yet, but I know it’s her life’s ambition to have a foal. If you ever saw the way she […]

December 2022 Horse Report

Julie's arena blanketed in snow with the mountains in the background.

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 temperatures in November, which deep-freezes the footing in our outdoor arena, chasing us indoors to ride for the next four […]

October 2022 Horse Report

horseback riders at the beach in the water in Ireland

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 County Galway in the Connemara region of Ireland. A few short days later, I was enjoying “Horses & Happy Hour” […]

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 of my friend, Sharon Gilbert. Sharon is Colorado Horse Rescue‘s adoption specialist, and Doc quickly became a representative of the […]

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 monsoon weather pattern lately, which has kept the irrigation flowing and the grass green. Most importantly, the county I live […]

Plugging the Holes in Your Horse’s Training

Julie working with a horse on a leadline

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.

This journey will require building new skills, but which ones? You and your horse will need lots of practice, but on what? You must keep your eyes on the prize, yet be willing to “go back to basics” to fill in holes that may be missing either in your horse’s training and experience, or your own.

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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, an occasional change of scenery and have an affinity for creature comforts.  We only have pasture grass for a short […]

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 pack trip. try a new discipline, attend a multi-day clinic, or have plans for a dream riding vacation. Then life […]

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 Denver Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center. This impressive facility rehabilitates and adopts out abused and neglected equids that have […]

May 2022 Horse Report

Annie at C Lazy U with Cosequin breast collar

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 of familiar faces, and have fun with people as we celebrated our passion for all things horse.   At first, there […]

Quiz: What is Your Horse’s Training Level?

Annie Closeup

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 make mistakes that will cause any horse pick up some undesirable (or even dangerous) behaviors along the way. Sometimes, through […]

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 beautiful girl with a kind and gentle soul, who graced us with her presence for almost 15 years.  Now our […]

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 or 10 hours away, make sure you’re prepared the next time you hit the road with your horse. These are the […]

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 kept us riding primarily indoors. We try to break the monotony with poles, tarps, and the cutting machine. Occasionally, we […]

January 2022 Horse Report

Annie Closeup

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 the next feat. For me, January is the time to create a blueprint to accomplish bigger and better things with […]

Saddle Fit Do-Over

Julie and Annie Assessing Saddle Fit

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. For me, New Year’s Day is the time I like to plunge into my horse’s saddle fit, consider what goals […]

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 smooth sailing.  Last month, I had my first “back-to-normal” horsemanship clinic since 2019  (where people bring and work with their […]

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 for them look forward to winter, but after several decades managing horses in a harsh climate, I’ve learned there are […]

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! Dodger was 30 years old and lived a long and productive life– his first 13 years he was the foreman’s […]

October 2021 Horse Report

My horses enjoyed a well-deserved training break over the past month. Slowly, my life is creeping back to normal and I’m spending more time traveling. I’m so grateful to be fully vaccinated (and in line for the booster) and to be able to hit the road and do the things I enjoy the most—public speaking, […]

Managing Fearful Behavior in Horses

My young horse, Pepperoni, was just a tender 2-year-old with about 30 days undersaddle when I first ventured outside the arena with him. On that day, my number one goal was to make sure he had a positive experience, so I enlisted the help of a friend with a seasoned, calm gelding to act as […]

September 2021 Horse Report

Remington In October 2020 & In September 2021

Here in the Colorado Rockies, fall comes early, but we have been blessed with exceptionally warm days and normally cool nights, with about a 50-degree difference from the low to high temps. If we ride early, we are bundled up for the cold, but by mid-morning the layers come off. It’s obvious the horses are […]

Helping Horses, One Foster at a Time

Truth Julie Ground Tying

I’m pretty sure no one loves horses more than I do, but I know a lot of you who love them just as much.  We’ve cultivated a small herd of great riding horses, plus one or two geriatrics living out their golden years at my ranch, and I take great joy watching them every day. […]

August 2021 Horse Report

Truth and Julie running over ground poles.

As the days shorten, I’ve been frantically trying to squeeze in all the activities I wanted to do this summer. The older I get, the shorter the summers are, and it’s hard to get enough trail riding, camping, boating, fishing, mountain biking and paddling. But I have given it the college try this summer and […]

July 2021 Horse Report

Closeup of Truth's face

I’ll admit, it’s been a bit of a lazy summer for me, and I’ve had lots of time to enjoy my horses in a more casual way. With no clinics, expos or tv projects looming in my immediate future, and no deadlines to meet or now-or-never things I must accomplish, it’s been refreshing to just […]

“Rearing” to Go!

Horse rearing on the lunge line

One of the most memorable episodes of Horse Master for me involved a lovely warmblood mare who developed a rearing problem after a successful run as a show jumper. The sweet and kind mare stood straight up as I mounted her—before I even sat down. Although sometimes rearing can become a learned response or a […]

June 2021 Horse Report

Julie riding Truth in a Western saddle

Seems like just yesterday I was complaining about winter lasting too long, and now we are enduring a record-breaking heat wave! But ours is a dry heat, and with a little breeze, we can still comfortably work horses. On the upside, it’s finally warm enough to bathe the horses and get rid of the winter […]

Does My Horse Like Me?

Julie petting Pepper's neck

Recently I had a question from one of my podcast listeners, Benjamin. He asked: “Many blogs, books and online training resources talk about helping you develop the relationship you always wanted to have with your horse. For example, having him meet you at the gate in the paddocks, etc. This makes me feel perhaps I […]

May 2021 Horse Report

Julie and Truth

After a cold spring, our horses are finally able to graze green grass (and Annie’s svelte figure is soon to be replaced by the Michelin Man look). With Annie and Pepperoni both well set in their training, most of my energy has been focused on my new foster horse, Truth.  Looking at her now, after […]

March 2021 Horse Report

Remi napping with herd.

March has been a snowy month for us, but we are grateful for the moisture that will ease us out of drought conditions and help green up our pastures. It will be the end of May before the grass is tall enough to turn the horses out to graze. In the dry, high-desert climate we […]

April 2021 Horse Report

Dear Friends, The horses are starting to shed and the outdoor arena has thawed enough to ride in—surely spring is around the corner! The horses are feeling frisky, and adventurous equestrians are planning new excursions. I’m excited to get back in the arena myself, working directly with you and your horse. In the meantime, I’ve […]

February 2021 Horse Report

Here in the high mountains of Colorado, we’re still in our deepest part of winter, with sub-zero temperatures and blowing snow. It’s the time of year when we go into a holding pattern with our horses, hoping there are enough warm days to ride and simply maintain their training and conditioning.  Riding indoors gets boring […]

February 2021 Letter from Julie

Julie with clydesdale colt

Sorry! If you got here from my March, 10 2021 newsletter, it took you to this post by mistake! Click here to continue reading the March 2021 Letter from Julie × Dismiss alert Dear friends, Although the “new” has worn off this year now, as the days get longer and the nights warmer, I am […]

January 2021 Horse Report

Remi and Momma Joy turned out in the arena.

Winter is long and hard, here in the high mountains of Colorado and although the days are getting longer now, subzero temperatures, wind and ice, make riding outdoors a challenge. Thankfully, our indoor arena has passive solar heating and is comfortable for both horses and riders to hangout. We usually bring the horses in from […]